fast and pray, if you feel led. Bottomline – when Tamara signed the papers refusing guardianship, a box was actually checked to ASSIGN her guardianship. So, today, the director and the lawyer of Katya’s orphanage are working with Tamara to write a “suit” to the court to vacate their decision. Our sweet Liliya is working fervently and passionately, and perhaps even with a bit of righteous indignation, to do her part to correct this mistake. At this point, I have no idea of the implications. I trust that EVERYTHING comes through God’s hands. And, if this bump brings more of us to prayer for Katya, for Tamara, and for others involved in the process, then God is glorified in the process, the enemy is weakened, and we have the privilege of joining with the King of kings as He works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.
Archives for March 2009
send them with another family. Tomorrow, my sweet husband will, for the last time, dash from our home to our state capital to apostille our documents – including the I171-H. I still get excited thinking about that piece of paper. It really should be more impressive looking than it is – at least with a gold seal or something!
So, here’s the deal. Dasha’s parents will be coming back in a couple of days to brave the 10-day wait, which is more of a 14-day wait in Odessa. Then Dasha’s dad will head back to Odessa to bring her home. Do we go ahead and mail our documents, or do we wait until Dasha’s dad can hand deliver them to Dima, our facilitator?
Any words of wisdom? What do you think?
Watching TV! And from what I understand, a lot of TV watching happens at the orphanage. Hmmm … this may be challenging since we don’t really have a TV. We do have a DVD player and projector for watching family movies, but no TV. Her least favorite subjects? Math and reading. Uh-oh …
“Please come next week, Mama!”
“It won’t be next week, Katya. We are working hard to come, but it will still be awhile.”
“I will wait.”
And so will we, Katya. So will we.
Yes! Our I171-H arrived today. Little did our mailman know he was carrying gold! Thank you, Lord! So, next week, our last round of notarizing and apostilling and then our last documents will travel to Ukraine.
Yet that’s the likely “occupation” of 60% of the girls who “graduate” from Ukrainian orphanages.
60% of the girls will end up in prostitution. Those who run prostitution rings target orphaned girls, who are especially vulnerable due to their lack of options and lack of people who care what happens to them. Though promised good jobs, they end up on the streets and brothels of cities across Europe. worldorphanprojectstatistics
Think about 10 little girls that you know. Name them. Get their pictures in your head. Consider how dear they are to you. Now imagine these precious girls orphaned because of poverty, alcoholism, imprisonment, or death, institutionalized, and left year after year. They watch younger children get adopted as they get older and older. As every year passes, the likelihood that they will ever find a family decreases. At 15 or 16 they “graduate” from the orphanage. At 15 or 16! I have a daughter who is 16. What would she do if she were without a family, without a job, without a home?
She may “survive” in the sex trade industry. Some of these girls move right into prostitution through local pimps. Others are promised jobs in Israel, Germany, and the United States as waitresses or maids, taken across borders, and then held in bondage for years working as sex slaves to pay off the debt their kidnapper supposedly incurred in the process of trafficking them.
The remaining four girls may choose to continue to go to school and live in government-run dormitories, if space is available, where the conditions are much worse than they were in the orphanage. Alone, without encouragement, without love, they spend their days. Perhaps they have delayed the inevitable for a few years. Or perhaps they will find a job selling berries, selling flowers, or selling vodka, rather than selling themselves. Regardless, unless there is intervention, they will remain afflicted, broken-hearted, captive to hopelessness.
And yet these girls are created by One who desires to set them in families, bind up their broken hearts, exchange beauty for ashes, and rejoice over them with singing. They are created by One whose purpose was to set the captives free! But, unless there is intervention, they are captive to a hopeless future.
With 100,000 orphans in Ukraine, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. “We can’t save them all.” “What difference can I really make?” “We don’t have the money.” “The impact of bringing an orphan into our life is too unpredictable.”
I understand these objections. They were mine. And yet, last spring, God tugged on our heart for the nation of Ukraine. As Bill and I stayed with a Ukrainian family, visited villages, spoke at churches, and spent time at one orphanage, we essentially crossed the Rubicon. As we toured this bleachy-clean facility, saw well-appointed classrooms, and peaked into a kitchen of Ukrainian women cooking potatoes for the children’s lunches, my heart kept crying, “These children need families.” We came home changed. So, when Katya’s need for a host family through FrontierHorizon was brought to our attention, we knew that this was for us. And now, nearly a year after our trip to Ukraine we are hoping to welcome her into our family
Many families are adopting children from Ukraine. Some are called to adopt older children; others are adopting children with Down’s Syndrome, or those who are sick. You can read some of their stories from my sidebar. Other families are hosting children for the summer, like we did, with no intent to adopt. Even getting into family life for four-eight weeks can have long-lasting impact upon a child giving them a vision for family and inspire them with hope. Others travel to Ukraine and serve in orphanages like TaniaMartin who is in the Rivne oblast. Many are making financial investments so that those who are called to adopt can do so. Others are working to help these children transition from life in the orphanage to life in the world.
Little girls don’t dream of growing up to be prostitutes, but without our help, 6 out of every 10 girls who graduates from an orphanage will…
Katya is out of the sanitorium and is home with her grandmother, Tamara, The orphanage is on Spring Break and kids who are “social orphans” can spend this time with family. “Pure orphans” stay at the orphanage. Although Katya’s status is now that of a “pure orphan,” she still has the benefit of being able to be with her grandmother on holidays and weekends.
Liliya will visit Katya on Saturday and we’ll talk with her then. While we LOVE talking with Katya, it is also hard. She tends to be very chatty at first and then begins asking us to come get her tomorrow. Of course, we’re thrilled that she wants us to bring her home, our hearts also break that we can’t travel tomorrow. And although we have told her, and Liliya has reiterated, that we are working hard and are coming to her as soon as we can, I’m sure that it’s very hard to understand.
So, I’m beside myself at being able to talk with her, I feel the weightiness of the heart of this precious one. Please pray that we’ll be wise in our conversation – that the Lord would use it to build connectedness, but that He would also protect Katya’s heart.
And although the biblical Esther truly is one of my long-term heroes, I’m talking about Esther who works in Congressman Tom Perriello’s office, whom Katya met last summer. Esther just informed me that our I171-H is IN THE MAIL!!! Although it will be very good to have that gold-plated document in hand, it is GREAT to know that it is actually wending it’s way toward our home even now! Thanks SO much for your prayers!!! And a special thanks to you, Esther!
Oh, and since the I171-H is almost here, our apostilling adventure will be postponed until it arrives.
Still no news on that form, BUT, we did hear from Dima. Everything looks good in the forms we have sent so far AND there is another family heading over to Ukraine on Monday who can take everything but that I171-H. We may make have another apostilling adventure to report to you tomorrow!
for that I171-H. Please join me in praying that it comes quickly!
We had three outstanding documents: our marriage certificate which had to be apostilled in NC, our state background check, and our I171-H. We have in our hands, all but the I171-H! I have more and more sympathy with my friend Sara’s stalking habits these days. Pray that the I171-H comes soon, or I may scare our mailman.