Monday, April 19, 2010

Local Russian Adoption

Thank you to Kris and family for letting me tell your story! I found this family through Bethany Baptist Church in Peoria. There is an adoption ministry there. If you have questions about domestic/international adoption, I would talk to them!

A local family is still preparing to leave for Russia this week to adopt a little boy--even though an adoption suspension is looming.

The Russian President's ombudsman for Children's rights says all Russian-U-S adoptions are frozen until the two countries can set up procedures to control the living situation of Russian adopted children.

But the U-S Embassy in Russia says the suspension is not official at this time. The uncertainty is leaving hundreds of families with more questions than answers.

Kris McClelland and her husband Gregg have spent the last year filling out paperwork, taking classes, reading books--even getting health exams in preparation for adding to their family of four girls. They are adopting a little boy under three years old from Russia.

Their Visas are supposed to arrive Tuesday and they have plane tickets to head to Russia to meet their new son this week. But because an American woman sent her 8 year old adopted Russian son back to the country with a plane ticket and a note-- the McClelland's plans of adopting their little boy are not guaranteed. The adoption of a Russian child by foreigners is allowed only when all potential families in Russia have refused to adopt the child.

We are purposely not showing the boy's picture or sharing much information about him because the McClelland's have heard of Russians adopting a child just to prevent him from coming to the U.S. only to return the child to an orphanage months later.

Kris and Gregg already spent 4-thousand dollars on plane tickets to Russia this week so they are praying they will still get to meet their son when they get there. The original plan was to sign paperwork this week and fly back to Russia in a month to take him home for good. Whether they get to adopt the little boy or not, they expect the fees to be close to $40,000. For this family and hundreds of others, it's an emotional and financial journey that has no guarantees.

And the McClelland's are hosting a unique garage sale to try and raise money to adopt their baby!

Bulgaria and Russia seem so far away. However, there are two families whose thoughts are never far from there and whose hearts are intimately connected to these countries. Their children wait for them there. Philip and Charisa Ausfahl are adopting from Bulgaria; and Gregg and Kris McClelland are adopting from Russia. They are hoping for support from their community to help bring these children home.

The McClellands and the Ausfahls will be having a fundraising garage sale rain or shine at Bethany Community Church’s 4,000 square foot building. The address is 27265 Dutch Lane in Washington off Nofzinger Road. It will be held 2PM and 5PM on Friday, May 7th and between 8AM and 4PM on Saturday, May 8th. Hundreds of items have been donated by friends, family, and local businesses. Delicious home-baked treats and handmade crafts will be available to purchase. Area vendors such as Pampered Chef, Tupperware, and Usborne Books will be in attendance.

FROM NBC: Russian officials say a new adoption agreement between their country and the United States is needed. The Russian government says the agreement should specify the details of the adoption process, identify areas of responsibility and set up procedures and mechanisms to control the living conditions for children adopted from Russia. The Russians say they also want assurances that guarantee the legal protection of the children. According to Russian legislation, the adoption of a Russian child by foreigners is allowed only when all potential families in Russia have refused to adopt the child.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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