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From Russia With Love, International Adoption Brings the Gift of Family to Raleigh Couple

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RALEIGH — Many of us are making plans to be with our families for the holidays. One Raleigh family is doing that for the first time, after going all the way to Russia for this year's Christmas gifts.

Eugenia Grace is 8 years old and the newest member of the Brickley family. Her new parents, Jack and Caroline, brought her back from Russia last weekend to live with them and her new brother, Denis.

"They act like they've been brother and sister forever. From the first day they met, they play together, they tease one another, they're both ticklish," says Jack.

And they both grew up in Russian orphanages. The Brickleys adopted 12-year-old Denis in August.

They had not considered adopting a child that old until they saw Denis's picture on the Internet. "Denis was there, and Denis was 11 going on 12, and he needed a home," says Catherine.

"Since we had been told many years earlier that we were too old to adopt, we figured we were perfectly matched for him. He was too old to be adopted, we were too old to adopt -- why not," says Caroline.

In just three short months, Denis is adjusting well and can already say the names of his favorite sports in English. He likes to skate, play basketball, tennis and volleyball.

Eugenia has only been here a week, but she is already winning the hearts of her parents, who just a few months ago had not experienced the joys of parenthood.

"We were just two settled middle-aged people with two cats," says Catherine.

Now the Brickleys are planning their first Christmas together, although they are already exchanging the gift of love.

There are thousands of older children in Russian orphanages that often get overlooked for adoption.Their pictures are available online.

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Laurie Clowers, Reporter
Adrienne Traxinger, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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