The Mardock’s adoption and foster parenting saga began when they were kids. Carol came from a proud Irish immigrant family that experienced family challenges along the way. At the age of six months she was sent to live with her aunt and uncle, who became Mom and Dad. As a grade schooler, Carol shared a common back-yard fence with Luanie, one of the first Korean-American adopted children to come to the U.S. in the 1950s. Together these two girls shared their appreciation for the opportunities provided by their non-biological parents. Carol grew up thinking that some day when she was married she would like to adopt and she wanted to adopt from Korea.
When Bob was in high school, his parents opened their home to Paul who was a year younger than Bob. Paul needed family and parental stability in his life and Mom and Pop welcomed him into the Mardock family as a foster son/brother for three years.
When Bob and Carol started dating in college they quickly discovered each other’s adoption and foster parenting interests. By the time they married they were convinced that they would experience adoption as a family at some point in their lives together.
After they had five “bio” kids (three girls and two boys, daughter Lyndsie died at the age of four months of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – SIDS) and experienced the rewards and hardships of being a foster family for a number of children, they decided it was time to adopt.
They adopted Marcie in 1985, joining them from Korea (remember Carol’s dream of adopting a Korean child?) at the age of four months and was immediately loved by all. A very interesting thing happened after they adopted Marcie; they became the local adoption experts, a role many adoptive parents find thrust upon them. As time passed, they found themselves advising and helping other families adopt both internationally and domestically.
In 1990 the world became aware of the tragic plight of thousands of orphaned Romanian children and the Mardocks again prepared the documents needed to adopt, this time a Romanian child. The Los Angeles Times learned of their interests and published a feature article about the family. The Wednesday newspaper was wrapped by the “View” section and there they were, front page for the world to see. The article found its way across the nation and soon calls came in from all over the country and internationally asking for advice and information about adoptions. International Family Services was born.
Over the next few years the Mardocks were joined by beautiful Angela, born 1990 in Romania, and Nickolas, also born 1990 in Russia. In December of 1999 Bob and Carol made their way back to Russia to adopt daughters Hannah, born 1998, and Christina, born 1999. Then, with the addition of foster/adopted daughter Dani as a 16 year old in 2000, they pretty well decided they were done. Bob now explains that he has 10 children, all boys — except for 7 girls. And all through the years they continued to provide foster care for many other children.
Read the Mardock’s Caught Off Guard By AWESOMELY UNIQUE Adoption - An enlightened and realistic look at special needs adoption seen through the eyes of a couple surprised by how ordinary their family really was.
There is an interesting side note regarding Hannah and Christina. As the Mardocks were making preparations to adopt Hannah, Christina came into their lives. At five months old she was a six pound, emaciated little girl about to die of severe heart complications. Bob and Carol, with the help of son-in-law Mitch Ratzlaff, made arrangements in the U.S. for open heart surgery. The operation was a success, and for the next few weeks Christina recovered in their home. The family fell in love with her and well, the rest is history. Hannah AND Christina are now best friends with the grand kids who are the same age they are.
Join IFS Founders Bob & Carol Mardock for a live 45 minute interactive Exploring the Adoption Adventure in a conference call format from the convenience of your own home.