It is a season of life with many personal challenges. It is not always easy to focus on Ukraine. And yet I am thankful for technology and the daily reminders of children longing simply for love, and families answering the call. I see God working in so many ways that I increasingly realize this is His job, not mine. In fact, my new motto this year is : “As long as God keeps working, I will keep going”. Grace to Ukraine is diligent to do what we believe God has called us to do: caring for the orphaned and poor of Ukraine. It is so clear, however, that it is God who ultimately does the work.
Several recent stories convince me of this. Dima had been hosted many times before and had said no to adoption several times. I did not intend to host him last summer but my son, his best friend, told him I would. And so we hosted Dima. Here in Alabama he met his forever family. The perfect family for him. Just this week his family finalized the process in Ukraine, making Dima, as well as Dasha, another young lady we hosted, part of their forever family. God’s ideas trump our own.
And then there’s Larissa. I met her 4 years ago while hosting her in my home for a week. After that, she was placed into foster care in Ukraine even though there was a local family pursuing her for adoption. That family continued to pray for Larissa and longed to one day bring her back. It just so happened that we hosted from Larissa’s orphanage this year. And Larissa, no longer in foster care, contacted me and asked if she, too, could come to America. That family, longing and praying for her for 4 years, has been able to spend the summer with her and hope to complete the adoption process this year. God is never limited by circumstances.
A few years ago a woman came by our booth at a Junior League market and bought an ornament with a child’s picture . She told her daughter about GtU and gave her the ornament. Her daughter checked us out on social media; read a blog about Vova and felt God’s calling to adopt him. And he didn’t come alone; his sister came as well. A sister whose picture was on the ornament given to her that hung on the family’s Christmas tree. God is in the details.
There is a brother and sister for whom I have advocated for several years. Luda is my daughter’s best friend. She has literally begged for a family. Frankly, I was about to give up on them. Luda turns 18 this year and Zhenya turns 16. Once November of this year rolls around, these two will be ineligible for international adoption. A family near us has stepped forward and begun the process of adopting these two teens. I am so glad God does not give up.
Oh and the sweet girl I met in the spring. She introduced herself to me and said “I want a family.” I simply cannot carry such a burden. But God can. A woman met her this summer. A woman who speaks Italian. Perfect, because this sweet Ukrainian girl has traveled many times to Italy and they were able to communicate during hosting in Italian. Only God could weave this story.
I could go on and on. The two brothers whom we have known for many years; hosted several times; and who were evacuated from the war zone, now being pursued by a family God sought out. The FOUR siblings I thought would never have a chance (especially with one having special needs), now being loved and pursued by a family who has always wanted a LARGE family. The woman I met at a fundraiser who brought home a brother and sister in February of this year. In fact, there are 14 children we have previously hosted who are right now being pursued for adoption.