In beginning of August 2015 I have decided to finally find my biological family. I was so happy to find the Birth Parent Search agency lead by Andrew Sarbaev. After he found my Russian family. We right away made it conntection. Everyday I would skype with my Russian family and develop relationship.
Finally the day arrived when I would get to meet my biological Russian family. My adrenalin kicked in as I walked fast through Customs at the Moscow airport. Through the clear glass I saw my older brother, my Auntie and my sister. I dropped everything on the floor, ran to my sister and hugged her as tears of joy ran down my face. Then my Auntie gave me a biggest hug looked at my blue eyes and said, ” you are alive my darling niece.” My older brother Suregy squeezed me like I was a stuffed animal. When my cousin Albert ‘s flight arrived from Germany, we both ran to each other and gave the longest and tightest warm hug.
Finally after we’d collected all the luggage we were ready to drive 5 hours to Kolchugino where my mom, grandma, twin younger brothers and 3 year old niece were waiting for all of us. Nothing felt strange around me. I immediately felt a sense of comfort with these people who 6 months before were total strangers. During the drive my Russian family were recalling the funniest stories from their childhoods. I fell asleep on my Aunties lap as she gently stoked my hair. It was already dark when we finally arrived at the family home. I entered the house and my mom tackled me so fast , wrapping her arms around me. She didn’t let me go for a long time and was crying in disbelief. Then I saw my sweetest, happy grandma and I gave her a gentle hug as I began to cry. But there was more. My younger twin brothers squeezed me with so much love. Of course I had to give my adorable niece a hug. My mom made a feast that looked like it was enough for a whole army, but it was just for us – 10 people. We all talked until 2am and then we went to bed. I fell asleep with my sister as we held hands.
The next morning after my arrival I woke up very early, looked around the room and couldn’t believe that this was my story, that I’d found the family I was born into. I couldn’t believe that I was living the dream that I wished for such a long time. I went back to sleep and a few hours later my Auntie woke us up with a gentle good morning greeting as the sun was streaming through our room. That day everyone stayed up until five in the morning eating, laughing, telling stories, drinking and being together. That was all we wanted to do.
Many of the highlights of my trip are related to being with my sibilings. One night all of my sibilings and I stopped at an isolated bridge, we turned the music up loud and started to do dances as if we were in a competition. Then we went on a walk together and laid in the snow and looked at the stars. Another favorite memory is when my whole family gathered together at home at the end of the day. We would get entertained from seeing my Auntie reenacting scenes from the movies and telling jokes. One of us would be running to the bathroom from laughing so hard. My favorite part of being with my biological mother is that, every morning just the two of us would wake up early in the morning and she would prepare so much food for the breakfast table. She would start telling me stories about when she and my Papa, meaning my father, were young. She talked about my ancestors and would show me pictures of family members. I loved those quiet mornings with only my mom. The best part of being with my grandma was lying next to her and hearing her telling me stories about when she was young. She has told me stories of unbelievable hardships – she is my hero. One of the saddest experiences in Russia was going to the cemetery and to visit my Papa’s grave. I was so lucky that I got to see him on skype before he was murdered. I will always remember when he played guitar and sang a song to me as I watched on my computer screen.
I really did not travel or shop much in Russia. I saw how average people work excessive hours and get paid very little. One of the hardest things I experienced being in Russia was how very difficult it was when it was time to leave to return to the US.
I really appreciate family and friends who gave me money to take to Russia. I was glad to share that money to buy groceries for the family and buy important things that my family needed. From this whole experience I have learned that I am so much like my family. My wish has come true. My family is very committed and so supportive of one another. Overall I have fallen in love with my Russian family and it is one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. I am actually planning another trip to Russia where I hope to live temporarily. My plan is to teach there and spend time with my family as we try to make up for all the years we have missed together. I am excited for this new chapter in my life.
One more thing I want to thank my American Family for supporting me through this whole thing and loving me unconditionally. I am so lucky and grateful to say I have the biggest, most loving American and Russian families . I’ve learned that there is always enough room to love many people.