News / Europe

Adopted Russian Children in US Maintain Homeland Ties

TEXT SIZE - +

Russia may suspend adoptions to U.S. parents over concerns about the treatment of some children. Last year Moscow lifted a previous ban after signing an agreement with the United States to provide safeguards, but Russian officials now say that agreement needs to be strengthened.

While there have been isolated problems, adoptive parents say most of the 60,000-some Russian children are doing well in the United States.

And some parents encourage them to maintain ties to their homeland. Speaking Russian with his grandparents back in St Petersburg via Skype is a routine activity for 15-year-old Dimitry Miller, known as Dima.

He says his relatives love to hear his voice and are re-assured that he is healthy and happy in his home here.

“They are thankful that I live in a good place,” Miller said.

His 11-year-old sister, Dasha, could speak no English when they arrived here in July, 2009, but now she has lost most of her Russian and relies on her older brother to communicate by telephone or internet.

Their adoptive father, Bob Miller, has encouraged them to keep up their connections with family.

“We really wanted them to keep their culture; we really wanted them to stay in contact ... as long as they have cell phones or computers, we can keep in touch,” Miller said.

Bob's wife Karen says they had planned on adopting a baby, but when they went to Russia they learned about the more than 700,000 children who have either lost their parents or been abandoned.

She says these older children are often at risk of suicide, drug addiction and crime as they grow older and face life on their own.

Karen and Bob first found Dasha at an orphanage and then learned she had an older brother, to whom she was very attached.

So they decided to adopt them both.

“We just wanted to make sure they knew how badly we wanted them and how much we loved them already,” Karen Miller said.

Although their father was dead and their mother incapacitated, their elderly grandfather was still very much attached to them.

Bob said getting his approval for the adoption was a priority.

“We talked to Dima and said we needed to make sure this was going to be okay with grandfather and Dima said, 'Yes, I need to talk to grandfather and get his blessing,'" he said.

Although Bob and Karen speak very little Russian, Karen, a musician and music professor, learned a Russian song and continues to sing it.

She says Dima had learned some English in the orphanage school, but the first weeks at home here in Texas were a challenge nonetheless.

“They used their non-verbal communication skills very well, but sometimes we had meltdowns (communication breakdowns), we had difficult emotions,” she said.

Bob and Karen hope to take both children back to Russia for a visit one day so they can continue to maintain their ties to the country of their birth and the relatives there who miss them.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid