Friday, June 13, 2008

Home with Kristina-Faith

First, let me apologize for not blogging since we have been home with Kristina. We were not able to blog while we were traveling in Ukraine. Sorry!

We received our appointment date in November 2007 to be in Ukraine on March 13,2008 to select our child by looking at pictures and seeing her/his medical history. Our family left March 10th on our "journey of faith". We had prayed all along that the first child we were shown would be the child God had ordained for our family. At the SDA appointment the first child presented to us was Kristina, a little girl who had only known the orphanage she was living in. Her birthday was April 11, 200, the same day after we found out about my cancer. We were also shown two boys who were older, but we felt God had set her aside for our family! Her picture was taken when she was about 6 months old, so not very current.

A few days later, we traveled to her orphange which was nine hours away from Kiev. After arriving, we walked into the orphanage around 5:30 PM to meet her. The director brought into the room a lttle blue-eyed blonde haired girl who was traumatized by being surrounded by strangers for the first time in her life! We spent the next three weeks visiting with her twice a day and growing to love her. We left the orphange with her on April 8, 2008 and returned home to the States on April 15th. We were in Ukriane a total of 5 weeks and God allowed us to spend her second birthday with her while we were in Kiev. What a blessing! Our family has been forever changed since we met Kristina. Now we can show and demonstrate the love of Christ to her and continue to be advocates for the millions of orphans in the world.

God has been so faithful to us through out this journey. We are thankful to Him and what He has done in our lives! Thanks for sharing with us!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Our Call to Adoption

After struggling with infertility for several years we were blessed with a son in 2002. For the next few years, we again struggled with infertility and had a miscarriage in 2005. As God healed our hearts, He also began to give us a peace as we were struck with the thought we may never have more biological children. This began to happen as God lead Angela to leave her part time job and stay at home with our son in February 2006. He continued this healing process by then leading Angela to begin volunteer work counseling women at a local Crisis Pregnancy Center. We both began to consider and discuss the miracle of adoption and whether it was something the Lord was leading us to do. As the Lord continued to nudge us toward adoption, we both started becoming more excited about this possibility and started attending adoption agency meetings. God began speaking to us through other circumstances as well in 2006. God answered our prayers through His word, through people and many circumstances in our lives. He opened our eyes to see how He is always at work around us! After much prayer and seeking God's will for our family, we could not escape the thought that God may truly have a child for us in another part of the world. As we approached signing with an agency, Angela's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and things were put on hold until she recovered. Finally, on December 26, 2006 we registered with Christian World Adoption to begin the process of adopting a little girl from Ukraine.

At the end of March we completed our Home Study visit and health exams. But on April 10th this journey became more difficult when Angela herself was diagnosed with breast cancer. Hours before we heard the word "cancer" we had an appointment with Immigration Services for fingerprinting. That same night we had a dinner meeting with a couple in our church, who are also in the adoption process, to discuss starting an Orphan Ministry at our church. This couple greatly encouraged us that night as the woman is a breast cancer survivor having been diagnosed at Angela's age. We knew the Lord was in control of our lives and adoption.

On April 12th (Our 10th year wedding anniversary) we were told many countries will not allow you to adopt with even a history of cancer. Of course , God knew where to send us from the beginning of our journey and the Ukraine is not one of the concerned countries!! During this time, God led us to 2 Chronicles 20 :1-31, where Jehoshaphat was told "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours but God's." (vs. 15) "Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld."(vs.20) God always speaks words of comfort and strength to us through His word in our time of need.

Angela had a lumpectomy May 3rd (National Day of Prayer), her lymph nodes were clear and her tumor had a low re occurrence score. She underwent radiation from June until August and now has a clean bill of health. God has been so faithful!! He has walked us through some difficult days, held our hands and has never left our side. Psalm 18:35 says "You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me." We knew in our hearts that God had called us to adoption and that He would sustain us through these difficult days of uncertainty. The enemy has thrown obstacles in our paths, but God has allowed us to continue and we believe God has a special plan for our adoption through this unexpected journey.

So, we leave in March on our journey for our daughter.We plan to return home April 12th, the same day we were told a year ago we may not be able to adopt! We appreciate your prayers and support during this time in our lives and we hold on to His words, "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion..." Phil. 1:6

"This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans… in their distress." James 1:27.