An Adoption Journey Part 1

Posted at: 02/13/2013 6:38 PM
Updated at: 02/14/2013 3:21 PM
By: Laura Lee

 (ABC 6 News) -- There is no question the issue of adoption has been in the spotlight since Russia's recent decision to ban adoptions to American families.

In an ABC 6 News special, we follow the adoption journey with a local couple who adopts overseas.

102.5 The Fox's Dave Berg and his wife Cathy have two healthy and handsome boys -- Justin and Ethan, both 11-years-old.

"With two boys theres so much activity in the home, the home is no longer quiet, theres wrestling, there is fighting, but its a happy sound," says Cathy.

A sound that has been missing from the Berg household for far too long.

"We've been trying to adopt for seven years." A solution for Dave and Cathy after they learned they couldn't have children on their own.

"I said I want to be a dad in 2011, " and 10 months after that new years resolution, he was.

"We just knew that this was our so," says Dave.

Through the European Children Adoption Services in the Twin Cities, they were able to adopt Justin from the Ukraine in 2011 and a year later realized their journey to have children had only just begun.

"When we went over to bring Justin home, we spent time with him and he introduced us to Ethan and he said, this is Ethan, my brother," says Dave.

"All I heard was a voice, it just called out mama asked if I was his mama, with me, that was a done deal there when I heard someone call me mama," says Cathy.

Ethan was from the same orphanage as Justin in the city of Kiev. "Every time we go to there you see these kids and you want to give them a home, every child deserves love," says Dave.

"All they want is interaction, to know someone is thinking about them," says Cathy.

They started the paperwork to bring Ethan home in January of 2012. The hardest part, the waiting.

"Not to be able to tell him how long was it going to take and all we can say was soon," says Cathy, "that was the hardest part for me."

"You know you're going to talk to him on the phone and you know you're going to see him, but its going to be so long and theres that time in between where your heart just aches because you miss them so much," says Dave.

"I have been following their blogs," says Becky Laqua.

Laqua works for Catholic Charities -- an adoption agency -- in Rochester. She met Dave and Cathy in 2008.  

"I know they had a strong desire to have children," she says, "I tell all my families, what is meant to be is meant to be."

As fate would have it, after nearly a year, Dave and Cathy finally got the approval from Ukrainian officials to bring their son Ethan home.

They were still in the Ukraine when we talked with them via skype.

"We got our final court decree, I spent all day getting paperwork done, we have to get passports, tomorrow I have to go to the U.S. embassy for Ethan's visa to come home," says Dave.

"The judge saw us and she even remembered us from last year when we adopted Justin, she asked how Justin was doing and that made us relax a little more."

"It takes a special person to take on just the paperwork to do an interntional adoption," says Laqua.

After five weeks in Kiev, and just a few weeks before Christmas, the Berg's went from a family of three to a family of four.

"It's the biggest blessing," says Cathy, "I couldn't have asked for anything more meaningful."

She adds, "they have brought us so much life, we were couch potatoes before them."

Couch potatoes no more. Dave and Cathy now have their hands full teaching their boys all things American.

I asked, what's you favorite food?

11-year-old Ethan replied, "soup, pizza and french fries!" 

They're also learning about classic American pastimes like bowling.

"I got you mommy," says 11-year-old Justin.

"Mommy" is something Cathy hears every day now. And although Justin and Ethan are not Dave and Cathy's biological children to them, they were meant to be.

I asked, are you happy Ethan?

His answer, simple, "very happy."


For more information on the European Children Adoption Services we've posted a link to their website below.