Three years ago today Val and I sat in a courtroom to adopt Tanya and Nastya. Ten days later they were officially ours, and soon after they were in the US.
Nothing worth doing is easy. But it has been worth it.
Nastya has learned so much and worked so hard. Her teacher this year didn't even know she’d been in Russia less than three years ago.
Tanya, wow. The teenage years are hard enough. Watching her work through the frustration of everything and grow into a happy young woman getting ready to be independent is beautiful.
Alyssa? She grew up. We no longer had time to be helicopter parents, and Alyssa showed that she could do great anyways. One minute she can be an adult, the next minute turn around and act like a kid with Nastya.
Parents push their kids to do better, particularly when they don’t want to.
What I didn't know was that kids push their parents to do be better. I've never been pushed harder by anyone, including myself. And no one has been there for me more than Val. In another eight years the kids will leave, and there’s no one I’d rather spend the rest of my days with than her.
I think sometimes in life we focus so hard on where we’d like to be, that we forget to appreciate how far we've come. Nastya has had to learn everything a typical fourth grader knows in less than three years. Alyssa welcomed two strangers into her home as sisters. Tanya? She’s a typical high school student, defying the odds where half of all 15 year-olds that immigrate to the U.S. without English fail to even finish high school.
Please excuse me as I congratulate my family. Not everyone could have done that.
It has been a hard road, but we've traveled far and it looks like we have many miles ahead of us. Thanks to everyone that has traveled with us.