Today, at 2:30 PM on October 26, 2010 - two girls walked out of an orphanage in Ukraine and left their years of living as orphans. They left a life of being unloved, a life of dispair, and feelings of sadness to a life of hope, unconditional love, and a home which brings the joy of having a family.
My girls were packed and ready to go when we got to the orphanage. Their friends anxiously but with sadness watched them as they hugged one another, snapped last minute photos, and said their good-byes. Even though we will return tomorrow with sweets and juices for a "Going Away" party, today was their last day as orphans. It was a memorable day and bittersweet, I'm sure. I can't imagine leaving a life where I depended on the relationships and shared such a strong commonality with those around me. I have left friends before and it was hard, but I can't imagine leaving what I considered for the last 5 years, my family. I know my girls were excited to leave but you could also sense their sadness. I pray for those that we left behind. A few of those I will continue to pray for are:
Alina - she is Stephanie Tatiana's best friend. She was not there today but she left a gift for me. I can completely understand why she chose to stay away today. Her best friend is leaving and she is having to continue her life without the person she considers as her sister. Alina is a precious soul and one I could spend my lifetime advocating for and I will do so! She does have three siblings and I met one of them, Kolya. He is a sweet boy and LOVES candy! Stephanie wants someone to host Alina at Christmas (she has a person in mind - Tasha (hint, hint) but we would love anyone to host her if she can't do that this year).
Aloyna (aka Helen) - this sweet, precious child does have a family interested in adopting her and they are from New Braunfels. Please pray for the family as they begin the dossier preparations and a journey that will take them to the other side of the world. We love this child!
Pasha - what a precious boy! He is the most well-behaved 15 year old I have ever met! He absolutely adored us for some reason and Madeline spent a lot of time flirting with him. We are praying with a family now that is interested in hosting him. We pray for God's will to be done in his life.
Olya - another friend of Stephanie's. Absolutely precious young girl (14 years old) and has an older sister that is not adoptable. Olya really desires to come for Christmas and to find a forever family. I wish I could have spent more time with her - she is adorable.
Slavik and Vova - two sweet brothers. Slavik meets us at the car everyday! He must have Becca radar or something because he is the first one out the door if he's not already outside waiting for us. We are praying with a couple of families that might be interested in hosting them. Their mother visits them on a regular basis so we need to do an official check on the availability for adoption.
Yura and Vitaly - another precious sibling group! Yura is 10 and Vitaly is 13. They are on our website for potential hosting and they are cutie pies! So, so, sweet! Yura has the cutest dimples EVER!
Vika, Maya and Kolya - I could spend a whole post on this group of kiddos. They have been to Texas several times and its just not in God's plan for them to be adopted by their host family. The family loves them dearly but just does not feel the call to adopt right now. Vika - 15, Maya - 12, and Kolya - 7 are a precious sibling group. Kolya is hard and would require a very strong father figure to guide and direct him. The girls are amazing. Vika speaks fluent English and has been a huge help to us these three weeks.
Andriy - he is 12 and I finally got the opportunity to meet him last night. He desires so much for a family and really wants to come to America for Christmas. I have a photo of him that I will post at a later date.
I could go on and on about children! I plan on featuring a child per week on my blog with photos. If anyone is interested in hosting children, please visit our website (http://www.charis4orphans.org/) and under "Hosting" the password is ukraine.
I pray that one day, I will be reading the blogs of families that have rescued the children above and they will be orphans no more.
Thanks for all your prayers! We love each and every one of you! You have no idea what your love, support and prayers have done for us in the journey!