A Nervous Confidence

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you were afraid to ask God for it, afraid of what His answer might be?

Me too.

I remember back in 2011 when Jed and I were planning our first trip to scout out Ukraine. We had no idea what God had in mind, but we just knew we had to get over here and see in person what was being done for orphans with special needs. One night I was away from home, having some quiet time alone with the Lord and I had a big wish in my heart. I wanted this wish to come true so badly that I was almost afraid to speak it out loud- even to God.

“Lord, please let us see the Lost Boys. Please let us in that institution, even if it’s only for 5 minutes.”

That institution is locked and many times the volunteer teams are turned away when they want to see the Boys. It’s very much like Romaniv, but bigger, and in a different part of the country. That was the very place that drew our hearts to Ukraine in the first place and we were desperate to touch and see the boys face to face.

Guess what? God granted that wish. He is amazing.

Another time I remember was when we got home from that scouting trip to Ukraine. We had fallen in love with the country and her people. We had visited the Lost Boys and Romaniv and knew in our hearts we were made for that work. It was so hard to ask God about that dream…afraid of what his answer might be.

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“Lord, do you want us to move to Ukraine to serve those Boys? They already have our hearts. Please say yes!!”

Guess what? Here I sit in Ukraine, my heart full of 80 Boys who have changed my life forever.

Now I have another dream. This one is BIG. I’m so afraid to even type it out. But the time has come.

“Lord, please let 2015 be the year of Romaniv Adoption. Please bring every one of our adoptable boys a family this year.”

(See, I’m so afraid to ask that I just deleted that prayer and had to re-type it.)

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We have several Boys who are available for adoption and they can’t wait any longer. They shouldn’t have to wait any longer. We can be their voice, and now it’s time to speak. I know I warned before that I was going to start advocating hardcore for them, but some unexpected things kept us from really going for it, till now. Recently, in desperation I wrote about our one sweet boy who is suffering so much. The outpouring of prayer and support and encouragement was amazing. It’s time to go for it.

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Adoption can’t save every boy at Romaniv. The vast majority of the Boys are not, and will not be available for adoption. But it is our responsibility to give a voice to the ones who can’t speak for themselves- and for the adoptable ones that means looking high and low for a Mommy and Daddy to call their own. Our Boys can’t reach out on a blog or on Facebook. They can’t tell their story or share their picture. All they can do is wait. But I can do those things. I can reach out. I can share their faces and their stories. So I will. They deserve it.

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God is doing a new thing.
VLADIK HAS A FAMILY!
AND, we hope to have some very good news to share about our Sweet One very shortly!! Yay!

God is moving hearts.

I have no idea how God plans to bring these families out, but it’s not my job to understand. All I’m supposed to do is tell the story and be faithful with what’s been given to me.

I have confidence and I have anxiety at the same time. I write with ease one minute and delete paragraphs in another. I remember God’s truth and promises in the morning and forget them in the afternoon. I have issues. πŸ™‚

All this is to say, get ready. Open your eyes. Open your hearts.
2015 is their year. You’re about to meet some true treasures. We love them so much it hurts. PRECIOUS.

I can’t wait to introduce them to you!!!!

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100

Welcome to Post #100 for our wee little blog!!!

Hmmmm…what to do to celebrate the 100th post?  What I really need to do is write about money.  But, I don’t want to do that for post 100.  You’ll have to stay tuned for the big money post.  πŸ™‚  Watch out, it’s a’comin’!

The other day I was feeling all inspired to write about building altars in remembrance for all God has done on this journey, but at the end of the day when I sat down to write I just wasn’t feelin’ it.  The post was getting waaaaaay too long because God has just done waaaaaay too much.  I realize that’s a very good thing, it just doesn’t work to make a very long post.  Ha!

Then I thought maybe I would write a list of 100 of something…you know, like kindergartners take 100 buttons to school on their 100th day of kinder….something like that.  But, then I thought that would also make a very long post.  Annnnd considering my living room floor is covered in legos, my Hava-lu is sitting on the couch with the puke-bowl next to her after throwing up at least 10 times this afternoon/evening, the dishes are undone, and there is a new mountain of laundry waiting for my attention (thanks to my too late delivery of the puke-bowl), I really don’t have time for a long post.  Actually, I probably don’t really have time for a short post, but I’m resting my legs and procrastinating, and I’m the Mommy, so I can.  πŸ™‚

So….in honor of our 100th post I thought I’d highlight a few of my favorite posts along this journeyIt’s always good to look back and remember all that God has done.  Consider this a shortened version of my way-too-long altar post.  πŸ™‚   

Beginnings.  I love this post because it was the first.  I was heartbroken when I wrote it, but I can see God’s smile in it now.  We had lost our baby, our dream. But God knew all along what our true dream was.  I picture Him standing over my shoulder as I cried and typed, waiting on pins and needles to show us what He really had in store for us.  It seems like a lifetime ago!!

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“Jonah” the one who started it all.  We will love you forever sweet baby boy 

My Uncle.  I miss my Uncle Gary.  He was gentle, humble, giving, and loving.  I am so thankful God used what seemed to be an impossible situation to bring our hearts together.  Thinking of him makes me smile.

Foster Care Ponderings 1, Foster Care Ponderings 2, Foster Care Ponderings 3. – Writing this series on foster care and our experiences was super therapeutic for me.  Fostering was the best and hardest thing we’ve ever done.  If you have any interest whatsoever in fostering, please, please read these posts.  Read and ask the Lord how He would have you respond.  He is only asking for willing hearts, not superheros!  Do it! Do it! Do it!  (I get a tad passionate about fostering…)

Introducing…our Son!– This is a fave, for obvious reasons.  Seth changed our lives forever.  He was our unexpected bonus for staying in Salem when all we wanted to do was travel the world- and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. 

Romaniv.- I have no words.  Amazing day.  Amazing boys.  Even more amazing now that we know we get to back.  πŸ™‚

The Day We’ve Been Waiting For.- God moved mountains to make this day happen.  It was absolutely miraculous!!!!!  It just goes to show you that He is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine.  Man does not have the final say.  God does.  Word.

We Had No Idea.- Seth’s story.  I pray as he grows he will understand how much he is loved, how many people prayed for him, and how hard we fought for him.  Love love love my baby.

Carried.- This post is a good reminder to me that God is there even in our darkest hour.  He speaks life and love into our hearts when we need it most.  He is our healer and His promises are true. Thankful.  πŸ™‚


Thanks to all of you for following our journey and encouraging us along the way.  It’s crazy to think about what we initially started this blog for, and what it has become.  His ways are sooooo much higher than our ways.  

I can’t wait to see what life will be like when we write post #200!

Love, Tears, Hope

In a land across the ocean there’s a small town nestled among farms and fields.  It has the look of many other towns and villages just like it dotted across the countryside.  Carts being led by cows meander down the lane.  People go about their lives of work and play.  This place is seemingly insignificant, nothing special to look at upon first glance- yet this town holds our hearts. 

Dream come true…

 You see in this town there is a wall with a gate.  Behind that gate our hearts are held hostage.  They have been captured by a group of boys who most people don’t even know exist.  “Our Boys”.  I know we have no claim to them, no right to call them “Our Boys”, but in our hearts they are that.  They are our loved ones, our calling, our dream.  

One day in 2010 God caught our attention and we learned about The Boys.  Since that first moment they have held our hearts.  We have prayed for them, we have wept for them, we have pleaded to God for them.  Last April we got to touch them, look into their eyes, and whisper prayers over them.  I still can’t even believe God did that.  It seems like a dream.  I would give just about anything to be back in that place right this very minute.  Somehow we know God has called us there.  We have no idea what God has in store for us and them…but that place, those boys…He’s drawing us, coaxing us, keeping our hearts soft toward them, leading us there in His simple way that says “You’ll know my plans when you need to know.  Just trust Me.”

Today there is heartache for our dear, sweet Boys we love so very much.  

Today we learned that Sasha, one of the Boys, passed away into the arms of Jesus.  

Sasha

I can’t stop crying.  You see, Sasha had a family who loved him very much.  He was lost no longer! They were working as fast as possible to complete his adoption.  They had just found out last week that they would get to travel to rescue their baby boy in just 5 weeks.  Oh the celebration!  Oh the anticipation!  Oh the devastation.  

Sweet Sasha, who they were going to name Jonathan, would never have the joy of a family here on earth.  Please keep his loving family in your prayers.  They are so grieved, yet trusting God.  Their faith is so inspiring. Sasha was eight years old and had Down Syndrome.  He was not mobile and most likely spent his life in a crib.  Now He is with Jesus- no more pain, no more tears, no more suffering.  

Now we are the ones with tears.  

I know we‘ve said many times, but it still holds true;

 “Do the next thing.  Say yes to Jesus.  Live a life of yes.”

These children need us to act.  These children need us to not turn away because the need is too great.  These children need us to look past our ideas of what our lives would look like and be willing to veer left. These children need us to be the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth.  If not us, who?  If not now, when?  

These children need us to live lives of yes.

Not lives of waiting until all the circumstances are just right.  
Not lives lived in fear of the unknown.  
Not lives spent building our own kingdoms.  

If we are listening to Jesus and saying yes to Him, the circumstances are right- even if they don’t look it with our human eyes.  “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”  Isaiah 55:8
If we are trusting Jesus and saying yes to Him, He gives us peace when we are fearful.  He gives us boldness to step out into the unknown and even joy in the journey.  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33


If we are saying yes to Jesus we are interested in building His kingdom, not our own. “May your kingdom come. May your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  Matthew 6:10
“…not my will, but yours be done.”  Luke 22:42

I don’t want to be harsh.  I hope and pray I don’t sound condemning, I just have to speak out.  These children need a voice and because I know them and love them, I simply must speak for them.   

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, β€œplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11
That verse is not just for you and me.  That verse is not just for the able-bodied.  God has purpose and plans for all people.  He has a hope and a future for all people.   

We recognize that orphans with special needs are our “yes”, so we’re going to be pretty outspoken about their need.  But the bigger point of all of this is that each of us say yes to whatever it is God is asking of us.  If its not this issue- then find your issue and go do something about it.  Act.  Say yes.  Don’t hold back.  Live life to the fullest for HimYour life, and the lives of others depend on it. 

6 Things

1.  Thanksgiving was a fabulous road trip of the ginormous variety.  We drove to visit Jed’s side of the fam and to deliver a small U-haul of his parents’ stuff and a few totes of our keepsakes to store.  I think we ended up driving 35ish hours over the course of about 5.5 days.  We are gluttons for punishment. Hehe.  But, it was so fantastic to see the family that I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. 

Cracker Barrel stop!

 
2.  While we were with the family for the holiday we got to see someone very special…ALBAN!!!!  I don’t know if I’ve shared here before that Jed’s parents are missionaries in Kosova…have I?  Well, they are, and they rock.  Anway, Alban is one of our dear friends from Kosova that works with Jed’s parents.  It’s been 5 years since we’ve been to Kosova, so it was high time we saw our Alban again.  He just happens to be in the States doing an internship for the school year and we got to spend the weekend with him at Jed’s sister’s house. YAY for family reunions!!!! 

Alban and Addy.  I love this picture.  It pretty much sums up their relationship πŸ™‚

3.  We thought we had lost our camera in our move.  Then we thought we found it, only to discover it really is lost.  Boohooooooo.  Now we’re saving up for a new one.  Anyone have any suggestions on a great camera?  

In the meantime I’ll have to keep using my semi-lame phone pictures to spruce up the old blog.  Forgive me?


4.  MAJOR NEWS!!!!!!!!  Sasha, one of the Lost Boys we love so deeply is found!  A family committed to adopt Sasha.  I am blown away.  The kids and I were FREAKING OUT when we saw the news.  Havalah has prayed for Sasha faithfully every night since he became a Lost Boy.  We are so thankful that he is lost no more.  WAHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!  Now if we can convince his lucky family to scoop up an extra kiddo while they’re in the neighborhood we’ll be in business. πŸ˜‰ Hopefully they’ll blog so I can introduce you to them at some point.


Sasha!

5.  Thank you , thank you , thank you to each and every one of you who has shared Samuel and Sara’s story.  Hundreds of people have seen their faces this week!  We know that we know God’s plans for them our good.  Now we get to see those plans unfold.  Aren’t we lucky?  Front row seats!

Samuel
Sara

6.  I know I owe everyone a Ukraine-Move update.  Well, the update is that there’s nothing to update!  Ha!  We are waiting on the Lord for our next steps.  We are working our tails off at paying off student debt and trusting God that He will show us what to do next.  We know that we need to start working on support-raising, so that will kick in to high gear after the holidays.  Your prayers are so appreciated on how to tackle that beast.  We aren’t interested in our own good ideas, we are only interested in God’s strategy.  So, until He tells us how to move we wait on Him.

That’s all I got folks! God is good, He is faithful, I just want to fall more in love with Him every day.  I’m confident the rest of the pesky details like where we‘re going to live, and how He plans to make all this happen will fall into place in His perfect timing.  πŸ™‚