Thursday, April 29, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
With only one keynote speaker kept away by the volcano, the conference went on! We had 85 Adoptive/Foster couples in attendance, from 16 regions of Ukraine, representing nearly 300 adopted or foster children!!!
Early this fall I approached the Radisson Hotel in Kiev to partner with our event and provide accommodations, conference halls and some meals for our participants. They went above our expectations and provided us with almost a 75% discount on accommodations. We were able to find various sponsors to provide the neededfunding, so conference participants only had to pay a small fee. It truly was a team effort to put this event on and it was amazing to see so many Christian organizations coming together to support something that was so needed.
Currently very few resources exist in the Russian language to help families parent children who have come out of trauma or abusive or institutional settings, and since the church as a whole has become more active in adoption and foster care, it has become clear that more training is needed.This was one of the motivating factors to provide this conference.The couples in attendance were able to choose from a wide variety of workshops and then also attended 5 general sessions. We recently translated and published 3 books on
Many of these families came in from villages and remote regions of Ukraine, and had never been to Kiev before, let alone a 4 star business hotel!! We were amazed by Radisson’s hospitality and I even had several women come up to me throughout the weekend and tell me that they were living out their fairy tale.
Some of these families are parenting up to 10-12 children, so as you can imagine the weekend getaway for these couples was a much-needed time of rest and time to reconnect for them. I’ve never seen so many smiling Ukrainians all at once!! :)
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Many of you I'm sure have seen the recent news about the American woman who put her 7-year-old (recently adopted) Russian son, back on an airplane to Moscow, with a note attached for him to be delivered to the ministry of education. If you want the NY times version of the story you can click here
Being that I work in the sphere of orphan ministry and have helped with numerous adoptions over the years, people have been asking for my opinion on this whole situation.
After hearing the adoption community buzz and all of the expressed outrage against this 'unfit' mother, I have to say that there has been one huge oversight on the real issue at hand...an issue that is not receiving media attention.
First off, do I think that it was wrong to just send this little boy back to
What is clear to me is that this woman was in a crisis situation and she reacted in fear to a child that she was ill-equipped to parent. In the best case scenario she should have turned to local social agencies for help instead of sending the boy back to
However, this is where the story has stopped in it's media coverage. I think the bigger question is why did the child act out in the way he did to begin with? Where did his bizarre and violent behavior come from?
And why are we not even more concerned about what is happening inside the walls of those orphanages? What is happening that is causing a child to act out in the way he did when he was placed in a family? What has childhood trauma and institutionalization done to rob these youth of their innocence? To me these are the biggest evils that this story exposes. It’s about sooo much more than one woman and one boy.
The NY Times article quotes that there have been 14 reported deaths of Russian children in
This isn't a 'Russian children being murdered in American homes problem.' It's a lot bigger then that. What is clearer to me more then ever is that families who adopt need more education and training about what it means to parent traumatized and abused children (the vast majority of children adopted in
I’m just asking the questions….and praying about how I can best be used as part of the solution.