A loving family adopted me when I was 4 months old. I was born in Odessa, Ukraine, the second largest country in Europe. The Ukraine is in Eastern Europe, north of the Black Sea. My parents and older brother flew out of JFK airport and landed in the capitol city, Kiev and traveled 17 hours by train to the port city, Odessa.
I was a very sickly infant and was placed immediately, after my birth, in an orphanage that was understaffed with deplorable living conditions. Once home, in the United States, I had numerous eye surgeries and overcame 2 bouts of pneumonia. I was very privileged to be living in the United States to receive the appropriate care.
My parents have given my brother and I the opportunity to immigrate to the United States. However they always emphasize how proud they are of my Ukrainian heritage and my older brother’s Lithuanian heritage. I have grown up on the shoreline in Connecticut and have been fortunate to participate in scouts, music, athletics and other cultural events.
My life has been affected in such a positive way…My parents always support me spiritually, academically, athletically and socially. Faith has always been my family’s central focus and is reflected in our lifestyle. I nourish my faith by attending Mass weekly and praying often. My most rewarding spiritual activity is altar serving with my parish priest.
My mom has taught me the importance of community outreach and helping those less fortunate. Our family has been participating in various service projects since I can remember. One of our favorite projects is serving the homeless at the overflow shelter in New Haven. Other projects include Catechism Heifer Projects, Scout food drives and Family to Family gift sharing.
My favorite family times are usually at the dinner table or away on vacation where we spend quality time with one another.
All of my God given talents, personal interests and various activities are not only used to better myself, rather to better the people around me and live like Jesus to the best of my ability. I truly am blessed.