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.
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.
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.