On August 27, 2000, in the small town of Orel Russia, Yelena Sergeevna Afasanova was born, weighing 3 kg. The young woman who gave birth to this child made the difficult decision that she could not raise her, and placed her directly into the Orel Baby House.
At exactly the same time, in Jacksonville, Florida, a single woman decided that she would pursue international adoption. After many months of soul searching as well as researching, Diane decided that Tedi Bear Adoptions would be the best agency to assist her in her search for HER daughter.
Original plans were put in place for Diane to adopt an infant child from Romania. In January of 2001, after four months on the waiting list, Diane was offered the referral of a 2 year old little girl. After viewing the video of this beautiful blonde hair blue eyed child and praying and crying, Diane called the powers that be at her agency and let them know that this particular referral did not feel right. She was willing to wait a while longer to gain a younger child…being a first time mom, she wanted to experience the “baby” phase.
TBA assured Diane that her decision was the right one and that there was the right child out there for her somewhere...
By June of 2001, 10 months had passed since both the birth of Yelena and the original paperwork of Diane…both still waiting for a forever family.
In June, Romania decided to close its doors, temporarily, to international adoptions. Actions such as these might tempt others to believe adoption is "just not meant to be". But Diane held fast to the dream that her child was out there waiting. She decided that she needed to change countries and switched to Russia. All of her paperwork was completed by July and by the beginning of August, Diane received a call asking if she would be interested in an 11-month-old child…her first thought was no…a knee-jerk reaction. Immediately Diane changed her mind…YES she was interested in the referral…
Soon, a video and medical report arrived…there on film was the smallest 11 month old Diane had ever seen...the most beautiful baby…Diane was hooked…she accepted the referral…the referral of Yelena Afasanova…
On October 5, 2 months after accepting the medical and video, Diane and her mother traveled to Moscow to adopt her daughter. The two women were met in Moscow by in country support personnel who traveled with them to Orel.
Sunday, October 7, Diane and her mother arrived at the Orel Baby House and held the newest addition to the family for the very first time…it was love at first site…
Monday, October 8 was a big day. The regional courts of Orel would decide if Diane and Yelena would be allowed to become a family. Good news…the adoption is granted and Diane and Yelena are now a family…
In becoming a family, Diane had the honor of naming her new daughter and having the birth records in Orel changed as well…Yelena Sergeevna Afasanova was now and ever shall be Emerson Rose Hurst . The name is a family name. Emerson is named for a wonderful great-uncle, who would have danced at meeting this beauty, and her grandmother, who delights in her being each day.
*** Almost 10 months have passed since Emerson and I found each other. She has gone from a shy, scared, and underweight baby to an energetic, outgoing, toddler who can melt the hearts of anyone she meets. Emerson is the utmost best thing that has ever happened to me. Waiting for her referral was an act of God. We were met to be a family. People comment daily on how, because we look so much alike, I can not deny that she is mine. She is mine and I am hers…forever! In finding Emerson, I found my heart.
Diane Hurst Dlhurst65@cs.com
Adoption Day from One Adoptive Family's View
Help that First Visit Go Well
Adopting from Dominican Republic
Top Tips for the Journey Home
Colombian American families Adopting
If you are considering adopting a child with Down Syndrome, do not be afraid of the what ifs.
Process and Timeline
A winding path that led to joy for all