Our First Trip

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These beauties lined our drive from Kiev to meet one of our boys. God’s creation is glorious!

I am so excited to share what God has done in our adoption journey the past few months! We have had some heartbreaks along the way, but in the end, we believe we are pursuing God’s will. You probably know that we were pursuing six Ukrainian orphans for adoption. We then had some complications and began to pursue one sweet girl and a blind adoption of a baby with Down’s syndrome, meaning we would have to choose a baby by looking through files of available babies. We traveled to Ukraine at the beginning of June and had our first appointment for the baby, but there were no files for babies. Oh my heart, you guys – we were completely devastated. Then complications arose with our sweet girl … now we will have to wait a year before we can adopt her – that was one of the most painful moments of this journey.

While we were in Ukraine, our facilitator showed us a list of children we had already met in the States through Bridges of Faith and were immediately available for adoption. We felt God lead us to two unrelated boys. We were able to spend some time with each boy and our whole family is so excited! I must be careful with what details I share of the boys until they are home. One is a teenager who has a tender heart and looks like our family. He is good at sports and a master of card tricks. He has a rough story that broke my heart, but you would never know it for the light that is still in his eyes. We brought him various sports gear and he handed them all out to other children. He has such a good heart.

Our other son is younger and is special needs. He loves to sing and dance – his smile is the sweetest thing. He LOVES Spiderman! At Bridges of Faith, a ministry that hosts 10 Ukrainian orphans for a month, three times a year, we served as house parents. House parents serve for three days at a time and act as the parents to the group. You make breakfast for the children, get them ready for their day, accompany them to their activities and/or outings, do devotions with them and tuck them in at night. It is such a precious opportunity.

One morning I was making pancakes for the children. I like to turn on Christian worship music to wake up the children. Our son was the first to wake up and came into the kitchen with us. He began to dance and I stopped and joined him. Kitchen dance party!!! Even though at the time, we were pursuing other children, I still held that memory close to my heart. Most people who met both of our boys remember them fondly.

So we are now back in the States, waiting for our court dates so we can go back to Ukraine and bring our sons home. Our first trip was really challenging. We were gone for 40 days, on a trip that should have lasted two weeks! We were drained, overwhelmed, and heartbroken missing our children back home. They did great, which we praise God for! We had two ladies who would come over to visit with our kiddos and bring meals. Two other ladies helped when we needed drivers for appointments for my mother who was staying with our kiddos. My uncle also came out to help my mom, which was such a blessing.

We enjoyed our time in Ukraine and tried to appreciate the culture and history. We were able to visit an incredible World War II museum. Our facilitator bought us tickets to two operas that were magnificent! We had never been to the opera and it was only $8 for us both to attend with box seats! We attended Hillsong Kiev – which was SUCH a blessing!!! We met amazing IMB missionaries in Kiev who really helped us have a greater heart for the people of Ukraine. We witnessed violence and broken people, which … there are just no words. We toured Orthodox churches with caves containing the remains of saints and watched as people prayed and worshiped caskets and pictures … as one who believes in Jesus Christ alone, it was very heartbreaking to witness.

One of the greatest gifts of our trip was meeting incredible people. Throughout our trip there were six other families who were pursuing their children in Ukraine. I cannot tell you what a lifeline these people were to us while we were enduring each turn and delay during our trip. Lifelong connections were fostered and we truly experienced that God indeed works all things out together for good!

As we wait on our second trip, we are working on grants and fundraisers as we still lack about $15,000 to finish our adoption without debt or loans. We ask for you to partner with us to get our boys home. Donations of any size will mean the world to our journey, as it all adds up! Please click the link at the top marked DONATE to be linked to our gofundme account. Honestly, even $5 will mean so much. We have taken this journey as an answer to the call of James 1:27 – a call we must all answer as He leads. We are not all called to adopt – but we must all do something to care for the least of these. Will you partner with us to rescue two Ukrainian orphans? We were informed that apart from us adopting our teenager, he would end up on the streets because no one wants a teenage boy. You can have an important part in our journey. Greater than donations, we ask for your prayers. Prayers for our process, prayers for provisions, prayers for our boys as they are making such a brave decision to leave their country and join a family, prayers for our whole family as we learn how to do life together as a new unit.

God bless you for following our journey. Thank you so much for your time.

-C


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