On The Way…
We decided to take Micah with us. 1. He loves to go out. 2. He rarely gets to out with just us (Mary and I). 3. We thought it would be good for the people there to see him.
Since he loves to ride busses, we took the bus to the metro and then met our friend George and Christina to go on in to the city. Micah loved the ride on the bus. He was so interested in looking at every single thing. When we got to the metro station and headed down the stairs underground, he knew what we were doing. Getting on a “train.” He started signing to us that we were getting on the train. He signed to everyone that walked by that we were getting on the train. (I’m sure that he wondered why they didn’t seem as excited as he was about this.)
We left early enough that we could treat him to McDonald’s for lunch. He was quite beside himself that not only was he out with mom and dad by himself, but we were eating at McDonald’s. AND he got to eat a happy meal. He never gets to get that because on the very rare occasions we take everyone to McDonald’s, we get only cheeseburgers and they share fries and drink water in their cups from home. Well today his lunch came in a fancy box, with a toy and an orange Fanta to drink. He was SO EXCITED. He told me thank you several times and in slow motion (he “speaks” with sign language).
When we got back to the metro station after lunch we were a bit early and sat down to wait. At that point he wanted to say a prayer. So I asked him what he wanted to pray about and he said he wanted to pray for Blake. So he folded his hands and we prayed for Blake. He LOVES to pray and we try to encourage that as best we can. I don’t know for sure how much he understands about this, but I’m assuming God has given him some kind of desire to talk to Him and Micah takes advantage of that. Which we think is pretty cool.
We met George and Christina and off we went to the “Ukrainian Famine Memorial Museum.” This museum is a memorial to the near 7 million people who died in the great famines in Ukraine’s history. One of which was an act of genocide that killed over 4,000,000 (that’s million!).
We thought we kind of knew what we were going to say and what kind of people would be at this conference…but once we got there, we realised that we were to be treated like “guests of honour.” The way we were received was unexpected, to say the least. The people there were so surprised that someone would actually (1) Choose to adopt children like ours and (2) Choose to live in Ukraine when they could live in America and (3) the two things combined was unexplainable.
In attendance were medical students, therapists, psychologists, reporters, and representatives from the Ministry of Culture. Thankfully, our dear friend Christina came to translate for us. We simply didn’t feel capable of speaking in Russian about the things we wanted to say.
We were given complete freedom to say what we wanted about our adoption processes and about the God’s involvement in our lives. When I found out who was in attendance, I sure didn’t want to offend people by talking about the terrible conditions in the orphanages and the horrible condition in which we found our adopted children. I asked if there were things I should refrain from saying based on the attendees and was told absolutely not! Just the opposite, in fact. I was to say exactly what we thought and to hold nothing back. (Well, we did hold some things back, but we were open about our experience.) And of course we got to speak about the Lord’s involvement in our lives and the value that our kids have simply because He created them.
Our friend George presented a collection of photos from his years of facilitating adoptions. He spoke of how God has orchestrated his entire life and that He called him to work for children many years ago and there was no going back when God calls. He introduced us and we picked up with that theme and spoke of God’s call on our lives in adoption and our work and ministry here in Ukraine. It was pretty amazing. Here we were surrounded by images of death and the horrendous truth of the famines and the basic premise of the theme was that these avoidable catastrophes are repeating themselves in regard to orphans with special needs. It was very sobering. God really blessed the time.
Following our talk, a reporter from a news station wanted to question us a little so we agreed. Her question was, “Why would we really adopt these children and why would we move to Ukraine?” Those are really hard questions to answer in a clear way to people who are not in a relationship with God. But I quickly prayed and we were able to answer in a way that she seemed to understand. She had some awareness of the Lord, though to what extent we don’t yet know. I did find out that she was from the East and has recently moved here to get out of the dangerous situation there and I talked to here a bit about that and told her that we would pray for her. She had tears in her eyes as she spoke of what used to be and about what probably never will be again. She took our contact information and really wants to set up a time when we can get together for a more formal interview. We’ll see what happens with that later, but we are thankful for the opportunity to speak to someone from the “media” about our call and about the love of God.
Also there, were representatives from the Ministry of Culture. We didn’t meet them, but they apparently were very interested in our family and our story. I don’t know if anything can come from that or not, but we are open.
This opportunity literally fell into our laps and we are so grateful to God for the opportunity. It’s another example of how God has continued to stretch our circle of “influence” and HIS ability to touch people that we never could have imagined we would be able to talk to. When HE is working, there is no limit what the outcome can be. We will continue to pray for fruit from this opportunity. It will be neat to see how God might use it in the future.
Here are some pictures from the day. Thank you for praying! Bless His Name!