I was never so glad to hear the landing gears of the airplane lift as we flew off on our own life journey
— Patti

At 57, I had numerous miscarriages, and an unexpected early menopause, but the desire to parent was still very "fertile".   I had to ask myself a very serious question. and that was "will it make a difference at 80 if you never have a child?"  My answer was a very loud  Y.E.S !!

I was bound and determined as my journey progressed to have a baby girl.  Nine months for my "paper pregnancy" to do paperwork and get approval to adopt, and I traveled for the first time outside of the continent....alone, carrying cash for the adoption fees in a foriegn country, and not knowing the language.
The first day in the orphanage located near Siberian Plains in the middle of winter, I was greeted by a darling little boy who squealed as I walked through the doorway.  He was cute, but sickly, and they told me he was not available (there are many children in orphanages in the world that are being cared for by the state)...so I moved on and got my girl.   After a week, there was a letter that came from the Mom of the girl to the orphanage....so she was no longer mine. I still loved on the little boy each day as he was such a joy. But I cried buckets of tears and insisted that God didn't want me to have children.......it was Christmas time in the US, I was alone in a foreign country, and I was sad, very, very sad.  They asked if I wanted to go through the orphanage to see if there was another child I may wish to adopt (that was available)...reluctantly I went.   I walked this time with an entourage of officials searching for "the one"....none were "it"....and after a couple of hours of chatting and walking slowly, we came to the little boy I had seen daily since my arrival. I told them that he was not available as I had already asked, however one of the officials in the back of the entourage who had been making notes said NO!  He  IS  available!!  I couldn't imagine how this could be.  They explained that when I had asked to adopt him he had not been at the orphanage for 6 months as yet, with curiosity, I asked what meaning it had.  They explained that a child was not able to be adopted until they had been there for 6 months, and this little guy was not available for adoption until a few days after my arrival.

I was there for 58 days, I immersed myself in my sons culture, customs and foods, between my twice a day visits to the orphanage to see my son.  I had court dates, and I read books, and passed the time listening to music or washing clothes in the tub and hanging them on a makeshift clothesline strung across the bathroom like a spiders web.  I was invited to celebrate New Year's Eve at the hotel where I stayed, and then on January 5th, (their Christmas Eve), I got to bring my son "home" to the hotel, our first Christmas together, his Christmas and mine.  A few days later we traveled on to another city where the US Embassy was, and more paperwork needed to be done as we waited another couple of weeks.  Finally he was all mine!!  The next morning we awoke early for our last breakfast in my son's birth country, Kazakhstan, and I was never so glad to hear the landing gears of the airplane lift as we flew off on our own life journey......it seems like a lifetime ago, but I am still living the dream with a darling little boy of 11!!