According to www.iorphan.org: "There are over 4 million orphans and homeless children in Russia and Ukraine. Officially, there are 730,000 orphans living in Russia alone. That means that Russia has more orphans today than after World War II! Statistics show that only one out of ten Russian orphans becomes a functional member of society. The others are lost to drugs, crime and suicide. Millions of Russian children are on the run living on the streets or in underground sewers desperately needing basic food, medicine and clothes."
Okay, so those are the statistics... now that I've given a little background you'll understand when I tell you how much I completely admire my brother-in-law and his wife. In June 2005 they began their journey to adopt... Through many trials and tribulations they struggled not knowing when they would be sent a referral for their new child... then in December 2007 they got a call asking if they would consider 3 children... a boy and his two sisters... yeah, I know... from 2 people to 5... what a change. But Chrystal felt a strong tug on her heart and Scott did too, so they decided to visit the children in Krasnoyarsk, Russia in January 2008. Chrystal has this amazing blog that documents their every step from beginning to now so I'll let her tell you in her own words... here is just ONE of my favorite blog posts: http://mocabeefamily.blogspot.com/2008/02/peace.html
In July of 2008 they were finally able to bring the children home and complete their family. Needless to say... I also fell in love with these three precious little people and they can tug at my heart like nothing else can. I'm amazed at how fast they took to calling me Auntie Shannon and how quickly they let themselves love me... with how much they have had taken from them... they have so much still to give. I was completely impressed by Scott and Chrystal and the awesome schedule that they created for their new family... and Peter and I have been feverishly writing down notes on their amazing parenting skills. These shots are from the first time I witnessed the bedtime preparation... There are just so many times that I just stop and think... "Who could have given up these three amazing and beautiful little children"... and as strange as it may sound... I am so thankful that they did.