When God first placed orphans and adoption on my heart in 2004 I remember having a simple prayer-- I prayed that people at home would also catch the same vision. I was so fired up and passionate about adoption that I wanted other people to see what I was seeing- to share in the heart God was giving me. So my prayer was that I would come to see families I personally knew embrace God's heart for adoption.
Bringing a group of Ukrainian orphans to WA state in the winter 2007 seemed to be the beginning of that prayer being answered. Through a performance of a Christmas musical featuring Ukrainian orphans, one family at Northshore (my home church) was stirred to begin the adoption process. One year later they would bring home one of the girls who had appeared in the musical in 2007, a little girl who had won a soft spot in my heart.
Then in 2011, together with a small group of volunteers we stepped out in faith and began the Window to Hope hosting project and ventured to bring 13 Ukrainian orphans to our community to live in families for 3 weeks. In 2012 we would bring 6 more.
Though adoption was not the goal of the hosting trip, we did know that some of the kids were available for international adoption, and that the trip could expose these kids to families who perhaps earlier would have never considered adopting an older child.
As a result of the two successive hosting trips, 2 families have already adopted 5 of these children and one more family is brining home 2 more boys in the next couple weeks! I am overwhelmed at seeing how God has been at work through this.
When I prayed that prayer 8 years ago I had no idea what the answer would look like, but I remember hoping that a spirit of adoption would fall on my church and inspire others to consider their role in caring for the orphan.
Now, 8 years later, I stop and can count 8 Ukrainian children among my home congregation. One child for each year that I've been away! What a very special gift.
When I was home this last summer and saw this small Ukrainian embassy overtaking the lobby of our church I was humbled. It was a moment to freeze in my mind's eye.
My two worlds had collided and it was simply beautiful.
Not without difficulty, blemish or pain;
Not without cost.
Yet beautiful nonetheless.
A picture similar to my own adoption-
The beautiful redemption that God has poured out on my non-perfect life through Jesus.
It wasn't pain free,
It wasn't without cost,
|The two newest boys to be added to the clan!|
"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us."