Two U.S. mothers speak of Russian adoption joy

Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:08pm EST
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By Alessandra Prentice

MOSCOW (Reuters) - After a nerve-wracking month in Moscow, fearing their adoption bids might be foiled by a diplomatic spat, two U.S. families are now able to take their adopted Russian children home.

Jeana Bonner, 29, Rebecca Preece, 34 and their husbands had spent around a year trying to adopt two Russian orphans, both with special needs, only for their applications to be stalled at the final stages when Russia banned Americans adopting in December.

The ban was part of Russia's retaliation for U.S. sanctions on suspected human rights abusers and marked a low point for President Barack Obama's bid to improve relations with the former Cold War foe.

Even when courts ruled in January that Bonner and Preece's adoptions could go ahead as they had already been approved, the families had to wait for a month and feared the process could hit further obstacles.

However the final decree was issued and the adoptive parents have now collected their new children and will take them home this week.

"In every mother there's a mama-bear, you're protective of your children," Preece said as her 4-year-old adopted son Gabriel Artur romped around their hotel room in Moscow.

"I felt this wasn't right, he was supposed to be in our family and I was going to do everything it took until that happened."

Bonner said she was looking forward to introducing her two biological children to their new Russian sister Jaymi Viktoria.   Continued...

Rebecca Preece (L) plays with five-year-old Jaymi Viktoria in a hotel room in Moscow February 11, 2013. REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky