This story is a part of a series we are publishing called “Habitat Family Stories”. They’re the stories of our partner families from all walks of life in varying stages of their journey. Many of them have been in their Habitat homes for close to a decade. Get to know the families we work alongside by checking the “family story” tag

Ekaterina and Alexandr are from Moldova, Russia; a quiet, rural area known for grape farms and wine making.  They met while teenagers and later married and had 2 sons, Max, 4 and Michael, 3. Ekaterina was in college studying to become a doctor and Alex was a construction worker in their home town. They had a modest life in Moldova living in a small apartment and although they had a simple but decent life they knew that they wouldn’t have the same opportunities for personal growth as the US provides. They decided to follow in the footsteps of Ekaterina’s mother & father along with her 3 brothers and 5 sisters who were already residing in the U.S. She only has one sister left residing in Russia.

Ekaterina and Alexandr originally moved to Ohio when they first came to the US and later they moved to Washington. They fell in love with Seattle and the abundance of outdoor activities like going to parks, swimming and jet skiing. They became involved in a local Russian Church in Auburn and Ekaterina serves as a care giver at the nursery. “There is a great sense of belonging to the community. We began to feel more attached to Seattle and its people,” Ekaterina told us. That sense of community grew as Ekaterina and Alexandr began the process of becoming homeowners. “Our children feel more secure when the house is not owned by someone else. We are not worried that our children will be suddenly forced to change schools. We can get to know our neighbors and we feel safe.”

After 500 hours of sweat equity, working on construction sites and taking educational classes, Ekaterina and Alexandr closed the deal on a home of their own, to give their children more space to grow and play. “The time we spent building our own home increased our sense of pride… Additionally, we learned basic building and home maintenance skills that reduces the amount of paid labor needed for a house, which in turn helps reduce cost…We are fortunate to be a part of the Habitat for Humanity opportunity and we are appreciative of everyone’s time assisting us to make our dream real.”