Dear Friends,
It is with great joy that I announce the launch of Keeping the Promise Fund. As a friend of Russian Adoption, you may have interest in this newly developed initiative created to generate support for the many orphanages of Russia.
We will be kicking off the launch in Dover, New Hampshire on Saturday, September 29, 2012. The agency we adopted our two children through, New Hope for Children is our primary supporter of this event. NHFC is Russian/Hague accredited and has brought hundreds of children to their forever families since 1993. Together, with NHFC and my distinguished Board of Directors, we will be hosting a dinner and silent auction. As we prepare for this event, we would be honored if you would consider donating an item to the auction or making a tax-deductable financial contribution.
Keeping the Promise Fund was originally created out of just that, a promise. Upon the adoption of our second son, we visited “Baby House #6” in Saint Petersburg, Russia. My husband and I played and visited with a group of thirteen young children there for nearly a week. Saying goodbye was not easy. They had bonded with us and did not want us to leave. As we inevitably said goodbye, I whispered a promise to them. I promised to help them in every way that I could for the rest of my life.
Together with my newly formed Board of Directors, I have outlined a set of goals for the Keeping the Promise Fund. Our immediate goal is to begin raising capital for practical and desperately needed upgrades for a select group of orphanages in the Saint Petersburg area. These upgrades include new fences, windows screens, equipment and school supplies.
Our long term goal for Keeping the Promise Fund is to finance the opening of a living facility in Moscow for teens who have “aged out” of the orphanage system. These teens will undergo an admission process, in which they will need to meet certain criteria, provide recommendations and make a commitment to a healthy and drug-free lifestyle.
This type of facility does not currently exist in Russia, leaving teens with a potential hopeful future no choice but the street in most cases. The Keeping the Promise House will offer daily living skills, job placement, substance abuse services as needed and recreational facilities.
I hope that you will join us on September 29th and I thank you in advance for all of your support as we prepare for our launch event. A formal invitation will be arriving shortly!
Warm regards,
Alisa W. Karwowski, Executive Director of Keeping the Promise
Keeping the Promise Board of Directors
Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of ROCOR, Archbishop of New York and Eastern US, Ruling Bishop for Australia and New Zealand
Kate White, Managing Partner, 57th & Irving Productions
Robert Kebartas, Executive Vice President, Valentine and Kebartas
Erin LeBel, Executive, LICSW

A Guide to Russian Adoption

Click the picture to go to Amazon.com, to see my book, A Guide to Russian Adoption: Professional Counseling and Personal Insights. Published in December, 2008, it is the story of my own experiences combined with insight gleaned from years of working with people as a professional counselor.

From the Amazon.com description:

This practical book explains the process of adopting a child from Russia, from first contact with a Russian agency through bonding with the adopted child back at home. Karwowski provides a resource that parents can carry along as they navigate the paperwork, the home assessment, court hearings, medical exams, and financial components of what can otherwise seem like an overwhelming process. Herself the adoptive parent of two sons from Russia, the author also details common issues families face as they acclimate their new child to their home, family, and American culture. Aiming to break the process into manageable steps, Karwowski incorporates her own experience as a backdrop. Degreed in both psychology and sociology, she discusses sensitive issues regarding the child, which can include issues of abandonment, trust, and attachment. For all of these, she presents methods adoptive parents can use to see the signs and cope. She also addresses misconceptions commonly held about adoptions from Russia, the country to which she traveled four times across two years, to adopt her sons.