Letting Go Again and Again....and again.

Letting go of the idea that Katya and Karina will become our adopted children,
but not losing all hope!

Letting go of my plans, and trusting in the perfect will and plan of my Father in heaven, and in this gaining hope, gaining peace, gaining contentment, gaining confidence, and gaining renewed commitment to trust and obey - in an effort to please him more and more.  Here is the latest news on our adoption story:  We have had so many circumstances point to a positive hopeful progression toward adoption...little things really that are beyond coincidental. There have been a few things too though on the other hand - pointing to a ‘No’ on the adoption front (with these two at least).

On the positive side first, We have sent a letter, pictures, birthday cards, and a small birthday present to the girls through one of three different people currently in the US (with NHFC hosting program).  One is a caregiver in GA who sees them daily.  The other are students in the school.  One we think is a room mate of the girls’ and the other is a little older, but sees them frequently.  We have been given this opportunity to send correspondence to them through all three means, so they will get a lot of our heart within the next week or two (hopefully - more on why that is in a sec).  In addition, the director of the New Life ministries that I am traveling with this week ended up in a small church in Alabama, working on fundraising support for orphan campers.  Of all places and people, the ministry team met up with the formerly mentioned room mate and encouraged them in their own language - making a three-way connection between us, them, the ministry team and Katya and Karina.  Prior to this endeavor, we had not known anyone from Ukraine, and now it seems that God continues to weave our lives into connections with people who are not only from the country - but are from their school and even in their very room.  This circumstance appears to be God ordained glimmers of hope.  That is our interpretation, although we will not trust in what we can see or how we feel, but will trust in our relationship with Him and submit to His will alone.  You see there is another set of circumstances working against this hope.  Is it Satan preventing us from moving forward, has he been allowed to intervene?  Or is it God just saying ‘No’?  We know and trust in the fact that God is in control, and nothing happens without his permission, and nothing happens that will not be used for the good of those that love and serve him only.

On the negative side, we have received word from our Ukraine facilitators that the girls went off to camp as planned, but upon their return that grandma has come to get them.  The tone and inclination of the information was that it seems she is planning to take them for good, work on getting custody still and keeping them with her.  We are not sure if she has obtained legal guardianship yet, but we don't think so.  To that end, she may be required to return them to the orphanage if she is not found suitable.  It is not uncommon for family to get the children during school breaks - so the question will be whether they return or if indeed she keeps them for good.  Naturally, if she keeps them for good (either with or without guardianship - which I suppose is possible if the system turns a blind eye to legalities), then this would be the end of the immediate story.  IF she returns them willingly or by
obligation, then who knows how things will progress. 

Our facilitators will be checking on them and grandma’s status every two weeks and relaying information.  We are grateful to them for the work that they continue to put into intervening in the lives of these little girls.  They are a great team to be working with!  So we let go of what we think we know, and we let of go of what we think we want.  We have let go of the idea that they will be our children, and yet hope that it will still happen, but remain at peace with God's will in all of this.  As more details unfold, we will post post.  Probably not much more news for several weeks.

IN THE MEAN TIME, God has faithfully answered my prayer to grant peace with the circumstances and rely on Him for the working out of His plan.  I am at peace with the situation either way.  While I long to adopt them, and will never forget them, I will joyfully submit to my maker and Father as the loving caretaker of my life.  This peace is necessary as I enter into the next Ukraine orphan care purpose that he has called me to.  Today I am leaving for Ukraine to work with orphans during a summer discipleship camp session.  They will be at camp from Aug 1 - 16 (I will only be there until the 6th - national staff maintain the remainder of the camp session).  God has called me to partake in His work of evangelism and discipleship encouragement in the lives of about 60 kids that rarely hear or see things of God put into action.  I pray that I am emptied of myself more and more, and conversely filled with His Spirit, wisdom, and love as I allow God to demonstrate and teach His word through me.  I am grateful for this chance to go on so many levels, and look forward to all that God has planned to teach me too.  I have much more to learn about trusting Him and yielding to Him, these are the lessons in life that matter the most.

I am saddened as well to be leaving my precious wife and kiddos behind.  The excited anticipation is tempered with a longing to be at home with them and a foreknowledge of missing the meals, projects, goodnight prayers, hugs, and procrastinating trips to the bathroom!  I pray for their peace and for a spirit of helpfulness to mom - a desire to be pleasing to her and to put their brothers and sisters before themselves.  I pray for Amy’s strength of body and spirit to hold up under the pressure of looking after everything 24/7 while Im gone.  We are a team, and she is bearing a burden and participating with me in this ministry to the orphans by her sacrificial service of going it alone for 10 days.  Thank you honey, you are amazing and doing an important work...just because we are separated and doing physically different things - we are united in purpose and in obeying Gods will as we work together to accomplish all that needs to be done, both at home and in Ukraine.  I couldn't do this without you, nor could you serve these kids in Ukraine without me doing this part.  It is a great picture of the body, different functions for a season and yet we are united in purpose and accomplishment of Kingdom work.  Give the children extra hugs and kisses today.  I appreciate you, will be praying and thinking of you all often.


  1. Jeff and Amy - We are around the corner, Amy, and Lanelle wants to let Anna and Grace come over to cook. That wouldn't be much of a help though ;) Still, if you need to run errands or need some time to recover, let us know, we'll run over and give you relief. It only takes four minutes to get there ;) Jeff, you heart of faithfulness and sacrifice is an encouragement to me to put off the "besetting sins." Even at my age, it's so easy to just "go with the flow." You're living a RADICAL life and bringing much glory to the kingdom of God. Love you both!! And Amy, I MEAN IT!!



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