Metro Atlanta family prays Russia changes position on adoption - CBS46 News

Metro Atlanta family prays Russia changes position on adoption ban

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Russia made a decision a year ago that changed the lives of children there and families across the United States, including in Georgia. Without warning, the country banned Russian adoptions for American families. The decision devastated hundreds of parents and kids who had already met.

"We just that you be with us tonight Lord, and be with Bogdan and Yura, Lord, and we just ask that you be with all the children who are stuck in Russia, Lord," Mark Romano prayed. 

The Romano's table is plentiful, full of smiles and sharing, but something is missing. The void as palpable as two empty seats at the dinner table.

Mark and Pam Romano began their adoption journey in September of 2011. They fell in love with Bogdan and his younger brother Yura.

"It was emotional to see him for the first time," Mark Romano said.

"I tell people, he (Yura) had waited his whole life for this. My mommy and daddy are going to walk through these doors today," Pam Romano said.

It never occurred to the Romanos that their dream of welcoming Bogdan and Yura into their home would be blocked by the Russian government. 

"I never in my wildest dreams would have thought they would use children this way, especially the kids who have met their adoptive parents. Using children as political pawns," Pam Romano said.

The Romanos' three biological children continue to prepare for their new younger brothers.

Ryan Romano learned Russian.

And the girls, who met Bogdan and Yura, write to them daily in their journals.

"I hope you can live with me one day in America," Jamie Romano reads. 

Journals they still hope to give the boys in person.

"You keep smiling, you keep calling us momma and poppa, and sister and brother. You hope...," Joy Romano reads.

"This is the room we've had set up for the boys for a couple years," Pam Romano said.

It's hard for Pam to walk into the boys room sometimes, knowing her sons are shutting their eyes at night in an far away orphanage instead of tucked tight in their beds.

"The kids are the victims. It's inhumane, it really is. I think I've aged 10 years. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wow, I don't even recognize myself," Pam Romano said. 

The Romanos continue to hope, despite knowing Bogdan and Yura are back on the Russian adoption list. And, a year later, Russia's stance hasn't changed.

"I would never have chosen this journey, but I wouldn't trade it either. They're worth it, they're worth it, and I hope someday we get to tell them," Pam Romano said. 

There are no plans to lift the ban. The ban became law and Russia is firm in its position. Click here to read the statement from the Embassy of Russia to the U.S.   

The State Department has repeatedly expressed its disappointment and willingness to work together, but say it has no reason to believe anything will change. Click here to read the statement from the State Department.

Thursday night at 11 p.m., the other side of this journey: A Georgia family who was one of the last to bring their child home from Russia. We'll detail the struggle and their life today.

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