Kostroma Kids Program
None of our work with the kids at the orphanages or with the foster families would be possible without the help of our good friend, Tatiana. She has worked at both orphanages in Kostroma, where she is currently the social worker. Her love for all of the children is amazing, and she works tirelessly to help them in every way she can.
Tatiana has been like a big sister to all of the volunteers since 2006, and everyone's time in Russia has been far more productive and enjoyable because of her. It has become a tradition for the volunteers to visit Tatiana's family dacha (summer cottage) for a huge meal with her entire family and a night of karaoke (the video of Cary and Jody singing "Dust in the Wind" will someday appear on America's Funniest Home Videos!).
Tatiana's love for the children at the orphanage led her to adopt one of the older boys, Lyosha, in 2006. Although a tremendous emotional and financial commitment, her entire family has taken him in and given him a real chance at a "normal" life. Tatiana is truly an amazing woman, an inspiration to everyone associated with the program, and one of the main reasons why our programs have been so successful.