Ty and Sharon are dedicated Christians and the founders of the Wings For Hope Foundation. They have been married for 29 years and have raised six wonderful children: Tyler, Ashleigh, Rhett, Rachel, Brooke and Irina. Five are their biological children and one daughter was adopted from Ukraine. Her name is Irina; she was adopted two years ago at the age of 15. In September 2010 the Richardsons will return to Ukraine to adopt Irina’s 12-year-old brother, whom they hosted several months ago.
Irina was fortunate. If she had not been adopted, a lonely life in a technical school dormitory was about the best she could have hoped for. Or, like thousands of teenage orphans, she might have been forced to make her living on the streets. She would have been destined for rejection and poverty. Now she is thriving: a beautiful teenage girl, who already speaks excellent English and wants to devote her life to serving children. She is a great writer and is currently writing a book about her life in Ukraine. She wants to tell the story of God’s love and grace in her life.
Irina calls Ty and Sharon Mummy and Daddy. In spite of her age, she adjusted to her new family and her adopted country quickly and smoothly. Having found a loving home with the Richardson family, Irina blossomed like a flower in the sun.
God gave Ty and Sharon a big family and big hearts. They love not only their children, biological and adopted, but all Ukrainian orphans. It was through adopting Irina that they learned about the needs of so many Ukrainian children. Ty and Sharon couldn’t forget the hundreds of faces glued to the windows when they were taking Irina out of the orphanage. They were moved to create Wings For Hope to help the children who are still living in orphanages, those who were left behind.
Ty and Sharon saved one life and they want to encourage and assist other American families to do the same. The problems we face today are grave and cannot be solved overnight, but we can begin by changing the world one life at a time.
Tonia holds Master of Laws degrees from a Ukrainian and an American university. Her entire career has been focused on children’s rights and poverty reduction. Tonia has seven years of experience running non-profit organizations which serve the needs of children in Ukraine. At the same time, she had been helping dozens of American couples adopt children from Ukraine. Tonia’s professional experience in Ukraine and knowledge of the American side of the process makes her ideally suited to support Wings for Hope's operations. She firmly believes that this is her calling and that God has equipped her to make a sustainable change in lives of the Ukrainian orphans.
Sasha is a Ukrainian lawyer with 10 years of experience. Despite an expanding law practice, she has always sought opportunities to help marginalized groups in Ukraine. Orphans have always had a special place in her heart. Sasha is a Wings for Hope coordinator in the field. She dedicates her talent, professional skills, and heart to serving children. Her deep knowledge of the Ukrainian legal system and practical experience are indispensable to our ministry. Sasha belongs to Orthodox Christian church and believes that God called her to serve children in need.