Successful Russian Adoption – Koyla’s Story
My name Is Kolya Hicker. My brother and I were adopted from Russia on September 1, 2006 when I was 15. When I was about three, my father committed suicide, leaving my pregnant mother alone. Eventually, another man moved in and forced us to call him, “father.” He and my mother spent all their time and money on alcohol, and didn’t care where we were or if we ate. Fortunately, when I started school, my teachers noticed that I didn’t look so healthy. They called child services, and we were taken to an orphanage.
In the orphanage I had friends, my own bed, and food every day. I also didn’t have to deal with my drunken parents, and I guess they didn’t mind not having us around because they never visited us.
After a few years I became close with my orphanage caretaker. He made sure I did all my chores like everyone else, but also made sure I went to art classes, and helped me keep busy and out of trouble. One day he told me that we had a chance to visit America and spend time with people who might want to adopt us.
In 2004 my brother and I, and other kids from our orphanage, flew to America where we were welcomed with love and hugs by Kidsave families. We had the best summer of our lives. We visited zoos and parks. We ate fruits and all kinds of food as much as we wanted every day. But the most memorable part about Summer Miracles were the people who I call mom and dad today. My brother and I were sure that if these two amazing people adopted us, they would make us the happiest kids on Earth.
When we got back to Russia, we learned that the government had stopped allowing adoptions in our region. But our adoptive parents never gave up. My mom studied Russian, and we were always in touch by letters. They even visited us twice! It was two long years before the local government finally allowed adoptions again.
At last my dream came true — my brother and I got adopted!! In America the hardest challenges were English and communicating with our parents. Eventually everything got easier. Every week we grew closer and closer. We started having normal conversations, sharing stories and basically re-learned how to live with a mother and a father.
I am 22 years old now. I am in my second year at Brooks Institute where I am studying photography. I am following my dreams, dreams I never had until Kidsave introduced us to the most amazing people I know, my mom and my dad. I am so lucky to call them my parents.
Please note: Kidsave is no longer able to bring kids from Russia for the Summer Miracles Program. Please visit the Kidsave Russia page to learn more about how Kidsave has an active presence in Russia and how our unique Family Visit Model is being used to enable Russian orphans to find Russian families.