Guest post from another adoptive mom

January 5th, 2013

Last summer, I met a mom who had recently adopted Lina, a little girl with Down syndrome, from Russia.  

Yesterday, Amy asked me for the opportunity to tell us how we can help the children trapped inside one Russian mental institution.  

In Amy’s own words…

 

 

Everyone has been in a frenzy since Putin signed the ban on US adoptions last week, wondering how we will ever reach the sweet children who are suffering due to this new law. While we wait for politicians and foreign governments to hash things out, there is still a way we can reach some of these children…children who are in the most need. Children who are locked away in psycho-neurological institutions…mental institutions. Children who have no hope of escaping this way of life unless they are adopted. And the only families interested and able to adopt these children with special needs were here in the US.

Our Lina had been living in one of these institutions for over a year when we got to her, and part of my heart will always remain there in Russia with the ones we left behind.

 

There is an absolutely amazing volunteer organization, Russian Orphan Opportunity Fund, based here in the states that works in Lina’s former institution, Belskoye-Ustye.

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ROOF first entered the institution in 2000 and found it to be an absolute nightmare. Lack of running water, holes in the ground for toilets, “bath houses” so scary that the volunteers opted to bathe down in the river instead… odors so strong it brought tears to their eyes when they entered the building.

When we arrived at Belskoye-Ustye in November 2011, we found nothing of the sort. The facility was very clean- there were no odors whatsoever, the children passing by in the halls appeared happy and nourished, and Lina was even eating an apple two of the three days we came to visit on our first trip. We found lovely children’s furnishings both in Lina’s groupa as well as the psychologist’s office where we spent our time with Lina.

 

ROOF began running a summer camp during the month of July, and this past year they have been able to increase the frequency of sending volunteers to work with the children. This is the only exposure to educational opportunities these children get. ROOF is now working on new programs for the older children ready to age out in hopes of saving them from transfer to an adult mental institution which is a death sentence. ROOF has already spared a few from this fate. They have also been able to expand to a few places in Moscow.

 

So how can WE help? There is a second psycho-neurological institution in Pskov, one that is still the hell hole that Belskoye-Ustye used to be. I urge you to read Tesney’s account of visiting this place when they were in the process of adopting Kirill. He was the first child adopted from this institution, and I fear he may be the last if this ban holds firm. There are several children listed on Reece’s Rainbow who are currently fighting for their life behind these walls.

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If ROOF can reach their goal of raising their monthly funding base (made up of loads of small donors who give $25/month) to total $5000, they promised to find a way to expand to this second institution.

This institution has haunted my dreams these past few nights…. Mike and I signed up to donate our $25/month back when we first learned of ROOF, before we had even traveled to meet Lina but learned she was living at BU. We needed to help her anyway we could before we were able to get to her ourselves, and our donations continue to serve the ones left behind.

You can sign up HERE to either donate monthly or give a one time donation. They currently have $1,473 coming in each month through recurring donations, and in order to reach their $5,000 goal they need 141 more people to donate just $25 monthly. I beg you to please consider helping these children who have no other hope. Although the Russian government closed the doors to US adoptions, we need to be able to help the children behind those doors. This ban does not affect ROOF’s ability to work there.

These children have committed no crime and should not have to be punished for being born with a disability. Please. Help.

 

 

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7 Responses to “Guest post from another adoptive mom”

  1. Abbie C. says:

    Hey, I keep getting some kind of weird Adobe Reader page in Portuguese when I try to get to your blog. Eventually I got here, but it took a couple of tries…

  2. Amy says:

    I had the same error but after I refreshed it was ok. Thank you SO much for spreading the word, Susanna! The donations are trickling in and we are so grateful for each one. My prayers remain with you for healing and for getting Tommy home safely!

  3. Laura says:

    What about Canadian families? Does Russia still allow Canadian adoptions? As there would also be interested families in Canada. If I’m in the position to adopt someday, I’ve considered Reece’s Rainbow children.

  4. Amy says:

    Yes! Canadian families can adopt from Russia! :) Here is Reece’s Rainbow’s info on adopting from Canada: http://reecesrainbow.org/new-family/adopting-from-canada

  5. Abbie C. says:

    I don’t know, I was afraid it was a bug on the website or something. It took a lot more tries today to get the website to come up and I was afraid maybe some hacker had installed something to harm computers. I don’t know – I guess Adobe Reader in Portuguese wouldn’t be bad, just strange…

  6. Beth says:

    Yes, I think there is some sort of malware/virus on your blog.  When one first clicks it, a message pops up saying something like “In order to view tis site, you need to install Adobe Flash Player,” but it says it in another language.  Then there is a link provided, but it clearly is a fake link.  Please everybody, do NOT click the link.
     
    If I just close the tab/window with that message, then your blog loads fine.
     
    Beth in MN
     

  7. Carey says:

    I LOVE that sweet Lina’s Mom guested.  I shared her SOOOOO many times on facebook!  She is a gem and she looks like my mom did as a child.  I will have to donate to ROOF!  WHO wouldn’t?  Seriously?

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