Shortly thereafter, a woman representing several orphanages [including the one Serge was located] came to my parents' church inviting members to open their homes to Russian orphans who would basically be showcased for American adoption. They were hoping that these Christians would become interested in adopting one of these adorable children. My parents have a large home and they decided to host 6 children. Three of these children were already promised to a family friend who would be meeting them for the first time while staying at my parents' home. The other 3 included Serge and two other children whom my parents had seen only in pictures. I'd estimate that my parents have about 500 in their Sunday AM service. Out of all of these Christian people, only 3 families would offer to host children.
I believe the children stayed with my parents 2 weeks. My parents took them shopping and to all kinds of activities. At first, it was very difficult to find food the children would eat. They didn't like pizza or chicken nuggets and they were adamantly opposed to oatmeal. Later, my mom found out that this was because they ate porridge every morning for breakfast! In Russia, their food consisted mainly of cabbage soup with a peice of potato inside. The kids got used to the American food and pretty soon they were gesturing for chicken nuggets for breakfast!
A funny story about one of the little girls was when my mother took her shopping and they found a pair of white tennis shoes. My mom gestured to ask the girl whether the shoes were too big and the little girl forcefully shook her head no, "niet, niet." Boy did she want those shoes! Almost 3 years later and the shoes are just now fitting! This was to become my little sister Marina.
One of the little boys got into a scuffle with my baby brother, Dylan. The boy was a naughty one, we thought. Strong and serious and probably mischevious. At the age of nine, he was like a little grown up man. This was to become my new baby brother, Vadim!
Serge was a very sweet little boy with a learning disability, and was placed in an orphanage for these "types" of children. This was said to be one of the uglier orphanages. During the visit to NC, my mom would come to say goodnight and Serge would flip the covers back and pat the bed for my mother to lay down with him, which she did... he wanted a mother so badly.
As you can imagine, the day the children were to leave was a very sad day. I believe these children were hoping to be adopted immediately, not sent back to Russia. Although they could not speak English, the morning was filled with tears. More on this story later...