As one chapter closes... signifies either the beginning of the next, or the finishing of a book. And since we are not dead, nor sense that God has brought us this far and taught us this much for nothing - we see the close of the chapter on our adoption efforts with Katya and Karina as the signal for the next.

As it turns out, Grandma has had the girls all summer long, ever since we left. The girls may have spent a week or two in camp, and maybe not, but either way - they were not at the orphanage all summer and outside of the camp question, grandma had taken them with her. Despite this fact, we remained hopeful as we waited for August to come to a close. Questions loomed on the horizon, giving us hope and optimism about what the future might hold for them and us. We thought that perhaps the authorities would not grant guardianship. We thought that perhaps now the director would allow us to host them in December of this year, since he knew us and our love for the children. We thought that maybe grandma would realize that she didnt want to take care of these girls, it being too much work for her, and a burden with so little income.

As our friends were traveling with the hosting program during the first part of September, and a family facebook friend was headed to Kherson to adopt a friend of our girls after this past summer hosting session - we took opportunity to send one more letter and one more gift to the girls - eagerly awaiting the interviewing teams persuasion of the director on our behalf.

Upon arrival and spending a few days at the orphanage, our adopting friend reported that the girls were no where to be seen and that the rumor was they were no longer in the orphanage. Our hearts sank at this news, and the feelings of loss and uncertainty began to grow heartily in us again. Then, the interviewing team arrived on location, they confirmed and got word back to us that the girls did indeed return to the orphanage on Sept 1st as required, in order to start the school year. However, grandma returned on Sept 3rd with all required legal paperwork to prove her newly assigned guardianship. She took the girls with her, and that is it for our adoption effort of Katya and Karina. It can not happen at this point of course.

So now, we grieve the loss again. It is easier this time, as so much grief has already been poured out. Admittedly, taking down the pictures that had been placed around the house and in the car reminding us to pray for them and for God's will to be done was a fairly emotional event. Tears slowly made their way down my cheeks, and sorrow for what must be one of the closest feelings to the death of a biological child bore itself out as we tried to comfort and reassure one another.

We sat down with our children and explained the current events, asked if they had any questions and talked through how they were feeling. They didn't have much to say, but they are aware of what we are thinking and feeling, and the reality of the situation. They are more than welcome to go over the details and ask questions of us as they too process the loss of two hoped for and anticipated sisters. We took the opportunity to remind them however that God did not fail. God did not let us down. God is good and knows what is best for his children. We reminded them of all the things that He has taught us, and them, through this experience and directed their attention to the fact that we would not have learned any of these things had we not walked through the experience - every bit of the experience. If God had chosen to cut it short at any point along the way, the lessons He taught would have been cut short also. We also looked back over the last year or so and gave Him praise for the way He has changed us for the better - how He has redirected our thinking toward things that matter to Him; how He has created within us a deeper desire to love others in a way that models His love for all people; how He has redirected the focus of our finances toward things that really matter - rather than the best HDTV we should purchase, or which new shiny thing we think we need to be happy; how He has put us in partnership with a ministry that focuses the love of Christ toward the 99% of the countries' orphans who won't be adopted - allowing us to serve them in many ways through this venue; and how he has taught us some of the depths of His pain at our rejection of Him when we choose to live like the world around us.

I am feel kind of like Moses during God's dialogue with him concerning the exodus assignment. Moses is recorded to have protested, pleaded against, and argued against the plans of God; asking questions like "What if it goes all wrong?", and "Why have you done this?", and "Why did you send me here?". God's answer to Moses: "I will free you, I will redeem you, I will claim you as my own (adoption), you will know Me, and my fame will spread throughout the land." These are the same answers He is giving us as we continue to wrestle through these questions (albeit less and less). Our God is reliable, faithful to His promises, and good in all His ways.

So now, we praise Him for closure to this chapter. We are grateful and at peace with His plans for us, glad to be named among His children! Of particular significance is that the closure on this chapter has come quickly and decisively, leaving no uncertainties or new opportunities for us to persist in this matter. There is peace and joy in the finality of the situation...because...

... a new chapter is already beginning. If there were no immediate closure, we would not dare think of hosting any other children this winter. We would feel a sense of loyalty to the persistence of pursuit until all efforts were exhausted. But now, we are free to see what else God has in mind for us. And so, now with a sense of freedom, joy, and excitement even - we look forward to prayerfully considering whom the Lord might have us host in the winter session. We are excited to see if God moves us into full time missions service, relocating to the Ukraine, or whether He has just knit our hearts there in such an permanent way that we serve regularly through missions trips with our kiddos - teaching them to love and serve God by loving and serving others as the most important lesson in life they can ever grasp. We are also firm in our belief that God has called us to adoption of some sort (whether legally or just experientially through opening our home - in their country or ours!). So the next phase of our adoption journey continues in prayer and in the careful listening to the soft voice of God's Spirit within us. We are confident that He has not made a mistake with our experiences, and we are confident that we have not made a mistake in following Him where He has led us - so we maintain confidence that He will reveal who we should host this winter and if we are to pursue adopting whomever he or she may be.

Between hosting and a short term mission trip this year to impact the lives of the 99% who will never see adoption opportunities - we are in need of financial help. If you sense God leading you to give to our efforts, please see our fundraising link for a way to help us.  And thanks once again for walking with us through this journey.  Your love and comfort mean more than you know...

Hosting Fund Raiser


  1. This beautiful post warms my heart even though it is such a sad ending to your journey with these girls. I am so sorry for the pain and the grief. The closure of the door makes way for the next door. I will continue to hold your family in prayer, you are amazing and inspiring to so many people.



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