Host parents Gail and Marty Shulman already have a 10-year-old biological son. They like the opportunity to get to know the two children they are considering adopting. They have taken in siblings 9 year old Denis and 8 year old Marjash, who were apparently abandoned by their parents 5 years ago.
Gail Shulman: In fact, that was something that engaged my son, Jeremy's, compassion. Because he was skeptical about them coming, and I said, "you know, as scary as it is to have people come and stay in our home with us, it could not possibly be as scary as being four and a half years old and have mommy disappear and never come back and be left alone with your little sister and not know what's going on." And something about that clicked to him because he was much more open to making an effort and he has grown and made so much progress with Denis and Marjash. I'm really proud of him, too.
Urycki: Do they know they are being considered for adoption?
Gail Shulman: Probably.
Marty Shulman: We're not sure exactly what they've been told. What they were supposed to have been told is that they're going to summer camp and staying with a host family and then they would come back. What we understand they probably were told is that, "You'd better be nice and act right because these people might want to be your mother and father. And if you ever want to have a family: don't act up."
Gail Shulman: Like maybe these people will want to adopt you and be your [mother and father]--I don't know, they may have been told that. And it's not officially what they were told. But I'll tell you what, they're very loving and very affectionate. They do help one another. And then we knew that they were getting comfortable with us when they also started bickering with each other like siblings will do.
Marty Shulman: There's only so long that you can fake being good.
Gail Shulman: Uh huh. I'll tell you even with the language barrier that we're discovered that Denis and Marjash have a very rich sense of humor. A very rich sense of humor. They are hilarious and they know it.