When Vern and Nanette Garrett decided to adopt a child from the Ukraine, they already had seven biological children. Even still, the couple decided that adding another child to their family was the right thing to do after receiving a pamphlet in the mail about adopting kids from the former Soviet Union, according to a report from KSL.

In 2002, the Garretts visited an orphanage in the Ukraine. While there, the kids at the orphanage welcomed the couple with open arms. One child, an 8-year-old girl named Emily, stole the couple's heart. They decided to adopt her. When the Garretts adopted Emily, she said she was happy, but as she rode away from the orphanage her face told a different story. She looked distraught.

"When we drove away, Emily had a tear coming down her cheek,” Nanette said to KSL. “She just looked out the side of the van for about 300 miles and she wouldn't look forward. So we knew something was going on inside of her, but we couldn't speak very well to her."


Eventually, they found out that Emily had left behind an older sister, Elizabeth who was like a mother to her. Two years after they adopted Emily, the family was able to raise enough money to adopt Elizabeth, according to Good4Utah. And then they adopted a son, Andrew, from the Ukraine in 2007.

The Garrets founded an organization in 2005, Save A Child Foundation, a year after they adopted Emily, to get more people in Utah to adopt Ukrainian orphans. The Garretts said they started the organization because they knew people in Utah would want to help orphans.
“We thought to ourselves wow, if every one of our friends could walk into this orphanage probably everyone would take one home,” said Nanette to KSL.