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Adopted son comes from Russia with love

By Staff
NEW AMERICAN Four-year-old Sergey enjoys a swing with his adoptive parents Todd and Alicia DiPalma, who adopted him two years ago in the city of Lybertsky in Russia. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Scottye Carter/The Meridian Star
July 13, 2001
Imagine that you've waited years to have a child of your own, and finally the wonderful day has come; except you're not in a hospital, there are no doctors, and hardly anyone can speak your language.
Alicia and Todd DiPalma of Meridian experienced this exciting and emotional time two years ago when they adopted a child from another country. They traveled thousands of miles to Russia to bring home Sergey, their first and only son.
The decision
Todd said that one night, Alicia found an Internet site with over 5,000 available Russian children, including their son, Sergey.
The website classified Sergey as a red-headed infant listed with Dove adoption agency.
The Process
Some foreign countries have special restrictions concerning who can adopt the children, and some countries base restrictions on the type of child being adopted. The DiPalma's encountered only one.
Todd said that the hardest part of the process was the paper work required by the U.S. government, but when they actually got to Russia, it was smooth-sailing.
Alicia commented on the conditions the children lived in.
Home Sweet Home
Once Alicia and Todd got Sergey settled in, he was fine. He had not walked before, but began after about a week. The only problem they had with him was his love for food.
Sergey now takes speech classes in order to learn more English. Alicia hopes that by the time he goes to school, he will have no problems with his speech.
Sergey, who is now 4 years old, hid bashfully behind his mother's legs as she spoke about him.
Adoption for Meridianites
Thursday night at Central United Methodist Church, the Children of the World, a non-profit international adoption and relief agency, held an informational meeting to introduce the idea of foreign adoption to Meridian families.
Lee also said that no one in Meridian had adopted any foreign children through COTW, and she hoped the meeting would stir up interest, and many families on the Mississippi coast have used COTW.
For more information on COTW and international adoptions, call (334) 990-3550.
Scottye Carter is a staff writer for The Meridian Star.