Polina’s Promise is a non-profit organization advocating for special needs orphans and families worldwide.
Our Mission: Creating and sustaining forever families with special needs children. This means keeping children in their biological families whenever possible and providing adequate care for orphans while they are waiting to be adopted.
Our Purpose: ERASE the stigma surrounding special needs and adoption worldwide. We aim to do this by providing:
About Polina’s Promise:
For Kendra Skaggs, the founding of Polina’s Promise is very personal. Her daughter, Polina, was the last special needs orphan adopted from Russia before Vladimir Putin’s controversial Anti-Magnitsky law went into effect. The Skaggs family was caught in the middle of the ban, not knowing if their adoption would be completed.
In the confusion of it all, Kendra wrote a blog entry Death Would be Better (on her blog Pennies for a Princess) that was translated and published in Russia leading to an international media blitz including ABC, CNN, The Wall Street Journal and numerous Russian and European news outlets.
Kendra believed there needed to be a face behind the story and took the risk of putting themselves and Polina out there for the world to see. The risk was a success and Jason and Kendra Skaggs brought Polina home on Feb. 2, 2013. Unfortunately, more than 300 children who were made the same promise by their parents were not able to come home.
After travelling to Russia in September 2012 to accept their adoption referral for Polina, the Skaggs knew that it was just the beginning of a greater journey than their own adoption story.
A vision beyond their story:
Kendra founded Polina’s Promise in the Fall of 2013 in response to the dire need for proper care of special needs orphans abroad. Polina’s Promise gets its name from the promise her parents made to her while visiting her in the “Home for the Invalids” in Dmitrov, Russia in 2012 – “we will come back for you, we will not leave you.”
As someone who spent 10 years teaching special education in California and Arkansas, Kendra was deeply moved by the lack of knowledge of orphanage workers and care given to the children inside what was supposed to be “the best” orphanage in the Moscow region.As their adoption journey continued and they were caught in the American Adoption ban, the Skagg’s instincts were confirmed through the support and encouragement of the Russian citizens. During this journey, Kendra was also put into contact with a missionary who lived and worked in the Soviet Union in the 1990’s and now in China. This relationship has forged a partnership to work in that country as well.