“If we don't stand up for children, then we don't stand for much.”
Marian Wright Edelman
Somehow we've reached the year 2011. Some of us in FRUA recall that it was in 1991, twenty years ago, that the doors to international adoption began to swing open in Russia as the former Soviet Union ceased to exist. Can it be that long ago? Many of us now have children in college, approaching the age of twenty or even older, who we adopted in those early years. We didn't know what we didn't know.
While international adoption worldwide has slowed in recent years due both to economic and political factors, it is good to pause and consider these questions; have conditions for the children who remain in orphanage limbo improved? What of our children here? What lies ahead?
For those of us who were in the orphanages very early on, you've told us that conditions are, by and large, much better. But material things, while they improve conditions, do not replace a home and family. FRUA has always supported the tenet that the love of a family is life's greatest blessing and the first fundamental right of every child. Much of our early advocacy was focused on keeping the doors of adoption open. It still is.
For many of us, the road to become parents became the road to parenting a child with challenges. For those children given a chance at a home, a family and a future, the outcomes have been, by and large successful. But not, as many FRUA parents know, without trials and tribulations. Our second advocacy role as parents has been and continues to be, to get our children the help they need to be successful.
The extension of FRUA's role in helping parents help our children has always been to support the whole family, offering much needed hope and a supportive community for adoptive families. The role of the FRUA community, has been a major factor in our daughter's success in overcoming early challenges; and I believe our continued involvement into and through her teen years has helped make her the confident, successful college student she is today.
FRUA has not forgotten the children left behind. Just in the past year, FRUA's active Orphanage Support program have put your donations and bequests to work in orphanage projects in Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, and Kazakhstan. Help us do more in 2011 – both with orphanages and in programs for FRUA kids here. We are now set up to take stock gifts and the more funds we receive, the more we can do together. That donation envelope you got with our annual report? Don't throw it away. This year, resolve to give more – of your time and in donations -- so that FRUA can continue to provide more hope, more help and more community to those it is here to serve.
FRUA National Board of Directors