The Bechrakis Family;
Parents Andreas and Yvette with Adopted Child Giorgio
Family always came first for Yvette Lujan and Andreas Bechrakis, who were married in 1986. After her father passed away, Yvette who is Colombian-American and Andreas, who is of Greek descent, began caring for her family, even helping her brother though college. Later, Yvette and Andreas decided to have a child but were too old to conceive. So they decided to adopt a child from Colombia.
Unfortunately, the international adoption process was costly and time-consuming and Yvette and Andreas were never able to adopt a Colombian child. After this disappointment, a friend suggested public adoption in Florida. The Bechrakis participated in a consultation with a local adoption agency and decided to move forward and sign up for the MAPP training class.
The adoption training "really prepares you for all the steps," says Yvette. "Everything clicked. Every question we had later on in the process was answered through the class. The frustration we felt before wasn't there."
They soon learned about a little boy who had been in foster care since he was three days old and was available for adoption. Their MAPP instructor thought the family would be a great match. They had a meeting with the agency and, within a week, Yvette and Andreas received a call to set up a meeting time with the little boy. The Bechrakis were so excited. They bought him toys and a kid's meal and played with him in the park. The next day, the agency called back, and soon he was home with them.
"This is it. This is our child," says Yvette. "I knew he was out there. I work less than three miles away from the hospital where he was born. He was under our noses the entire time."
Gio has adjusted very well. "He is attached to us," adds Yvette. He is even learning to speak Spanish and Greek along with practicing his English. The Bechrakis have already planned a trip to Greece this summer for Gio's baptism.
"It's been an amazing experience," she says.
The Bechrakis have kept their foster care license active and are thinking about adopting another child, so Gio will have a sibling while he is growing up. "The benefits are amazing," says Yvette. "He has (health) insurance, and we have a trust (fund) already in place. Everything we do is for him."