Forming a special bond through adoption

Story by Amanda Hackleman, Staff Writer

5,945.2 miles away from America to Russia.
5,945.2 miles away from her homeland.
5,945.2 miles away from her heritage and bloodlines.

Sophomore Claire Hatchett was born in Volgograd, Russia, on January 22,1997. Soon after, she was adopted by Rusty and Angela Hatchett. Then she was brought to Texarkana to be with her new family. The adoption finalized on August 20, 1997.

Having grown up in America, she knows her life would be a lot different if she had been raised in Russia. She would either be living with her birth parents or out on the streets. Comparing those options, Claire has decided she likes her life here.

“I feel very lucky to be here now,” she said. “I think this is the best country in the world.”

Claire not only loves living in America, she also loves her family. They’re an interesting assortment of characters, she said, elaborating by simply saying, “They’re strange.”

Claire, like any other daughter, shares a special bond with her mother.

“We bond through going shopping together,” she said. “I can tell her anything because I trust her. We both enjoy history a lot, so we talk about it, and have interesting debates too.”

Claire’s father and her also have an interesting relationship. She says he makes her laugh because he’s constantly making up new words, and it seems like he knows everyone in Texarkana because they can’t leave their house without him stopping to talk to someone he knows. She also loves his cooking.

“He’s an amazing cook, like five stars,” Claire said. “He can cook anything. Creme brulee, spaghetti, fettuccini, barbeque, pastries.”

She also has built a close relationship with her grandparents: Mame, Grandad and Grandma Hatchett.

Her Mame, as she calls her, is her mom’s mother. She tells her everything. When she feels she can’t talk to her parents about something she goes to Mame.

“She’s like a giant teenager. She gets it,” Claire said. “We go shopping together, and we bond really well.”

Stepping away from her family, Claire said her life is good. She loves coming to school and just being with her friends.

“My friends are crazy,” she said. “One time we played pirates on an air mattress during a sleepover.”

Claire realizes how blessed she is to live here.

“I’m so glad I was adopted by my parents,” Claire said. “If I wasn’t, I have no idea where I would be in the world today.”