We’re Having a Baby… or Two. ANY DAY!

babyannouncement (500x274) Many of you have followed along on our journey to adopt two children from Russia. Sergi and I were very passionate to adopt specifically from Russia, since we are both from the former Soviet Union, Belarus, to be exact.

The need is certainly huge. “According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, 740,000 children live in Russia without parental care. The Russian Ministry of Science and Education estimates that 110,000 of these children live in state orphanages .” Statistics show that only 1 out of 10 Russian orphans will become a functional member of society. The rest turn to a life of crime, suicide, drugs and prostitution. These numbers are scary. We fell in love with Russian children on our many mission trips to Russia.

It took us more than a year to save enough money for the process and another year to get all our documents done. We got our Visas done and were next on the list in the region we were registered in to get a referral and fly to Russia to meet our children for the first time.

All the documents that we needed to notarize and apostille.

All the documents that we needed to notarize and apostille.

Getting fingerprinted to have our backgrounds checked and be approved for adopting an internationally adopted child.

Getting fingerprinted to have our backgrounds checked and be approved for adopting an internationally adopted child.

Right before Christmas, we were heartbroken to hear that President Putin was threatening to ban all adoptions of Russian orphans by Americans. In January, the law was signed into effect. We were in complete shock. We hoped that somehow, the ban would be taken back, but even though many Russians and Americans put in so much effort to protest this awful law, the ban is still in effect today with no signs of change.

In February, we also found out that our adoption agency was filing for bankruptcy, since Russian adoptions were their main source of income. If the law would change, we would have to start the whole process from the beginning –  all those documents and all the money was lost.

We still felt an overwhelming desire to provide a loving home for children who don’t have safety, security and caring parents. It was always our plan to become foster parents after adopting from Russia, so when that door closed, we changed gears and started our next adventure, becoming foster parents right in our own community. This year, we’ve taken courses, had numerous home inspections, filled out MORE paperwork – I will probably forever despise paperwork with my entire being.

We spent every Saturday in foster care classes for a month and met some awesome people.

We spent every Saturday in foster care classes for a month and met some awesome people.

It has been a really busy year, so if I wasn’t as quick to reply to your comments and questions, it wasn’t because I was ignoring you, I was probably getting something notarized or desperately cleaning out my refrigerator before the health inspector showed up! We are thrilled to announce that we will have a baby in our family any day. We don’t know for sure when that will be, but most likely within a month.

We are very excited and even have the nursery all set up. Finally.

For many years this room has only been a dream and for almost 2 years, it has been an empty room that we used to store extra stuff. Thanks to generous family and friends, it’s now my favorite room in the house. I still find myself wandering in there every morning, just to look at it one more time. We have two cribs because we are certified for TWO children, ages newborn to two. We asked them to give us one for now, so we can sort of “get our feet wet” at first, but we plan on having two babies shortly.

By law, we are not allowed to mention or specify that a child is a “foster child” anywhere, so that’s why I wanted to announce this early on. If you see pictures of us with children, we will never refer to them as “foster children”. While they are with us, they will be part of our family and we will treat them just as if they were born to us. If the opportunity even comes up, we would love to adopt the children to become permanently part of our family. If there are any inappropriate comments, they will be deleted.

We have waited so long to be parents and our dream is finally coming true. We thank God from the bottom of our hearts for taking us through such an adventurous path and for being beside us the whole time.

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Update: We finally did become parents! Read all about When Our Adventure as Parents Began, Our Journey To Parenthood and Our Special Valentine’s Day.

 

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Comments

  1. Irina says

    Dear Olga and Sergie! May God bless your new beginnings…. Olga I love your recipes but mostly I love your humbleness and your love and trust in God. You are such an example and inspiration for many young women and moms. I prayed about u guys and your adoption process and now I hope that God continues to bless u! Keep up the spirit!

  2. Victoria says

    This is so heart touching and beautiful! God bless your growing family ! Wishing you guys all the best ! This is very encouraging!

  3. Lana says

    Congratulations, you guys! This is wonderful news! Although I don’t know you guys in person, I’ve read your blog and your stories, and I feel like you two will make such great parents! May The Lord bless you and your soon-to-be growing family!! May He give you the wisdom to be shining examples for your children and may your children look to the Cross as you guide them to our Saviour! God bless you guys!

    Btw, your recipes are wonderful, Olga! And I’m sure no one realizes just how much time, effort, and thoughtfulness you have put into this blog—from all of us loyal readers and cooks, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  4. Lidiya says

    Woww. These are some great news!!! You two will be wonderful parents!!! Hope it will all happen soon, so you can start enjoying the joy of being a parent!!!

    • says

      Lidiya,
      We are going to be fostering children in our own community. When you have a chance, you can read more details in the above post.

  5. Tallya says

    Congratulations! God is faithful! So exciting to see the beautiful nursery and can’t wait to see your baby (ies)

  6. natalichka says

    Sergi and Olechka, God bless you! Finally! :) I am so glad, that your dream of becoming mother is coming true :)
    For how long can you foster children? Until certain age? Just wondering :)
    Can’t wait to see your bundle of joy :) I am so happy for both of you :)
    You are an example of great patience and never giving up! Keep it up! That’s is a face of a true Christian, I think :)

    • says

      Natalichka,
      Thanks for your warm wishes.
      We will be fostering children ages newborn to 2 for the time being. The amount of time that they are with us depends on many things. Every situation is different.

  7. Oksana says

    What a beautiful story! My husband and I are so happy for you. Your journey definitely shows that God is always on time with His plans. We must always rely on God and allow Him to guide us through this life. Congratulations Sergi and Olya! Enjoy this amazing journey because it is certainly incredible!!!! :)

  8. says

    Oh my word! I am so happy for you!! I have been a long time reader but I’ve never commented. I had no idea you were interested in fostering and adopting! We were foster parents for years and adopted our youngest from foster care. Now we are preparing to move our family to Ukraine in November to serve orphans with disabilites. That’s how come I read your blog! I love to learn to cook Russian and Ukrainian food.
    God bless you as you step out in faith. Fostering was the hardest and best thing we’ve ever done. God gave us everything we needed to love like He wanted us to love. It was beautiful, heartbreaking, loads of fun, diffficult and wonderful. So happy for you!!

    • says

      How inspiring! Thanks so much for taking the time to write. I love hearing from other people who have already experienced what we are just beginning.
      God bless your family in Ukraine.

  9. Inna says

    This is so wonderful!!! I am familiar with the foster system here and all I have to say is that you two will be the greatest blessing to those children that come into your home. And likewise I am sure they will be a blessing to you and your husband. May God bless your family, you are doing a great work for His kingdom! :)

  10. Marina says

    Congatulations! This is great news! I dont know you personally but by reading your blogs, i know you will make great parents. God bless you! Our oldest son is adopted too and he brought many blessings to our family.

  11. natasha says

    so happy for you. I already told you that we adopted 2 girls from foster care. You wont regret that. Now we thinking of adopting a boy. Just dont let them overrun you (CPS) because they will be calling for more and more kids. God bless you.

    • says

      I’m happy to hear from you again, Natasha. I definitely remember you:). It’s exciting to hear that you’re thinking of adding on to the family.
      In regards to CPS giving us more children than we can handle – we don’t have room for more than 2 children, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

  12. Snow says

    Congratulations! I am so happy for both of you! God always stays true to his children and does what is best for them!! We’ll continue keeping you in our prayers…

  13. Sashaa says

    God bless you !! Its a blessing , you have waited for so long ! Love your blog and love your recipes and all your hard work !

  14. Claire says

    I am so happy for you. I also don’t know you personally, but from everything you have shared on this blog and all that you share with such passion and good spirit, you both deserve it so much. I wish you the best on your journey as parents!

  15. Oksana says

    I have tears in my eyes. I am so glad that God has given you this opportunity, and that you accepted. This is great! This is awesome! This is such a blessing all around. Oh, I can’t stop the tears of joy; I’ve read your adoption journey several times before, and remembered you in my prayers like so many others. There is such great joy holding and rocking and feeding a baby, or listening to them giggle, or just touching your face so they can learn you, and you’ll be holding your child so soon. Setting up the nursery is one thing, but when a little one(s) occupy it, it changes your life.
    Oh I am so happy for you!!!! Praise the Lord!

  16. says

    Congratulations! you will make wonderful parents! May God bless you and give your home lots of happy laughs, smudgy windows, overflowing toilets- from little toddlers who staff a whole bunch of toilet paper into it, lol, just kidding. Wish you lots of Gods blessings, and make sure you teach them Russian words! :)

  17. says

    About a lifetime ago, I was a social worker for teenage foster children. I don’t even know you, but I am overwhelmed with love for you and this decision you have made. I have seen first-hand what an amazing impact foster parents can have on the children they care for, of any age. Even if adoption never becomes a reality, those children will forever be blessed because of the love and care you give them.

  18. elena says

    Wow! So happy for u. Blessings on ur growing family :-) u will be a great mother . God’s plan is perfect. I can not wait to hear about ur kids. How exciting :-)

  19. Irina Nieshte says

    Olga & Serge I am so so so happy that this is finally happening! So exited for you guys! Praying that God would continue to bless you and provide for your family! Can’t wait to see the new adition to our family :-)

  20. Galina says

    Olga, very happy to hear your wonderful news! It says so much about you that you didn’t let the hurdle with the adoption get you down but used that as an opportunity to open another window! You will be wonderful parents and a true blessing to your kids!

  21. Shirley says

    It’s a great news. So happy for you both. God is always faithful….
    The fun will begin…messy rooms …dirty floor……but the home will b full of laughter…and you will have a new column in the blog ‘ KIDS MENU’.

  22. says

    Thank you everyone for all your love, support and warm wishes! Sergi and I are so touched by your outpouring of encouraging words. We are really excited to become parents and are so thankful for the wonderful folks that have shared our joy with us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

  23. Tallya says

    I commented on here already but I want to say again, you two are so blessed to have a friend in each other. It is such a blessing! Seeing as you both have a heart for the broken… I see God in your marriage and I know many children will be blessed by God using you. Fostering and adoption have been heavy on my heart forever but since my husband is far from it I have not done any research. When you have a minute, what does it take? What are the qualifications/requirements you had to meet to foster children? It must differ a bit state to state but I guess I am just curious.
    May God lead you in all you do so that you have only a positive influence on the children in your home.

    Tallya

  24. Lola says

    Hi Olga,

    I just wanted to say how wonderful I think your adoption of the baby/ies is. The extent of your selflessness and the love that you will quite obviously be giving these children is so beautiful and refreshing – you and your husband will do an excellent job!

    I’ve always said that I myself would want to adopt disadvantaged children as opposed to having my own as there are plenty of kids who are without the love and support they so desperately need. Your journey has only made me want to do so even more.

    I really do wish you and your husband (and soon to be completed family!) all the best for the future.

    With love from the UK,
    Lola x

  25. Irina says

    Olga,
    I have not had the pleasure of meeting you in person, but looking through your pictures I see a glowing, loving and caring couple that you are! May God bless you and your husband for doing something amazing for a special little person. I have five children, and all I can say is that they are God sent, little treasures from above! You will be wonderful parents! :)

    God bless,

    Irina

  26. alana says

    Awh!!! Im so so so happy for you guys! GOD DEF LISTENS TO PRAYERS!!! YOU BOTH WILL BE SUCH AMAZING PARENTS AND BLESSINGS TO YOU GUYS!!!! GOD BLESS YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR KIDS THAT WILL BE JOINING!!!!!))))

  27. Cynthia says

    Olga,

    I had the idea to look for Russian recipes this morning. I work for a trucking company in Ohio, and because of my work, I interact with a lot of truck company owners and truck drivers from the former Soviet Union, who now live in the United States. I loved reading your recipes. But I saw your link to your blog, so I clicked on it. I was very touched by your and your husband’s story. It helped me to be encouraged because my husband and I have not been able to have children (yet). It’s been 3 years since we married. And there have been other hardships we have had, including health problems and the death and illness of close family. I saw how strong you and Sergi have been, and how even though you were hurt, you allowed your faith in God to soften your hearts and open you up to this new joy of foster care and adoption. This is encouraging to me. I wish you both well. God bless.

  28. Olya Shem says

    Olga and Sergei, I am very excited for you guys! Reading this post brought tears to my eyes. Praise God! Its really encouraging to see God’s grace in your life as you are going through this time and these trials. Praise God that you are able to see His hand in all of this. I am very excited to keep following you and hopefully see your kids soon! Thank you for sharing all of this with us.

  29. Tanya says

    Olichka May God bless you! You have a beautiful heart! This made me tear up for I cant imagine what you had to go through these passed year. Im a mama of 5 and i cant imagine life without them. Children are such a blessing. And there is soo many children in this world who need homes who need someone to love them, to hold them, to feel protected and needed. May God give you that strength and patients and lots of love for the years to come in caring for a child. The baby or babies will be so blessed to be taken in to your family!. God Bless you!

  30. Beth Effland says

    This is AWSOME!!!…my brother and sister in law have done foster parenting for many years and have adopted 3 out of their 6 children through the foster care system…and my nieces and nephews are THE CUTES KIDS EVER!!!!…God created beautiful children for you to love!!!

    • says

      We are very excited, Beth Effland! Thanks for sharing your story about your brother and sister in law. That is so awesome! We know that all these kids need our love and if the opportunity comes up, we will adopt some of the kids too.

  31. natalichka says

    Olga, don’t mean to be nousy :) did you get kids or a child already? I think we all who read you awesome blog, would like to see that lucky I would say more blessed child who would be raised in your perfect family. You would make an amazing mother, who would put all the love you dear heart has for this child. God bless you :) I am so happy for you.

  32. Rebecca Schulz says

    Oh I love this! I stumbled across you on Instagram, but was a little confused going through your pictures and seeing sometimes one and sometimes two babies. This explains so much ;)

    You’re awesome! My hero haha. My husband and I have wanted to adopt for a long time.. he’s Ukrainian and I’m Russian German, so adopting a child from Ukraine is really on our hearts for the same reasons you listed above. We have seriously considered foster care, but it seems like right now is not the best time unfortunately. I’m a student midwife and on call 24/7 and my husband works 12 hours a day.. oh, and we already have a 2 year old and a 9 month old! ;) I keep thinking and praying about it every day though.. I feel like I have children out there in that terrible world but I just don’t know them yet and can’t protect and love on them yet…

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