I gotta tell ya, we just had the most encouraging week!
I’ve written before about Hands of Hope, our fabulous partners in Indiana. Hands of Hope provides awesome support to adoptive and foster families in Indiana, and they also do great orphan care through child sponsorship. Through the Hands of Hope Romaniv sponsorship we are able to bring fresh fruit to the boys three days a week, pay the salary of two teachers who are working full-time to teach the boys, and more. Hands of Hope is an immense help in bringing greater quality of life to our boys. Because Hands of Hope pays for much of the work that is done at Romaniv now, Wide Awake is able to put funds away to prepare for the future: group homes instead of institutionalization.
Their partnership and investment into our boys is priceless.
This past Tuesday Jed, Vladik, and I were able to fly to Indiana to spend some time with the Hands of Hope peeps and talk a whole lot about the boys we adore so much. It was a fast and fabulous trip! Jed flew in from Ukraine on Monday and we flew out to Indiana on Tuesday morning. At this point I’m pretty sure Jed could go 10 years without stepping foot on another airplane and be pretty happy with that.
On Tuesday night we got to spend the evening with some lovely people who sponsor sweet Boris and Zhenya. And then on Wednesday night there was an open house for “Friends of Romaniv”. Basically sponsors and any and everyone who loves our boys could come and just hear about what’s happening at Romaniv and how they can pray. It was beautiful. Many of the people who came Wednesday evening have visited Romaniv before and dearly love the boys. We always love talking about our sweeties, but talking about them to a room full of people who have loved them for years (in many cases before we even knew they existed!) takes it to a whole new level. Love-fest level! 🙂
The highlight of our Wednesday was a lovely young lady named Renee. Renee visited Romaniv on a mission trip when she was 16 years old. She fell in love with Vladik on that trip, came home and became his sponsor through Hands of Hope. Renee prayed and prayed over the years that Vladik would find a family. She LOVED our son before we did. Well, now Renee goes to college in Kentucky. She found out Vladik was going to be in Indiana and drove over 3 hours to come and see him in person.
What a special reunion. Vladik was clueless of the importance of that night, but someday he’ll understand.
Thursday night was just beautiful. Hands of Hope had an event called “Sip and Savor”. It was so classy! Free lattes and people walking around with trays of cheesecake? Yes, please. 🙂
The three main focuses of Hands of Hope were presented at the event: Orphan Care (child sponsorship), Foster Care support, and Adoption. Jed and I did the presentation about adoption because we received a matching grant for our adoption through Hands of Hope. THANK YOU!!!!! It was doubly special because Vladik was the first Hands of Hope sponsor child to be adopted. Cool, eh? I say hopefully the first of many!
Man, it was just wonderful to be in a room full of people passionate about caring for the orphan. There are so many different ways to say YES and hearing about all the ways people can say YES by partnering with Hands of Hope is just rad. It’s the real deal.
Besides those official meetings, we just had plenty of time to drink coffee and eat yummy food with our friends. All of these friends we met in Ukraine at one time or another through Hands of Hope, World Next Door, or Mission to Ukraine. They were all so happy to see Vladik in a family and we were so blessed to spend time with people who know our boys and our friends in Ukraine and love them. Common hearts + coffee + cozy couches = a whole lotta good times. We got to stay with our friends Christopher and Lois and it was seriously like a vacation. They spoiled the heck out of us. SO FUN!
God has blessed us so much with this partnership with Hands of Hope. Again, we are just amazed at God’s love for the boys. How is it, why is it that He has drawn so many hearts to this one institution in the middle of nowhere Ukraine? We believe it’s because God has something very special for our boys. He has been drawing them out of darkness into light for such a time as this. I’m just thankful we get to be a part of His unfolding plan.
To God be ALL the glory for the GREAT things He has done!