Paris Is Nice, but a Trip to Kyiv Sounds Just as Good

ab82a-mc900444621I have always wanted a big family, with plenty of kids. Even during our engagement, we planned to one day have a large family (not Duggar large—but today, more than two or three is large). One of the Bible passages I reference frequently is this:

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5).

We planned to have some kids, and then adopt some more. Adoption has never been an afterthought, but part of the plan all along. What we didn’t have in our plans was when we would adopt. We just figured that God would let us know when it was time to go that route.

And He did. As I’ve mentioned before, because of complications during Kristian’s pregnancy with Madeleine, we’re unable to have any more biologically. We realized during the end of that pregnancy that those days were coming to an end, and the next chapter would start soon.

Over the last few months we have looked into a few options for adoption here in Arkansas, believing that there are plenty of kids here in our own community who need help.

Then came November 30th. While out doing visitation here in Fayetteville, I was listening to Focus on the Family. During that day’s broadcast a lady was interviewed about her family’s experience adopting a nine-year old boy from Russia. As I listened, I thought about what a nice thing the family had done. Then, near the end of the show (around 23 minutes in) she made the following statement:

“By statistics, if we hadn’t adopted him, he would likely be dead today. […] There have been many different studies done and estimates made; and at the age of 16, they get turned out of the orphanage, and within one year 90% of the girls are in prostitution and 90% of the boys are dead from living on the streets.”

When I heard that, I began to tear up. Well, “tear up” is an understatement. Let’s just say, I was merging on to I-540 at that precise moment, and I had some trouble doing so. I’m skeptical of statistics 84% of the time unless I read the studies myself. But if the numbers are even a quarter of what she presents, it is unfathomable that this is going on.

When I got home that afternoon, I shared with Kristian what I had heard. I told her of the dire circumstances experienced by many of the orphans in the former Soviet Union. I suggested looking into Russian adoption. She was agreeable to adoption from the fSU, but said she had a bad feeling about Russia (little did we know that just 3 weeks later, Russia would ban adoptions by US families!).

As we have talked about it, and prayed about it, we believe that God is directing us to pursue adoption from Ukraine. We still believe that there are plenty of kids here who need help, but we believe that God has given us a burden for this particular need. And we are in the process of making contacts in that country to begin the process. We’re not ready this exact moment, but knowing the process could take years, we want to begin now, knowing that if it’s God’s will, it will happen in His way and in His time.

We are nervous and excited about the prospect of what lays in store for our family. We’ve even asked Benjamin what he thinks (children understand more than we give them credit for), and now he asks us every day for a “boy, boy, boy” to play with. We’ve been saving for a while for an anniversary trip to Paris in the distant future, but have now put that on hold; my wife says that a trip to Kyiv sounds just as good.
I am asking friends and family who read this to pray for our family, and that God would direct the process—instead of us trying to do it for Him.

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27, NKJV).