Hi! My name is Ruslan Joseph Kenneth, but you can call me Reese (no one can pronounce “Ruslan”). I was born in ’94 and  I turned four in ’98. So far, I think Four is going to be a good age for me, because you see, I was adopted this December!

Until then, I’d been living in a little orphanage in central Russia. It was a nice enough
place, but I really love living in America!

See, I’ve been waiting my whole life for a real family of my own, and my mom has been waiting for me for almost as long! She saw my photo when I was only 1 1/2, but she wasn’t very interested in baby boys. She wanted a big girl (why? I’m still trying to figure that one out, myself!). Anyway, she got the “big girl” first, my sister Natasha, who is 8 and VERY wise: she shows me all sorts of things about living in America, like how to buckle myself up in the car, how to pick out socks in the morning, and how to hold our cockatiel bird. (She also shows me things like how to hide dirty socks under stuffed animals so we don’t have to put them in the laundry basket, how to sneak our dog table food, and how to get up for water after we’ve been duly put to bed at night!) I guess she got tired of “big girls” because she decided it was time to go get me! One thing that is really cool about coming to America and having a family is that they say I’ll be able to get some help with my feet and hand. See, my Russian mother lived near a nuclear plant in Russia and lots of kids were born with limbs like me. I have feet that don’t look right or work right and I need to get brand
new ones. That way, I’ll be able to walk and run and play like everybody else! Won’t that be cool?! Also, I have a short right forearm with only one finger, and they think maybe that can be helped a little, too! So I think this “America” and “Family” business is pretty neat.

For now, though, I get around pretty well on my knees. I can go really fast, and I like to run and
sliiiiide on the hardwood floors in my pajamas (they are the slipperiest)! Even Natasha can’t do it as well as me! I’m anxious for my “operation”, but I don’t really know what that is yet, and I think they are making me wait until I can understand it all better. That’s okay. I’m enjoying all these cool new things in my life, like: light switches, baths, all the milk I can drink, my really cool stroller (I call it my “little car”), airplanes in the sky, pull-back-and-go toy cars, and my dog. I also think flushing toilets are REALLY cool!

Mom seems as pleased with me as I am with her, ‘cause she keeps taking pictures of me! I can hardly turn around without that bright flashy light going off in my face! It seems to make her happy, so I let her do it. (Maybe she’ll grow out of it.) To show you what I mean, I’m sending some photos along.


After my surgery I got really cool new legs!

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