Student reveals her adoption as blessing

Young Schornak is shown in her adoption picture.

Oksana Schornak

Young Schornak is shown in her adoption picture.

Born in a foreign country and spending early childhood in an orphanage is a memory that junior Oksana Schornak no longer carries with her.

“The closest thing I have to a memory of the orphanage would be the box with all of my adoption things in it. When I open the box, I smell something so familiar. It’s a smell I’ve never encountered in America,” said Schornak.

The box contains everything she came to America with, which is a short list of things:  a blue-green hair ribbon, two Russian dolls and an empty box of oatmeal.

Leaving behind her past in Chita, Russia, Schornak leads a normal happy teenage life. She plays varsity volleyball for SHS, hangs out with friends on weekends and has a family who loves her.

“I definitely am grateful for the life I am living because I know I have so many more opportunities, while I could still be in the orphanage in Russia,” said Schornak.

Although her plans of going back to Chita one day and creating a documentary of her reconnection to her birth parents, Schornak says that she is glad she was raised by her adoptive parents and they will be the only ones she will truly accept.

“Just because somebody gave birth to you doesn’t make them parents. They don’t know what you want unless they raise you. It’s the people that take care of you through everything and know your hopes and dreams that are parents,” said Schornak.