Kolya is 18, and my fourth youngest child, yet he’s the newest member of the Savage family. We adopted Kolya 9 years ago from Russia. He lived the first 9 years in an orphanage. If you’ve never read our adoption story, you can do so here. It’s quite a God Story!

Kolya loves any type of manual labor. He’s a hard worker who has three different part-time jobs: cleaning new construction, working for a construction company as a helper, and working for a masonry company as a helper.  Kolya longs for a career that will keep him working hard physically and outside as much as possible.  (Leading him into a “trade” career is new territory for Mark and I. Any wisdom a seasoned mom can share with me on how to secure apprenticeships would be greatly appreciated!)

Kolya has a ton of energy and loves to have fun. He’s got a fun, crazy side that occasionally shines through!  Kolya serves on the sound team at church.  He’s also a runner. He prefers not to compete, but rather to run for enjoyment.

Today is Kolya’s first full day of school as a high school senior. He takes 1/2 day of core classes and then goes to another high school in town to spend the other half of the day studying construction management. He’s looking forward to graduating and being on his own as soon as possible. I try to not take that personally…he was, after all, practically on his own the first 9 years of his life!

Kolya has challenged me to be an advocate for my kids in the school system. He is an ELL (English Language Learner). Even though he retains no Russian, English is still very challenging for him.  When it seemed like he might fall through the traditional educational “cracks,” I’ve had to speak up and get him the accommodations needed for him to be successful in the classroom.

Has parenting an adopted child been easy? No, it hasn’t. It comes with its own set of challenges. However, parenting my biological kids hasn’t always been easy either. They are all unique human beings who have needed unique help from Mark and I. Figuring that out is what parenting is all about.

Now you’ve met my 4th child. If you have four or more kids, I’d love to hear about your 4th child! (If you are reading this in email, you can leave a comment here. Simply click and then scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on ‘comments’ to share!)

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