Saturday, March 12, 2011

2 years later in Germany...

Last week, over the women's day holiday weekend (a beloved Ukrainian holiday) I was able to spend a few days in Germany with some dear friends of mine, the Cardens.

I have known Kristina since we went to college together at SPU- but we weren't really friends back in the Seattle days.  Looking at our stories now, it is amazing to see how God orchestrated everything to bring us to the friendship we have today!

 Kristina and her husband decided to pursue an adoption from Ukraine nearly 3 years ago, and heard through our mutual friend that I lived in Ukraine and was working in the realms of adoption and orphan ministry.  Kristina and her husband Chris were at the time living in Italy, where Chris was serving with the military- and they brought me out to Italy to get to know them better and share with them about all things Ukraine and adoption.  A beautiful beginning to a beautiful friendship!

Cardens in 2009
I got to walk alongside the Cardens during their journey in Ukraine while adopting sweet Nataliya and Matthew in May of 2009 -and we've remained dear friends ever since!  So it was a real treat to get to reunite with them in their newest home (Germany) and get some extended time with their family.  I joked with Kristina that we weren't really friends while were in Seattle, but God has seen it fit to grow our friendship in Italy, Ukraine and Germany! Gotta love international friendships! :)

sweet Charlotte
It was so much fun to see Nataliya and Matthew- now nearly two years in their home. They are both doing so well and are the most delightful and well-behaved 4 and 5 year-old I've met in a long time! It was fun to tell them that I met them when they still lived in Ukraine--already a distant memory for them.   The Cardens have since added the adorable miss Charlotte to the family since I last saw them, so the baby time was an added bonus! Such a precious baby she is!

Highlights of the weekend included a trip to a castle for dinner, playing in the park, reading bedtime stories and saying bedtime prayers and sweet conversations with Kristina  (oh and not to mention a much needed trip to IKEA to stalk up for my new apartment! Gotta love Germany for that!)

I am so blessed by the people that God has brought into my life through the means of adoption. What an added joy when we get to continue to walk out life together in the years that follow-- like I have with the Cardens.  There is a special bond that seems to form when you go through the craziness of Ukrainian adoption (as many of you know!)

Weekends like this are just another sweet reminder that God has me exactly where I'm supposed to be.

beauty of the their quaint German village 


Bryna Brown said...

Oh how wish I could have been with you! I LOVE your beautiful photos and they have blessed me from a far to see the wonderful Cardens, especially growing Charlotte. Glad you got a weekend away to be filled up and blessed. Lots of love dear Karen!

chris and kristina said...

We love you, Karen! What a joy it is to share life with you. Come again Matthew says, "You can come for my 6 year old birthday party."