Hope Adopted From Russia - WBAY

Hope Adopted From Russia

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Dozens of American families are currently in the process of adopting Russian children.  A process that requires tens of thousands of dollars and a lot of paperwork and time.

A Menasha family knows first hand what it takes, they've been through it all before.

Katya and her sister Tonia were adopted from Russia into Karen Schumacher's family eight years ago.

"Even seeing the pictures, they were part of our family and then to go and see them ...  I can't imagine having that taken all away."

After the first of two required trips to meet the girls, the thought that Russia *could* close the door haunted her.

"I told my kids, I would walk!  Get out the backpacks we're walking to Russia!" said Karen laughing, then somberly "That would have been devastating and that was my fear."

Now her fear could become a reality for dozens of hopeful adoptive parents and it hits close to home.

"I can't imagine families that are caught in the middle of that process and maybe couldn't finish it that would be devastating."

Unlike many adoptive mothers Karen Schumacher had no trouble conceiving.  She gave birth to seven children!  Her motivation for adopting two more was her oldest daughter Maria.

"She had been studying Russian and we told her that if she learned Russian we would take her to Russia."

But Maria was hit bay a car and killed before taking that trip.

"and talking about the adoption was the first positive thing to come after she was killed.  And it was the first thing that was really ... kind of hope for the future."

Looking back at their eight years together Karen Schumacher and her Russian-born daughters are amazed at how far they've come.

Looking at Russia on a globe with Katya and Tonia, she spins it to the United States.

"It's exactly the other side of the world! Just amazing."

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