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After weeks of waiting and uncertainty, KC and Shirin Abadian, of Vienna, Va., finally have their daughter.
Lily Ksenia Abadian, aged 23 months, arrived in America from an orphanage in Vladivostok, Russia, last month. She is one of the last Russian children to be adopted by Americans before a new law banning the adoption of Russian youths by American citizens took full effect.
The Russian law, passed in retaliation against an American law imposing a visa ban and financial sanctions on Russian officials accused of human rights violations, was due to take effect on Jan. 1. For the Abadians, that date fell within the mandatory 30-day waiting period between a Russian court awarding them custody of Lily, which happened on Dec. 7, and the date they could pick up the child, scheduled to be Jan. 9.
The Abadians worked with the State Department, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, and Russian courts in a frantic effort to keep Lily's adoption on track.
"There were days when I wanted to give up and say 'forget it,'" KC Abadian told News4's Darcy Spencer.
The Abadians got the news they'd been waiting for when Kremlin officials clarified that children whose adoptions had been approved by the courts prior to the ban would be allowed to join their adopted families in America. For Lily, that meant a new home in Vienna, with her adopted father and mother, as well as big sister Patty, also adopted from Russia.
"She deserves a mommy and a daddy, and a big sister," Shirin Abadian told Spencer. "[But] I truly hope she's not the last one. I truly hope they reconsider."