ST. PAUL (WCCO) — For Kris and Mark Nelson, there is nothing more important than seeing a smile on their son’s Alex face.

“Alex came from Russia last year and we’ve had him for a year and now we’re going back to get a brother,” Nelson said.

However, the adoption of Alex’s brother has been slowed ever since Russia moved to ban the adoption of its children to Americans.

The frustrations for Minnesota families is shared by many around the world. On Sunday, hundreds marched in Moscow, supporting Americans who want to adopt. The pressure is increasing for the State Department to process pending adoptions before the ban takes effect next year.

A group of Minnesotans, all who have or are in the process of adopting Russian children met with Senator Amy Klobuchar.

She hopes to get pending adoptions through the pipeline before the ban takes effect.

“When you have over 600,000 orphans who are either in foster care or in orphanages, that they need a home, and that this policy was an outrage … just the thought that you would use orphans as a political football, is just plain wrong,” said Klobuchar.

Klobuchar says many of these parents have opened their hearts to the children they met in Russian orphanages and it’s only fair they get through the process to make their families complete.

For Kris and Mark, it’s not about them, it’s about Alex.

“For Mark and I, we had another son. It doesn’t mean as much to us as Alex having a brother,” said Kris.

“Alex is looking forward to getting his brother but right now it’s not going to happen. We’re trying to do something about it,” said Mark.

Klobuchar will deliver letters to the Russian government written by Russian children who have been adopted by Americans — asking them to reconsider.

Minnesota has the highest rate of international adoption in the country. Klobuchar hopes to continue that trend by completing these pending adoptions.

Reg Chapman