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12/20/04-Flint

Russian Orphan Arrives At New Home

A Russian orphan finally makes his long-awaited trip to his new home in East Texas.

Taylor Grigoriy, 10, arrived last night. Back in August, a Flint woman, Judy Lloyd, went to Russia to adopt the boy, when she died suddenly of a heart attack. She left behind her husband, Jon, and their three daughters, who have since worked to finalize the adoption.

Flint is home now for Grigoriy, whose new American name is Taylor. It's the home of his new father, Jon, his two new sisters, Katie and Alicia, and a mother he barely got to know.

"It's like having this weight taken off of you that being able to close the chapter that we started together," Jon said. "It doesn't make it any easier, but it's just very satisfying."

Jon is happy to know he can provide Taylor with good education, health care, and most of all, a loving family.

"In his video, he said, 'Papa, come soon. I'm ready.' And so, I got there as soon as the legalities would let me go," Jon said.

Taylor is like any other 10-year-old -- full of energy that can only be released while playing with his sisters, his new dog, and his new friend from next-door, Landry, 8.

"I think he's very, very fun to play with," Landry said.

I told him: "I heard that you were excited before he even got here."

Landry: "Yes, very. I was so excited, on the way home, I was crying."

He and Taylor have a bond that's being built without words. Taylor speaks little English, and Landry doesn't know Russian. But love and friendship can be understood in any language.

Julie: "Do you like Landry?"

Taylor: "Yes."

Julie: "Do you like America?"

Taylor: "Yes."

Taylor showed us some of his favorite Gameboy video games: Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, and Dragonball Z.

"It's just like a feeling of joy and satisfaction because God has had his hand in this in so many ways," Katie, 18, said. "It's just like, wow, just to see God complete this one part of his work that he has for him."

Taylor loves riding his new bike. His father and sister want to make sure he does it safely. They have a lot to teach him and a lifetime to give him the love and affection he's missed for 10 years.

"If I had the finances and the health, I'd just adopt 10 more kids, I think, you know, just to see the happiness in their face."

Taylor will start school at Owens Elementary next semester in 3rd grade. He was held back one grade level because he has to catch up on his English. Taylor's father wants him to continue speaking Russian with other adopted children to make sure he doesn't lose his native language.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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