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Andrew’s Journey

Hello! My name is Andrew Greenblat and this is my adoption story!

I was born on March 4th 1996 in Maternity Home, 4, in Kaliningrad, Russia. My birth mothers name was Yuliya. My birth fathers name was Igor. My birth mother had three children, her first child she had in 1987 also named Sergei with her first husband Alexander Kolotuhin. As I was told they divorced because Alexander was going into military service and she couldn’t wait for him. Her next child she had was with a man named Igor Kireev in 1993, his name is Oleg. My full blood brother. Our parents Yuliya and Igor never married but Igor was a firefighter in the city of Kaliningrad.

There were no details of him besides his job title and physical description listed on the adoption documents. My mothers job was listed as: Cashier- Inspector but no other details were known of what she did for work.
I began my search in 2014 when I was a senior in high school. It was the first time I had truly felt ready to find so many answers and information of my biological family. I was always a very shy child growing up and was teased by neighbor kids and kids in school about being adopted so I was always hesitant to talk about it in fear of being teased or laughed at. So finally I reached a point where I knew I was ready to begin my search.

I had begun reaching out on my Facebook account asking if any of the Russian friends I had known in school knew of anyone in Kaliningrad that would be able to help me find any information on my biological family. Within a week one person sent me a message saying that they knew of someone living in Kaliningrad that would try and find any living relatives of mine and within a few days this contact I had, sent me a message saying he believed he found one of my brothers, Oleg Kireev.

I was told to create an account on the social media platform VK and search for my brothers profile and send him a message. So I did just that explaining who I was and what information of my biological mother I had, within a day or so Oleg had messaged me back saying he did believe we were true biological brothers since he also had the same information of his mother and father as I did.

At first I didn’t believe it, nothing this big could be happening this quick but as we started messaging back and fourth the story became more clear and it was true, he in fact did have the same info of our birth mother and father. I was speechless, I didn’t know how to react.
Over time we have had many conversations about his life growing up in Russia and my life here in America. I had many questions I asked him of our birth family but unfortunately he wasn’t able to tell me much since both of our parents had passed away.

My birth father lost his job as a firefighter due to health reasons and died freezing on the streets. My birth mother passed away in 2005 from alcohol poisoning.
So many of the questions I had were not able to be answered since my brother was so young when our parents died, he didn’t know much himself. In 2020 I had used the social medial platform Odnoklassniki. I posted in a few groups based in Kaliningrad asking if anyone had known of my birth parents living there in 1996 and a few people who actually turned out to be my parents old neighbors reached out to me telling me they knew them personally! I was shocked and excited to talk to them. So I asked these people that reached out what they could tell me of my parents and I was told my birth mother had me prematurely and the hospital told my birth mom I was not expected to survive the birth so she left me there and went back to the house and told the neighbors I had not survived birth and it was never talked about again.

When I asked about my father, the neighbors had said all they knew of my father was he came down with health problems and lost his job and died soon after. They also told me my parents were a good happy couple together, modest people.
I asked what kind of lives my parents lived in Russia, my adoptive parents always had told me that my birth mom couldn’t afford me and that was why I was given up for adoption but that was all they were told when they found me in the baby home, when in fact the truth was my birth parents were not totally “poor” they lived modestly, I just was not believed to still be living all these years.

After some of these neighbors and family friends had explained to me what the real situation was I felt like I truly received closure. I never was really emotional over knowing of this information, honestly I just had this feeling of realization of the amazing life I was given here in America with a loving family.
The family friends in Russia were very glad to hear from me and happy to hear of how my life turned out, they were very open with telling me all that they could about my birth parents.

It really was hard to believe how I was able to get this far in my search in so little time with the information I had but there were times where I felt I was hitting wall after wall and I was tempted to give up at some points but I couldn’t stop. I kept searching in any way I could, looking for any resources I could use no matter how stressful it was or how much it seemed like there was no other way to find these answers. I simply believed and pushed through.
My adoptive parents have always been open with me about my adoption from when I was young and I could not be more grateful for them. They are an amazing and loving family who is just as interested in learning of my family history as I am. When I first told them I was interested in finding information they were willing to help right away and I can’t thank them enough for that.
My brother Oleg and I still communicate on a weekly basis using the VK app, keeping up with each other’s lives. My brother Oleg also recently told me of how he has an interest in coming to visit America, so I have been giving him advice on how he can begin the process to come to America through a temporary visa, I also asked him if he has any resources in the area he lives in Russia to learn the English language and he did say there are options he has where he can begin to learn which will make it much easier for him to visit America when he feels he is ready to do so!

This is the first time in my life where I am able to tell my full adoption story knowing all the information I have learned of over many years.
I am truly grateful to my parents now for the life they have provided for me and the sacrifices they’ve made to make my adoption possible. I will never be able to thank them enough.
I am now 25 years old living in Minnesota. I work a full time city job and was in college a few years but I realized college was not the right path. I wasn’t happy, also growing up with a learning disability made it much more difficult to want to continue education after I graduated high school so I decided to work and live a life I wanted to live and not to live how others persuaded me to.

 

I’d like to thank I’m Adopted for allowing me the opportunity to share my adoption story and I hope others with an adoption background will do the same.
No matter how many times it seems like you are getting nowhere with your search, remember there are so many resources you can find and use that may just help you find those answers you are in search of.
It is where your story begins.

Thank you,

Andrew Greenblat

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