Their Three Sons

Five years after they married, the Massis began to build their family

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Larry Fink for TIME

Five years after they married, the Massis began to build their family:

Ilia

After his mother's death, Ilia spent seven months in a Kaliningrad orphanage before being matched with the Massis. When they arrived to pick him up in 2002, Ilia proudly told them — in Russian — "I waited for you, and I did not cry."

Shain

When Ray and Marianne met him in 2000 at an orphanage in the Yaroslavl region of Russia, Shain "beelined" into his new father's arms. While in Russia, Shain obsessively packed and repacked a suitcase of new clothes he got before heading to his new home in New Jersey.

Roman

Just two months after his 2004 arrival in the U.S., Roman's first adoptive parents turned him over to the Massis, whom they had met through mutual acquaintances. Shain and Ilia immediately wanted to know, "Mom, can we keep him?" Roman's adoption was finalized in court six months later.