Where to start? God has been redeeming so much in the past few months … and here He goes again!!! A quick, brief update … though there’s so much to share another time. We arrived home with our two amazing sons from Ukraine in December 2017 – the tears flow just typing this. One sentence is the completion of one of the greatest (read: hardest) journeys of my life. Our boys are doing so well – so well. Our family is whole and we stand in awe and amazement at the beauty of redemption at the hand of a holy God. The God who sees.
If you have been following our journey … God bless you! What a crazy ride, right?!! We began by pursing the adoption of six children from Ukraine. One of the girls was already in process of adoption, though we were unaware at the beginning of our process. She is now a beloved daughter in one of the most amazing families I know. The sibling group of four wanted to stay in Ukraine … so heartbreaking … I just don’t have the words. And then there was one. She grew deep into our hearts quickly. Messaging back and forth through social media, she informed us that she wanted to be our forever daughter – but because of rules in Ukraine, we were not permitted to share our mutual love. That was devastating.
In the meantime, I began reading about children with Down’s Syndrome. In Ukraine, to be an orphan with special needs is to experience true abandonment and devastation. It is beyond words … So I asked our facilitator about adopting a baby with Down’s Syndrome and was told there was plenty of babies. So we went on our first trip to Ukraine prepared to pursue our sweet girl from our original group and a baby with Down’s Syndrome. Once again, we would experience deep heartbreak. On this first trip we would learn there were no babies available and our sweet girl would not be available to us for adoption. We were lost.
But God had something glorious in store for our journey. Our two sons, Vasya and Vova. We were able to pursue and adopt two amazing boys that we had also met through Bridges of Faith. Now we are home and I cannot imagine our life without them. God knew what He was doing and I am so grateful He saw beyond our plans and gave us His heart.
Now that you are briefly caught up … guess what? God has opened the door for us to pursue our sweet girl again!!! We are so grateful for this opportunity, because our sweet girl was always a part of the plan. Our dear friends who have recently adopted from Ukraine – we met them through Bridges of Faith – their family spent the weekend in our home. As my dear friend and I spent a few quiet moments chatting, she shared that she saw our sweet girl listed through another organization for their summer home hosting program. Orphanages send the children to local camps or to organizations that host the children or into private homes for hosting all around the world for the summer and winter breaks. You can host children in your home for a fee (for plane tickets, insurance, and chaperone services) regardless if you desire to adopt. This program allows children to experience the love of Christ, a healthy family environment and hopefully exposure to other families in your circle who may be interested in adoption.
This new development brought our sweet girl back into the forefront of our conversations. We contacted the hosting program and learned that our sweet girl was still available for hosting. We also would learn from our facilitator that she is available for adoption. So we spent a few days in deep prayer and conversation. Was this too early for our boys? How on earth could we afford another adoption when we are still recovering financially from our previous adoption? Could we handle another journey through adoption in Ukraine … you guys, it was really rough. Could we handle the weight of being in need again?
My husband shared that a few days prior to learning about this, our sweet girl was so heavy on his heart that it woke him out of his sleep and he was sleepless for hours. He had hoped that this was a passing thought and waited to share this with me! When he shared this with me, I knew the answer had been there all along. We took a few more days to pray and talk. We do not want to be moved by emotion or fear or outward urgency – but by God’s plan for our family. We want to adopt our sweet girl. We know that Scripture calls us to care for orphans – for the least of these. We know that God has already allowed our family to bond with our sweet girl. We learned that three children – one of whom we met at Bridges of Faith – have been murdered in her region in the past two years. We know this is urgent. This is right.
So now that we have decided to pursue our sweet girl … the weight of the process strikes hard and fast. First – the big whopper – finances. The fees for our first adoption for our two sons ran well beyond $40,000. *gulp* You must know, we are not ‘I have $40,000 resting comfortably in a savings account’ people. We are comfortable on the day to day. God has blessed us with a large home – as we purchased it believing we may one day plant a church that begins in this home. So our first adoption was fueled through the miraculous works of God through the donations of our amazing friends and complete strangers. Honest? It was hard. Asking our friends and family to invest in our vision … the vision we were powerless to fund alone … ick. We are an independent military family – you learn really quickly to depend on yourselves. Not only that, our finances are pretty well set, so we have never needed to depend on anyone but ourselves.
With the pain of need, also comes the beauty of generosity. So many stories. So many precious friends who sacrificed – single moms who I know truly sacrificed to provide for our need – children … children who sacrificed birthday money … whew. My own mother … you guys … she donated out of her fixed income every month. She is truly the single most generous person I have ever known. One family who had *just* arrived home from their own adoption from China donated $3,000 – it was with their donation that I knew God was going to get us to the end and it was going to be glorious … and it was … plus a lot of hard work and what felt like the equivalent of standing on a street corner with a cardboard sign begging frantically for money.
And now we are walking in to the same dilemma slash opportunity to see God move mountains to pave the way for our sweet girl to come home. So with trembling fear and faith, we step out far beyond our abilities into the hope that truly greater is He that is in us that he that is in this world. God will provide. God is faithful. God loves our sweet girl far more than we could ever begin to imagine. He has a plan … and we are so grateful to be a part of it.
Romans 4:18, 20-21
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed … Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.