Lena's coming home story goes back to sometime in early 2007. What? How is that possible? You guys weren't married then!
In a list of questions that we had when we were preparing to get married, the question of children was discussed.... and adoption came up. We discussed the fact that one day we would both like to adopt, preferably international - but would be open to whatever options were there for us.
It was important to me that Ronnie be open to the idea. We didn't go much further in those conversations about adoption - just that it was an option.
In 2009, due to several things, including a pregnancy loss, we began to pray about adoption together. As we were praying, and getting information together, we found out that we were pregnant again! We were so excited - and of course, the conversations about adoption faded into the background again. Not gone forever, just in the background as we prepared for our firstborn.... our son who arrived healthy in 2010.
Fast forward to 2011, I lost a second pregnancy. After this loss, the fear of getting pregnant again was overwhelming. Emotionally I couldn't imagine the possibility of a third loss - so, naturally, we looked a second time into adoption. I emailed some friends and family who had adopted, got some more information, looked at websites of children waiting on families, and checked on the options available to a family like ours.... The emails were coming in.... and then, in September, I learned that I was pregnant again! This pregnancy would cover a time frame that included two moves and two job changes for Ronnie - but in 2012 our beautiful daughter was born. She has brought a spark to our lives and as with our son, we love her dearly!
A few months after the little princess was born we learned of a ministry near by that hosts Ukrainian orphans periodically in a type of cultural exchange program. With our background of being interested and open to adoption, Ronnie and I knew that if we got involved, this would like lead to more than just some volunteer hours.... but we marched on. Praying constantly.
In August 2012 we met the first group of Ukrainian orphans by cooking dinner for them. They immediately amazed us. And we only saw them for a couple of hours.... and they couldn't even talk to us!
In December 2012, we took the leap to being house parents for the kids. This is an opportunity to move into their house for a couple of days to "parent" the kids. Our two plus the 8-10 Ukrainian kids! What an unbelievable experience!
All that leads to this past month - June 2013. We had several opportunities to work with the kids over the last month - and through shopping, playing at the park, house parenting, making scrapbooks, swimming, eating and laughing together, we fell in love with all 8 of the precious kids that were here....
However, one little girl, Lena, just captured our hearts in a way that has only happened by my own two kids! The first to fall in love with her was Ronnie, I will have him blog his experience soon.... Second was the little princess - She and Lena were almost attached at the hip! She preferred to have Lena hold her over me most of the time! I was next.... watching this little girl love my little girl just melted my heart. Little man was last... for those that know him - he is not a cuddly kid, but he has not stopped asking about Lena since we left her at the camp last Saturday. He got pretty upset with me when he found out that Lena will not be able to make it to his upcoming birthday party! He wants her to eat some of his Madagascar cake! :)
I will continue our decision process in the next few blogs....
Is 1:17 - learn to do good;
bring justice to the fatherless...