Zina part1 (How we ended up in Ukraine)

This 3-part blog series is our attempt to share facts of our lives from the past few years, and specifically, to address issues concerning a girl name Zina, who we brought to America on a student Visa from Ukraine.  Please read and come to your own conclusions.

We were once a carefree family.  Richly blessed with many children and a good and happy life.  

I was at a friend's house and she showed me this photo.  We fell in love with them and pursued adopting them but the attempt failed because there was a loving grandmother we didn't know about until we got to Ukraine.   We are still very good friends with them and they often ask when we will return to Ukraine.

We were devastated when the adoption didn't work out.  We believed that we should still adopt.  We were so blessed and we knew that there were tens of millions of orphans in the world and felt it was selfish not to share all the blessings that we had been given.

A friend shared this photo with us.  They were a biological sibling pair that had recently experienced a failed adoption.  Their potential parents would not be coming for them to Ukraine and we were told they were devastated.  She thought we would be a great match for them and we signed up to host them.  Our friend also told us they had no psychological nor behavioral issues. She had met them and felt that she knew them well.

We hosted them for a month and the whole family fell in love with them.  Jeff and I were very nervous but we decided to bring them into our family.

After long hours and many months of making documents for the adoption, we went to Ukraine to bring them home.

While on our adoption trip, we went from Lugansk, where our adopted children lived, back to Kherson where the failed adoption occurred.  There is a 10 day waiting period during adoption that you must wait and give the biological family time to object to the adoption.  So we decided to go to Kherson and spend time with some of the wonderful kids that are a part of the orphan ministry there.  We had fallen in love with this ministry and with these kids at the adaptation center in Kherson and we were able to stay with them in the transition house for orphans while we were there.  We were given the task of serving as house parents while we were there and we loved it.  Loved these kids.  Loved the ministry to them.  We began asking ourselves if maybe we could be serving here full time.

We were advised by close friends that our new children needed stability and life without any more changes for at least two years before deciding to move to Ukraine.  We took this advice to heart and waited and prayed. 

During this time we had another baby and oh how we love her!

In those two years, we learned about this house, close enough to walk to the adaptation center.  We were overjoyed and we began the process of selling our house and all of our possessions in America.  

Long story made short, we moved to Ukraine and began our new life there.  We were received by friends who made a huge, delicious feast for us.

Our church welcomed us warmly (video is in Russian).  We could not begin to be homesick because of the love that was poured out upon us.  We began plans to participate in ministry and building relationships.
And thus began our Ukrainian journey.  See next post for part 2...


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