Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Orphan Sunday

We just wanted to share that we were incredibly blessed this past Sunday. You probably know that it was adoption Sunday and I have been thrilled to hear about so many churches using this opportunity to share testimonies of adoption and about the many other ways that people can minister to children who are suffering without their physical and emotional needs being met.

Our family has a new church, and while it was not one of the reasons that we initially joined this church, it seems that God has moved us there because of a shared passion. Many people at the church are passionate about orphans and adoption. This Sunday, my good friend's husband spoke about adoption - both the adoption of children and our adoption as children of God. It was awesome. Then we were invited up to tell a little about our journey to bring our girls home, and our girls were interviewed. They did such a great job - it is powerful to hear them speak about what they can now see that God has done in their lives. We were just filled with joy to give all the glory to God for what He has done in their lives and ours.

So if you are wondering more about our journey or about adoption, just go listen!!

www.livestream.com/riverstone. Click on menu and then video library -- Nov. 8th.

Monday, November 2, 2009


WOW - This time last year we were shell shocked, tired and there was truly 'no place like home' for all of us :) It is hard to believe that one year ago Katya and Nastya barely spoke English, I was clueless and terrified of homeschooling, our kids didn't really all know one another that well yet, BUT we were finally together as a family!!

What a year it has been! We have seen God knit our hearts together and deepen strong bonds among our children. Our girls have learned what it really means to be a family. They have learned what love really is. We have seen the healing that has taken place in their hearts as they have come to know the safety and unconditional love of their family and of their Lord. I have learned how to depend on God and see Him provide in ways I never thought imaginable. I have learned that I can do way more than I ever thought possible. I have also learned that I really like teaching :) I have learned that my husband really is the greatest husband and father that a girl could ever hope to have. What a beautiful thing to see that our daughters have truly become daddy's girls.

Tonight we celebrated with borscht of course (it's starting to feel like this is a regular dish in our menu and I think I actually really enjoyed it tonight)! We also had some good "Russian Black Bread" and veriniki (otherwise know as pot stickers/dumplings). We invited my parents and sister's family over, gave them their cards that the girls had made, and enjoyed a yummy ice cream cake. It was a very special, fun, and laid back celebration!

I just must point out here that in this picture below you see an Ethiopian, now American, eating Ukrainian borscht :) And lovin it! They don't get much cuter than you Bennet!

We decided to copy Melanie Hall's wonderful idea to celebrate by thanking all the people who helped make it possible for our girls to be adopted. Thanks Melanie for such a wonderful idea. The past few weeks we (the girls and I) have been writing letters to people who were important parts of their adoption. It has been incredible to look back over their journey home and see how many people God put in our lives and theirs to make it possible. Each one had a role - some prayed (perhaps the most significant role of all), some helped financially, some helped practically (free meds, childcare, documents, preparing our house, etc), some loved our girls before we could, some walked us through the legal process in Ukraine (thanks Natalia), some translated at crucial moments, some encouraged us when the future looked scary and overwhelming, and the list goes on and on. Truly this was not a journey we have walked alone - we have had one blessed part - to be their parents but so many of you reading have had a crucial role as well. You may not all get a card but if you have prayed, encouraged, or any of the above - THANK YOU!!

And then above all else, we have been awed once again as we have reflected back and thanked our Lord for what He has done. He is so amazing and I just can't begin to describe how sweetly we have experienced Him walking through this journey with us, just holding us by the hand and leading us one day at a time. Oh Lord, all praise and glory goes to you. Thank you for the gift of our Ukrainian daughters.

"For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever"
Romans 11:36