The couple found their soon-to-be-son Kirill through an agency that works to find homes for children staying in Kazakhstan orphanages.
When they discovered that four-year-old Kirill was missing his right hand, just like another important person in their lives, they knew they needed to adopt him - despite repeated warnings from the orphanage's staff regarding his disability.
Doug's father Chris was thrilled when his son shared the news of Kirill's impending adoption. In an interview with TODAY Parents he describes the moment:
“I turned on the screen for him to see the picture and all he did was point at the screen and say, ‘He’s like me.’ And you could see the tears.”
When Chris and Kirill met for the first time at the St. John’s International Airport in Canada, everyone could tell that the two shared an instant bond. Kirill reached out and touched his new Grandfather's nub with his hand. He knew that he was no longer alone.
Since his adoption into Doug and Lesley's home and family, Kirill has truly thrived. He loves his parents, enjoys trips to the store with his mom and even helps out around the house.
Whenever he's feeling particularly down about his disability, Kirill's parents tell him that if his Grandpa can do it, he can definitely do it too. This cheers Kirill up and thinking about Grandpa Chris soon brings a smile to his face.
Chris and Kirill share an experience that most could never imagine. But the disability has never deterred Chris from doing anything, Doug told CBC News, and that's why he knows his son will be just fine!
"It’s never stopped Dad from doing what he wants to do, from sports to business to family to whatever."
Doug hopes that his own son will observe the strength of his Grandfather and apply it to his own life.
They are all growing together as a family, and since he grew up in an orphanage with 12 other children, Kirill likes things most of us wouldn't even think of.
One of his favorite activities is bath time. Back in Kazakhstan there were only two workers in charge of all 12 of the children, so they got a basic wipe-down at the end of the day, not a bath as we are accustomed to in the states.