I happen to be pretty grateful for Russia and its people. You see, nine of my siblings are from your country through adoption. Yes that's right, nine. A lot of people are surprised by our big family, but all we know is that we love each other deeply and couldn't be happier. I'm so thankful for each of my siblings; they each bring a unique personality and talents to our family. They complete us.
I know a lot of the time you don't get to hear those "happily ever after" stories. You don't get to see families like mine laughing around the dinner table, reading books together, or walking hand in hand around a lake. You don't get to watch my siblings and myself grow to be best friends and learn to support each other through good and bad. You don't get to watch my parents' unconditional and sacrificial love that they lavish on all their children. There are many more families besides ours who adopt Russian children from love, not for financial benefit of any kind. The adopted children I know are happy, healthy, successful people with a love for their family and Mother Russia.
Because of all these things I know and see each day, I am dismayed and saddened by the recent Anti-Magnitsky legislation. It does not deal with the tiny handful of unsuccessful adoptions, but rather sweeps the whole issue under the rug and creates hundreds of newer and greater problems.
I have personal reasons for being devastated by these laws as well. You see, not all my family is home yet. Four of my siblings still wait in an orphanage in the Russian countryside. Our paperwork requirements are fulfilled, and we are only waiting eagerly for a courtdate to bring them home. They are beautiful children who want and have a right to a family as well. When I last saw them in August, they asked me, "When can we come home? When can we be family?" I hope, I pray, that they will not be left with broken dreams.
I would humbly ask that you consider the greater picture in the decisions you are making. Please consider the thousands of happy Russian children who have been adopted by American families. Please note the thousands of loving families who lovingly give everything they have to care for those children. Please remember the children waiting in orphanages who long for a family and a home.
~An older sister