That child is now 15 and she is a sweet, wonderful kid. But her introduction to our family was anything but calm (at least for her sister and me.) She and her sister still fight like crazy, and I had to go on anti-depressants because I went into a depression shortly after we got back. My husband says it’s the only time he thought our marriage would not survive. Bringing home our second child really put a lot of stress mainly on me, but it affected him, too, because I was not available as a spouse at all for at least a year.

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Would I do it again? Yes, but I would make absolutely sure that my husband could take time off. He was able to take 6 weeks off after our first child came home. For the second, we had had to be in Russia for much longer and he just could not take the time off. I needed him MUCH more after the second one. As it was, everything was dumped on me and I did not handle it well. Thank GOD for my female friends. They are the ones who really came to my side and helped me out. There was one friend who we’d switch kids (her kids were also from Russia.) I’d take the child of hers that she had trouble with and she would take mine. It gave each of us the break we both needed.

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