Adopting from Russia: One Family's Story

One thing led to another, and we became -- unexpectedly -- twice-blessed.

From Russia, with Love

My husband was waiting for me in the car when the phone rang. I should have let the call go to the answering machine, but on an impulse, I picked up. "We have a little girl for you," the agency director said. What? My mind was racing. How could they have a child for us so soon? We just sent in our initial application. "She's 4 years old, and when we saw her picture, we thought of you. Are you interested?" "Of course, we're interested." And so our story began.

In a Family Way

The picture came the next day, along with a two-page account of the beautiful little girl in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, with the sad, troubled past. Nastia's big brown eyes stared into our very souls. Our decision was instant, before we read a word on the page. A good thing, too, because a surprise was waiting for us on page two. Under the heading "Siblings," it read, "Boy, age 10."

We had never planned to adopt siblings. The thought of two was very intimidating. But having sisters and a brother of my own, I could not imagine life without them, and I knew Nastia would feel the same way. We made the decision in a matter of minutes. I dialed the agency and greeted the director with a resounding "Yes!" Then I asked, "Could you tell us about her brother?" "Why," came the reply, "are you interested?" She seemed surprised. "Of course, he's her brother."

The months that followed, however, were not easy. A few months into the process, it became evident that we might not be able to find, much less adopt, Nastia's brother, Vanya. In fact, Nastia's adoption was plagued with delays. Finally, after a month in Russia, we returned home with our daughter.

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