A Russian ban on adoptions to the U.S. is affecting families across the country.
And one Mesa County woman is helping to draw attention to the issue.
Melissa Schmitt is about to be a mother of four.
She currently has three children here in Grand Junction, but she's only months away from adopting a child from Eastern Europe.
Although her child won't be coming from Russia, she's providing a voice for those who hope to someday adopt from that country.
"These kids don't have a chance in Russia, if they don't get adopted by someone outside the country; they're not going to get adopted."
In December, Russian politicians announced a ban on all adoptions by American citizens, including adoptions of children that have already been matched with families in the U.S.
"They're hitting below the belt, they're trying to find a way to hurt us and unfortunately there using their children to do that."
The stunning move is largely viewed as retaliation for a law signed by President Obama, which imposes U.S. travel and financial restrictions on human rights abusers in Russia.
Melissa said, "They'd rather they not be taken care of in Russia then they be sent to any other country."
Melissa herself is in the process of adopting a baby boy from Eastern Europe and is thankful she's not dealing with the heartache felt by those trying to adopt a Russian child.
"It's been devastating for those families. I can not imagine, as in love with lance as I am, having not met him yet, thinking okay next month I'm going to get him, and then not be able to because of politics," explained Melissa.
Melissa, who's incredibly passionate about adoption, finally found a voice through a fundraiser called "Forty to Forever", an organization helping orphans who need special attention.
"Kids that have down-syndrome or other special needs in these countries are generally tossed aside."
The group raises money for Russian orphans, and helps families trying to adopt children.
Melissa explained, "after two years of going through this process, they have been there. They've met there kids, they've fallen in love with them, the kids are old enough to understand, okay someone's coming for me"
And this organization hopes to make that a reality.
"If somebody doesn't stand up for them, if somebody doesn't fight for them, no one will," said Melissa.