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International Adoption Search Birth Families LLC


Testimonials - Page 9 of 9

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Tami and Matt, Michigan:

The last time I emailed you we had just gotten Ruslan's report and had read it and was thrilled with the report and pictures. We wanted to take some time and think about the questions we wanted to ask. I have gone over this report, pictures and video numerous times and my thoughts at least once a day are wondering about Ivan's birth family and how they are doing.
As of right now we have the agency that we went through to adopt Ivan looking into the information - the addresses- that Ruslan provided for us to find out about 2 of the children that are in orphanage and if they are adoptable and if not if we can help them in anyway so they don't feel totally alone. It has taken time and we are still waiting.
We want Ruslan to know that we are forever grateful for the wonderful job he did on the report, pictures and video! He did an amazing job, and we have more information than we ever thought we would ever have. :-)  I don't think we thanked him before...I am sorry that we didn't get back earlier than this. :-(
Thank you Anna for being the go between without you it would have made it much harder to find and get information that we wanted.

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Terri, Wisconsin:

We adopted our daughter from Ukraine in October 2002. We desperately wanted to find our daughter's birthmother to find out medical information. We contacted Ruslan in late 2003. For other reasons we put off the search of our daughter's birth family until early this year (2005). The two things that we really liked about Ruslan was that he actually traveled to see the birth family in person and he didn't charge if he wasn't successful.

Our biggest regret is that we did not have him search for our daughter's biological mother sooner, as she passed away in April 2003. However, he was able to locate the biological grandmother, half sibling, aunt, and cousins. We were so happy. They wanted contact with us. We have been exchanging letters and photos ever since. I couldn't believe the amount of information we received. We had birthdates and history of everyone. We received photos of the birth family, along with biological family members that had passed away. One photo the biological family sent us had a date of 1939 on it. We received many photos. We received photos of her biological mother, grandmother, sibling, aunt, the house of the grandmother, and the aunt's place of employment along with photos of deceased family members. .

I am so happy that we found the biological family of our daughter. She is too young to understand the importance of this contact, but one day she will.

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Tammy and Dennis, Pennsylvania:

My husband and I adopted our son from Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine November 2001. He was almost 2 years old when we adopted him. We were thrilled to have this amazing little boy as part of our family. We had some concerns regarding his medical history. He had many medical issues that needed to be taken care of once we adopted him. All of the medical questionnaires required family medical history and we had to continually mark “Unknown due to foreign adoption”. As our son grew he continued to have developmental issues. So many of these we thought might be related to complications that may have occurred during his birth, prenatal care, length of time he spent in the orphanage prior to adoption etc. We had so many unanswered questions.

A co-worker of mine had adopted from Russia and decided to try to locate her daughter’s birth family. She had great success. She told me about the medical history she was able to obtain, then pictures and videos she received and the correspondence she was able to have with her daughter’s birth family. She was so grateful for all of the information she received. My husband and I discussed that we too should attempt to find our son’s birth family. My first contact with Anna was in July 2004. She was so helpful in telling me exactly how the process worked, what information she needed from me and an approximation of how long the process would take. My husband and I were excited, but extremely nervous. We had so many questions. What if the family didn’t want anything to do with us? What if everything we were told prior to adopting our son was no factual data? What if they had been searching for him, and they wanted him back? For some reason we never gathered the data to send to Anna for Ruslan to begin the search.

In January 2005, we were blessed with another little boy. His story is a bit different. He was placed with us through pre-adoptive Foster Care with the hope that we would one day get to adopt him. We were able to know everything regarding his pre-natal care, medical history, siblings, and development. It was at this time that we decided that we had a wealth of information for our second child that we would never be able to share with our first child. We contacted Anna once again. She again was so extremely helpful in telling us exactly what we needed to do regarding the process. We gathered all the required paperwork, photos, questions we wanted answered and the letter we had written for the birth family. Anna forwarded all of the information to Ruslan for review. He got back to us very quickly, within a few days, regarding what the cost would be and any other information he needed us to send him. We agreed and his team was on their search. We were so excited, but very nervous about how all of this would be received. We had contact from Ruslan in less than 2 weeks. His team was unsuccessful in contacting our son’s birth parents, but was able to get in touch with the maternal grandmother. The information gathered was invaluable. We received a detailed family medical history, information regarding pre-natal care and medical issues that occurred during birth. This information helped to explain some of the developmental concerns that we had. We were able to gather answers to so many questions that we had including questions our son may have one day regarding why he was given up for adoption. We were able to gather pictures of all of our son’s birth family members. We found out that he has 2 sisters that are now adults.

More than all of this was the feeling I got when I read the report. My son’s birth grandmother was so excited to hear that he had been adopted and was doing well. She thought that due to the complications of his birth, he was no longer living. She was so excited to see all of the pictures and so proud to share them with all of her family and neighbors. She kept mentioning over and over “What a beautiful boy.” “Thank God for this great news.” Her 1 wish is that one-day she gets to hug him and tell him how much she loves him before she passes on. She said that she had not heard from our son’s mother in over 10 months. She would definitely keep trying to get in touch with her so that she could share with her the information that we sent. She had asked that we please keep correspondence with them regarding our son’s progress. Along with another letter, I sent back copies of all the photographs she had sent to me along with many pictures that encompassed the past 2 years of our son’s life including pictures of myself and my husband, our new baby, and all of our extended family. I can’t wait to hear from her again.

I would highly recommend Anna, Ruslan and the rest of their team for any search you would be considering. They went above and beyond to gather answers to questions we had. They offered to translate for us if we needed them to for any future correspondence. They left their information with our son’s birth grandmother in case she was able to gather any additional information regarding the whereabouts of our son’s birth mother. The report we were given was so important to us, and we know that one day our son will have questions that we now know we will be able to answer for him. The information we have been given is such a blessing and we only hope that they will continue to be able to bring families together.

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Terri, Georgia:

We had a very positive experience with Ruslan. We contacted him in October 2002 and by February 2003 he had located our son's birth family and established contact with them. As far as the fee he charged I thought it was very reasonable and no other expenses were incurred.

We thought Ruslan was very professional and responded in a timely manner. I also think that he must have quite the rapport with people since he is able to meet families on such sensitive subjects and gets the type of information that he does from them. We could not have been happier with the pictures and the letters that he provided from the birth family. We first received everything by email and then later we received the actual hard copy of the letter from the birth mother along with the pictures that Ruslan took and that the family gave to him. We also loved Ruslan's report and the input he gave regarding what he thought about the birth family.

In addition our family is so happy that we found the birth mother and were able to give her peace of mind. She was so relieved and happy to know that her son had been adopted. The birth mother said that she always thought of her son and wondered if anyone cared about him, did he have toys, did he eat well, etc. She said that God answered her prayers when she received the call from Ruslan and Ruslan said she was crying so much during the initial call that all he could more or less do was get a time set up to visit with the family. We also have a priceless gift to give our son one day - the knowledge that there is a family in Ukraine that loves him just as much as we do. The family expressed their thanks for giving the child a life that they never could and hoped that he would forgive them for their decision. We also correspond with the birth family through Ruslan on a yearly basis letting them know about his progress and they call Ruslan on his birthday to let them know that they are thinking about him.

We also plan to use Ruslan again if our second son wishes to find out about his birth family. He was adopted in January 2003 at age 7 1/2 and we are awaiting his thoughts on this subject before searching.

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Valerie, California

Imagine your past was either missing altogether or pieced together from fleeting memories. Now imagine you are adopted and taken to a new country, learn a different language, and have no photos of your past or photos of any people from your past. Wouldn't you feel incomplete? If you're a child, you literally cannot process what has happened to you, and there is no evidence of the life you had prior to being adopted. This is what our daughter faced, saying many times, "I can't remember my mama's face." Our hearts ached for her, but we thought the odds were similar to winning the lotto to find photos of her late mother, who died 3-1/2 years prior to our daughter going into an orphanage.

We contacted International Adoption Search, and were happy to find highly experienced and dedicated searchers, Anna and Ruslan and their team that includes Natasha and Lev. Anna told us of her own adoption as an infant, and her subsequent birth family search when she was an adult, and told us of Ruslan's low-key approach, which helps to put birth family members, relatives, or acquaintances at ease because they can see he has no hidden agenda--he's just trying to find information useful to the adopted child. We began to have a little hope, but told our daughter not to get her hopes up too high because it would be very difficult for Ruslan to find people who knew our daughter's mother as it had been a very long time since she died.

After several weeks of waiting, we were overjoyed to receive a detailed report of Ruslan's findings, and dozens and dozens of photos, including photos of our daughter's mother, our daughter when she was a baby (we adopted her when she was almost nine years old), photos of her immediate relatives, where she lived, her elementary school, and even took video of the cemetery where her late mother was laid to rest and a cousin saying how happy she is to hear Diana has a wonderful new life. We are so very grateful that our daughter can only now begin to heal and fill in her memories of her life before being adopted. We highly recommend International Adoption Search, and urge all adoptive parents to do everything you can to help your child understand their past so they can embrace their future. We feel so lucky, we're going to start buying lotto tickets, and we feel we already hit the 'jackpot' to receive photos and a DVD that have so much meaning for our daughter and for us.

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Vickie, Virginia:

Words alone cannot describe how grateful I am to Anna, Ruslan, and International Adoption Search. I am grateful that they were able to provide the link that I felt was missing in the adoption of our son, his birth mother and his birth family.

We adopted our son from Kazakhstan in 2000 and in 2003 I heard from a friend that Anna was providing the service of birth parent searches for adoptive families. I contacted Anna and told myself that if she was able to provide just a little information on my son's birth family that I would be happy. She and Ruslan provided me with more information that I can ever imagine!

Not only was Ruslan able to meet my son's birthmother, he was welcomed into her home and met my son's birth grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews. He was able to secure pictures of the family, where they lived, medical history, and most importantly why his birth mother chose to relinquish custody of my son. Since this meeting my son's birth mother and I have chosen to stay in touch through letters (translated and delivered by Ruslan) and she has become an important and special part of my life. I hope one day, if our son chooses, to be able to meet her.

I am so grateful that our search was successful, successful beyond my imagination and preconceived notions. I firmly believe that without Anna and Ruslan that we would have never had the opportunity to gain the information and contact that we have. I recommend them with all of my heart!

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In the summer of 2003, Ruslan traveled to Kazakhstan for a group of 7 families, which included 11 children (and 11 birth mothers). He was able to find most of the birth mothers, even though he initially was not able to find my child's birth mother/family.

Be aware that he does not charge unless he locates the birth mother so there was no charge for us for the birth mother search.

Ruslan seems to have an amazing way of getting people to talk with him. Personally, I think also that one of the reasons the birth mothers talk to him is that they probably have had no one else to talk to. What a relief it must be to discuss this emotional topic with someone who is understanding and very willing to listen.

As to the search for my child's birth mother, he had very little to go on. Just a name and the city where my daughter was born. He called many phone numbers, but unfortunately he was not able to locate her. He tried very hard but came up empty. Very disappointing but Ruslan promised me he would look for the birth family when he returned to Kazakhstan.

During his second trip to Kazakhstan, he was “partially” successful. He called many phone numbers again. One of the families’s contacted turned out to be a family friend of the birth mother. (My daughter’s birth mother did not use her own name at the hospital. Instead, she gave the name of a close family friend.) The family friend said that she knew of a woman who had given birth and left the child in the orphanage during the same time that my daughter was born. She gave her the phone number of the woman (my daughter’s birth family). He contacted my daughter’s birth great-grandmother. She did not want to be reached and hung up quickly. (We found out later that she thought Ruslan was from the media). Once she hung up, they were not able to get through again to her or the family friend. So during the second trip he made an initial contact but was not able to get through to gather any information.

Finally, during his third trip to Kazakhstan, he was able to make contact with the birth family. They admitted to him that they were initially afraid he was from the media and he wanted to “expose” them all. Once they realized he was ONLY working for us, he was able to talk to the birth mothers aunt and grandmother. They shared lots of family history and photos with him. They even took him to my daughter’s birth grandparent’s graves. They weren’t exactly sure where the birth mother was. The birth mother has a 10 year old son (half birth sibling to my daughter) from a previous marriage that lives with her.

Fortunately, he was able to get the answer to my number one question, "What time was she born?" It's the kind of question kids ask all the time and I'm so glad I will have an answer.

I feel such a relief to have this info for my little girl. Now she won’t have to grow up filling in the blanks of her history with fantasy. She can know the facts, learn to accept them and move on.

Of course, I can’t say enough good things about Ruslan. He just didn’t give up and I am so very grateful to him for his persistence. It shows me that he knows how to find the right people, get them to talk and leaves them with a positive impression of us and him.

I can say that Ruslan is honest, dependable, discreet, and reliable. I think he feels this is more than "just a job". He takes this very seriously and is perfectly suited to it.

P.S. - Just to let you know, the references we checked before we used him were outstanding!

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