Adoption: Adler Family, Part 2


Tomah residents Jennifer and Mark Adler always knew they wanted a big family. So when they and their biological
children Ethan and Ellie made the decision to adopt Russian orphans Peter and Tania back in 2003, it appeared that big
family was complete. But Tania had a secret she desperatly wanted to share. “As soon as she starting speaking and
communicating with us, she told us that she had brothers back in Russia.”

Somewhere along the line, Tania had gotten seperated from 15-year-old Zurick and 12-year-old Patrick. But they
never left her heart. “She started telling us all about them, all the things that they did together and how they took
care of her when her parents couldn’t.” “Everything we did, if it was playing soccer or going to church, she would say
her brothers would like this.”

“It was very heartbreaking for her. She missed them terribly. She wondered if they had a family, if anyone was
taking care of them. We knew that we had to do something. We started looking and we were hitting every dead end
possible, we just could not find them.”

But they were not about to give up. “We just felt that if it was meant to be, that the right doors would open and
we would find them.”

And with one call to an online agency, that door flew open. “Within a couple of weeks, we were talking on the phone
with the boys.” “It was unbelievable, just unbelievable. We just looked at each other after talking to them on the
phone and knew they belonged in our family.”

With that, the adoption process began. And at Christmas last year, once again this family grew by two. “We had a
big celebration.”

“First I just jumped up and gave them a big hug.” “Everybody embraced them. It’s something we’ll never

Today, life at the Adler house is about what you’d expect. “Very crazy. They’re going in every direction at
once and it’s fun. It’s a busy fun.”

“I’s like a never ending sleepover. Yeah, we’re all like best friends.”

“It’s chaotic, but everyone chips in and does what they need to do to make the family run.”

But believe it or not, the last chapter of this story has yet to be written. There is a third brother still in
Russia, 18-year-old Yuri, who unfortunetly by U.S. law, is too old to be adopted. And even knowing that, last
Christmas, he walked 10 miles in the snow to meet the family his family would go home to. “He really wanted the boys
to have a family and a future and fully supported them being adopted.”

This is the one bittersweet detail in all that has happened. “We ask the boys ‘is there anything you miss about
Russia?’ and it’s just their brother, just their brother. We told him we consider him our son as well and we’ll do
whatever we can to get him here as well.”

They wanted a big family more than anything in the world, they just never dreamed they’d have to go to the other
side to find it. “We just had to do it a little different that everyone else, but it’s been great.” “I don’t think
there’s a day that goes by that we’re not truly amazed by all of them. They’ve brought so much to our lives and to
our family. We just feel so lucky and so blessed.”