Monday, September 24, 2007

Picture Perfect

Love, love, love all the pictures we've been getting!!! Is it possible that she's grown even prettier?

Our favorite by far (talk about surreal!):

I guess I should have prefaced the above picture. Kristina doesn't have access to internet and didn't know about our blogs before this. We look forward to the day when she can read back over the posts and see how God has brought all of us together!

Friday, September 21, 2007

There's a Picture of Me in a Bikini on the Internet

Believe it or not, the headline is the least of the news I have to share. But I digress, let's try that again. Recently, I heard from a few of my high school classmates. Its been 18 years (eek!), and they created a website to reconnect everyone and plan for our upcoming 20th reunion. I checked out the site and was thrilled to read their stories and see pictures of the beautiful families they have been blessed with. There were plenty of pics of everyone from high school; graduation pictures, senior trip pictures, etc. (By etc. I mean the bikini picture. And no, I will not send you the link to the page). I sent an update on us and got a few messages from some of my closest friends, including my dear friend Kenny. My older brother and I were very close with Kenny's family throughout school. We hung out and watched Monty Python movies, went to the beach, football games. Kenny filled me in on how God has blessed all of them in the last years and how one of his brothers had recently adopted two. He said he wanted to bless us as well. On behalf of his church, he sent us a check that (once again) bridged the gap in our adoption finances. God is soooo good.

The other good news is that we have been abundantly blessed with recent pictures and updates on our sweet Kristina. My new BFF's in Ukraine have given us such a blessing. They found our little girl and took the time to visit with her, let her send a message to her family, and love on her for us. We were surprised by how much she has grown. It has been a year, but we see her maturing into a beautiful young woman before our eyes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Gifts . . . and its not even Christmas!

Several of you have emailed recently and asked how you can tangibly help kids like Kristina. She is the face of literally thousands of children in Ukraine. Most who have no one coming for them. There are a handful of organizations that I feel comfortable recommending. I know that the money or donations you provide actually goes to feed, clothe, and improve the living conditions of these children.

An Orphan's Bright Star - OBS has several projects going on right now. The Teterevka orphanage food need is urgent. Six dollars a month can feed one of the eight five boys housed there. Six dollars.

Frontier Horizon - this is the organization that I personally traveled with last spring. I've seen the money put to use. They are gearing up for their annual Christmas Wishes campaign. Consider choosing an orphan child to bless or have you office, church, or school sponsor several kids. Click on the Help tab on their website for more opportunities.

Operation Ukraine - OU works with orphanages in Artemivsk. They provide everything from formulas for infants at the baby house to construction projects for orphanage buildings that are crumbling around the children who live there.

UAC Ukraine - Clara Pascal has worked tirelessly for decades to change the lives of Ukrainian orphans. Her organization is unique in that they offer hope to orphans aging out of the system into an unknown future. Through the UAC Scholarship program, these kids have the opportunity to learn a trade and build a future for themselves. It is an chance to break the cycle of poverty and escape the statistics that await these kids. Fifty-seven dollars a month buys a nice dinner or a teen's chance at a life of dignity.

Many of us are bombarded with requests for donations every day through media and print and its difficult to know where to invest our gifts. The important thing is that we do something. What seems insignificant to us can make such an impact in the life of a child who thinks no one cares for him. It really does make a difference!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

To remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens

"Alex, What is waiting?"

I have a confession to make. I'm not really good with the "waiting" thing. Its only been two weeks and I'm already getting anxious. Those of you who have been waiting months are laughing at me; I know. Can I just say, waiting stinks. No really, I don't like this at all.

"Alex, I'll take 'Things that will get this adoption moving' for $500."

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Weary Daughter

This letter was waiting in my inbox this morning. Her English gets better and better, but we've also observed her spirit grow weary in waiting for us. Its very hard for us to hear her discouragement and not be able to comfort her and assure her that we are coming for her.

Dear and beloving Mama!
Sorry for not writing for a long time. I am at the internot already but I wish i was in America.... How is Katleen ? (spell?) how is my class? Please, say hi to everyone. How are you, mom? I am not really doing good. I miss you and love you a lot. I can't wait until you come. Please, say hi to lera and her Mom.

Leslie Mama, is still long for you to do the documents? There are only 13 students in our class. All the others have gone to the families. There are only two girls in our class. Actually, one more but she lives at home and will be only coming to school here. It is so boring now: some just are sitting on the floor, some are playing, some are reading, some are having arguments, only I am writing. I am so bored and even don't know why. I didn't have time to write in the camp but I think that you are happy that I am writing now. I am happy for that too. I liked to be at home rather than in the camp. i have new photos you can see later when you come after me. If it's ok with you please write me back.
Your daughter,
I love you from the bottom of my heart.