Sasha’s story on exhibit at Vail Library |

Sasha’s story on exhibit at Vail Library

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VAIL – You can rarely pick your family, but your family can pick you.

That’s Sasha Gordon’s story. His mom and dad got married and now they have a child – him.

He was born in 2003 in Russia and adopted when he was 17 months old by Tracy and Mark Gordon.

“He loves that he was born in Russia,” Tracy said.

Sasha is 9 years old and his story is just beginning. He and Tracy are telling their story in an art exhibit at the Vail Public Library. The opening reception is this afternoon.

“As he gets older he gets more questions,” Tracy said.

And other kids sometimes ask him questions or say things that tend toward the unpleasant. A little girl said of Tracy, “She’s not your real mom.” It hurt his feelings and he decided the girl was just a bully and wrong, but it also set him wondering.

So the Gordon family sat down and started a family art project – about their family. That’s the artwork in their combination exhibit and birthday celebration.

They started with some definitions: family, parent, love, son, adopt, and Russia. The Gordon family is a family no matter how you define it.

“He has concluded that I am his real mother,” Tracy said.

The beginning of a book

In the Gordon family, mother and son both have January birthdays, so today’s reception will prominently feature birthday cake.

Tracy is a local artist who had a slot for one of the Vail library’s rotating art shows. The Gordon family decided this show would tell Sasha’s story – which is their family story as well.

The show’s 13 panels appear to be panels for a children’s book, which they are. They follow Sasha through his young life starting with papa and mama meeting, deciding to start a family, and going to Russia, where they meet Sasha.

There’s a family tree that includes six grandparents, eight uncles, nine aunts, and more than 60 cousins. It’s a huge tree.

Finally, there’s a family portrait that includes Cato the dog, snowflakes and a tornado.

“The point is that he has a family, that his family loves him and he loves his family,” Tracy said. “Every family has a story. This is just the beginning of ours.”

Their story is still writing itself.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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