Russia's ban on U.S. adoptions signed into law

It is still unclear what will happen with adoptions that were already under way. Please pray for these families and for the children who are anticipating finding their forever families. 
Big Family Mission has always encouraged adoption of Russian orphans by families in America, in Russia, and in other countries; however, we are not directly involved with adoptions.
Big Family partners with Russian churches and ministries which help orphans who have little chance of being adopted. We are involved with helping children, and not politics, so we anticipate that the new law will not impact our work in Russia.
Please continue to pray for orphans around the world!
Here's a link to the latest news story about the ban on adoptions .

A Russian family who has adopted four children from orphanages

Putin says he will sign ban on adoption of Russian orphans in USA

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has announced that he will sign legislation banning the adoption of Russian orphans in the United States.  The impact on adoptions now in progress is unclear at this point.

You can read the complete news story here.

Russia's parliament gives final approval to ban on U.S. adoption of orphans; bill goes to Putin

The upper house of the Russian parliament has unanimously approved a ban on adoptions to the United States earlier today.  Now, the bill goes to President Putin for his signature.
The ban was added last week to a broader bill retaliating for human rights sanctions signed by President Obama earlier this month. Putin has expressed support for the broader bill, which reciprocates the sanctions, but he has dodged questions about the adoption ban.
At stake are the cases of 46 Russian children whose adoptions would be frozen if the bill becomes law, according to Russia’s children’s ombudsman Pavel Astakhav. He said those children would receive priority to be adopted by Russian families.
The proposed ban has split Russian society. Outside the parliament at least seven people were detained while protesting the bill, according to RIA Novosti. Human rights advocates have urged Russian authorities not to move forward with the ban, saying it denies Russian orphans a home with a family.
Several top officials, including Russia’s foreign minister and education minister have come out against the ban. A memo from another top official suggested its passage would cause Russia to breach several international treaties, including a recently enacted adoption agreement between the United States and Russia.
Others, like Astakhav, have supported the measure, saying that Russian children should remain in Russia.
A recent poll by the Public Opinion Foundation found a majority of Russians supported the ban, while a quarter opposed it and another quarter expressed no opinion.
For complete news story from the New York Times, click here.

Big Family Mission encourages Russian and American families to adopt orphans

Russian parliament approves ban on adoption of orphans by U.S. citizens

Russia's lower house of parliament (the State Duma) has voted to approve the controversial ban of adoptions in the third and final reading despite strong opposition from the public, activists, mass media and state officials.
420 of 450 Lower House members voted in favor of the Dima Yakovlev bill and seven voted against with one abstention.
Protesters have picketed the State Duma office, and press and social networks continue to grill the members of parliament as the bill was discussed.
The bill now goes to the upper house (senate) of parliament, where it is expected to be voted on December 26.
Click here for a complete news story.

Urgent prayer request: will Russia ban adoptions by citizens of the United States?

This urgent prayer request was sent to us today by a Russian pastor, whose church has a ministry to orphans.  If nothing changes, the Russian Duma (parliament) will have a final vote on Friday for legislation that would ban U.S. citizens from adopting Russian orphans.  The legislation would also impact Russian orphan ministry organizations that receive aid and assistance from the United States.  If passed on Friday (21 December 2012), the bill then goes to the Senate, and if passed there, on to Putin for his signature to become law.

Please read and pray for the orphans of Russia!

“A few days ago the Russian Duma has decided to react toward Magnitskiy Bill that U.S. Congress has signed. To read more about the bill you can check out the link below this post.

"The most absurd way the Russian government could have reacted to the bill is to punish orphans by proposing a ban for American citizens to adopt Russian children. The proposed bill has to be voted three different times by the Duma first, before it would go into the Senate & then signed by the president so that it goes into effect. The first two votes have already happened. The second one had some opposition by some of the country officials, but not enough to kill the bill. On Friday it will be voted for the 3rd time & if it is in favor then it will automatically go to the Senate. Then it is up to the president Putin. If he agrees with the bill & decides to sign it then it will go into effect on January 1, 2013; thus no more adoptions will happen by American citizens & any current adoptions could be nulled. By the way please note this bill will not ban all foreign adoptions, but only adoptions for American citizens.

"At the moment everything is up in the air & it is difficult to say, which way the things are going to go. It greatly saddens me that orphan children once again become the victims of dirty politics. You might read in the future that this bill was signed due to no control over adoptive families & failed adoption cases, which is a lie. The Russian government will also forbid as part of this bill any Russian nationals holding the U.S. passport & involved in the local NGOs that support politics & receive funding from abroad - meaning the United States. Thus, again it is a proof that this bill has to do anti America & not orphans or American people adopting Russian orphans. It was never about the children.

"There is a lot of uncertainty & could have severe effects on many families & most of all on the children who will never be adopted especially children with some disability because hardly any Russian people will ever consider adopting a child that has a disability. It breaks my heart deeply.

"Will you commit to pray for this & ask the Lord to intervene in this insanity.

"I can see how Russia is going back to the old Soviet controlling life in a slow & settle way. The rights are either being limited or taken away.

"Thank you all for your prayers and support of the work done in the Lord’s harvest of souls here in Russia.

"On behalf of all, who cannot stay indifferent."

Visit a Russian orphanage with volunteer Tanya

     What do the children enjoy most when a volunteer from the New Generation Church visits their orphanage?  It’s the time, attention, and love of an adult who comes to visit!
Alexandra, a shy girl, tries the hoop
     Simple things like jumping rope, hula hooping, and demonstrating gymnastic skills become a precious afternoon outside the drab orphanage walls, when you have a loving adult to share them with you.
    Tanya learned the girls’ ambitions during her visit:  Nastya dreams to be a doctor, Veronika wants to be a police investigator, and Alexandra would like to be a veterinarian.
     We did not learn little Pasha’s vocational goal, but he was certainly a happy little boy when he won the prize of a golden medal made from chocolate!
     Veronika sang a song for Tanya:  “Your smile brings light to the people….”
     As Tanya departs, the children plead for her to return soon.  And, they ask:  Can Tanya please bring children’s books, puzzles, and games when she returns?
     Tanya’s visit and similar visits to other Russian orphanages are made possible through your partnership with Big Family Mission.  Thank you and God bless you for your prayers and financial support!
     Learn how you can get involved with Big Family's ministry to Russian orphans:  learn more here.
Pasha wins the prize!
Veronika enjoys gymnastics!

Volunteer Tanya with the girls
The girls who dream!
Nastya learns to jump rope!

Christian Alliance Webinar: Starting an orphan and adoption ministry in your church

If you are interested in starting an orphan and adoption ministry in your church, the Christian Alliance for Orphans has announced a webinar that you will want to check out.
Scheduled for Wednesday, November 28, at 2:00 p.m., presenters are Johnny Carr, Bethany Christian Service, and Randy Blincow, North Way Christian Community.
Each 60-minute webinar in this series will give local advocates access to the knowledge and experience of top Alliance member churches and organizations nationwide, covering key topics on adoption, foster care and/or global orphan care.  
Every webinar will be hosted by a local church orphan ministry and co-presented by one or more national experts on the subject matter.  This pairing will deliver a combination of specialist information and resources alongside a “here’s how it works in a real church” perspective.


Don't let these nine children from Latvia and Ukraine be left behind!
Deadline for hosting an orphan through Open Hearts and Homes for Children is this Sunday.
Don't delay: please call one of the volunteers listed on Open Hearts and Homes website today! More information on OHHC website: .
Eight children from Ukraine and one from Latvia are still waiting for the journey of their lifetime: spending 
3 to 4 weeks in a Christian home in the United States.
Meet the children who are still waiting:

Top row (left to right): Valeria, "hard-working and responsible"; Sergey, "good student and humble"; Yuriy, "pleasant, open personality", now age 15 and his last chance to find a forever family in USA;
Middle row (left to right): Vitaliy, "calm, patient, shy"; Oleg, "shy and thoughtful", both parents deceased; Vladislav, "very polite and attentive";
Bottom row (left to right): Alens, "quite and polite" 6th grader (from Latvia); Olga, "very thoughtful, would love to come to America"; and Vyacheslav, "polite and respectful 5th grader".

Contact the volunteer for your area today!

Are you ready... is your church ready for Orphan Sunday, November 4, 2012?

Orphans will be remembered around the world in special church and prayer services on Sunday, November 4.
On Orphan Sunday, Christians around the world stand for the orphan. We are a people called to defend the fatherless…to care for the child that has no family…to visit orphans in their distress.
Each event is locally-led. Sermons and small groups, concerts and prayer gatherings, shared meals and youth activities—each rousing believers with God’s call to care for the orphan, and what we can do in response.
From many sources, one voice. On November 4, 2012, thousands of events echo across America and around the globe, all sharing a single goal: that God’s great love for the orphan will find echo in our lives as well.
Orphan Sunday is your opportunity to rouse church, community and friends to God’s call to care for the orphan.
You will find a wealth of materials on the website of the Christian Alliance for Orphans.  Here's a direct link to the Orphan Sunday resources page: . 

Big Family Mission helps churches in Belarus minister to older orphans.  Learn more and get involved!

Christian families: host an orphan from Latvia or Ukraine at Christmas 2012

  Children from Latvia and Ukraine have now been selected for the Christmas 2012 hosting programs!
   What is Big Family Mission’s reason for being?  In simple terms: To bring orphans into families:  on earth or in heaven… but ideally on earth and in heaven. 
   One very effective way to bring orphans into families:  hosting programs.
   Christian hosting programs are helping hundreds of orphans and children at risk find their forever families in the USA.  The typical hosting program brings orphans from Eastern Europe (and other countries) to the U.S. to live with Christian families for 4 to 5 weeks.  The programs we partner with have two hosting adventures each year: one in the summer and one at Christmas.
   The hosting programs are not adoption programs, but many of the children who come to the U.S. are eventually adopted, sometimes by the family who hosted them, but often by other families they have met during their visit.
   Big Family Mission started the “northeastern branch” of the New Horizons for Children orphan hosting program in the summer of 2007.  We (Dianne and Ken) will never forget the conversation we had with LeAnn Dakake (director of NHFC) about the feasibility of the northeastern U.S. program.  LeAnn told us that we would need to find families to host at least 6 children to proceed with the program.  At first, it seemed impossible, but God blessed us with 22 children from Russia and Latvia hosted that first summer.
   We were also blessed that first summer when God introduced us to John and Ann Devine who were much more experienced with hosting and adoption than we were.  The Devine family accepted the leadership role for the 2007 Christmas program in the northeast, and under their faithful service, the program has resulted in hundreds of orphans being brought into families.  The Devine family and other families in the northeast established a new hosting program for the summer of 2011: Open Hearts and Homes for Children.
   Big Family Mission continues to partner with New Horizons and Open Hearts and Homes to help find families who are interested in hosting children.  NHFC now offers hosting programs in most areas of the U.S., and OHHC focuses on hosting in the northeast and Atlantic coast states.
   Children from Latvia and Ukraine are now available for the Christmas 2012 programs!   If you know of anyone who might be interested in adopting an older orphan or hosting a child for Christmas 2012, you can let your interest be known by registering on the websites of Open Hearts and Homes and New Horizons for children.
   If you are not able to host, there are other ways you can help:

  • Provide a scholarship to help another family with the expense of hosting a child; or
  • Spread the word about hosting in your church; or
  • Consider starting a hosting program in your area.
   Learn more about hosting programs here:

Open Hearts and Homes for Children: .

New Horizons for Children: .

Informative article on citizenship for children adopted from outside the USA

For many years, families in the United States have been adopting children born in other countries. But some of these children, who grow up as Americans, in the safety and love of their parents' homes, are not, in fact, U.S. citizens. And when this is the case, the ramifications can be profound.
If you have are in the process of adopting or thinking about adopting a child from outside the United States, read this informative article from Adoptive Families on citizenship for such children.

Consider helping to rescue a child who will never have a chance to be adopted.

Helping orphans escape poverty through microfinance, webinar available online now

This month’s church orphan ministry webinar from Christian Alliance for Orphans, titled “Microfinance and Orphan Care,” is now available online. 
You can read the overview description below.  Access the "Microfinance and Orphan Care" webinar by clicking here.  You can access other past webinars on the Alliance webinar page. "Most orphans know poverty intimately. It is a primary reason children become orphans in the first place, and often impacts orphans deeply through their childhood and beyond. So addressing poverty directly is a vital facet of caring for the orphan—from helping struggling families stay together, to providing a livelihood for orphans as they enter adulthood. 
"There may be no tool more important in these efforts than microfinance, which is widely recognized as one of the most significant ways to help the entrepreneurial poor overcome poverty. 
"On this webinar, learn about the key elements of microfinance and how those serving orphans can work to unite orphan care and economic development to address the global orphan crisis head on."
Click here for the webinar, "Microfinance and Orphan Care".

Help orphans in Russia who will never have the opportunity to be adopted.  Click here.

The orphan count that really counts: 5 billion

As time passes, I become increasingly aware that the real number of orphans in the world is about 5 billion.
That's the current number of men and women on planet earth who have not accepted God's plan for adoption.
There are about 7 billion people living on our planet.  It's estimated that about 2 billion of us have said "yes" to God and His plan to adopt us as sons and daughters, and make us joint heirs with His dear son Jesus.
God has made His "family plan" so simple... and the world has made it so complicated.
From the time of God's earliest communication with mankind, God made it very clear:  "Today, I set before you life and death.  Choose life!"
Why have 5 billion current inhabitants of planet earth not yet chosen life?  Why would they prefer "death"?  The reason hasn't changed over the years:  because they believe they know more than God and don't wish to be a part of His eternal family.
God is still issuing His call to be adopted, to a part of His family, daily.  Let us pray that the eyes of 5 billion children will be opened, and that they will accept the invitation to come into God's big family!

Many of the orphans we minister to in Russia have come into God's family!

Lessons from orphan care: God calls us to do very big things in very small ways

Excerpted from the "Six Things Orphan Care Has Taught Me" blog of Jason Johnson, lead pastor of Woodlands Point Community Church, Woodlands, TX.:

"Fostering and adopting abused, neglected, marginalized and orphaned children is a big deal, but it expresses itself primarily through very small, very menial, very hidden tasks that go largely unnoticed. We are daily stopped by people and asked about our foster baby, and we count it a privilege to share with them God’s big heart for the fatherless, His big plan of fully adopting us through Jesus and our big commitment to do the same for orphans. But that’s not the end of the story. The rude realities of orphan care find themselves up for a 3 a.m. feeding, changing a diaper for what seems to be the 100th time that day, on the phone with case-workers, lawyers, doctors and government departmental offices, filling out stacks of paperwork, sitting through court hearings and driving across the city for parent visits.
"Yes, orphan care is a big deal, but its grandness is not measured by the public fame it produces but by the private faithfulness it requires…when no one is around to see, and no one cares. The only way we will make a big difference in this child’s life is if we do the small things she needs us to do for her with eagerness, willingness and joy – whether anyone is around to see it or not."

Big Family Mission ministers to Russian orphans who will likely never have chance to be adopted.

Fact sheet for foster families considering adoption

A fact sheet for foster parents considering adoption is available from the Child Welfare Information Gateway.  Click here to read the fact sheet on adoption from foster care.

Included in the fact sheet:
  • Differences between foster parenting and adopting
  • Advantages of foster parent adoption
  • Strategies for foster/adoptive families
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (compiled in 2011):
• Approximately 408,000 children are in foster care in the United States, and it’s estimated that 107,000 are eligible for adoption.
• In FY 2010, about 53,000 children were adopted from foster care. Of those children:
○ 53 percent were adopted by foster parents.
○ 32 percent were adopted by other relatives.
○ 15 percent were adopted by nonrelatives.
• Of the parents who adopt from foster care, 67 percent are married couples and 28 percent are single-parent families.
• Of the children in foster care:
○ 43 percent are White.
○ 25 percent are African-American.
○ 21 percent are Hispanic.

Big Family Mission helps orphans in Russia who may never have chance to be adopted.

You can advocate for adoption tax credit

Many families have benefited from the Adoption Tax Credit that allows a generous credit to be deducted directly from a family's federal (USA) taxes.  This tax credit will be greatly limited if it is not extended by December 31.  Recently, a bill to extend the credit was introduced.   Supporters can now ask their member of the House of Representatives to co-sponsor the bi-partisan H.R. 4373, known as the “Making Adoption Affordable Act.”
You can reach your Representative by calling the U.S. Capitol Operator at 202-225-3121 and asking for your Representative's office. (If you need to find your Representative’s name, go here to find it using your zip code.)
You can convey a clear message simply by expressing that you want to see the adoption tax credit extended, and one or more reasons it matters to you.  You can ask your Representative to become a co-sponsor of The Making Adoption Affordable Act, H.R. 4373.
If you want to learn more about the adoption tax credit go to

Orphan Sunday 2012 video now available

It's not too early to begin planning that very special day in November:  orphan Sunday!  November 4, 2012.
Check out this Orphan Sunday video available from the Christian Alliance for Orphans.

Big Family Mission ministers to orphans in Russia who may never have opportunity to be adopted.

Top adoption and orphan info websites: National American Council on Adoptable Children

Through advocacy, education, adoption support, and leadership development in the U.S. and Canada, NACAC helps to reform systems, alter viewpoints, and change lives. NACAC services include the following: 

  • Support parent groups and other community leaders in their efforts to advocate for waiting children and adoptive families in their communities;
  •  Host one of the most comprehensive adoption training conferences in North America, with more than 100 accredited workshops for parents and professionals;
  • Inform parents, professionals, and others about waiting children and other issues related to foster care and adoption through our quarterly newsletter Adoptalk and other publications;
  • Conduct training sessions and workshops on adoption subsidy, child welfare reform, transracial adoption, and other issues related to foster care and special needs adoption;
  • Offer leadership training to adoptive, foster, and kinship parents to help create and enhance support groups for families in their communities;
  • Create and disseminate publications that provide resources, information, and support to adoptive families and prospective adopters;
  • Provide phone consultation and materials to address parents' questions about adoption subsidies for children with special needs.
Big Family Mission helps Russian orphans who may never have the opportunity to be adopted.

Top adoption and orphan info websites: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Focusing on adoptions from the foster care system, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption  website provides several comprehensive (and free) guides to adoption.  Finding Forever Families, a Step-by-Step Guide to Adoption, is published in English and in Spanish.  There's also a separate version for Canadian adoptions.  A post-adoption guide is available in English.
You will also find information about financial assistance for adoptions.
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption describes its mission:  "We believe that we have a responsibility to be the voice of foster care adoption, so that every child finds a family. We exist to find homes for children who are waiting to be adopted from foster care in North America. In the process, we work to inform adults who may have misperceptions about foster care adoption that keep them from getting involved. Through the money we raise, we are able to provide free educational resources, promote awareness, assist policymakers and employers, and support adoption professionals and agencies throughout the United States and Canada to ensure that every child finds a forever home."
Goals:  "Every child deserves to live in a safe, loving and permanent family.  No child should linger in foster care or leave the system at age 18 without a permanent family of his or her own.  Every child is adoptable."

Big Family Mission provides love and hugs for children who will never have the opportunity to be adopted.

Top adoption & orphan info websites: U.S. State Department's website on inter-country adoption

Thinking of adopting a child from another country?  You will find an excellent guide to inter-country adoption on the U.S. State Department's Inter-Country adoption website.  The website provides up-to-date information on adoption requirements from many different countries.
Each year thousands of U.S. citizens adopt children from abroad, and many families in other countries adopt U.S. children.
Inter-country adoption is governed by both the laws of the country in which the child lives and the country in which the adoptive parents live. 
Under U.S. law, there are two distinct inter-country adoption processes: the Hague Convention process and the non-Hague Convention process. Which process you will follow will depend on whether or not the other country involved is also a party to the Hague Convention. This website guides you through and answers your questions about these processes.

Big Family Mission ministers to Russian orphans who may never have the chance to be adopted.

Top orphan & adoption info websites: Adoptive Families Magazine

Adoptive Families, the award-winning national adoption magazine, is a leading adoption information source for families before, during, and after adoption.
On the Adoptive Families website, you will find a wealth of information about adoption and may access some of the articles published in the printed version of Adoptive Families Magazine.  The website provides many links to adoption information, as well as sections about books, FAQs, groups, events, blogs, and experts on adoption.
The website also provides a listing of adoption professionals by state for those adopting in the USA.
The website gives you a "taste" of what Adoptive Families Magazine is all about.  Those who wish to learn more about adoption may wish to subscribe to the magazine.

Big Family Mission ministers to Russian orphans who may never have the chance to be adopted.

Top orphan and adoption info websites: Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption

With chapters across the US and members around the world, Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption provides  international adoption support resources for families completed through adoption in Eastern European and Central Asian countries. FRUA provides a community that nurtures children and supports parents, family and adoption education resources, and the world-class FRUA National Education Conference.

The adopted children of FRUA's families come from all former Soviet bloc countries and republics, including Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan,  Bulgaria, Belarus, Romania and many more.  FRUA believes that every child deserves a forever family and celebrates the rich heritage of our children's birth countries. Their Orphan Support efforts ensure we never forget the children left behind in those orphanages.

From it's beginnings in 1994 as a local Washington DC parent group to its growth as an international, multi-chapter support resource, FRUA continues to focus on the following goals:
* To improve the lives of children
* To strengthen families
* To share the culture and heritage of our children
* To provide peer group support for our children
* To provide peer group support for parents
* To promote a reality-based perception of our children.

This is an excellent website for those who have adopted or plan to adopt from Eastern European countries.

Big Family Mission ministers to orphans in Russia who may never have the opportunity to be adopted.

Register now for 2012 National Adoption Conference

     We recently featured the National Council for Adoption as one of our favorite websites for information about adoptions.  The 2012 National Adoption Conference is coming up very soon now:  June 13-16, in National Harbor, MD, near Washington, DC. 
     One day of the conference is set aside for prospective adoptive parents.
     Based on feedback from the 2011 conference, this year’s conference will be centered around how adoption service providers, adoptive parents, government officials, etc., can work together to get back to the Heart of the Matter - children who need families!
     The professional sessions will be child-focused and client-centered. NCFA asks all participants to lay aside self-interests, collaborate, and do whatever it takes to fix what is wrong and fight for what is right. NCFA wants this conference to be one of excellence where we provide hope-filled strategies, prepare agencies and families for success, and celebrate adoption and its core values/roots.
Prospective Adoptive Parents Day sessions are guaranteed to boost your knowledge about the adoption process, adoption options, and resources available to you both pre- and post-adoption. You will have the opportunity to get your individual questions answered by adoption experts. You will hear personal stories from adopted individuals, birthparents, and adoptive parents.  The 2012 National Adoption Conference will be held from June 13–16. Professional sessions are Wednesday-Friday, June 13-15 and Prospective Adoptive Parents Day is Saturday, June 16. All sessions will be held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center just minutes outside of Washington, DC.
For more information and to register, please visit NCFA's website

Big Family Mission ministers to Russian orphans who will never have the opportunity to be adopted.

Top orphan & adoption info websites: National Council for Adoption

     Founded in 1980, the National Council For Adoption (NCFA) is an adoption advocacy nonprofit that promotes a culture of adoption through education, research, and legislative action.
     Their areas of focus are infant adoption, adoption out of foster care, and intercountry adoption. Passionately committed to the belief that every child deserves a nurturing, permanent family, they serve children, birthparents, adoptive families, adoption agencies, U.S. and foreign governments, policymakers, media, and the general public as the authoritative voice for adoption.
     On NCFA's website, families interested in adoption will find an excellent listing of resources and information.  Families are also invited to participate in the "intercountry adoption journey", a training program developed in cooperation with the Council on Accreditation (COA) and the U.S. Department of State.
     The original Intercountry Adoption Journey 1.0 launched in February 2008 as one of the first Hague certification programs offered to parents and adoption professionals. By January 2011, NCFA had certified more than 10,000 adoptive parents and adoption professionals through its Hague-compliant online training. NCFA's Hague-compliant training has been recognized by many accredited adoption agencies, as well as by adoption authorities in several Hague and non-Hague nations.    
      Families are invited to become members of NCFA.  NCFA's Adoption Advocates have a unique opportunity to unite with a community of people who are passionate about adoption and share the belief that every child deserves a loving, permanent family. 
     NCFA members will help make a difference in the lives of thousands of children waiting to be adopted and play a key role in promoting a culture of adoption in our nation and around the world through advocacy, social networking, blogging, and sharing with others the personal impact of adoption in their lives.
     NCFA welcomes all who share in the belief that every child deserves a loving, permanent family. Our members include adopted individuals, birthparents, adoptive parents, families, social workers, students, and adoption professionals from all walks of life.

Big Family Mission ministers to children in Russia who will never have the opportunity to get adopted.

Family in Siberia adopts 4 children they had never met

Pastor Andrey and Marina (in Siberia) prayed for, loved, and adopted 3 brothers and their sister before they had ever seen the children.  Back row, from left, Nadya (adopted), Anita, Grisha, Nikita, and Timothy (3 adopted brothers).  Front row, Yura, Andrey, Marina, Pastor Andrey, and Alina.

Please read this wonderful and encouraging testimony, an excerpt from our Big Family Mission newsletter for May:

•           Three brothers and their sister, ages 3 to 8, living in different orphanages in western Siberia, miles from their hometown; 
•           Their mom and dad: drug addicts, and their father died from drug abuse;
•           Pastor Andrey Khoroshchenko, Novokuznetsk, Siberia, first learned of this family when he buried the children’s father, over a year after the government placed the children in orphanages.
Pastor Andrey remembers his visit to house that had once been home for the four children:  “We saw a severe picture: small house, two beds and a sofa, some dishes in the kitchen. Nothing else.  Drunken people, dirt, cold.  The outdoor wooden toilet had been burned to heat the house.  We learned parents had been using drugs and drinking for several years. Then we were told that there were four children, who lived in an orphanage for the last year.”
Thus begins the story of how Andrey and his wife Marina grew to love and then started the adoption process for the four children they had never met. 
Pastor Andrey continues the story:  “As we worked with drug addicts, we saw a lot of destroyed families and abandoned children.  We also worked in orphanages so we knew very well the future of the four children.
“Marina wanted to adopt a child, so when we learned about the four children, we started praying. We prayed for several months and tried to decide how we could help those children. Only one thing was clear to us: God wanted us to minister to these children. We had never seen them. They had never seen us.
“I called to the orphanage and was told that the children had been moved to another city, Anzhero-Sudzhensk, and lived in different orphanages. We started gathering documents. Everything went quickly; we had no problems.  Then came our interview with the social committee of the city.  They told us that they had been known us for several years, that our church helped a lot with orphans.  So they didn`t have any questions and were very happy for us that we had decided to adopt. 
“When we went to Anzhero-Sudzhensk to take our children from the orphanage, the director was very surprised to see us with all the documents and ready to take children home. They informed us we need orders from mayor of Anzhero-Sudzhensk.  Also, we needed to get children’s consent. So we had to wait.
“A month later, we could at last take children. They were taken from different orphanages to meet us. We saw each other for the first time. They looked at us very shyly, and when the social worker asked them if they wanted to come with us, they nodded their agreement. I don’t think they realized completely what was happening, who we were and what we wanted.
“That day, we welcomed to our family: Nikita, 8; Tima, 6; Nadya, 5, and Grisha, 3.
“Physician told us that Grisha had serious problems. He was born when his parents used drugs.  He had tuberculosis, chronic bronchitis, HIV, and other diseases.  We didn’t expect to hear this, but we knew that God wanted us to serve  these children.  He is Father to all orphans and widows.
“Later, we learned that Grisha was not potty-trained. He had deep wounds in his soul.  No one had loved him, nobody had needed him.  All the time he lived in fear. At night, he woke up screaming. 
“Adopting children is a ministry to God. We have about 10 years to put in them right priorities, eternal values, a love for God and His Word.  We don`t know if we can do it, but we pray to be able to do it.
“On our way back home, the children started calling us mom and dad.  I asked if they prayed at the orphanage. ‘Yes,’ answered Tima, ‘we prayed that somebody would take us from there.’   Once again I was convinced that God is not indifferent to such children.  He really loves them and wants to serve them.
“I should not forget to tell you that Marina and I already had four children, so suddenly our family had doubled.  Now, every day is noisy and joyful. One is playing, another is crying, two are arguing, and all of them want to go for a walk. Our home is like a beehive with bees. I take a rest at church, when I work. Each morning there is a line to the toilet. Each day, a new toilet paper roll. We are definitely not bored. 
“Children are good. They are obedient and not spoiled. Of course a year at the orphanage gave fruit: they say bad words to each other. But we educate them and pray and heal and serve them. We also ask you to pray for them.
Thank you, Pastor Andrey for sharing with us this beautiful testimony of God’s love for orphans!  And, thank you to all of our Big Family partners who make it possible to embrace and encourage this family with prayers and financial support!
Join with us to help bring about a Russia with No Orphans! .

Top orphan and adoption info websites:

Although is loaded with advertisements for various agencies and services, it provides a wealth of information on almost every aspect of adoption. describes its mission: " is committed to helping as many children as possible find loving, permanent homes. We also provide critical information at the decision-making moment to women facing crisis pregnancies.
"We assist adoptees and birthparents to find birthfamilies, and we help hopeful adoptive parents make adoption dreams come true.
"We are especially committed to helping special needs children in the U.S. and around the world, who otherwise wouldn't be able to find families."
Most are free community services, including: photolisting of waiting children, adoption reunion registry, and online support forums.
The founders (Nathan Gwilliam and Dale Gwilliam) and employees have had an extensive heritage and experience with adoption and fostering, which spans 6 generations. websites have been built with experience that includes adoptive parenting, foster parenting, adoption search, social work, unplanned pregnancy, and adoption law.
Just be aware that you will see a lot of paid advertising on the websites.  Of course, without the paid advertising, this website would not be able to provide all the information and services about adoption.

Big Family Mission helps Russian orphans who will most likely never be adopted.

Top orphan and adoption info websites: Help from U.S. Government

Here's a great website from the U.S. government:  The Child Welfare Information Gateway promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, youth, and families by connecting child welfare, adoption, and related professionals as well as the general public to information, resources, and tools covering topics on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, out-of-home care, adoption, and more.

On this website, you will find an excellent guide to adoption

Topics include:

Top orphan and adoption info websites: Christian Alliance for Orphans

Another website that provides a wealth of information about orphans and adoption: The Christian Alliance for .  
From their website:
"The Christian Alliance for Orphans unites more than 100 respected Christian organizations and a national network of churches. Working together, our joint initiatives inspire, equip and connect Christians to “defend the fatherless” (Isaiah 1:17).
"Ultimately, we seek to stimulate and help grow Christian communities committed to adoption, foster care and global orphan care in the local church. Our united efforts include the national Summit, the Orphan Sunday campaign, monthly webinars, and an array of other initiatives.
"As the Alliance helps Christians understand God’s call to care for the orphan and equips them for effective response, the impact reaches far beyond a single program or met need. Rather, an ever-expanding army of passionate advocates invest time, talent and treasure in a personal and sustained commitment to caring for orphans in the name of Christ.
"Alliance membership includes three primary categories: organization, church and individual. Regional or National Alliances of churches may join as affiliates of the Alliance. Together, all Alliance members advance a vision larger than any one of us. Without the Alliance, most members would work in isolation or even competition. Instead, the unifying leadership of the Alliance creates shared impact no one organization, church or individual could achieve alone."
Churches may join the Alliance without having to pay a membership fee.
Thank you, Christian Alliance for Orphans, for providing a wide array of useful information about adoptions and orphan ministry!

Big Family Mission: seeking a family for every orphan!

Top orphan and adoption info websites: Orphan Care Resources

     Today, we begin a series of postings about informative and helpful websites for orphan and adoption resources.
     Our first featured website:  Orphan Care Resources. .
     Orphan Care Resources, an initiative of The CoMission for Children at Risk, exists to equip believers to care for orphans.
     Their vision:  A Believer in the Life of Every Orphan!
     The website provides information, resources and events for international orphan care, church orphan ministries, adoptive or foster families, and anyone caring for the fatherless in any way>
      They describe their website as follows:  Orphans are clearly close to our Father's heart, and He has opened doors of opportunity for His people to address the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of these precious children whom He loves so deeply. Many believers around the world have responded to God's call to care for orphans and street children. Now Orphan Care Resources provides the information believers need to be equipped to do what God has called us to do.
     At present, much of the information on this website is focused on orphans and adoption movements in Russia and Eastern Europe.
     The Orphan Care Resources website allows ministries and other orphan care/adoption organizations to post a listing and profile on the website.
     Thank you, Orphan Care Resources, for bringing a wealth of resources onto one platform!

     If you have suggestions about websites to be featured on our blog, please email us: .

Young ladies enjoy "moon walk" provided by Big Family Mission at Russian  orphanage.

What is it like to be a foster parent?

Real challenges, real advice from a parent who has "been there, done that"!

Sometimes, it takes a lot of patience and love to convince a foster child that they are really loved.

Check out this brief video:

What it's like to be a foster parent (brief video). 

Follow informative blogs about orphans and adoptions here

We've added several feeds to very useful and popular blogs on adoption and orphans to Famiies for Orphans.  Check them out in our right-hand column.  If you have suggestions for other blogs of a similar nature, please let us know.

Children in Russian orphanage line up to receive their very own Bible!