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

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I just wanted to take a moment to say that if you know an adoptive family, please take the time to send them an encouraging message, text, card, blog comment, or phone call.  They are fighting the spiritual battle for the life of a child (or children), often for months and months as they wade through the process, and they need to know you care.  ESPECIALLY if you are their pastor or small group leader, but also if you are their friend or neighbor.  What I've found is that adoptive families often choose to adopt because they understand brokenness.  What that also translates to is that understand not having anyone because they do not have anyone they can count on.  Often they do not have the support of a strong Christian role model.  Often they do not have the support of parents.  Often they do not have the support of their own family.  They might still be struggling to come to terms with loss and abandonment in their own life.  While this leads to a great empathy and understanding of what it feels like to be an orphan, it also means they need you.

So please, take a moment and let them know you care.  If you attend a church, let your pastor know they could use an encouraging word and lots of prayers.  Maybe they've had a bad experience with "the church" in the past and are afraid to ask this for themselves.  Set up meals for them when they come home.  Ask if their kids need anything.  Not everyone is called to adopt, but those who do need cheerleaders.

We are not "special" people or some sort of superheroes.  We are just normal people who couldn't let children grow up without parents, and often we've already experienced a lot of loss in our own lives that tends to leave us a bit jaded and skeptical of people.  I'm speaking both from personal experience and from a lot of conversations I've had with other adoptive moms.

WE NEED YOU.  We appreciate a kind word or gift sent more than you can ever know, even if we are too neck deep in paperwork or frazzled from jet lag to properly thank you.
WE APPRECIATE anything done to offer congratulations or help.  Anything.    

I'm really thankful that this time around, we have had some of our own cheerleaders.
It has been wonderful to know that people care.

Monday, November 18, 2013

From Kyiv to the U.S.A.

We went to the WWII Museum in Kyiv while waiting for visas

We went to Varenichnaya Katoosha for a couple meals

We took a few photos in Independence Square

Our layover in Munich after being accused of child smuggling in Kyiv.
I took zero photos at the Kyiv airport.  I was too worried they would find some other reason to be hateful.

My *sweet* kids taking advantage of me closing my eyes.

Ahhhh my babies!  45 days I was away. 

First day home in the U.S.

E with his morning cup of Chai

The boys doing some snacking.

Friday, November 15, 2013

We're Home!

We got home last night after about 24 hours of travel.  Finally all of my babies are together under one roof and they all slept well!  Luggage is everywhere.  People have brought food and clothes.  I am exhausted but the kids have been so good!  At some point I'll post pictures :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Desvahdaynya Detsky Dom!

Gotchya Day Clothes

Saying goodbye to friends

Kids banging on the windows yelling "bye"

Last photo at the detsky dom

walking away for the last time.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Almost Done

We are almost done here in region.
Waiting on passports and that's it!

The boys' favorite fish market.  10 kinds of dried fish.

Did you know that dried fish double as weapons?
Me neither.

Two little boys wanted haircuts.
One big boy adamantly refused a Ukrainian haircut.
He wants an American one.

One little boy got new glasses.
Isn't he the cutest?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday.  

Today, like every day for the past 4 weeks, I saw orphans in an orphanage.  

The weight of it all just seemed heavier today.  

Their faces.  Their crying.

Today though we rejoice because our 3 are orphans no more.

These three have been given a new name, and soon we will be heading home.

There are so many children waiting though.  
Today won't you consider that maybe a child is waiting for you?

If you follow my blog, you know that we didn't have any of the money to adopt these boys.  
We didn't have a vehicle large enough for 3 more children.

We had a list of reasons of why we couldn't.

But at some point, we realized that none of our reasons were good enough to leave children orphans.

We told God, "Ok.  We'll do it.  
We're willing, but we have nothing so you will have to show up in a BIG way."  

And you know what?  He did.  
$40,000 raised in 6 months.
A new (to us) 9 passenger vehicle. 

The impossible became possible.
It almost seems surreal to me that we are here and they are ours because in January this seemed like the most insurmountable thing in the world to take on.  
NOTHING is impossible with God.
Don't ever let things, or money allow you to say "No."

I keep wondering what would have happened if we said we just couldn't.
No one would have blamed us.  

But they would be left orphans.  
Would that mean God didn't care about them or that we were disobedient?

How many are left orphans, not because God didn't tell someone to go, but because they didn't listen?

147 million orphans.
2 billion Christians.

Do you really think that God hasn't called a family to each of those children in some way or another?

400,540 foster kids in the U.S
450,000+ churches in the U.S.

Do you see the problem here?
Its not God.

I hope you will watch our video and be inspired to just do something.   

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