Sometimes, when you begin a journey, you just don't know where you will land. Ours began 2 and a half years ago when we saw the beautiful photo of 2 little redheads in Ukraine that we felt certain that we were to go and adopt.
Long story very short, the adoption didn't work out and we were devastated. We simply could not understand why we felt so called to adopt these girls and how they so wanted to be in our family but it just didn't work out. They have a grandmother they love dearly and they just couldn't leave, understandably.
We left them with great memories in our hearts but a tremendous amount of confusion. Why oh why did we go through this? We did make some great connections, though, during that time. A great translator named Andrey helped us during our stay there and we became aware of the work of a wonderful ministry called Agape Ministries, who help share the gospel with children in orphanages and on the street and who help kids who age out of the orphanages at age 16 to go on to live normal lives and not drown like 90-95% of kids from orphanages do.
Less than a year later, Jeff and my girls, Anna and Gracie, were to go on a mission trip to a different part of Ukraine, but it ended up being cancelled. Jeff quickly contacted Agape Ministries and they said they had plenty of work they could come help with during that same week and they were led right back to that same region! At the 11th hour, on the last day of their trip, they were able to again connect with Katya and Karina through our adoption facilitator, Tania (front). What an amazing blessing to know that they girls were out of the orphanage and living with Grandmother (left of Jeff). Our hearts could now rest again. And we were able to keep in touch with Grandmother's cell phone and her blessing. BUT...then they moved and we have since lost touch once again.
Since then, we hosted and adopted these two! On our adoption trip, during our 10-day wait...we went back to Kherson.
We were back in Kherson at the Agape Ministries "Joshua House" with these handsome fellows and fell in love with this place all over again! We began to ask if this is where we were supposed to be, serving and loving the friends we have made here with our whole family. You can see here that Dahlia says "Yes!" to Sasha...
So in the last few months, we have learned about THIS house, around the corner from the Joshua House that is just perfect for our size of family. Remember Andrey, who translated for us on our first adoption trip? This is HIS father's house that is for sale! Jeff and Anna and Jeffrey are there now, beginning paperwork to buy it. The construction is not quite finished but it is wired for both American and European appliances and we already have the personnel in place through the family who is selling it, to get it finished and ready for us to move into it. Now we just need to pay the house in Ukraine off and sell our U.S. house, and we will be on our way!
And if that wasn't enough, Jeff talked on the phone to our adoption facilitator, Tania, and learned that she has become a Christian! She is excited that we will be moving to Kherson and wants to be our first Bible student! Jeff had given her an ipod with David Platt's sermons on it when he last saw her and who knows, but maybe that was part of the watering God used to bring her home...
Tania will be helping to relocate Katya and Karina for us since they moved so that we can hopefully still be a part of their lives, even though they are not our daughters, as was the original plan. We are super stoked about this possibility!!!
The confirmations from the Lord have been many, that this is where we are supposed to be and we are both thrilled and scared but know that we must keep moving forward as the Lord leads. One of our goals is to provide free housing to adopting parents who come to this region and to host Bible Studies and fellowship. One step at a time, this is the direction in which we are moving. Please be praying with us! This is just the beginning...