From New Hampshire To Russia: One Student’s Journey To Self Discovery

By:Olivia Werenski ’17/ Champlain College News

What if your whole life, you knew something about you was different. A part of you, what you are made of, was missing?

603697_465002980302203_158121736636943518_n Growing up in Bedford, New Hampshire, David Schunk, a sophomore at Champlain College, knew he was adopted, but never thought about diving into his real story, until his senior year.  Although he loved his family dearly, the curious and inquisitive side of him always seemed to wonder what it would be like to know his biological family.

Last summer, Schunk decided to take his future into his own hands and start the journey to discovering his biological parents.  “I never was interested in finding them, until one day at school someone asked me if I had any family over in Russia.  I thought about it for a while and realized that I probably do.  And if I ever had a child that I relinquished, I would want know where it is and how he/she is doing”. As countless other adopted children know, the internal struggle of wanting to know or meet birth parents is always present once you b1800317_422589374543564_2004783309_necome older.

“I always had the piece of paper with the names of my biological parents on them.  So I contacted a team in Russia who does birth searches and got my results in as little as 2-3 weeks.  It was fairly simple.” When Schunk saw pictures of his birth mother for the first time, he explains how speechless he was.   “I stared at the photo for countless minutes not moving, not showing any emotion.  I didn’t know what to think.”

It was a powerful experience and one that he will remember for the rest of his life “There were times I was upset, because I was unable to find my biological father.  Of course when I was taking the Concepts of the Self course, I couldn’t have a better story”.

“However, I am happy to report that in December, the DAY of winter break, my biological father came out if the blue and began talking to me.  From that moment on, I felt peace.  I successfully found over 30 family members (by myself) in Russia, Lithuania, and the Ukraine.”

Schunk said that this summer he plans to visit Russia for the first time and 1269779_356352031167299_1991013720_omeet his birth family face to face.

Schunk excels in his field of Computer Networking and Cybersecurity, which has lead him to exceptional opportunities.  People who have been in a class with or worked with  Schunk knows that he is a hard worker and extremely dedicated to furthering his career.

He has been recently nominated for excellence in CORE, and has also obtained a full time job this summer as a junior IT administrator for SunGard Data Systems in Wayne, PA. Because of his interests in the adoption process after his experience, Schunk also has a seat on the Board of Directors for a non profit group titled Adopted For Good, based out of Loveland, CO, but conducted globally. With this, he meets with other board members from across the globe to conduct business and brainstorm ideas to help adoptees and their loved ones.

His passion and dedication to helping kids in similar situations proves that Schunk wants to make a difference and help people around him. Truly someone to admire.