Years After Adoption, New Zealand Man Surprises Kids At Former Orphanage In Russia
A man living in Aukland, New Zealand, is giving back to the Russian orphanage he grew up in after 20 years of living with his adoptive parents. Not only is he giving back, but he has created a platform by which others who were adopted can share stories and connect.
Alex Gilbert, born in 1992, spent the first two years of his life at the Regional Baby Orphanage in Russia. Having been put up for adoption by his birth parents, Alex was too young to remember his time at the orphanage. His only memories were served through the lends of a camera.
In 1994, he was adopted and moved to New Zealand, where after 20 years of living in Whangarei, Alex decided to give back to his former orphanage. He packed boxes filled with toys, clothes, and other fun items for the children to play with. Then, in early December 2018, he made the journey back to the orphanage in Arkhangelsk, Russia where he spent his early years.
Alex’s decision to give back to his former orphanage was a big moment for him. He wanted to find a way to thank the staff, as well as give the children living there, a pleasant surprise on Christmas.
“They [staff at the orphanage] looked after me in the first few years of my life. I’ve always been thankful to them,” he said in an interview. He additionally stated how giving back has always been something he wanted to do. A feat that has now been made possible.
Finding His Way
Giving gifts is not the only thing Alex has been doing. Since he was young his adoptive parents, Mark and Janice had been very open about the adoption and encouraged Alex and his brother Andrei (also adopted) to get in contact with their birth parents.
In 2013, Alex met with his birth parents, speaking on the experience by saying that it inspired him to create a project called “I’m Adopted” Where people from all over the world can share stories of adoption and other adoptees. All of this inspired by one man whose selfless acts of kindness and desire to help those who experienced what he did, has changed lives forever.
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