November is National Adoption Awareness Month and local families are epitomizing the importance of adopting a child.
Shortly after getting married in 2000, parents Anne and Erik Hansen set out with the mission of finding a sibling for their daughter Tatyana Hansen. Only nine years old at the time, Tatyana Hansen was Anne Hansen’s daughter from a previous marriage and whom Erik Hansen later adopted in 2001.
This mission would come to a halt, as the couple was unable to conceive a child on their own. Despite this, Anne and Erik Hansen continued to strive for a companion for their daughter as they decided to try foster-to-adoption service, an Aspiranet resource Erik Hansen learned about at a career fair.
Only three months after the family began fostering children in 2005, Anne Hansen found out that she was pregnant with their biological son Leif Hansen. With the newest addition to their family, Anne and Erik Hansen continued to happily foster approximately 25 children over the span of 14 years.
In September 2012, three half-siblings, Sydney, Adrian, and Mike, came into the Anne and Erik Hansen’s care and made their way into the family’s hearts. From the moment they met the three children, Anne and Erik Hansen had aspired to adopt them.
“With a guarded heart we loved them from the start,” reported Anne Hansen. “The whole time we always wanted them to be in our lives forever, but in the back of our minds we always had to support reunification.”
According to Anne Hansen, Aspiranet places children concurrently, which means placing them in homes where reunification with their birth parents is always encouraged. However, if the aforementioned reunification does not work out, then the foster family essentially serves as a back up plan for adoption.
The latter became a reality as the parental rights for the three children’s birth parents were terminated in November 2013. Less than a year later, the couple officially adopted Sydney, Adrian, and Mike Hansen.
“The adoption did not happen overnight, but the process was seamless as Aspiranet worked hand-in-hand with us to become certified foster parents, making it much easier,” explains Erik. “In foster parenting and adoption, there are always challenges, but the rewards make it worth it. We couldn’t be more grateful for the extra support from the Aspiranet staff we received in this journey.”
Now ages 3, 6, and 10 respectively, Sydney, Adrian, and Mike Hansen joyfully fill the empty spaces that previously sat in the Hansen home. Most importantly, they allowed Anne and Erik Hansen to achieve their goal of finding siblings for Tatyana and Leif Hansen, a mission that had originally emanated over 14 years ago.
Along with the Hansen family, Turlock resident Deborah Martin believes that some individuals, including herself, are called to nurture children who are already in the world, particularly those who do not have parents. This reason is what precipitated the decision she made alongside her husband, Chris Borovansky, to adopt a child.
“I had my biological daughter, DeLayne, when I was in my 30s as a single mom, but I always wanted more children,” said Martin. “After I got married to Chris, we looked at our options and just decided that adoption was the best way to go.”
Martin and Borovansky had several reasons for deciding on an international adoption process. According to Martin, she did not want her and her husband’s full time jobs and ages to become an obstacle that would prevent them from adopting younger children. The couple also feared the possibility of a birth parent frequently changing their mind throughout the adoption process.
“We were very open to pretty much any ethnicity. We just wanted to become parents—that was it,” reported Martin. “So we just chose China and never looked back. It was the perfect decision for us.”
After Martin and Borovansky both agreed that they wanted to adopt two children, their adoption agency went to work and successfully located two Chinese children whose ages only differed by two months. The children that Martin and Borovansky would later adopt lived in the same town in China and even came from the same orphanage.
“It was a relatively unusual way to become parents,” recalled Martin. “We got pictures of them and read their information on the Internet.”
With all the necessary paperwork completed, the couple flew to the small town in China to pick up their newest additions to their family, Albie and AJ Borovansky.
“They did have Chinese names and we contemplated putting them as their middle names, which is not uncommon when people adopt children. But with the last name ‘Borovansky’ we thought we had better keep it simple,” laughed Martin.
Despite their changed names, Martin ensures that Albie and AJ Borovansky still know their Chinese names and remember to use them in their Chinese culture and language classes.
Overall the process took approximately one year. Only 21 months old and 23 months old when they were adopted, AJ and Albie Borovansky are now 9 years old and are enrolled in the fourth grade at Walnut Elementary.
“People are called to adopt because they feel like there are children in need of parents and then there are parents who prefer to biologically create their own,” said Martin. “I’m just glad we have both options.”