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International Adoption Search Birth Families LLC

 


Testimonials - Page 7 of 9

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Nicole, California:

I am the adoptive mother of four children, two sisters from Moscow in 2000, a teenager from Tver in 2002 and a little boy from Kazakhstan in 2003.

I was given Ruslan's name from another adoptive parent when my daughter decided it was time to find her birth mom. Valya was 5 or 6 when she and her infant sister where removed from the family residence in Moscow by the police. The lived in deplorable conditions which can be compared to a crack house here.

We meet Valya and Dasha in 1999 when they came over in a summer program hosted by KidSave. This organization funds about 150 older children per summer across the United States to come over and spend time with host families. Valya was 10 and Dasha was 5. We completed their adoption in Moscow in 2000. Valya always wondered what had become of her mother and wondered why she never once visited them in the orphanage. I told her from the begining that when she was ready her father and I would do anything we could to help find the answers she needed.

Around Thanksgiving of 2003 when she was 15, she approached me at told me she was wanted to look for her mom and that she was ready. I contacted Anna and Ruslan and the search began. I provided all of our documents and both Valya and I wrote letters to her birth mother. I don't know what hers said but mine basically stated that my husband and I had adopted the girls, that we loved them very much and that we wanted her to know what had become of them. I asked if she would please speak with Ruslan because Valya was looking for answers only she could give. I offered her to write a letter to us if she wanted and to please allow Ruslan to take a picture of her.

We did not disclose the investigation to Dasha as it was my opinion she was not ready for any of this.

Ruslan was able to locate the apartment the girls were removed from and take pictures of the outside. He interviewed several neighbors and was able to obtain a history of what the girls life was like up to the removal. The inside of the apartment was not available as it turns out the mother and several of her siblings (aunts and uncles to Valya) had died in one day of alcohol poisoning.

However, Ruslan was able to locate a few living relatives as well as some cousins who were also sent to orphanages. The girls all write to each other now. The cousins are older than Valya and two of them now live in the old apartment after it has been restored.

Valya and I set up some parameters before the search started, the first rule being that I controlled what information to pass on to her and that she would not be allowed to go to Russia and visit her mother (if alive) until she was 18. When the report arrived, I read it first and decided that it was appropriate for her to read and gave it to her. This quest has answered many of her questions and it has brought closure for her in many ways. It is also a way for her and I to help Dasha answer some questions she may have when she gets old enough to ask them.

The report arrived in March of 2004. I was extremely pleased with the work product and thoroughnes of Ruslan's efforts. I am a lawyer and use investigators often in my work, and I have to say that Ruslan's work was right up there with the best that I have seen.

I decided that I would try to find info on my little boys birth mom now so that I would have the information for him when he is older. He was abandoned at the hospital at birth in Karaganda, Kazakhstan and had been in an orphanage all of his life. We met him through the Kidsave Summer Miracles program in 2002 and completed his adoption in 2003 when he was 5. Ruslan discovered that his mother had used a false name and passport number when she gave birth to him. He tracked down any information contained on our paperwork but all were dead ends. I am told this is quite common in Kazakhstan for young girls who get pregnant to do. I am still glad we did the search though because I can tell my son what we did to find his mom and save him from his own struggle to do so.

My oldest boy who is 17 was also a KidSave child. He was 14 when he came over in 2002. He has two biological brothers that were place apart from him once they were taken from their horrible paternal grandmother. They came throught he KidSave program in 2000 and were adopted by a single dad in Texas. through the course of the adoption, it was discovered that my son existed and KidSave brought him here.

He knows about Valya's search and knows the opportunity is open to him as well. He has no desire to contact his birth mother and though I would like to do the search now to have the information for him later, I have respected his wishes and left this alone. He will know when he is ready to do this, if he ever is and I will do what I can for him them. He only cares about seeing his brothers which he does every summer.  I would, of course, use Ruslan for the search.

What I would say to anyone considering the search is that if you have an infant, you may want to do it quickly so that you have the info available. I think one of the most important things you can obtain is a picture of the parents. You know your child better than anyone and tune into what and what is not appropriate information for them to know. Maybe your child can handle reading the whole report, maybe justs bits and pieces at a time. I would suggest setting guidelines ahead of time so that everyone is clear what to expect. It might be a good idea if your child is in therapy to go through this in a therapuetic setting, or even to begin the child in therapy to deal with memories, acting out, whatever might occur during your search and end results.

The most important thing I think that I did is let Valya know that she didn't have to pick between me and her Russian mom. It was ok for her to love us both and that I understood her need to do this. Any of my own insecurities (and I had them) I didn't show. My issues were mine and I felt it was very important for my daughter to have my 100 percent support in her quest. I never talk bad about her mom. I don't judge a situation I was not present at. I listen and I accept.

I hope that this letter is helpful to anyone that has questions about doing the search.

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Vicki:

My husband and I hired Ruslan and his team to search for our son and daughter's birth families. They were successful with both searches. We were so happy with the whole experience because Ruslan and his team are the right combination of professionalism and humanity for this type of work. We highly recommend him.

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P & E, Ireland:

We used Anna and Ruslan to search for our adopted sibling children’s’ birth family. Initially, we had no idea how to go about this, but had seen some names and information regarding the issue of searching on various adoption websites and chat groups. We decided on Anna & Ruslan by reading testimonials just as you are doing now and have no regrets on same. To be honest we were very nervous and apprehensive but found that Anna answered our questions reasonably and honestly and was always helpful and supportive.

Regarding Ruslan’s search and report, we found him to be sensitive and respectful of the birth family while at the same time he was gathering the information we have specifically asked for. In all we received a comprehensive report and many photos as well as a letter from the birth mother. As you probably have already been informed, no fee was exchanged until a report was complied.

One might ask, how do you know this information is true, how do you know that Ruslan may have picked anyone and supplied fake information? Well, there was information in the report that Ruslan did not have prior knowledge of, but that we were told by the personnel in the baby home and have not shared with anyone since. Also it transpired that one of the children in the image of their birthmother!

To summarise then, we were most impressed and satisfied with both Anna and Ruslan’s work and have no hesitation in recommending them. Although we found it a difficult and heart-searching task, we felt obliged to do this search on behalf of our children and can only say that using Ruslan and Anna made it that bit easier.

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Pat:

To those of you looking for information for your adopted children, Ruslan, Anna and Leva will provide excellent service. You know your child best. Take care what you share with them and when. I knew that Nick was ready to learn about his birth family. When I asked him what he would think if he learned something awful about them, he replied, "People have to do what they have to do to survive." He was right.

Anna and Ruslan were recommended by Kidsave International. That was good enough for me! We first used their services to locate our youngest son's biological brothers. Ruslan was able to help us establish communication. During the search, Ruslan spoke with a neighbor who said, "People here don't care but people so far away want to help." Unfortunately, the situation with these boys is precarious and contact with them is intermittent.

Based on the success of this first search, we asked Anna and Ruslan to find our oldest son's birth family. This was a "cold case." Nick had been placed in a Ukrainian orphanage 16 years ago and Ruslan doubted that he'd be able to get any information. We got lucky. Ruslan's associate, Leva, traveled to a small village to meet Nick's grandmother, great aunt and half brother.

In his report, Leva provides detailed maps and photographs. He even photographed their family photographs. Nick's grandmother placed photos of Nick alongside those of family members and Leva photographed these pairs. The resemblances are uncanny! In addition, Leva provided us with his impressions of their reactions to news about Nick. We found his remarks insightful and evidence of his sensitive treatment of the situation. Nick's oldest sister was able to write to us through Ruslan. A second cousin stepped forward as our main contact and helped us arrange a heritage tour.

We arrived in Ukraine in August 2006 to meet Nick’s extended birth family. His birth father is unknown and his birth mother has disappeared and is presumed dead but there were half brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, second cousins and more. We met everyone! What impressed me most was the acceptance they had that my husband and I are Nick’s parents. They never interfered or presumed. Nick used this experience as the basis for his college application essay. This is what he wrote:

In August 2006, at the age of eighteen, I met my family for the first time. Traveling over the Atlantic Ocean on a Boeing 767 in coach, I was excited yet nervous. Barely able to take my eyes away from the window, I managed to watch the movies and finish reading a book. Growing more and more excited as each minute of the ten hour trip crept by, I realized how nervous I really was. Clutching the armrests, I waited for the bumps that signaled our arrival on the poorly paved runway of the Ukrainian International Airport. As we skidded to a halt, I was smiling ear to ear. I was back.

Born on February 3, 1988, I was adopted at the age of five by parents who that told me that I could become anyone that I pleased, except President of the United States. Not knowing my genetic heritage, my parents let me try everything. Could I dance? I took Irish step dancing lessons for about one year but succumbed to peer pressure and stopped. Was I musical? In fourth grade, I picked up the trumpet but certain notes caused me to put it down. Could I draw, paint, or sculpt? I took art classes for two years and have been drawing ever since. Was I an athlete? I play a sport each season: soccer in the fall, wrestling in the winter, track and field in the spring, and recreational swimming in the summer. Singing was the only activity that was out of the question. I’m tone deaf.

Some parents have their children try an activity because they themselves had talent in that area. My parents let me try everything because I wasn't their biological son. I was not pushed or held back but allowed to develop a talent or an interest. I became a drummer, a cartoonist, a draftsman, a lifeguard, an athlete, a big brother, a son, and a good friend. I can cook, do laundry, and clean the house. I can do anything - except be President of the United States, and sing.

In the summer of 2006, we, as a family, were ready to discover from whom I came. The heritage tour took us into rural Ukraine, places untouched by pollution, the passage of centuries, or indoor plumbing. Here I found peasants who had never left the confines of their villages. These were my people. They walked like me, worked hard like me, had the same ideas of fun as me, and even had the same eye tooth that stuck out. I'd gotten braces; they hadn't. The language barrier was not the only difference between us. There were more differences. Unlike me, they didn't have opportunities for education or travel.
With the guidance and encouragement of my parents, I have tasted many different foods, with Asian cuisine as my favorite. I have traveled in this country, been to Mexico, and deep into Russian Siberia. I have experienced many forms of religion with different friends, and I have read great literature. The peasants, who can read and write, can't continue their education beyond high school, or taste foods from different countries of the world, or meet someone with another religion. They are conscripted to the provincial.

I have the opportunity to go to college. I can expand on my existing experiences and education, which have already surpassed those of my biological family. My steps will take me in the direction traveled by my adoptive parents: college, graduate school, a profession. This path is their gift to me. Making the most of this opportunity is my responsibility. When I was little, my parents often said to me, “We don’t care what you become as long as you become a good person.” I have always had a strong sense of right and wrong, of wanting to be good. Several years ago, I decided to become a federal agent – to do good while also being good.

As I watch the news on television and enjoy programs on the History Channel, I learn more about the world and its injustices. Ukrainian women desperate for work are lured into overseas assignments only to end up as slaves. Russian children are adopted by ill suited parents as agencies focus on fees rather than families, or families are defrauded as they attempt to adopt. There are street gangs, and drug dealers, and thieves, and all manner of criminals. I’d like to do something about it.

The criminal justice program at Rutgers University is my next step. In addition to class work, however, I would like to take advantage of other opportunities offered by the University to enhance my skills. For the past four years, I have worked as a lifeguard for both the municipal and YMCA pools. I would like to take additional physical education classes at Rutgers University and become a lifeguard instructor. I also find myself intrigued with the mounted police unit at Rutgers. While I love animals, I have not had much experience with horses and I would welcome the chance to add this skill to my repertoire. Perhaps riding will bring out the peasant in me!

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