Adoption, what it means to me… An opportunity to have a family that was not possible for my husband and I. We have a beautiful daughter, which we graciously received after trying in-vitro. Once my daughter was a year old, we decided that we would like to have another child. After several failed attempts with in-vitro, adoption was just the next natural step to take in our lives. And boy, what a blessing this has been to us.

We adopted a boy and a girl from Russia. We went there with open minds and knew that in our hearts our experience would all work out.

Swartz Adoptions Attorneys prepared my husband and I with what to look for with the children that we would see there. We did some research to make sure we knew as much as we could before going over there.

I remember when we were in the director's office at the orphanage in Krasnodar and they brought out this little girl full of energy and enthusiasm (14 months old and weighting 11 lbs.). As soon as I saw her, I knew we were taking her home before they even put her in my arms. At that point I did not even know about her medical history. She was so full of smiles and just wanted someone to pay attention to her. The second child that they brought out to us was our son (22 months and 15 lbs.). He was so quiet and scared. He did not talk to us at all. My husband said to me, he is a healthy boy and needs a home. I agreed. How could someone not want to take him home? He just wanted to be loved. We chose not to see any more children. We knew that this girl and boy were meant to be a part of our family.

Our children have made a tremendous amount of transition and strides since they have been home. They both are doing wonderful. Just think, they had to learn to walk, talk, speak English and live a whole new lifestyle in such a short period of time. I cannot believe the drive they have to want to strive in life.

Our family is complete, we have three wonderful teenagers from my husband's first marriage and three toddlers (They are all within one year in age). Would I like to adopt again? Yes, I would love to. Look at my family, they are wonderful!

Nick - Adopted at 2 years

Nick - Also born in Krasnodar Russia - Our son. When my husband and I first saw him, he was wearing a girl's outfit with pink tights. I thought "Oh my gosh, is that a boy or a girl?" I did not want to sound rude but I had to ask. Yes, that toddler was a boy. He was so quiet and scared. I remember the director telling my husband and I several times, he is a healthy boy, a good boy and never bad.

What I saw in Nick was a lonely boy who did not know or understand anything that was going on. I saw the "potential" in him when my husband and I were able to spend time with him. At first he would not smile. He did not know what it was like to be happy. But my husband and I were able to break down that brick wall just within a couple of hours. I saw his happiness, he wanted more, he wanted love and he wanted a family. We were his family. Yes, Nick is a very healthy boy. He loves being loved.

We have seen Nick grow so much in such a short time frame. We adopted Nick when he was 2 and weighed barely 16 lbs. Since that time, he has doubled his weight, learned English, and learned how to laugh, play with his siblings, love someone and want to do better in life.

Nick is our son. My husband and I are so grateful to have had the opportunity of him coming into our lives.

Erin - Adopted at 15 months

Erin - Born in Krasnodar Russia; daughter to two loving parents. What did I see in her? What was it that said, "That is my daughter?" Erin's eyes were so full of life and her body would not hold still. The director's assistant brought her in the room and I stood up and thought to myself "She is going home no matter what." How could I think this and not know anything about her? I held her with tears of joy in my eyes. She was so beautiful and so tiny. She was so happy and did not even now that the odds were against her where she was living. I told my husband that I wanted to adopt her. He could see it in my eyes that she was the right daughter for us.

We listened to the translator telling us about her medical history. In my heart it didn't matter if anything was wrong. If we could fix it, GREAT!!! If we couldn't, that was fine and we would deal with it. Erin was in great health. But one thing I did learn while being at the orphanage was that the children did not receive enough food due to the hard economic times the orphanage was facing. Erin mostly ate bread, very little meat and once in a while some fruit. She was wearing 3 months clothing at 15 months.

A child comes into ones lives for a reason. One would think that my husband and I came into Erin's world and gave her a life. But the truth is, Erin came into my world and gave me life. She is what makes me happy. Once we brought Erin home, she flourished and has grown so much. She is now my little big girl. You would not have guessed this was the same girl a year and a half ago.

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