[caption id="attachment_5774" align="alignright" width="500"] Natalie Bull, 9, of Waco, works on a craft project at a heritage gathering for Eastern European adoptive families.[/caption]
By Susan Serrano
DALLAS – Eastern European culture came alive in Dallas at a recent gathering of adopted children and families celebrating their Russian roots.
Families explored Eastern European music, food, crafts and games at the annual Family Day event hosted by Buckner International and Dillon International.
“We attend because we want to keep her connected with her connected with her Russian heritage,” said Chris McGough of Grand Prairie, Texas.
His daughter, Ana, was 12 years old when she joined their family through adoption last year from Russia.
“She has a very strong Russian heritage, and we want to let her know that it is OK with us for her to maintain that heritage.”
Parents also benefit from the fellowship with other parents, said Robin Fortner of Longview, Texas, who attended the event with her 9-year-old son Max.
“It is wonderful being with other adoptive families and seeing how they are doing. We have such a camaraderie,” she said. “It was also great to hear from the older adoptees and to see how they embrace both their Russian and American cultures.”
This year’s Eastern European Family Day marked a special occasion for the Bull family. Natalie, 9, and younger sister Sarah, 8, attended the heritage activities with their grandparents while parents Frank and Melinda, of Waco, traveled home from Russia with the newest member of the Bull family, 15-year-old Lisa.
“They were all friends in the orphanage, so they were already like sisters,” Melinda said.
The three girls were united when the Bulls arrived from the airport and joined them at the Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services office in Dallas, shortly after the event concluded.
“It was fun,” Natalie said.
To learn more about adoption through Buckner or Dillon International, please visit www.beafamily.org.
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