top of page


Before I was a mom, before I had my own business, before I lived in Pittsburgh, before I was married to my best friend, I lived in Chicago and worked for a company in the rail industry. I was a manager and with that, I had to travel quite a lot, including Ukraine and Russia. I absolutely loved my job. From childhood, I always loved choo choo trains. They always brought me happy memories. Growing up in Moscow, it was the only type of transportation we used when going on vacations.

During one of my trips to Moscow, as I was sipping coffee in the hotel’s breakfast area, waiting for my car, I noticed a lot of families with little kids of different ages. I didn’t really think anything of it and went on with my day.

The next day, I saw the same scenario, but different families. As I was talking to my driver, I just had to ask him if the hotel was known for being kid friendly. It happened to be that this hotel was used by various adoption agencies and families from all over the globe who were staying there to finalize an adoption. I was blown away and touched by how many families wanted to adopt kids from Russia.

As I was waiting for my flight to Chicago, I saw a young couple who were with two children, an older boy and a girl. A boy was trying to calm his little sister in Russian. “They are our parents now, our lives will change, they saved us, and we will never be separated.”

As I heard this, my eyes filled with tears as I realized they were one of those adoptive families, who just saved two innocent kids. I went up to the family and asked if I could help them to translate in either language. Mom, with tears in her eyes, said, “Yes please, please. Please tell them, we love them very much, and we will learn more Russian and when we get home, we will find kids who speak Russian, and they will have friends.”

It took every strength in me not to break down. When I relayed the message, both kids smiled, and the family embraced in a hug. I then told the parents what the little boy told his sister. They were from Indiana, and they always wanted to adopt. When they got to the agency, they were told there are two kids from the same family, and they can have them both if they like. On the flight back, I couldn’t stop thinking how amazing and brave that couple was to fly all the way to Moscow to adopt not just one child but two. And would I be able to do the same?

Fast forward, since I opened Izabella’s Gourmet Chow, I have met quite a few families who have adopted. One family adopted a little boy who was on the spectrum with Autism and being aware of it, they went all in. Unfortunately, mom had to quit her job to stay with the baby, so the second child wasn’t in the cards for them. Another family tried for years and years to conceive and after multiple failed IVFs, they were able to adopt. Another family I met has kids of their own but wanted to save a baby’s life, so they adopted. And the list can go on and on and on.

I admire, praise and respect families who have so much love to give that they want to share that love with an innocent child who was brought into this world not by his choice, families who sometimes sacrifice their lifestyle for the baby whose life they want to save and offer a bright future.

Adoption can go sour at any moment; the birth mother can change her mind, or the birth mother or father can appear out of nowhere or even a grandparent can claim the child. And when that happens, it’s the most tragic day of their lives. However, I know families, who overcome the grief and start the process again.

So, I want to salute every family who saved a child’s life. I want to salute every family who is going through this process. I want to salute every family who is thinking about saving an innocent life. I salute to all the families I know, who were kind enough to share their journeys with me.

La Dolce Vita!!


bottom of page