The Family

The Family

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Praying Through it All

We know God is in control, and we know His will is perfect for our lives, but sometimes still it is so hard to accept his answers.  So much has gone on in our lives these past two weeks and I know that things happen for a reason, but it is still hard to give up control in our lives to Him and understand we will not always receive what WE think is best for us.

We started off last week on a trip to my husband's parents' house at the beach in NJ.  Delightful trip except for a major glitch on the way there-- the car broke down on us.  Luckily we weren't far from our destination and luckily too Tim's mom gifts us with AAA every year, so we were able to have the car towed and repaired in time for our return trip home.  We had a great week while we were there, playing at the beach and enjoying some fun family time.

When we returned home it was off to Raleigh to help out with the visiting orphans from the Ukraine.  A group of 15 of them were being sponsored by various families and have been doing camp and Bible lessons for the last 3 weeks.  We went on Monday and helped teach a Bible lesson to the kids, and got to spend some time hanging out with them.  We brought all our children with us as well and they had a blast!  They connected with the kids pretty well, despite the language barrier.  Some of the children had begun to learn English, and they helped teach our kids a few phrases in Russian.  It was so cool to see our children interact with other kids from a different country, with a different language, and yet still find things in common-- like the peace symbols my daughter loves to wear... there was another girl there about her age with one on her shirt too.  This helped break the ice and the two of them were fast friends after that. 

Both we and our children enjoyed ourselves so much that we decided to come back the next day.  By then we were starting to fall in love with two of the kids-- siblings-- who were being hosted.  I prayed for them to find a family, and after much discussion with my husband, thought it might actually be us.  He was getting so attached to them just over the course of those two days.  It caught me by surprise!  Usually it is me discussing adoption with him or pointing out adorable faces on various websites.  This time it was he who was saying "I wish we could just go grab them and bring them home with us!"  I was really stunned at how much he cared for these kids and at his immediate willingness to gravitate towards adoption-- really without any prodding on my part.  But that was just showing me that God was at work softening his heart and opening him up further to the plight of orphans.

In the end, although heartbreaking for us, another family stepped forward and committed to the children before we did.  Everyone believes this will be a good match for them, so we can only pray now that they will have a great future and thank God that He did not allow them to be returned to the orphanage with no hope of a forever family.  That we are truly grateful for.  If we could not be their family we are glad at least that they will have one!

And as my friend Eleni told me-- albeit through my tears-- God would not have lead us through this experience for no reason.  He has a plan.  If nothing else we have had our hearts opened to the idea of adopting more older children from an orphanage, something we might not have considered otherwise.  And my husband was able to understand how wonderful all these children are! They are not a lost cause, they are not all troubled and violent and beyond repair just because they are older as many people would have others think.  And he got to experience firsthand what it is like to begin falling in love with a child who really needs you and wants to have a loving family.

I have to believe God has a plan.  We don't have a crystal ball and we cannot see into the future, but the future is there and it is what we make of it.  For now I know, as I have for a while, that more needs to be done to help these orphans.  I need to make sure I do my part to advocate for them, spread the message, make people aware of their desperate situations and do something to CHANGE their lives....even in some small way.

So although today was a day of sadness for us, while my poor kids were crying at knowing that we were not meant to help these children through adoption this time around, I reassured them that we will have another chance.  There will be more children, there will be-- lord willing-- another camp set up next year for the orphans to attend, and we will be involved.  We will do our part.  And for now I can be content that the seed has been planted- in my heart, in my husband's heart and in the hearts of my children.  If nothing else I know that they will never forget the experiences they had this week.  It has changed their perspective I know about others in this world and what we need to be doing for them.  It pray that it has helped them more to have a servant's heart and opened their hearts and minds to adoption for themselves in the future.  And for all these things I am grateful to God, for I know He has a plan.

Please pray for these wonderful children who we were blessed with meeting this week.  They travel back on the long flight to the Ukraine tomorrow morning, and although they have all been matched with families now-- which is a huge blessing-- they will not be back with them for 6 months or more.  Some of the children have to wait a year before the Ukrainian government will clear them for international adoption as it is their policy to wait approx 14 mos so that Ukrainian families have a chance to adopt them first.  So pray that these children are kept safe while they are waiting to come home to their new, loving families and pray that their futures with these families will be bright ones.

And please, search your hearts and see if you can find it within yourself to do something to help in the plight of orphans across this world.  There are so many ways to help.  If anyone is interested in donating to help provide support to the camp for the orphans next year, leave a comment and let me know.  I would be happy to put you in touch with the right people!

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