HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- A new law banning U.S adoptions from Russia went into effect January 1. It is devastating news for families who have spent time and money hoping for a child.
A Huntersville family knows what these families are going through.
"It was so exciting, it was wonderful," adoptive mother Suzanne Leland Brandenburg recalled.
Brandenburg remembers the day in November of 2011 she and husband Dan finally got to bring their son Max home from his orphanage in Russia.
"Immediately we just bonded and connected with him," said Brandenburg.
It was years in the making, from submitting a dossier of documents.
"From marriage certificate, from anything with your income, education, photos of your home," said Brandenburg.
To a lengthy home study and then a 6 month wait until they got a picture of their son. Two months later in July 2011, they met him for the first time, even then they had to wait four more months
to bring him home. So they can only imagine what the families currently waiting to adopt are going through.
"We would have been devastated-- I mean every little wait for us was difficult."
"It would be heart breaking, it really would be, it's such a long process, and one you get really invested in, " said husband Dan Brandenburg.
Since President Vladamir Putin banned U.S adoptions saying U.S policies to protect kids aren't strong enough, now even families who have already traveled to Russia are out of luck.
It's been a year since Max came home. He's three-and-a-half now, and they're still doing post adoption case work. Thankful for their son, the Brandenburg's heart goes out to the more than half million kids in Russia and families in the U.S now denied their happy ending.
"It worked out wonderfully for us, so I'm very pleased for us, but heartbroken for those families that it's not going to work out for."
We reached out to two North Carolina adoption agencies who both declined to comment.