Family and Friends, December 2012
Here we are another year gone by and we are so grateful for what The Lord is doing in our lives.
We had many family adventures this year including motorcycle riding in the desert, trips to
San Francisco and Alcatraz, and our first time in Yosemite, Jenness Park Christian Camp, soccer games, gymnastic competitions and Disneyland.
Our biggest adventure of all this summer was hosting two sisters from an orphanage in
. We saw an email in February about the opportunity to serve and host a child from the depressed country of Ukraine . We prayed about it and decided to look at the hosting list of children. After much prayer and consideration we chose a 6 year old girl. We started the paperwork and soon found out that she has a 13 year old sister that is also available for hosting. Again with much prayer we chose to host both girls and bring them to our home for the summer. So, for many months we prayed for the girls that were to come. We prepared their room, collected clothes and bought them many girly items they had never seen or used in an orphanage. But, mostly we prayed for their hearts to see God when they were here, we prayed for their anxiousness as they fly for several hours into another country (having never been in a car before), to stay 6 weeks with a family they have never seen before. What a leap of faith for these girls to branch out into the unknown and uncertain world and not speak a word of English. Our family arrived at Ukraine airport with much anxiety to wait for them to arrive. We made signs with their names to wave at them as they walked down the terminal. There were 15 children coming to San Francisco and they were tired, hungry and scared when they walked up to the several families waiting for them. We were so relieved the girls took to us right away, Vika (6) let us hold and hug her right away and Sasha (13) immediately started trying to learn English. We took the girls to see things they had never seen before. We went to the ocean, saw whales and dolphins, rode roller coasters, went camping, biking riding, horse back riding, River Cats Baseball game, tubing behind our boat, swimming and going down the slid with lots of family fun time. Eating dinner together and having a daddy pray with them was such a special time. I have a dear friend that is from the California and speaks fluently; she was a monumental asset to our time with the girls. We were able to have long conversation, understand what they have been through and get to the hearts of these girls. Vika underwent several oral surgeries to clear up major infection and pull teeth that were rotten. She was a trouper never complaining a bit. She was sweet with a happy heart and longing for a family. We decided to proceed with adoption for both girls. The day we were leaving to take them back to the airport Sasha decided she did not want to be adopted by our family. She wanted the "freedoms" of the world, which we were not going to give her. She wanted a cell phone, access to the Internet, songs and movies that we don't allow and freedom to come and go from our home as she pleases. Little Vika was crying and saying she wants us as her mom and dad, but Ukraine will not separate siblings and children over 8 can say "yes" or "no” to any family. With great sadness we knew we had to let them go. Just Mike and I brought them back to SF. We took them to a fancy diner and to the beach to see it one last time. The next morning, as we rode the bus to the airport we were filled with the same anxious feeling of when we were there to pick them up. As we said our final good byes, Vika cried and call "mama" when going through security checkpoint. It was gut wrenching hearing her call for me. I stood there and sobbed, praying for this little girl we were placing back into the care of a cold, uncaring orphanage never knowing if we would see her again. We sent them with warm blankets, coats, sock, boots and lots of the girly things we bought them, but none of that compares to a family that will love them. Our family will pray for these girls for the rest of our lives, as they have grown in our hearts. They received their only Christmas gifts from us, they were packed with a Ukrainian bible, toys, puzzles, hats, gloves and lip gloss to show them our love runs deep and we think of them often. Even though these were not the children God had chosen for us adopt, He did choose them to be ours for 6 weeks and they will always be our girls. Ukraine
We have decided to continue to pursue adoption from
. All our paperwork has been submitted and is in the hands of the Ukrainian government. We are told we could travel as early was January. All four of us are planning to travel to Ukraine . This will be a blind adoption, meaning we will not receive referrals for children until we are in Ukraine . We are confident God is before us in this and has children chosen for our family. You can follow our blog at http://worthswildride.blogspot.com/ to get updates before we leave and when we are in Ukraine with pictures of the children we are adopting. We would appreciate prayers for our travel, our children (here and in the orphanage) and our paperwork processing. Our scripture for this time in our life is: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Ukraine
Our Lord instructs us to care for the orphan (James 1:27). It can look different for every family. It does not always mean to adopt, it could be as easy as taking a meal to a family that has just adopted children, sending a note of encouragement, dropping off a tea or coffee or simply dedicating time to pray for a family. The thought of so many orphans is often overwhelming at times, but one favorite quote from a 24 year old woman, Katie Davis who lives in Uganda, Africa and has adopted 13 children says: "you can't change the world, but you can change one life." I love that!!! What an amazing thought that we can change a life with just a place to call home with a loving family there.
We love you all and pray you have a wonderful Christmas with family.