Sunday, February 20, 2011

An answer to prayer- 3 years in the making

Meet Elizabeth (Lizzie) Roge.  

Lizzie is my hero.  

Lizzie is a young girl of great tenacity and of patience.  Lizzie is a girl of prayer and of great faith.  Lizzie is a warrior and a sweet spirit, a princess and a friend.  Through years of great trial, many shed tears and uncertainty Lizzie has retained joy in her heart and has impacted many as a result.   Today I can say that Lizzie is a young girl who has finally seen victory.

I first met Lizzie (then Zina) when she was 11 year's old at a 2 week summer camp we put on in the Kherson region in July of 2007.  I got to know her better during the Christmas season of 2007 when she traveled with our concert group to Virginia and Colorado to perform with a group of 17 orphans in the 'Old Shoemaker' musical.  

In Virginia with Rimma and Zina in December 2007
From the moment I met her I knew she was different then other kids I'd met.   She had a sweetness and a kindness about her that very few children who are raised in institutions possess.  She asked deep questions and had an honest desire to be known, and also had a longing in her heart for a family.  

It was during this trip that Lizzie, along with her friend Rimma, stole the hearts of the Roge family in Longmont, Colorado, and after the girls' departure, the Roges embarked upon a journey to bring the girls home.  They didn't know at the time the kind of journey it would be....or how long it would take.

Since both girls were not registered for international adoption, the outlook of bringing the girls home did not look good for the Roges.  But this did not stop them.   Opposition didn't stop them.  They had heard from the Lord and they were determined to fight all odds to bring these two girls home.  I have the utmost respect for Heidi and Felix Roge, who sacrificed countless resources, time, and so many tears to bring Rimma and Zina home (and in the mean time 3 other kids as well)!  They are on my list of heroes.  They are fighters and people of their word.

Rimma was able to be adopted and go home last year in February (2 years after they met her), and with the future of international-adoption looming uncertain the Roges once again had to say goodbye to Zina- praying that a year later her time on the international adoption database would come up and she'd be available for adoption. 

That year has passed.  Her time has finally come! 3 years of waiting, 3 years of waiting in a bureaucratic system and an institution are finally over. 

with her Daddy holding the 'golden ticket' - the US visa
The little girl that I met nearly 4 years ago is now a 15-year-old beauty full of grace and strength and wisdom beyond her years.  And as of yesterday she is now a US citizen and is sleeping under the roof of the place she belongs, the place she can call home. 

Tears of gratitude fill my eyes as I write this post.  Recognizing that years of prayers have been answered.  I will never understand why it had to take so long for Lizzie, and why 3 precious years of her life had to be spent behind orphanage walls when a family was ready and willing to call her their own.  Her story, unfortunately, is like so many others.  It's just another reminder that this is a battle. This is a war against children.  But there has been victory won today!

As Lizzie slept curled up next to me 2 nights ago, the night before her and her Daddy flew to America, I lay awake with a heart full of gratitude and joy.  We don't always get to tangibly see the answer to our prayers-- but that night the answer was sleeping next to longer an orphan.  Wow.

Thank you Lord for that gift! Thank you for your faithfulness and thank you for answering prayers.  You are mighty to save....and we are forever grateful.

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of JOY.  He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of JOY, carrying sheaves with him."
  Psalm 126:5-6


Rachael said...

I have been following Felix's blog too! Amazing story of redemption. Praise God!

pulpit calls said...
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Anonymous said...

Love this, Karen. Thanks for posting. God is definitely on the move in Ukraine and particularly among the orphans. Thanks for your dedication and prayers for each one of them!

Heidi and Felix said...

Thanks for telling Lizzie's story so beautifully! Love you!