ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Waiting. It’s not something local mom Jill Krenzer envisioned when she adopted her son Kyle from Ukraine. A mom of an already blended family of 6, she and her husband decided they wanted one more.
“We tried for several years and ran into some fertility issues […] we had a couple of failed infant adoptions […] and I really thought our journey was over,” Krenzer said.
Through a Facebook friend, they found out about “hosting” an orphan from another country for a period of time. Often, this process leads to families later adopting those children. The Krenzers chose a child from Ukraine.
“A boy named Roman was the only one that really fit our criteria,” she said. “And the strange thing was he already had my heart from the pictures and the little video clip they had. And he looks so much like my husband did when he was little.”
The Krenzers hosted Roman — who later changed his name to Kyle — for 4 weeks over the winter of 2020. Then they started the adoption process. But due to the pandemic, that was pushed off until March 2021.
“This was meant to be my son,” Krenzer said. “He is a riot.”
But since visiting Ukraine and seeing the orphans, she knew there was still more she could do.
“[Kyle’s] best friend was on the list and he was still on there. And no one had chosen him,” Krenzer said. “Part of the reason no one had chosen him was: A lot of people inquired, but when they found out he had a little brother with special needs that if he was adopted that he would have to be adopted with, no one wanted to host him.”
“Meeting Yan, the little brother, was-” Krenzer paused, wiping away tears. “It was incredible.”
But she now finds herself waiting yet again, in her process of adopting those Kyle’s best friend and his little brother, Vanya and Yan.
“We got the okay, and in like two weeks, the war broke out and all hopes of summer hosting were gone,” she said, “Adoptions are on hold. Hosting is on hold.”
Krenzer added that if she had her way, she would also adopt a third boy who is aging out of the system within the year. She says in Ukraine, once orphans age out, they are stamped as orphans for life and aren’t given the same opportunities like other adults.