Ricky Davies and Natalie Shear: We’re from the same orphanage, we’re best friends and we’re family
Seniors Ricky Davies and Natalie Shear have had each other’s backs since day one. From the time they were infants, sleeping in the same crib at an orphanage in St. Petersburg, Russia, to being adopted by Wayland families that live on the same street, to going to WHS together, the two have been best friends.
Davies’ parents adopted him when he was 11 months old, and they met the baby Shear when adopting their son. They soon spread word to their friends and neighbors from Wayland of the baby girl they saw at the orphanage. Shear was adopted by the Davies’ friends shortly after, when she was 16 months old.
Davies and Shear both believe that their friendship is special because they share their past.
“It would be one thing if we were adopted from two different places. Adopted people, I guess, have a connection or something. But since we were in the same crib, and we’ve known each other since we were born, it’s definitely a lot different,” Shear said.
“It’s a lot more unique,” Davies added. “The fact that we are from the same place, from the same orphanage, from the same background, yet we’re neighbors; we’re best friends and we’re family, that makes it even cooler.”
The first time Davies went back to Russia was when he was three, for the adoption of his sister Margaret, now a freshman at WHS. When he was was six, he went back again for the adoption of his sister, Eleanor, who is now 11 years old. Both of Davies’ sisters were adopted from the same orphanage in St. Petersburg but are not biologically related to him or each other. Shear hasn’t returned to Russia, but both aspire to visit their birthplace in the near future. Davies and Shear’s main motivation for this trip is their hope to meet their birth mothers.
“There’s no definite that we’re going to find them, but I think even if I just had a picture of my mom, that would be really sentimental,” Davies said. “It’s a part of my life that’s incomplete, and I want it filled. I feel like it would be an emotional roller coaster, but at the same time, it’s something I’ve always wanted.”
“It would be important for me to find her [my birth mother], so I can connect with her. I’m close with my adoptive mom, but it would be nice to have that relationship as well,” Shear said.
Although both Davies and Shear have a desire to trace their roots and meet their birth mothers, they are grateful for their fates and current lives. They both explained that being adopted allowed them to live higher quality lives than they might have otherwise. They agreed that adoption should not be viewed negatively; it benefited both of their lives.
“There’s a picture in people’s heads that adoption is a bad thing and hurts the child emotionally, but that’s not at all the process of it,” Davies’ said. “It’s hard at first, but sometimes, it’s what needs to be done. If my mother had kept me, I don’t even know where I’d be right now. We [Natalie and I] wouldn’t have met each other either. I think about this every day, the thought of not having Natalie in my life and not having the people in my life I’m surrounded with now. The life I live now is a million times better than it would’ve been had I stayed where I was.”
Shear understands her mother’s choice to put her up for adoption and explained why she agreed adoption was the most responsible option in her birth mother’s situation.
“My mom had to decide between keeping me and going to college, so obviously she chose college. I’m really supportive of that because if she kept me and didn’t go to college, we’d probably be in God knows nowhere,” Shear said.
Although Shear is thankful that adoption allowed her to live the life she does today, she doesn’t plan on adopting children in the future.
Davies has a different take on adopting children when he is older.
“I guess I probably would [adopt children] because there are so many kids who need homes. I guess I could relate to them and that could make us closer. It depends on the circumstance, but I would definitely be open to it.”