We are on track to make our first of two trips to Russia sometime around December 10. That doesn’t necessarily mean that that is when we will travel, but that is our goal and, as I said, we are on track. We have been working toward an adoption of a pretty 8-year-old girl in generally good health. My adoption agent surprised us out of the blue last week by asking if we would have an interest in adopting a second child; a very cute 5-year old boy. He is not related to the girl who was referred to us, but is from the same region (if not the same orphanage). He is reported to have Spina Bifida Occulta, the least serious form of Spina Bifida. From my research on-line, I see that 5% to 10% of babies may be born with Spina Bifida Occulta, and most of these never know they have it unless they have a back X-ray or MRI. If you or one or more of your children have a birthmark, hairy patch, or dimple right over the spine, you or they may have this condition. Spina Bifida is an improper development of one or more vertebras in the spine. As I understand it, in the more serious versions, the spinal cord grows outside of the vertebra and perhaps even outside of the skin. These people usually have a raised lump over their spine. For most people with the less serious, Occulta version, there will few or no consequences whatsoever. For some small percentage of people, there can be a weakening of lower limbs, malformed feet, or bladder and/or incontinence problems. These may occur during their adolescent grow spurt, when the spine can snag or stretch as the body grows (tethering seems to be the official medical term). A relatively successful surgery exists that can relieve most of those problems for teens who do develop tethering. If bladder and/or incontinence do occur, though, it is rare that those conditions are relieved by the surgery. The report from the orphanage is that this boy “walks and moves normally, but he is restricted in how active he can be” Therefore the Russian doctor thinks he might need the surgery to make sure everything goes ok while he is growing. You may read about this condition in more detail at http://www.asbah.org/Downloads/InfSheet_8-SBO.pdf#search='spina%20bifida%20occulta'. I am strongly considering bringing this boy home too. My question to you fine folks, do any of you have experience with Spina Bifida Occulta? Can you tell me your experiences?