Before we even knew about Katya, we had come to love Ukraine. During the spring of 2008, Bill and I traveled with our church and others in our fellowship of churches to the Rivne oblast to develop a relationship with Salvation Church, a young body of believers who are bringing Christ to the youth of their city. We stayed with Albina and Pietre, a dear couple for whom we still have strong affection. We traveled to villages and led marriage conferences. We went to a museum where we saw a horrifically moving exhibit of Lenin’s famine genocide. We visited a women’s institution, and yes, we visited an orphanage.
When we came home, we celebrated Piper’s birthday by having a Ukrainian Party. I fixed borscht, varenyky, holubtsi, chicken kiev, and pancakes (crepes with cream cheese and fruit sauce). We presented all the children with treasures we had chosen for them from Ukraine.
Although Katya will be getting a family, she will be losing much. She’ll be losing life as she has known it. She will be leaving her grandmother, Tamara. Eventually, most likely, she’ll lose her Russian, unless the Lord opens a way for us to help her to keep it. She’ll grieve the loss, and we’ll be alongside her, even if the grieving looks like tantrums, pouting, and shutting down. Although some may disagree, we don’t feel she needs to lose her Ukrainian heritage. And so, in our family, we’re learning much about Ukrainian art, literature, and of course history. We will celebrate the beauty of a resilient people who have endured horrific suffering. We will eat borscht and make pysanky at Easter. We will not forget Ukraine.
Set aside about 8 1/2 minutes to watch this video from Ukraine’s Got Talent and get a glimpse of this beautiful people. You won’t be sorry.