There are people who think all adoption stories are horrible and sad. Elena and Lara Hall are grateful that theirs is one blessed with extreme happiness.
At the ages of 18 months and one year, Elena and Lara Hall left the orphan wing of a hospital in Russia behind. Their adoptive parents contacted an adoption agency through what would become the family’s church, legally adopted Elena in the United States, flew to Russia to get her, and repeated the process for Lara. Although babies when adopted, everything changed. Their new country, new language, new culture, and values became their own. Neither girl has any memory of their life prior to being adopted.
Elena and Lara’s relationship with their adoptive parents is and has always been filled with compassion and support…so much so that Lara currently lives at home again as she transitions out of college. And, even though Elena isn’t living with her parents post-college, her home is only twenty minutes away. Their childhood was one filled with a lot of sports, dance, summer camps—and love—where their parents were highly involved and the girls were always encouraged to do their best.
Both girls graduated high school and then college. Lara excelled in sports, particularly volleyball, and Elena had the opportunity to study the Russian language. While on a mission trip to Russia, Elena was not only able to travel to the birth town of she and her adopted sister, she had the surreal experience of seeing the building where they were both born.
Each of the sisters have been challenged with the knowledge that they have siblings from their birth parents whom they will never know. Because their adoptions were international and closed, neither girl has sought out her family of origin. The sisters overcome this with the strength of their bond with each other and their faith. Faith in Jesus has been a strong value in their adoptive family and helped provide comfort to Elena and Lara. When they think of their birth parents with sadness, they find joy again when they remember their faith in Jesus and how God gave them the perfect family.
Elena and Lara can confidently say that they are not sad about their adoption experience. They’re both proud to talk about adoption and their story. Throughout their lives, strangers thought they were twins (something the girls found both cool and hilarious, as they do not look alike). Upon learning that these sisters are not blood relatives and were adopted from Russia, intrigue allowed the entire Hall family to share about the beauty of adoption. This constant “adoption talk” along with the open line of communication that their parents provided helped Elena and Lara to see that adoption is not about their birth parents potentially not wanting them but, rather, a gift.
Elena's immediate goal is to gain acceptance into graduate school for Social Work. She hopes to eventually have a family of her own while positively influencing others in her career.
Lara's current goal is to get into graduate school for Psychology. She hopes to marry her high school sweetheart, have children, and build a career as a child psychologist.
These next steps are part of a journey for which Elena and Lara are entirely grateful. Had they not been adopted, who knows what they would be doing?