Sunday, May 8, 2011

Adoption Summit

Last weekend I had the privilege of being a part of the organizational team behind a national adoption summit through the Alliance, "Ukraine without Orphans."  This is a new national movement that is gaining momentum as Christian organizations, churches and individuals partner together for a common goal---a Ukraine without orphans.  The goal of our adoption summit last weekend was to gather key individuals from every region of Ukraine and come together to strategize about the work that needs to be done at the local and national level to ensure that waiting children are placed in homes and that the church is being encouraged, mobilized and equipped to adopt Ukrainian children.  

We had about 60 people in attendance, representing over half of the regions of Ukraine.  Many of the people attending were either adoptive parents themselves, Christian social workers, or adoption advocates in their perspective regions.

  On the last day, the group stood in a circle and shared what had been meaningful about the weekend-- and I wish I could better describe the gratitude that was expressed. It was clear that this is a dynamic group of passionate individuals and that this summit helped bring them the encouragement and strategy they needed to keep running the race.  

When it came to my turn to share, I told the group that I was honored to be apart of the summit, and that I could say with joy that 'I am not needed here.'  This doesn't mean that I have plans to pack up my bags and leave Ukraine, but there was something very humbling about being the only 'foreigner' amidst a group of nationals and to see them praying, planning and dreaming about what God has next for Ukraine in the realm of adoption and orphan care. I've truly seen Christians come a long way in the last 6 years in their relationship towards adoption.  What an answer to prayer!

I have a bunch of new adoption statistics (domestic and foreign) for Ukraine from 2010 and I will do my best to post those soon, as I know they will be interesting to the international adoption community--just need to translate them first.

Stay tuned...


Rhonda said...

I pray all the time that someday there will be empty orphanages in Ukraine and children that will be part of their forever Ukrainian families. Praise God for your work.

Kari said...

It is very exciting that Christians in Ukraine have this goal to see all their children fostered/adopted into homes. I've been meaning to tell you that we attended an adoption parenting conference about a month ago, and one of the speakers told me about a US group that has a Ukraine focused adoption fund. They give money to Ukrainian families that want to adopt from Ukraine to help financially. The group's name is Lifesong.