Friday, September 18, 2009

Then and Now...

"Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the LORD; exult before him! Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land." Psalm 68:4-6

Can you believe it's been four months?!. In many ways it seems like a long time, while in others, it seems like it was just yesterday when we began the ride of our lives on planes, trains and automobiles (yes, all three modes of transport within 4 days of custody with four Russian speaking children - ha!).... O, how great, gracious and glorious is our God! His mercies are new every morning, great is His faithfulness!
This past week I've done a lot of looking back at pictures from our journey. It has been amazing to reflect on where God has taken us and see the work He is doing. I wanted to re-post the above picture of James' class back in the orphanage following a recent email update I received from a worker elsewhere in Ukraine. This worker's story reminded me of our own experience during our adoption process. For confidentiality as well as security reasons, I'll share their story in generalities...

The worker wrote that upon the return to the orphanage, they were greeted by a boy anxious to update them on the recent happenings while away. The news was that two friends were in the process of being adopted! Despite sharing excitement for his friends, a real sense of heartache was settling in. You see, these three friends have been together for eight years there. They are the three remaining from their original 1st grade class. The boy continued to share that every night, regardless of how tired he is, he prays that someone will come and adopt him. The worker asked him to share his prayer with them and this is what he said...
"Dear God, please help someone find me a family. They don't have to be rich. I just want a family. Amen."
The worker wrote on to say that later when they saw him, he came over with a lowered gaze asking, "Why doesn't anyone choose me?"

This story reminded me of one of the days we visited the orphanage during our process. James' teacher (as seen above) - this teacher was uncharacteristically nurturing - would have the students line up and sing a song each day. The song? "A Song for Mama". They lined up and sang it for us, but unfortunately we didn't get it video taped. The teacher shared how some days James refused to sing the song. When he was asked why he would basically respond, "Who is going to want me?" Even now my eyes are flooded at the thought... the thought of so many children across the world who cry on their pillows each night... if they even have pillows....

Praise the Lord, He is the Father of the fatherless! Ultimately, these precious little ones are in His care. We are to be the hands and feet of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are to "seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan and plead the widow's cause" (Isaiah 1:17). Join me in praying for His leading in what that is to look like in each of our lives. "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (James 1:22) Join me in praying specifically for this precious boy in Ukraine... that he would have the peace and comfort from our Abba Father... and if you have questions about how you can get involved or about this particular child, please let me know....

I have the above picture on my desktop... one of my favorites....

Friday morning was "Date with Dad" in Victoria's Kindergarten class. Tony called me afterwards and said, "This day has made my top ten list out of my entire life thus far!" He shared that the class was full of large men seated in little chairs with their proud children. He shared that Vica was ecstatic to have him there and happily displayed the various things she had made for him. His favorite: a paper tie on a piece of yarn she had colored for him! He may surprise you tie wearing lovers one Sunday morning - ha ha! I thought I'd post a picture of Victoria with her papa THEN...
And NOW....
Below is a picture of Vica on proud display...

4 comments:

The McEacherns said...

What a beautiful picture of how God brings us into his family! We are off to Ukraine tomorrow, seeking the children He has for us. Blessings to you!

By the way, I think you'd really like the book Adopted For Life by Russell D. Moore. It's about adoption as gospel and as mission. A great read! You can get it at Amazon.

Hevel said...

Oh my! That classroom totally looks like the classroom from the school my eldest went to in Hungary. Except there were more kids.

It is amazing what a change a few months can bring in children!

Conethia and Jim Bob said...

We just recently reflected on where we were 4 months ago! What a trip it has been! It's amazing at the strides these kids have made. Can you imagine what lies ahead for them? One thing's for sure, you get to be right there beside them whatever it is!!

Jennie Hensarling said...

You've brought tears to my eyes. It's so amazing the difference you've made in your children's lives and them in yours. Thank Jesus James will never cry into his pillow again fearing that no one will want him.
Thank you for sharing.