Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Strength for the Journey

About 2 weeks ago I had the privilege of traveling with a film crew from our office down to Kherson to film the testimony of an adoptive family who has welcomed 4 beautiful daughters into their home through adoption (and then they had a 5th daughter which was a surprise!).  We were looking to film the testimony of a family who had experienced transformation in their relationship with their adoptive children due to resources and training, and after making a few phone calls we discovered this delightful family in Tsurpinsk-- so made the trek south to visit with them and film their story.

The parents attended our 'Strengthening Families' conference in 2010 and were at the end of their 'rope' so to say with one of their daughters who had already been in the home several years.  They came to our conference in desperation, as they were on the verge of 'disrupting' the adoption because they didn't think they could handle their daughter's behavior any longer.  While at the conference they felt they had landed among people who could relate. Suddenly they were surrounded by other adoptive families who understood what they were talking about, could listen to their struggles and offer encouragement and counsel. At the conference they received several books in Russian with strategies to reach their daughter and left the weekend feeling hopeful and refreshed.

In the interview they shared with us that after they returned home from the conference, something shifted in their family. They saw their daughter through new eyes and felt they had new tools to parent her in a better way. They said within months their relationship had changed night and day-- they were different and she was different too. Since the 2010 conference they have become a part of an adoption support group in their region and have found this to be life giving as well.  To them adoption resources have been invaluable and have given them a paradigm shift in how they reach all of their daughters who have been adopted.

It was so encouraging to spend the afternoon with this family, hearing their story and playing with these precious (and very energetic) little girls. They danced for us, sang songs, and prepared a lovely Ukrainian meal for us all to enjoy.

Their house is simple-- a small 3 room flat, that most Americans could never dream of raising 5 children in- and yet it was so clear that this house was full of love and laughter- a place of safety.

Their story reminds me why I'm passionate about providing resources for adoptive families here in Ukraine! Because I see their value and I see the great need that remains.

 We are getting ready for our 'Strengthening Families' conference which is just 2 weeks away and I am expectant for how God will reach even more Ukrainian families and encourage them to not give up!


Mike and Christie said...

This just makes my heart so happy! So THANKFUL!

Tara G. said...

Rejoicing with you!

Phyllis said...

I love to hear this! I'm praying for your ministry.