Born in Europe: Sadie Mason

Emily Hollern, Reporter

Sadie Mason, a senior at Arrowhead, was born in the European country of Latvia. She was adopted at the age of nine and moved to America. She recalls some of her childhood.


“I grew up in an orphanage in Jelgava, Latvia. I lived in my own little world. I had some close friends and I thought the orphanage was fine, but some people hated it,” says Mason. “My twin sister, Summer, was also there with me, and she got adopted by the same family, and we live together today, but unfortunately, my brother did not.”


Mason’s companions were also adopted near her. “About half the orphanage lives in Wisconsin today. We were all adopted from members of Oakwood Church who went on a mission trip to Latvia.”


Oakwood Church is located in Hartland and is part of the Evangelical Free Church of America. They still sponsor orphans in Latvia and the Congo. The orphanage the church sponsors–and the orphanage that Mason lived in–is called the Jelgava City Orphanage.


“I do miss Latvia,” says Mason. “I enjoyed the orphanage and my companions there. Everyday we had a routine: wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, go to dance classes, eat dinner, watch a show, and then go to bed.”


Her transition to America was a bit surprising, she says. “There was a lot of stuff everywhere. The layouts of roads and stores were different. There was a lot more of pretty much everything.”


Sadie and Summer moved in with a family who already had kids. “We have four brothers,” she says. “They’re boys, so naturally they’re kind of annoying, but they’re not too bad. We love them.”


Oakwood Church still has yearly mission trips to Latvia, which can be found on their website. 


However, the Jelgava City Orphanage has been receiving allegations of abuse. In 2017, experts sent seven reports of pulling hair, swearing at children, and force-feeding children over to the child protective services, according to a Latvian news website, There have been no reports after these had been filed.