In the village of Panfilovo, in Vologda Oblast, Russia 11 families adopted 22 children in 2008; the people of the town have a local tradition of doing this now for generations, and the adoptions continue.
A quote from the story, gleaned from the weblog Voices from Russia:
The villagers are fully aware of their responsibility for bring up the adopted children. A proof of this is the weekly meetings of foster-parents. Concerning this, Natalia Treshchalova said, “We gather not only to speak of our common problems, which are numerous, but, also, to resolve them by our common effort. I can’t say that raising adopted children is all sweetness and light. No. All of the kids have their problems. But, their problems are our problems”. Practically every adopted child has serious health problems of one sort or another. Some of them lag in their mental development or have psychological disorders; others suffer from early forms of scoliosis. Since the villagers are kind-hearted and closely-knit people, they usually resolve the difficulties of their adopted children through a common effort.
And so many of the adopted childen have disabilities; the people are not looking simply for perfect, healthy children. Instead, children with disabilities are valued, and the focus of the parent’s weekly meetings is ‘the common effort” to resolve whatever difficulties there are.
If only more locales in Russia, Greece, the United States of America would make such common efforts.
As our Lord Jesus said, “the Kingdom of God is in your midst.”
For the full story, and a touching picture: