Mom's Final Adoption Is Hardest Of All

By at least two accounts, 48-year-old Diane Sadovnikov is the best mom in the world, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports in this week's Assignment America. The sources: 9-year-old Christina Sadovnikov and her 6-year-old sister, Rebekah.

"She's very forgiving," Christina says. "She doesn't make us make our beds," Rebekah adds. "Well, not all the time," Christina says.

And that's not even the half of it. As director of the Sense Resource Center, Diane has facilitated adoptions for more than 300 Ukrainian orphans, matching them all with loving American families.

Co-workers say she has a good eye for finding good adoptive parents. It's a talent she will now call on one last time, for one final adoption: her own two children.

"It's hard, but I want them taken care of as well as I can possibly arrange for it," Diane says.

She was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer last March and has been in and out of hospitals since then.

"She had cancer," Christina says. "For Thanksgiving she didn't come home." Adds Rebekah, "For Christmas she didn't come home and Easter."

"Advanced cancer of the cervix has a poor prognosis," explains Diane's oncologist, Dr. George Kemp.

The mortality rate is 90 percent, a statistic most patients simply ignore. But not this one.

"She has come to accept things in a way that is quite unusual," Kemp says.

Diane is a single mom. She has a few relatives, but she says they're all either too old or too far away to be a really good match and she isn't about to start compromising on her adoptions now.

So after a few months of searching, Diane found the quality she was looking for in a family friend, who said yes.

"The only reason I'm able to do it is because, for me, a way of showing them love is taking care of them whether I'm here or not." Diane explains.

Of course this is not to say Diana is giving up. Or anyone else.

"I get up in the morning because they're there," she says.

"I would like her as a mom for my whole life," says Christina. "Me too," Rebekah says.

Diane's doctor says if she can make in five years, she'll probably beat the cancer.

  • Melissa McNamara

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