Ukraine Adoption Journey

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11


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Can’t Believe It

We can’t believe it has been one year today that we finally arrived home with all five of our children! Time truly flies way too fast. What an amazing year of accomplishments for our little ones. School, church, friends and endless activities, once new and overwhelming are now merely routine and pure enjoyment. We cannot imagine our lives without them. We celebrate them and what God has done. They are beautiful.

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His Love, Joy & Hope

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“Trick or Treat!!!” Something our three new children would have never said one year ago. For they were stuck in a place no child should ever have to experience. Now as they walked proudly from house to house on our street, getting candy while grinning from ear to ear, that memory seems to fade into the background and is slowly replaced with unending love, joy and hope. I can’t think of a better gift . . . and I also can’t forget this is what our Heavenly Father has done for us. Our daily routines, busy schedules and stressful moments all distract us from that wonderful thought . . . God’s unending love, joy and hope that He freely gives to us. What a thought.


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“Mom, no . . .”

Ice cream, birthday parties, pretty dresses, pizza, macaroni, ketchup, strawberries, praying and swimming. Seems like a random list of unrelated simple things and activities, right? Not even close. This list is extremely important in my little 7-year-old daughter’s mind. For they all represent something that she did not have before coming home to us. During dinner over the last few weeks her mind starts reviewing what she now has, comparing it to what she did not have while in the orphanage. She consistently starts the conversation with, “Mom, no . . .” (as she points to the object or the thing while shaking her head), “we didn’t have this in the orphanage.” She is slowly realizing what she was robbed of, what was never given to her and what had been taken away, while she sat and waited for a family. What is absolutely amazing about all of this is the fact that she does not act angry or forlorn in any way. Her heart and mind tend to focus on all the new and wonderful things that are now available to her . . . something that challenges me and would most adults. Her thankfulness is a part of her everyday conversation and she is always the first to say, “Thanks mom.” Being thankful for what we have, the present and for the simple things is what life is all about. The biggest blessings come when we are content and thankful for what is right in front of us . . . not thinking about the past or the future. Again, our children continue to show us strengths beyond their years, while reminding us that we are to “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  I Thessalonians 5:18.

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Home Highlights

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We finally made it safely back to America from Ukraine and have been enjoying home for three weeks now! The kids have been busy playing, learning and exploring our neighborhood. Our three new children are doing great during this big transition and it seems as thought they have alway been with us. Here are some fun pictures of what they have all been up to lately . . . a little bit of fun and a little bit of mischief of course 🙂 We again want to thank each one of you for all your prayers, support and encouragement. God is so faithful and He is truly carrying us every step of the way. May each one of you have a nice relaxing summer!

 

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Haircuts and hair dye, why not?!

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It’s sister time. . .

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The coolest brothers of course!

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Exploring the great outdoors,

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Exploring the fun indoors,

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And ending the day with a pajama party!

 

 

 


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Together At Last!!!

Just to catch you up a bit, we have officially received all three kids from the orphanages, spent over a week waiting for paperwork in Kiev, and finally got home last week!!! The look of pure joy and freedom filled our children’s eyes as they walked away realizing they would never see the orphanage again. As we arrived to get our youngest son, he saw us from about a fifteen foot distance, pushed his way around the caregivers and came running with his arms out ready to be picked up. Words cannot describe the feelings we had when the moment finally came for our children to leave the orphanages forever. Now home, all five kids have been enjoying spending time together and it is absolutely amazing to see the bond that is quickly forming. There is no doubt God planned this from the start and we are confident He will carry us through each day and in the years to come. Recently, our new son and daughter were determined to practice writing all the names of family members . . . realizing they now come from a big family with loads of love. Below is a picture from when we left the final orphanage and finally had our children together at last. Thank you for all the prayers!

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Court Day Finished!!!

We had a successful court day and are so thankful to be finished!!! As two of our children walked into the court building they unknowingly passed us due to all the commotion and new faces around them. My husband called their names to get their attention and they quickly turned around. Without any hesitation, our daughter shouted excitedly in Ukrainian. We quickly asked the translator what she had said . . . “They came for us!!!” As we paused, it was as if time stood still for a moment and the statement continued to ring in our ears . . . It strongly reminded us of the verse in John 14:18 when Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” At that very moment we felt so intensely privileged to be a part of a bigger plan . . . bigger than any of us and greater than we could ever imagine. For these little ones are at the heart of our Heavenly Father, precious, priceless and worth every sacrifice. For we all were orphans without a Savior at one point. However, that all changed the day Jesus died for us . . . giving us eternal life and adopting us, making Him our Heavenly Father. When our daughter said, “They came for us”  it was like Jesus was saying so clearly, so gently . . . “I came for you.”

Thank you for all your prayers and support. We pray each one of you feels how much your Heavenly Father loves you . . . He came for you.