Russian adoptee speaks out on adoption ban

POSTED: 3:44 PM Jan 30 2013   UPDATED: 7:48 PM Jan 11 2013
CRAVEN COUNTY -

The feeling of family, a feeling Ekaterina Gobeli says she'll never forget.

"It was pretty exciting you know we would brag to everybody you know oh this is going to be our family,” said Gobeli.

Adopted from Russia thirteen years ago at the age of fourteen, "Katija" as she likes to be called says she is lucky to have the life she has today.

Katija and her sister Natasha were adopted by a family living in Maryland.

Her parents also adopted seven other children from orphanages all around Russia giving her one big happy family.

"They are our hero, that’s what they are to me, they save lives,” said Katija.

She later moved to New Bern with her husband who is in the Marines.

But now Russian adoption in the United States is not allowed.

A ban was decided in late December by Russia’s president -- Vladimir Putin.

Katija says she is worried the ban will not give Russian children the same opportunities that she and her sister had.

"What did the kids do for them to punish that way. There are families out there who want to give them that love and attention that i got now they are going to end up on their own and lost,” said Katjia.

Lost was how Katjia felt in a Russian orphanage.

She showed us pictures of her life before she was adopted.

Katjia says her life in an orphanage is not one she would wish on anyone.

“I'm very thankful that i got the chance to be adopted by a family who cared enough to take me out of the orphanage and give me the love, the attention that helped me thrive and be the person i am today,” said Katjia.

Katija says she hopes to one day be able to adopt a child from the orphanage she lived in.

So that child can have the same chance she had.