Transition from Russia goes apace for adoptees

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Date: 1998-07-10

Transition from Russia goes apace for adoptees
Indianapolis Star - Jul 10, 1998

Amid last December's twinkling holiday decorations - which fascinated Victor and Vanya, who had never seen a traffic stoplight in their Russian villages - I made a note to revisit the family in about six months. The brothers attend public schools at their age-appropriate grade levels, which was their age-appropriate grade levels, which was recommended by various experts.

NELSON PRICE The most phone calls I've received in the last year followed a story in December about a Noblesville family. John Stollmeyer, 35, a stockbroker for Smith Barney Inc., and his wife, Jill, 34, an anesthesiologist, had adopted three children from Russian orphanages.

The children are: Two boys - Victor, 11, and Vanya, 7. They are biological brothers who had been living in separate orphanages in remote Russian villages. And an infant girl whom the Stollmeyers named Cassidy. The children became the instant siblings of John and Jill's biological son, Jake, 5.

Russia, where about 30000 children are placed for adoption annually, had surpassed China as the No. 1 source for Americans seeking to adopt foreign children. Most of the folks who contacted me or the Stollmeyers were Hoosiers interested in Russian adoptions. Value of publicity "As a result of the publicity, about 10 to to 12 other families in Indiana have gone to Russia and adopted children," John told me the other day.

The boys have a half-sister in their homeland; Victor occasionally tells his mother he misses her. "Basically, though, we feel very lucky with how things have turned out," John says . "Our kids are happy, healthy and have made a lot of friends." Except for Cassidy, the entire family takes karate lessons. Everyone visited Disney World during spring vacation. And like many of us, the Stollmeyers watched fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Nelson Price is a feature writer for The Indianapolis Star


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