New cyberfriends are welcome, too...and this post is really for you since no one likes coming into a story in the middle. Here's the background info you'll need to make sense of who we are and how we became a family of five. It also chronicles our latest family adventure, our third international adoption from the faraway land of Kazakhstan.
We are Craig Schoelles and Dee Risley from Salem, MA, AKA Mom and Dad to 3 utterly different, completely amazing, slightly maddening, totally wonderful kids. We married in our late 30's and aspired to have a child or two before my biological clock stopped ticking. We beat the bio clock and had a bouncing baby girl in 1995. After that, the clock won all the rounds and we settled down to accept being a family of three with our darling only child. So how did we get to our current crowd? It started with seven year old Kate and her heartfelt wish for a sister.
Our darling diva Kate has never been one to graciously take no for an answer...so when we knew we wouldn't be having any more kids biologically, she was bereft in her typically dramatic 2nd grade way. She had been dreaming of a sister for so long...and her steadfast refusal to give up on her dream inspired us to hang onto our bigger family dreams as well.
We found Kidsave, International, a great program that brings orphans to the US for a summer visit in hopes of finding them adoptive families. We volunteered to host a child in our home for the summer and were matched with a 6 year old girl from Kazakhstan.
Tanya arrived for her visit in the summer of 2003; our girls became sisters of the heart from the moment they met and Craig and I knew we had another wonderful daughter. We climbed a mountain of paperwork and hacked our way through the red tape jungle required to adopt Tanya, finally bringing her home in March 2004. Tada! We were a family of 4 and Kate's wish resulted in all of our wishes coming true...