Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Two Years - The Difference It Makes

They said we were too young.
They said why don't you adopt one from here.
They said its too expensive.
They said its too hard.
They said you have your "own" kids.
They said you know nothing of special needs.



I am so glad we listened to that still small voice when God put adoption on our hearts.  We could have waited.  We could have made any number of socially acceptable excuses at any point in time why NOT to adopt from Ukraine.

But God knew where she was.  He knew where she'd go if we didn't.
He knew.

When we saw her face, we knew too. 

SDA referral photo
SDA referral photo


Taken 8 months before we met her for the first time.

A photo we found while in Ukraine.  Taken before we met her.

On November 24th, we finally met who I referred to on my blog as "K."

First play time with Papa!
The first photo I put on my facebook announcing we had finally found her!
First picture with Mama.
Walking the halls with Papa.  This was the only way she could, fully supported under both arms.
Sitting on the couch this way was so hard for her.  She kept falling over.
How she loved just to be held up to look out the window at a broken down car.




Waiting for her MRI at the hospital.
At the zoo.  1 1/2 years home.
Walking at the VA Beach boardwalk with her brothers this summer.



Playing at the splash park this summer.
Home nearly 2 years.  "My favorite thing to do is smile!"

I think the pictures speak for themselves.  People have been posting about National Adoption Month and all the things they are thankful for each day on facebook.  

Today, I am so thankful that we DID.





Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dreams That Move the Mountains: Fundraising

We are still a long way from our fundraising goal to host Vitaliy & his brother from Ukraine this Christmas.  I'm putting all three of the fundraisers we have going on right now together on this post.  

Feel free to share this on facebook!
 

 Stella & Dot!




Stella & Dot offers all kinds of beautiful jewelry and the proceeds go directly to our host fund!  Think of how close Christmas is!  You can go Christmas shopping and help us host all at the same time.




Adoption Bug!


adoptionbug.com














Be a Voice is a website that sells jewelry to help families fund raise for adoption and hosting.



You can purchase jewelry from this website and 75% of the purchase price will be donated to our hosting expenses!  Just make sure to put a comment in the note section detailing that your purchase is for "The Johnson family - hosting Vitaliy."




The jewelry is adoption and orphan care themed.  Its really beautiful!




Here are a few examples of what it looks like.













Snowflake Ornament





Footprints Ring


Think about what a lovely and meaningful Christmas present these items would make!  You can give someone a gift that has a far reaching impact :)


Go shop now!!

What is hosting?  Why do we do it?  Watch this.


Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.



Saturday, November 10, 2012

National Adoption Month: What is adoption?

November is National Adoption Month.  I see a lot of clip art and images on facebook with pictures of children either in obvious need of adoption, or happily experiencing the love of a family.

But I'd like to talk about the in-between.  What happens between the photo of a child in desperate need of a family and then the smiling photo of a well loved and happy child?  A lot of people seem to think that all that happens is love.  Lots and lots of love!

While that may be true, its true on a much deeper level than anyone who hasn't experienced it can comprehend.

While there are stories of people meeting their child for the first time and falling immediately in love, I hear more and more stories like mine.

I call it "The Hard."

What we experienced after bringing our daughter home was undoubtedly the hardest thing I have ever had to walk through.  A child who doesn't know what love is pushes unfathomable boundaries just to see if you mean what you say.  They do things they know will make you angry just to see if you will take them back.  They may not do these things just once, or twice, or three times.  They might do them for months, and months, and months.  Once they establish in their mind what happens in a particular situation, they might move to testing a different one.  Four years of inconsistency might mean years of testing just so they can be repeatedly reminded where the boundaries are because to them, boundaries and consequences equals "safe."

The things your child has experienced before they became yours will have left deep, ugly, painful scars that will manifest themselves in ways that might in turn reveal a side of you that you did not even know you existed.

Everything you might know about parenting will be rendered useless.  Utterly useless.   

You may be left feeling so inadequate and alone.

The frustration is maddening!  "What do I do to fix this!?" 

There might be absolutely no one who understands what you are dealing with.  The isolation alone might make you question if all of *this* was a huge mistake.

Why God?  Why did you tell  me to do this when I am failing so miserably!?

You might fall to your knees sobbing in your closet one day because "They did it AGAIN." and you just lost it.

You were a good mom.  Now you aren't so sure. 

"Oh God" you might sob, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!? I can't do this!!  I thought I was a good parent, but I am a miserable excuse for a mom and I CAN NOT DO THIS...without You."

And that is where you will realize what adoption is.  You will understand with a fullness that you never could have grasped before, what God did when He adopted you.  You will realize that if God can know every.single.little.thing about you and still love you enough to die for you, then you have already received an amount of grace so large and undeserved that it can only be shared.

You might realize that is what God was doing when He chose you to parent this child.  He was asking you to walk a path so impossibly hard that you would end up on your knees in desperation, crying out to Him for help so you could understand and appreciate on the deepest spiritual level what had already been done for you.

By living redemption out in your own home, you might just grasp how great the Father's love for you really is, and in realizing that, you have in essence not saved your child; your child has saved you.

Adoption is Redeeming Love.




 ...and at some point, you might even find yourself wanting to experience it all over again. 


Adoption is worth it all.
       








Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Its official

We knew, probably in the middle of summer hosting, that we'd want to bring Vitaliy back for Christmas.

I mean, look at him.  I actually wanted to squish him.


When we set out to host, we asked for a little girl.  It turned out that all of the little girls were already hosted because "That's what everyone wants."  Still, we felt so strongly that we were supposed to host.  So, we chose an 8 year old boy.  In typical Ukraine fashion, things are not always clear until you start digging into paperwork.  The boy we were going to host, had actually been adopted.  So we chose another boy who had recently been listed.  He was just turning 6.  He had 2 older brothers, but we figured we could host just him and things would work out great.  Well...after thinking we were hosting him for several weeks, it turned out that he couldn't get a visa because he was "too young."  Something that just didn't make sense because other 6 year olds came on the program, but such is life.  We chose another boy and for all of 2 days, we thought Andriy was coming.  Turns out, his paperwork wasn't ok.  He needed a parental signature to come because rights weren't yet terminated (it was complicated) and the parent wouldn't sign despite the fact that he was in an orphanage.  So....just a few weeks before the kids arived we were left with like 4 kids to choose from and because we have young children only one remotely fit our criteria.

Vitaliy.

As they say, the rest is history.  It was like God kept things all muddled up until right at the last minute then dropped V in our laps.

Ta-da!  Here he is!


So, when I had to send this sweet kid back, I figured it was cut and dried.  We'd host him again.  Then we started thinking... what about his little brother?  The one we tried to host but who couldn't get his visa because of his age?  What if we brought them both?  We talked about it and decided that while we didn't have the money to re-host V, we would do it anyways; but we most certainly did not have the money to host two kids!  I don't think either Phillip or I were really at peace with that, but it was what it was. 

So, imagine my surprise last week when my husband decided to be the one to throw caution to the wind and tell the host director to bring them both??  AHhhh!!!!!

V and little V.

Well... of course it can't just be a boring story.  No.  The orphanage director emailed the hosting director begging for her to talk to us about hosting D, the oldest brother.

What to do?

After a lot of consideration about weighty things like who makes the decision regarding being adopted and who could potentially have the hardest time adjusting to a new family, we decided to host D so we could meet him.

And that's where we're at now.

In need of $5400 to bring two orphan boys here for Christmas.

Thanks to some wonderful people donating, and a few people purchasing things from our fundraisers, we're in need of about $5100.

So... I am asking that you please share our blog because I have all of our fundraisers listed on here.

We're doing Stella & Dot

Adoption Bug

AND


Just make sure to put our name in the notes section if you order from Be A Voice Jewelry.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Be a Voice






Be a Voice is a website that sells jewelry to help families fund raise for adoption and hosting.

You can purchase jewelry from this website and 75% of the purchase price will be donated to our hosting expenses!  Just make sure to put a comment in the note section detailing that your purchase is for "The Johnson family - hosting Vitaliy."

The jewelry is adoption and orphan care themed.  Its really beautiful!

Here are a few examples of what it looks like.



Snowflake Ornament

Footprints Ring
Think about what a lovely and meaningful Christmas present these items would make!  You can give someone a gift that has a far reaching impact :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Stella & Dot Trunk Show

Our host agency has generously set up a fundraiser to help us host our boys

Stella & Dot offers all kinds of great products and the proceeds go directly to our host fund!  Think of how close Christmas is!  You can go Christmas shopping and help us host all at the same time.

Don't forget our t-shirt fundraiser on the sidebar.

We are putting ourselves out there!  Help us give two orphans Christmas!

Thursday, November 1, 2012



We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson

 

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