Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Groupa 4

A little over a year and a half ago I saw some pictures from my friend from Ukraine.  She said pray for these children, please.  I knew her heart longed deeply when she asked that & I am here today in part because of the prayers of her and so many others on behalf of my daughter, whom I didn't even know at the time.  And now I sit, in Groupa 4, holding my baby girl and aching for the others that look longingly at me.  I can't even begin to write out all that goes through my head and heart for these children, although I'd love to have the conversation with anyone who asks.  Some things are too deep for words for me and the lives of the children in Groupa 4 mean something greater to me than I can explain.

So I will come to you all with the same request of my friend, pray for these children, please.  They are precious little ones and I am praying daily for them.  Won't you join me?

Psalm 9:9-10

"The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you."

Sweet Daniel, 5 years.  He smiles so joyfully whenever we say his name, touch his cheeks, and talk with him.

Psalm 9:12
"For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless, He does not ignore those who cry to him for help."

Sweet Leara, 4 years.  Leara is a tiny one.  When Madeline left she gave her a new book and we see her now playing with it.  So sweet. 

Psalm 9:18-20
"For the needy will not be forgotten forever; the hopes of the poor will not always be crushed.  Arise, O Lord!  Do not let mere mortals defy you!  Let the nations be judged in your presence!  Make them tremble in fear, O Lord.  Let them know they are merely human."

Sweet Arseni, almost 2.  Arseni is new to the room.  He belly laughed when Madeline would play hide & seek with him.  Precious boy.  

1 Thessalonians 5:14
"Take tender care of those who are weak"

Sunday, May 26, 2013

more sweet laughter

More sweet laughing from Paulina.  Seriously, the best thing you could do with your next 20ish seconds.  She is such joy!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

a few videos

We took these videos while we were here with Madeline & I am just now figuring out how to upload them.  Hopefully, more will come as I keep understanding youtube & blogger :)!  For now, enjoy these sweet ones.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

home for a bit

Well we knew this would be a long journey, and we knew we were trusting Jesus with it all, but we had no idea what all that would truly look like.  We found out shortly after our initial appointment in Ukraine that, due to a 2 week holiday, the earliest possible court date we could receive would be the end of May.  And court marks about 3 weeks left in the process before coming home.  We found this out at the end of April and thus began debating whether or not we should all come home for a bit.  The decision was hard but we again prayed a lot, and kept trying to figure out how to trust Jesus with our days, our decisions, and all of our children.  

We were able (thank you, Jesus) to change Andrew & Madeline's plane tickets for free (!) and add me for a very low fare so we booked tickets & came home this past Wednesday.  We've experienced God's goodness and clear direction for us so incredibly through these last weeks in Urkaine and knew He was directing us in this as well.  Seeing Simeon & Anna after 2 1/2 weeks away has been wonderful!  We've spent the last day just relaxing & playing & soaking them in.  

Leaving Paulina was not easy for us but we know that ultimately, whether we are with her or not, God is near to her, as He has always been.  Praying for her heart daily and for these 2 weeks without us to go quickly for her.  I've posted this song before but I love it so much and God has used it to continually remind me that He loves her and cares for her and she is guarded over within His tender hands.  

Saturday, May 4, 2013


A few days before we left for Ukraine, our community of friends came over to sit and talk and pray.  We were in the midst of running around like crazy people trying to line all things up for us to leave and were very much looking forward to a burst of energy from this night.  So much of this journey to Paulina has humbled us over and over again and this night, surrounded by these friends, was no different.

Our living room filled, voices were overflowing, excitement and joy were evident.  We sat together & they asked us for what they can do for us.  I had trouble answering because the reality is they've already done so very much.  They are part of the reason we are able to bring Paulina home in the first place.  They surround us and our family constantly with love & prayer & encouragement.  What else, they wonder?  And not just wonder, they genuinely long to know.  It blows my mind.  We talked through all the things we'd love prayer for and they jotted down notes.  Then going around the room, one by one, they prayed for us.  My dearest friend choked out several sentences before the tears got too much and I was crying right along with her.  These people sat alongside us that night and asked Jesus specifically to meet our needs and they did it with such genuine and real love for us.  I can't even grasp it all when I try.

When all had left that night & Andrew & I sat talking we kept saying, we are so blessed to have these friends surrounding us.  I can't get over the amount of sincerity and Christ-centered love that filled our home that night and our lives always because of these friends.  This group isn't perfect by any means but our imperfect lives being lived out together is a picture of the body of Christ to me.  And Christ was so evident in them that night to us and we are incredibly thankful.  Years ago, when we prayed for what our community might look like, we never even knew to ask for what God has given us.  So, to all of you who came that night, and to our family & so many others who are walking alongside life with us, we say thank you.