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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

'From Russia, with love'

Friday, January 8, 2010

Marla Modesitt recently adopted 11-month-old Sophia Grace, from Russia. Jason Moon Photo. [Order this photo]
* Modesitt travels more than 5,000 miles to adopt orphan

For several years, Marla Modesitt had wanted to adopt a child of her own.

She managed to do just that in December, but had to travel more than 5,000 miles to do so.

After spending the bulk of December in Russia, Marla flew back home to visit with her parents, Maurice and Janice Modesitt, after adopting 11-month-old Sophia Grace.

"She's definitely a huge blessing," Marla said of Sophia. "We bonded pretty quick. The moment I got her, she didn't want me out of her sight."

Marla graduated from Northview High School in 1985. After spending time in Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, she came home to go to graduate school at Indiana State University.

She then moved back to Indianapolis before settling in Irvine, Calif., where she has lived for 10 years.

Three years ago, she went on a mission trip to Romania at an orphanage and fell "in love" with a little girl.

It was at that moment she decided she wanted to adopt.

Through her church, Marla began to attend classes on adoption, where she learned much information through various programs.

From there, she began working with an international agency.

"It's very lengthy," she said. "It's getting harder and harder to adopt from Russia. You could probably do it by yourself, but I wouldn't do it."

Marla worked with one particular agency beginning in January 2008. She had asked for a boy or a girl under 24-months-old but nothing was happening.

She said she switched agencies in June 2009 and received information on Sophia in September. Sophia was in an orphanage in Vladivostok, Russia, the country's largest seaport city on the Pacific Ocean. The city is located near Russia's border with China and North Korea.

"Mom and I went to Russia in October to meet her," Marla said.

The two made a second trip to Vladivostok Dec. 5 for paperwork, before returning home Dec. 30.

Marla said in Russia, there is a mandatory 10-day wait period during the adoption process in order for a court judgment to be final.

"Fortunately, we got her," Marla said. "It's getting so difficult."

During the waiting period, Marla said Sophia came down with the Chicken Pox.

Before she could go to Russia, Marla had to go through an extensive process here in the states, including background checks and physical exams.

"I was fingerprinted seven times," Marla said. "It's quite a process."

Marla said Sophia had been given the nickname Sonja while at the orphanage

"When I got her, I started calling her Sophia," Marla said. "She didn't even know her name yet."

She added Sophia was in much better health than what was initially believed.

"I expected her to be smaller and not as developed mentally," Marla said.

Since coming back to the states, the two have been staying with her parents. They will be here in Brazil until Jan. 16.

"Everybody in Brazil wanted to meet her," Marla said. "I feel so blessed, beyond what you can imagine."

Incidentally, Sophia will celebrate her first birthday in the United States on Jan. 26, only nine days after her new mother.

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Congradulations Marla, you are so deserving of this little blessing. The world could only hope there are more people wanting to open their homes for these precious children.

-- Posted by Reecer on Sat, Jan 9, 2010, at 7:27 AM

Sophia is adorable and she is lucky to have such a wonderful mother like Marla. We have all prayed that the adoption process would work out and now after two years it has and all of Marla's friends are so thrilled for her. Janice you are grandmother of the year for your love and devotion to Marla and Sophia.

-- Posted by novagirl on Sat, Jan 9, 2010, at 8:11 AM

where's the father figure that every child needs?

-- Posted by BrazilNoMore on Sat, Jan 9, 2010, at 6:01 PM

Not every child has a father figure. Single women raise children all the time. We have just recently had one of my child's friends who lost their father this week. She is only in junior high and now fatherless.... I am sure she will still succeed in life. Please lets not cut people down who want to give a child a home and love when all they had before was a crib to share in a room of 50 other babies.... Congratulations Marla. I admire you for doing what you are doing

-- Posted by onetwomany97 on Sat, Jan 9, 2010, at 6:18 PM

God is a father to the fatherless and I am certain Marla will teach her beautiful daughter that. Perhaps BrazilNoMore seems to have forgotten that prior to this the child didn't have a mother or father. Congrats Marla you will be a wonderful mother!

-- Posted by dana67 on Sat, Jan 9, 2010, at 7:31 PM

I think what Marla did is wonderful and she is to be commended for giving this child a home and a loving family.

-- Posted by jessdixon on Sat, Jan 9, 2010, at 11:23 PM

What a well-deserved blessing for both Mother and Daughter! Congratulations, Marla, and may God bless your family!!

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Sun, Jan 10, 2010, at 1:01 AM

This is so nice .CONGRADS Marla Modesitt !.

2 questions for general public

1: isnt there children in the USA whom need to b adopted , homeless need housed , hungry need fed?

2: y do we help out other countries when our country Needs our help more.

-- Posted by Sand mann on Sun, Jan 10, 2010, at 11:28 AM

I'm happy for her to be able to adopt the little girl, the question is aren't there any children in this country to adopt?

-- Posted by JimJim69 on Sun, Jan 10, 2010, at 11:32 AM

It is easier ,unfortunatley, to adopt out of our own country. Many deserving people have to travel out of the US to adopt. Their are many people who want to be parents regardless of their marital status , etc. who are unable to do otherwise. These children need people to love them, because there are too many people having them don't need to be. Good job Marla!

-- Posted by nurse92 on Sun, Jan 10, 2010, at 1:49 PM

I'm sure Ms. Modesitt is capable of providing a well rounded home for her baby, as most Mothers are. These days, the father figure is nice to have but not a must. Unfortunately, BrazilNoMore, the fathers of today's society have rendered themselves obsolete. So if you want to call somebody out start with them. Many children come from single parent homes and still manage to become successful, well adjusted adults. This precious child and new Mother are lucky to have found each other. Congratulations to them both!

-- Posted by HaleC on Tue, Jan 12, 2010, at 9:27 AM

Why is it so hard these days to adopt here in the states? As I recall, we used to have a few orphanages in our home town. However, not so much anymore. Surely there are people out there encouraged to gift their children to adoption agencies if unwanted? I don't know, Im just asking.

-- Posted by Pearl2083 on Tue, Jan 12, 2010, at 10:45 AM

I was a mentor to a foster child for 3 years and got to see firsthand how the goal is to get those children back with their biological parents (drugs, abuse, etc. doesn't matter--just get them back with their parents). If you've never been overseas to Romania, Mexico, or Russia and seen the children in need you have no right to question someone else's motive to adopt one and give a child the love and nuturing they deserve. America does more for their orphans than any other country in the world but sure don't make it easy to adopt those children.

To answer Sand Mann:

1. Yes there are and that is why I donate both my time and money to the poor and needy--why don't we (all Americans) help the homeless and hungry more here in our own country? That's a question you need to answer after searching your own heart.

2. Adopting a child is not helping another country, it is helping a soul who has nobody else in the world to help them.

BrazilNoMore: How do you know that there won't be father figures in this child's life? Good Christian father figures?

-- Posted by MM85 on Tue, Jan 12, 2010, at 8:59 PM

OMG do you people in Brazil have nothing to do but complain and find fault. Why don't you get involved in revitalizing you downtown or participate in youth programs to help with guiding kids that need it. There is so much more you can do other than disrepect a wonderful woman who is giving back to the world she lives in.

-- Posted by parryj on Wed, Jan 13, 2010, at 11:51 AM

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