An Interview with Isolde Ramierez on Adoption

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An Interview with Isolde Ramierez on Adoption

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Emilia DeGroat, Managing Editor

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“You go to these orphanages and you are immediately changed for life. You see the children that have no families, no one to love them, uncertain futures, and you want to help them so much, and in every way you can.”

-Louisa Ramirez

Isolde Ramirez is a MODG junior, and second oldest to her family of five.  Her parents have adopted from three different countries.  They are now returning to Ukraine, where their youngest girl is originally from, to bring home Bruce and Lilia, a little boy and baby girl.

How many children are in your family? Five, soon to be 7.

What made your parents want to adopt? They had always wanted to have a lot of kids, but found out they couldn’t have any biological children. So that was their way of still having their dream come true.

Are any of you and your siblings blood-related? No.

You told me that your siblings are from all over the world. What countries are each of them from? Russia, Ukraine, and Guatemala.

How far apart was each adoption? Except for one of the adoptions which was about two years apart, the other ones were about five years of each other.

Did you or any of your siblings find it hard to get along with your newer siblings as they arrived? No. Not at all. It was a bit of a struggle when my 13 year old brother came home (at the time he was seven) because he was already fluent in Russian and only knew Russian culture. It was a big transition for the whole family, because we had to teach him how to become…well…American. But it was good for all of us and it turned out in the end. And as for problems getting along when they first arrive, there’s almost none of that. The excitement of where they’ll sleep, who will teach them what, etc. etc. takes up all our time.

What would you say is different about having adopted siblings as opposed to blood-related ones? I don’t think it’s any different. The adopted kids become like your blood-related siblings anyway, the minute they arrive.

Would you say adoption has a good impact on a family? Extremely. Especially for our family. It’s not just the adoption of the child (and future friend and family member), and getting to know them. It’s learning the different cultures they come from. It also makes you look at the pro-life movement differently. Four of my soon-to-be seven siblings are special needs. Having that experience has made me want to be a pediatric nurse! And without having adopted your other siblings, you wouldn’t have known what you wanted to do with your life. That’s amazing! It’s funny how God works.

You mentioned some of your siblings have special needs. Has that made family life somewhat a struggle, or has it brought you closer?

Disibilities are not a bad thing in any way; we grow closer because of them, and they help you look at others, who are not in our family, differently. We see people with disabilities at the store, and we are moved with love for them and the parents because we can relate on a personal level with them.

I have no idea how the adoption process works.  Can you tell me a little about that? Tell anyone considering the adoption process to practice their writing/typing skills! There’s background checks, child protection check, finger printing…basically every single thing about you has to go on paper. There’s probably a six inch pile of paper of all this for each adoption! This is called the home study process. If you’re doing an international adoption (which every one of us has been) you have to go to the country. First, you meet with the child, get to know them. Then you have to make a court date. There, they officially make the child an American citizen, and legally your responsibility. Also birth certificates are changed. (All of my siblings and me had our birth names changed to our middle names.) If there’s any disabilities, there’s additional paperwork and etc. And after all that…you bring them home!

How long does all that usually take? It depends on the region. Ukraine tends to be faster; it usually doesn’t take longer than a few months. But for one of my younger brothers, from Guatemala, my mom had to stay for six months, just for her first visit! It took a year to fully adopt him. It just depends.

And how does ‘picking’ the child go? Do adoption agencies contact you and say, ‘Here’s a child in this region who needs a home,’ or do you get to choose for yourself? For the last few adoptions, my parents have used an adoption website called, “Reece’s Rainbow”. Basically, you get to choose which child is right for your family. I know every time I go on there I want to adopt all of them, but I can’t do that yet! It was a little different for me and my sister. Several years ago the adoption agency told my parents about us. So you’re saying nowadays it’s more personalized than a few years ago? Yes.

And one last thing! Tell me one really funny or memorable story that you’ve had as a family. So I told you that all our original first names are now our middle names. Well, when we were adopting my brother, we had to decide what to name him. Boy, can you get some interesting ideas in any naming process! We were all sitting in our school room taking turns thinking of names for my now teenage brother. My mom asks my then little 5-year-old brother “What do you want to name him?” My brother’s reply, in complete seriousness: “I want to name him Hamburger.” After my mom explained that we couldn’t name him that (after a fit of laughter from all of us) he says: “Okay, then lets name him Hotdog.”

I’m so happy to hear there are families like you! I think it’s amazing to adopt children, as it saves a lot of lives from abortion.  Thank you so much for this.  

Isolde’s family expects to bring home Bruce and Lilia by next year.  The process is uncertain, but the family will stick through to the end and hurtle over any obstacle to adopt these children.  Pray for the completion of the adoption, and for the Ramirez family!

Bruce and Lilia.

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