Friday, September 28, 2012

Adoption IS NOT for the faint of heart!!!! (Part 1)

Ok…. I know all my adoptive parent friends out there are looking at me like I have just fallen off the turnip truck.  This is a fact that they know and live every day.   It is not a new “truth” for them, nor for me.  I just have been thinking a lot about this lately and decided to put my thoughts out there!  So, friends, just bear with me.

I have been involved in many adoptions over the past 10+ years.  Not in any paid facilitator kind of way, but as a “help” in what areas I can. 

The first adoption I was involved in was a single mother who had lots of love to give and sought the child to lavish this on.  She adopted a beautiful girl around the age of 14 months of age.  AM was beautiful in every way and attached quickly to her new mom.  It was a perfect story to add to the adoption books.  Now, fast forward several years…. The mother has had to deal with the questions of “why don’t I have a daddy” and “where is my daddy” for years now.  How do you answer that one so that a child of 5, 6, or 7 understands it?  How do you adequately fill that void?  As adults, we can spiritualize it with the simple answer of “Oh dear child, you have a heavenly Father that loves you more than an earthly father ever could!”  But how does a small child understand the spiritual realm when we are challenged to accept and understand it as adults?  I have watched and heard and felt this mother anguish over this question.  She is a wonderful mother, full of wisdom and love!  AM is a wonderful child, full of talents and joys!  But for now, the question lingers.

Another little angel was adopted shortly after AM.  She too was a perfect little bundle of pink joy that delighted her mother and father.  She was the princess that they had dreamed of and long for.  Here she was…completing their family.  They lavished her with love, time, and almost anything the child could dream of in her small little mind.  Then the bottom fell out of the economy and the dad’s business hit hard times.  They struggled to continue to live in the same way as before and the mother had to return to work.  Still they attempt to keep their precious princess’s world spinning as it always had… and they succeed!  But the struggle is there.  Why when they were obedient to God through adoption?  Why, when they knew it was God’s will to take this “fatherless” child into their hearts and homes, was there this attack on them?

Today, three families are here completing, in one stage or another, adoptions of their own Ukrainian angels.  And they struggle…. Last night, one father was pick-pocketed on the way to see his new son in the hospital.  It was his new daughter’s birthday and he was to meet us all at a restaurant.  We  became concerned after the time grew later and later.  The countenance of his precious princess was slipping lower and lower, as she waited for her “Daddy” to arrive.  The joy on her face was palatable when he finally walked in…until she heard the story of why he was late.  This poor papa had already faced so many things through this adoption…sickness, sadness, separation from his wife who had to stay home to work….and now, he had been pick-pocketed.  However, his resilience was only momentarily threatened, and now he moves on! 

Another family had to come face-to-face with the family that many years ago callously abandoned their new son.  He has little understanding of the shear neglect and emotionally abuse that this mother and adult daughter imparted to him.  He is oblivious to the fact that they could have done more for him.  The biological mother rarely visits the son without some motivate… to take his new MP3-player, or new clothes for her own profit!  Other times, she comes drunk to the orphanage in an attempt to soothe her pain of abandoning her son.  Never for his benefit!  And now, this new mother and father had to stand face-to-face with these family members and maintain a civil attitude toward them for the sake of their son!  What strength and Christ-like love the showed!  

The stories go on and on…. But this post grows weary to the reader.  Come back later to see the Part 2 and what God has revealed to me through all these stories and more!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Forever Families

So...after a long silence...AGAIN!!!  I am pleased to make several announcements.

First off.... Natasha (of the Natasha and Vanya sibling group) has graduated.  She was one of the recipients of the Cinderella Dresses project I started last year.  She graduated in style, along with one of her friends from the orphanage, Vika.  Vika and Natasha are now studying in a Medical Institute about 1.5 to 2 hours from Kyiv.  I have called to check on them several times.  They seem to be doing well...although are very tired.  Continue to pray for their protection as they are on their own for the first time in their lives!!!

Secondly,  Valya and Katya have been adopted!!!!!!  Today was their court session, and barring any problems in the next 10 days, it will be official on October 1.  They can be sprung from the orphanage on October 2, and begin to adjust to their new lives with a forever family.  After the new parents make it public, I will post more about the family!!!  Praise God after SOOOO many years of waiting, these girls finally have a family.

And Lastly!  Three more of "my babies" from the orphanage are on their way to America in the next week or so.  Almost 10 days ago, siblings Vera and Dima were adopted by a family in North Carolina.  They hosted them several times, and then came to get them forever.  Also, Zhenya has been adopted by a family in South Carolina.  He was hosted by the family this past summer and about a week after he got back to Ukraine, they came for him.

 (By the way, earlier in the summer, another Dima was adopted by a family in South Carolina and he is already "home" with his forever family and doing well!!!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Prom Dresses and Cinderella Dreams

This time of the year for teenagers across America is filled with excited talk about Prom!!!  Girls walk through stores, try on dresses, and dream of the perfect fit.  It is a rite of passage, much like Homecoming.  But Prom.... ah... Prom is the day that every girl will remember.... or maybe try to forget.

I know of two girls here in Ukraine that are dreaming a similar dream.  You see, when you graduate from school in Ukraine, you attend a party a little like prom and get all dressed up.  For many girls, this is the first time they have had a "Ball gown" or even a reason to wear it.  For many, it will be the last time they wear one until their wedding day.

Natasha and Vika dream of having this memory, but for them, sadly, it probably won't be a reality.  That is.... it won't be a reality unless you want to help. 

Natasha and Vika are not just graduating from school this year, they will be leaving the safety of the orphanage that they have called home for many years. To be practical, they should be looking for a nice outfit that they can wear to job interviews, etc.  But what girl at 17 is practical.  They want to be like all the other girls in their class and wear a pretty gown to the party.  They want to be Cinderella for just one night.  They want to dream of their Prince Charming that will rescue them from the reality of what is facing them.

I want them to have this dream.  I have no way to pay for these dresses by myself.  I survive on a minimum support base and cannot buy one, let alone two, nice dresses for these girls.  The orphanage doesn't have funds for this kind of stuff.  So.... it is up to you.

Can you help the dreams of these girls come true?  If so, contact me and I will give you more information.  Please consider how you would feel if this were you or your daughter.  Wouldn't you do what you could to make it happen?  Help me make it happen!!!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Aging Out

It has been a year since I last blogged.  I am sorry for that, and probably lost a great deal of "readership".  Suffice it to say, it has been a year of ups and downs.

But.... I can't be silent any longer!  My heart is struggling with trying not to be hurt again and the need to locate families for some desperately needy children.  Many of the children I work with at the local orphanage are so close to aging out of the system forever.  For some of these, it means a younger brother or sister losing a chance as well, since they want to go together and won't go without the other.

PLEASE... if you are, or know someone who is, preparing to adopted..... PLEASE consider these children.  My heart breaks each time I see them and hear their desperate pleas to find them a family before it is too late.

Vanya and Natasha
There are two sibling sets that need YOU to move quickly.  Natasha and Vanya are a loving brother and sister that long for a loving mother and father to call their own.  Natasha is very studious, has a good grasp on English, and is quickly approaching a deadline!  Vanya is a sweet boy that loves his sister and any sport.  He is kind and caring.  He and Natasha will bless your family!

Valya and Katya are sisters that have watched so many others go to their families.  Katya begs me every time I see her to find her a family.  However, because of Valya's age, her chance may soon be gone.  Valya has a slight hearing impairment, but is attending regular school.  She reads lips and can be understood when she speaks.  She uses a telephone without assisted devices.  She is smart and a very gentle girl.  Katya is a born dancer.  She loves music and loves dancing.  She is also a very kind and gentle girl who would blossom in a family.

PLEASE... pass the word along about these two sets!  If someone doesn't step up to the plate, they will forever be lost.  Their time is running out quickly!!!  Pray that God will send their families to save them from a life on the streets.  Both sets have no contact with mother or father and are begging for a family.... is it YOURS?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Visionary Artist

The disparity between vision and realization
The now and the not yet
The real and the ideal
...Could lead to slight insanity
And despair
If it were not for God
If it were not for heaven

From where else do we derive this sense
Of perfect love
Perfect beauty
Perfect truth?

When I’m lost in a haze
Searching for peace
Wanting to find that place where earth and sky meet
He whispers in the still moments
At His feet
It’s through the humble door
Of My loving, boundless, extravagant grace
Myra Watkins 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hosting Veronika!

Just a short update to let you all know that Veronika is doing well.  She is still waiting for "daddy" and "momma" to come to Ukraine.  They are waiting on a very SLOW social worker to finish the home study.  INS is waiting for this last piece of the puzzle as well.  So.... we are all waiting.

In the meantime, Veronika is being hosted by Nadia!  and me, of course.  She has been with us a little over a week.  This has been just long enough to be hit square in the face with her "teenage-ness".  We have had a few melt downs, but through some tough love she seems to be settling to an even pace.  For the last 4 days, we have heard a lot of "please", "thank-you", and "can I help you" coming from her.  Hopefully, it will last.

We spend our days learning English, watching DVD's together, cooking, and generally living like a family would.  She is helpful around the house when she knows what to do, and never complains about being asked to help.  With boundaries, she thrives!!!

We have learned the hard way that over stimulation--like shopping all day-- leads to melt downs often ending in tears.  We have learned that she is easily disappointed in people when she is hurt by them. (Thankfully this wasn't us....but we had to bear with the results.)  We have learned she has a quick humor and loves to laugh at silly cartoons and films.  We have learned that she is a quick study and can pick up English rather quickly.  We have learned that she loves to be loved.  And.... we still have 16 days to go....but who's counting.

Pray with us as the next two weeks pass.  Pray that we would be examples of unconditional love like the unconditional love of our Father.  Pray for our stamina and is hard having a teenager with no other teenagers around.  Pray for her "forever family" and their paperwork.  They are frustrated and the longer it takes the more unsure Veronika becomes.  Pray for quick INS approval and a quick appointment with the National Adoption Center in Ukraine.  

 More later....

Until then.... I am....

In His Hope!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

About time, huh?

Well, I have put off blogging thinking that by now I could tell you that Veronika has a forever family.  So I waited and waited....!  Many of you wrote me, many of you sent the blog on to others.  In fact, I had people for weeks writing me about Veronika and the other girls like her here in the orphanage....people I didn't even know.

So, ok.....there is a family that IS in the process to become Veronika's "forever family".  I can't share more than that.  The family is in the final stages waiting for the approval of INS to travel to Ukraine.  Veronika knows about the family and they are all already in love with each other.  PLEASE PRAY that everything goes through in a quick manner.  Everyone is tired of waiting.  When the family gets here, I will share more.  For now.....just pray.  ( the family does not have a fact they are newbies to this world of adoption!)

More later this week on the Last Bell and orphan fun!!!

Until then... I am ...

In His Hope