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Adoption Journeys

A Reason to Trust, The Vera Adoption Story


God must have a reason, and we are to trust in him! That is what I’d tell myself, miscarriage after miscarriage. Little did we know that our little “reason” was waiting for us to find her in an orphanage in Russia. We will always be grateful for Little Miracles for helping us make reason out of the reasonless.

Our journey building our family started in 1982 with the birth of our son Rance, then 8 miscarriages followed. We kept faith and in 1990 we were blessed with Keegan. Soon to follow in 1993 was Reagan. Reagan was born at 27 weeks, weighing only 1.7lb. Today she is the picture of health. We are truly blessed. We simply relaxed and enjoyed every moment with our children. Then, in 1999, much to our surprise, we found out that we were expecting again. We were overjoyed! But, our dreams were soon dashed I suffered another miscarriage. I was devastated to say the least. We had to examine what God was trying to tell us. We laid low for awhile, tried as best as we could to get over the devastation, but something was always missing. Little did we know that on March 3, 2000, the reason was born in Russia!

Our Angel and Reason…Skylar

In September 2000 I started looking into international adoption. I knew that God was leading me somewhere when I came across Little Miracles website. I contacted Lori and immediately felt comfortable. I called a lot of agencies before we made the decision to go through LMI, but I always came back to Lori. We signed with LMI for an adoption from Kazakhstan. We started our homestudy, compiled our dossier, applied for our INS approval. In the process, we received a referral. She was a beautiful baby! She was perfect in everyway, but I felt in my heart that this baby was meant for another family. I called Lori and told her that we were declining the referral. She was amazed that we turned her down, handled everything wonderful and respected our decision.

Reagan and Skylar Christmas 2001

About the same time, I saw the most beautiful baby. I contacted Lori about her and she quickly sent me the information. She was 8 months old and a preemie with medical problems. When I heard that I knew she was the one! She was just waiting for us to find her. Her medicals were exactly like Reagan’s, just in Russian. We’d already overcome Reagan’s prematurely and were ready to do it again. She was our reason for miscarriage, after miscarriage! She was our reason for Reagan’s prematurely! Suddenly all of our heartache made sense. We accepted the referral!!!

Daddy and Skylar

We traveled on May 10, 2001. I was very anxious! We were a million miles away from home, and in other’s hands! But our trip went off without a hitch. Our translators, drivers, facilitators were wonderful. Lori kept in contact with us, which was very reassuring. Another family we traveled with were amazed that Lori called us. Their agency did not contact them at all and they felt completely on their own. I was so thankful that Lori had kept me so informed of the process. So through me, Lori helped another family feel comfortable with their experience too.

Russell and Melissa Vera and Skylar

Finally, after years of waiting, we saw her for the first time! On May 13, 2001, we arrived in Blagovechensk, Russia and went directly to the orphanage. She was tiny, but adorable. Finally holding her was worth every tear we had shed. On May 17, 2001, Alycia Skylar Grace officially became our youngest daughter. Our 10 day wait was waived; we flew back to Moscow for 3 days to do paperwork, then home! Our feet have not hit the ground yet! We have our girls, our boys, our kids!

I wouldn’t change one second of our lives now. If we haven’t suffered through building our family, we would not be ready for the next part of our journey. Now I firmly believe that there is a master plan for all of our lives, we are not to question just believe. We feel that in a way Reagan’s prematurity was actually setting the stage for bringing this wonderful child into our lives.

Throughout our adoption journey, LMI made our adoption very effortless. Yes, there were hurdles to jump, paperwork to do and redo, but overall our adoption was very smooth. Lori and the staff at LMI were always there to answer my questions, even if it was the same one for the 10th time!

We can never put into words our gratitude to Lori and the staff of LMI! She helped us bring home our Skye!!

Skylar in Texas, 2004!

We love to talk about our adoption!

Russell, Melissa, Rance, Keegan, Reagan & of course Skylar Vera