How Misha and Misha Adopted Three Kids in Two Years
These dads, both named Misha, always wanted kids, but no one could imagine how their story would develop.
On December 21st, 2007, Misha Rubin announced to a group of friends that he would go out on 10 dates in 10 days and would meet the love of his life before the end of the year. Misha Tismenetsky was date number 8, on December 30th, and the last one. The couple moved in together a month later — on January 1st 2008.The couple discussed adoption on their very first date. Little did they know that down the line they would adopt three kids in two years! First they adopted twin girls and when the ladies were almost 2, they brought home their biological brother from foster care.He was almost five at that time.
Rubin, who works as a consultant, and his husband, Tismenetsky, who is a doctor, always knew that they wanted kids and decided on adoption instead of surrogacy or foster-adoption. "I felt that there are enough children in this world that need parents," said Rubin. For many years, he has always been an adoption advocate and even led an adoption group at the LGBTQ center in New York. Rubin is also a board member of Worldwide Orphans, an international organization that works with children at risk.
Mishas' adoption process was not without disappointments. At last, they were were matched with a woman who was pregnant with a baby boy. "We met the family, had a name for the boy, but at the last minute, the father of the child didn't provide consent," said Rubin.
That is when Mishas had a thought: "We want to have two children. Why don't we just adopt two while we are in a legal window that allows us to adopt?" The next day, while they were ending a conversation with their lawyer, she said, casually: "I don't think you would be interested in this, but there is a woman in Florida who is pregnant with twins." Misha and Misha looked at each other - "What??" By coincidence, the couple wrote a song for their friends' wedding who were expecting twins with lyrics "Love will shower you with gifts, it can even bring you twins." Now, the song applied to the Mishas too.
The girls were supposed to be born in January and Misha and Misha embarked on their last travel trip while kidless. Next day after they got to Fez, Morocco, they received a surprise email from their lawyer: "Mary gave birth." A 30-hour trip — Fez-Casablanca, Casablanca-Paris, Paris-NYC, NYC-Florida — brought them to their lovely daughters.
Mishas stayed connected with their daughters' birth mom and during their visits they met the girls' brother who lived with a foster family at that time. When the girls were not even two and the two dads felt their life finally got into business-as-usual mode, they received a phone call about the brother needing a permanent home. Within several weeks, an almost 5-year old boy moved in with them. Adopting an older child came with its own challenges. For instance, as parents Misha and Misha missed three years in parenting school — they organically learned how to parent a child under 2, but a 5-year old is a whole different story.
The two men have learned a lot from becoming dads. "Love is important but you need to know about child development," said Rubin. When it comes to adopting an older child, Rubin said, "there are some conveniences like no diapers." But there are also many challenges. The process of integration comes with patience, and love comes with time.
Even though there have never been any circumstances where the dads have been treated differently due to their sexual orientation, "There is definitely curiosity," Rubin said. As other adoptive parents they need to expect that other kids might make comments about their family - and they need to find a way to explain their child's unique story and answer questions, often very unexpectedly.
Misha and Misha are fully immersed into the family life where their kids is their top priority. They make an intentional effort "to build a tight family for life." They teach their kids that are together for a lifetime and they would need to support and care for each other.
For those who are pursuing the same path of parenthood as these dads, or even just parenthood in general, they had this to offer by way of advice: "Know that it's rewarding and challenging. The adoption process is a roller-coaster — don't get attached to anything."
Despite the challenges, once Misha and Misha got through them, they became a family like it was always meant to be. These men knew they wanted kids and, nothing would stop they. There were many challenges on the road, but what they build together in the end was beyond what they both could imagine when they had met.