2004 Update from Tom and Terry Tuszynski
Foundation for Russian Orphans

Dear Friends,

As the New Year unfolds, we are, once again, grateful for all you have helped us accomplish for the children and for the orphanage since 1999.

Since our last update, we have made four trips to the orphanage and have helped to place ten children successfully in homes here in the US.

We continue to focus our time, energy, and resources on helping the orphanage and the children directly with personal visits that bring your donations directly to the hands that need it most.

As a quick reminder of all we have accomplished togther, I'm providing you with a few excerpts from our last newsletter! What a difference your donations have made for the children - thank you once again.

All the best for 2004!

Tom & Terry Tuszynski


September 2002

Dear Friends,

It's time again to share with you the amazing things that you have helped us accomplish at our orphanage. We have had a wonderful year and our relationship at the orphanage is even stronger.

While our recent printed letter included many trip photos, I am particularly drawn to these images of Sergei and include them here - these photos were taken just three years apart. They are a most striking and vivid reminder that we are ALL making a difference for these children.

   

Since our last newsletter we have traveled to the orphanage four times. In February 2001 we took our 6 year old son, Zeke with us. It was his first trip to Russia. We felt that he was finally old enough to go along and see for himself just what Mom and Dad are "doing over there"! After the trauma of being immunized he was READY! When we arrived the children were sooo... excited to see him. They followed him everywhere. He became part of the "pack" instantly, playing, dancing, drawing and eating with the children. They loved listening to him talk. Something he is quite good at! They were amazed that he knew all their names. It was a special time for all of us.

While we were there we talked to the orphanage directors about the upcoming adoptions. They were very happy that the children were to be adopted by families that had traveled to the orphanage with us on some of our trips. We talked of plans for remodeling the main building. They had a detailed list of work to be done as well as estimated costs for the project. The list included everything ... a new roof, new floors, ceilings, walls, lighting and heat. We reviewed it and gave them the thumbs up to proceed.

Following many months of hard work by Cradle of Hope Adoption and some pretty awesome families, six children have been adopted! In August of 2001 the first two children, a brother and sister, came home. Since then four more children have been adopted by families here in the Pacific NW. They are adjusting well both in school and with their new families. Tom and I had a reunion for all the children and their families. It was an incredible experience to see them running around our house, playing with Zeke's toys and dangling from his jungle gym. I had to keep pinching myself. Yes, it is REALLY happening! My dream has come true!

There are currently more children, at our orphanage that are ready to be adopted. We just need to find them families! If you feel a tug at your heart please contact us and we will tell you more. Our mailing address is:

Tom and Terry Tuszynski
Foundation for Russian Orphans
4128 1/2 California Avenue SW #101
Seattle, WA 98116

We visited the orphanage again for a week in November of 2001.On this trip we took our now, 7 year old son and my parents with us. Zeke was very excited to see his 53 "brothers and sisters" again. He brought Nerf guns for the boys and Barbie doll clothes for the girls. My mom brought 53 hand crocheted blankets that she had made for the children's beds. And my Dad, well he was a hugging machine! It has been proven that one man CAN hug 53 children......AT THE SAME TIME!

When we arrived 4 of our children had been adopted and there were already a few new faces to take their place. They ripped out ceilings, walls and flooring. Everything had been replaced. The 5 bedrooms were finished and all were painted cheerful colors. There were new lace curtains (which the children had made in sewing class) hanging in all the rooms. The original old doors were removed, walls re-framed and new doors stood in their place. The 100 year old stairway was beautifully redone. My mom placed her colorful blankets on the children's beds, we bought more food and also spent time getting new parts and tires for the orphanage bus. We talked with the directors about hiring an English Language teacher, and a Woodshop teacher for the school. They were excited about this and actually know local people who would be suitable for both positions

What do we say about the future? There are several issues;

First, the children left behind. There is an urgency about them now. A new look in their eyes that plead...."find me a family, don't forget me". Tom and I saw it very clearly on our last trip. We have been contemplating this difficult issue for some time. We realize that for many reasons several of the children will not be adopted. Many of these children have no family who can be a resource to them when they leave the orphanage. A lot of them have brothers and sisters in our orphanage as well as other orphanages. A few have psychologic disorders requiring medications. The last group will be easily placed into centers that care for young people with these disorders. So it is the larger percentage of children that are left without a place to go.

We are excited to tell you that we recently met a Russian couple who plan to build a center for young people. This center would be perfect for some of our older children. They could live, study, work, marry and raise a family of their own there. They will have the support of a community, a community that will be their family. This is essential to their survival. We learned about this couple (Alexander and Olga) from our friend and translator, Volodea. He has known them for many years. We have visited them now on three occasions and after many conversations realize that their dream and ours is the same. This summer they sponsored a camp for the older children. It was a huge success and they have already selected five of our children to come to their community next year. These children would otherwise be on the street when they "graduated". (See letter from Katya Guskova at end. She is to be one of the first children to live in this center. At the time her letter was written she did not know of our plans to have her join this community). On our last trip in August of 2002, Tom and I committed to help Alexander and Olga build this center. Our timely meeting of this amazing couple once again reminds us that God is watching over this little group of children.

The second pressing issue is to find more families to adopt the 10 children that are ready. Keep in mind that once a family is chosen it can take a year to do the paperwork and get them home. Spread the word for us to friends and family. YOU may know just the right family and we need your help!

We are also thinking about bringing a couple of the older children to the United States on student Visa's. There are two boys who show incredible artistic talent. We are doing some research to find out if we could bring them here for more training. If we are successful we would like to find a few people to help us sponsor them. Again these are kids who have not lived in a family so even this experience would be incredibly valuable. They would live with a family, study art and English and WOW think of the possibilities. I will keep you updated on this.

And lastly, the directors have put together a list of other projects they would like to get started on. They are currently getting estimates for us on the work that needs to be done.

As we come to a close we would like to share with you a letter Tom received from Katya Guskova, a 16 year old girl at our orphanage.

Hello Tom,
This is Katya Guskova. Thank you for everything you did for us. If it weren't for you our life would be very bad. Because of you all children in our orphanage have real smiles on their faces. This is my last year at school and I will sure miss you very much. Only because of you it was easier for me to go through my difficult times. I will miss my friends in America very, very much and I don't want to loose connection with them. Tom a special thank you to that you did not leave us behind when we had hard times. I will miss you very much because it may happen that we will not see each other again. Tom please tell Zeke that I love him very much and that I will never forget him and that he is always in my heart. God bless you.

This letter please fly, fly directly to Tom's hands and if he is asleep please awake him to read it!

From Katya.

The coming year promises to be filled with more new adventures and changes for our children and their caretakers. Words cannot express our gratitude for your generosity, letters of support and caring. We hope that you feel a great sense of pride when you look at these photos because without you none of this could have been accomplished.

From the depths of our hearts we thank you,

Terry and Tom Tuszynski

Foundation for Russian Orphans
4128 1/2 California Avenue SW #101
Seattle WA 98116
www.russianorphans.org

CONTACT US

Terry and Tom Tuszynski
Foundation for Russian Orphans

4128 1/2 California Avenue SW #101
Seattle, WA 98116

Russianorphans@aol.com


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