Friday, March 11, 2011

Ukrainian Orphan Update

This is a post that I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but I was waiting to get some additional information to share with you all. If you have followed our blog for very long, you probably remember Ivan and Valya. These were the children that we planned to have in our home for 3 weeks at Christmas time last year. We prayed for them, we love them, and we pictured and talked about the possibility of adopting them as part of our family. God showed us at that time that his plans were different (and better!) than our own. Here are the updates on each of the children...

Ivan-Age 12
Ivan was the first child we chose to come visit in December. He is just a doll. We were in contact with him, and we hired an English tutor to help him learn English to make his stay with us easier. It didn't take long with the tutor for her to realize that Ivan had a MAJOR fear of flying on airplanes. He would cry when they talked about him getting on a plane to come to the U.S., and the orphanage decided that he was not emotionally prepared to make the trip.
We were heartbroken. I cried a lot and lost sleep over how to move forward. We still think about Ivan and pray for him often. I got an update yesterday that he is still dealing with his fears, and that he will not be ready for international adoption or hosting this year.

Valya-Age 15
Valya was the second child we chose to host over Christmas once we found out we could not host Ivan. Valya stuck out to us for some reason, and we were interested in hosting her even though we knew we would not be able to adopt her with the age difference not being 15 years between her and us. We prayed from the beginning that during Valya's trip to our home that we would find her a "forever family" while she was here with someone in our church or extended family.
We found out a few weeks before her visit that there were issues with the children's visas and that we would have to make a decision on whether we wanted to move forward within the next 12 hours. We had quite a bit of money on the line that we would not be able to get back, and one of the head organizations backed out themselves. We decided that if they were not confident in the process going through, that we would save our money and try to host the next time there was an opportunity.
Here is where God made his face SO clear to me...3 1/2 weeks later (which was over a week late for the hosting to start), I got a call from a sweet lady who needed to talk to me about Valya. She was one of the hosting coordinators who lives in Georgia, and her family decided last minute to host Valya because the children were able to come even with all of the craziness. The trip was cut short, but the children had arrived in the states that day! The "mother" started crying on the phone and said she wanted to thank Micah and me for committing to host Valya because otherwise their family would not have found her. They had 3 young sons of their own, and never dreamed of adopting a girl, BUT they had already decided that if the visit went well that she would be part of their family. :) She told me that Valya arrived in the U.S. with pictures of our family that we had sent to her and she was a little overwhelmed when she found out that she would be staying with 3 boys instead of one baby girl! Micah and I felt so sad weeks before when we chose to "back out" on Valya, but God had a plan that was bigger than us. A plan to answer our prayer for Valya to get a "forever family" in Georgia.
To make a long story short, the family is in the process of adopting Valya right now! They have completed their paperwork, and now they are waiting, waiting, and waiting. Valya will age out of being available for international adoption in August when she turns 16, so please pray for their process to be speedy.
We still love Valya, we have grown to love this family, and we plan to stay in contact and possibly get to meet Valya one day in person. Isn't God amazing?!

Sorry for such a long post, but I know many of you prayed for these children with us. We appreciate your prayers and wanted to give you an update. A friend is looking in to doing a hosting program this summer for children from Ukraine that will likely be late June through early July....if you are interested in possibly hosting a child, please let me know! The couple who is putting this on recently adopted two precious girls that they hosted last summer. Adoption is NOT manditory, nor is it promised. The hosting is just an opportunity for these children to come to America to have an experience that they otherwise wouldn't.


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