The couple came across Russia as an option and ultimately found the experience to be so positive that they planned to return there to adopt a daughter. The process was relatively quick, from the moment they submitted paperwork in August 2008 to when they left the country on February 7, 2009, with the 20-month-old boy they later renamed Hampton Burchfield Love Greto.
He knows he is adopted and where he's from, she said. She and her husband try to instill in him an awareness of Russian culture through maps, books and TV shows about Russia. They have also become part of a community of Russian-American families in Atlanta in an effort to stay connected to his roots.
"He's Russian-American. It's part of his story and we don't want to erase that," she said.
She remembers the day her son thanked her for "choosing" him. It broke her heart and reminded her of the other children still waiting for a family to choose them, which is why she was eager to return to Russia for Hampton's sister.
If the ban holds up, she and her husband will pursue a domestic adoption. She sympathizes with Russians who want to their children to stay in the land where they born, but thinks the children are the ones who will suffer.
"Our son had been in that baby home for 12 months when we came along," she said. "You don't understand the need until you see it. We walked into that baby home and saw the number of children that need homes."
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