Saturday, September 8, 2012

Love at first sight.

I couldn't wait to write this blog post, but now that I finally can blog about this, I am at a loss as to where to start.

Have you ever planned to do something that just felt right?  So right that you didn't even have a fear in the world at how it would all unfold?  Just KNOWING it was meant to be and trusting it would all work out??  Well we feel that way right now!

All my life I have wanted to do something about this orphan crisis, my heart nearly broke at the many children that needed a family to love them.   We looked into adoption before Liam was born, but after his birth we were in no shape to take in more at that time.  I was really sad MY plans were put on hold, but at the same time, Liam needed me more.  Just because that wasn't the right time, the desire to adopt or at least help children in need didn't go away.  Money was tight, but we sent things to orphanages as often as we could, but I always had a feeling one day there would be more for me to do.  We could feel the desire grow, even our oldest children started to express to us that they thought we should take in child that didn't have parents, and love them as our own.

We then started to pray about this.  It wasn't much longer after this that a great friend of mine hosted children from Ukraine over the summer through New Horizons for Children .  We actually tried to host a boy too, but we didn't find out about this program till the last minute and the boy had already found a home before we could gather funds/get our safety visit done.  As much as we would have loved to have him, we knew it wasn't a good fit. We could have given him an amazing summer, but that would have been all.  I was too young to adopt him. :)  It was one of those last minute deals, either someone host this poor boy, or he doesn't get to come to America.  We prayed for him all summer that the family that got him could offer him a home that we could not. This was one of the few times in my life I did wish I was older!  Knowing God's will is ALWAYS best though was enough, had this had been meant to be, I'd have been born a couple years sooner. :)

All summer we prayed, talked about this as a family, and got ourselves ready.  So when the time came to sign up to host children in the winter program this winter, we were ready!  Starting last month the big kids asked daily "are there pictures up yet?!"  We filled out the application, paid for the background check, are sending in pictures of our family and other things they need, getting things ready for our safety visit, and so on.

I met with a wonderful women, through email that was very helpful!  She read our application and took it upon herself to help match us.  She wanted to know how many children we wanted and what ages.  At first, we said two, under the age of 8.  We were open to change this though, this was just a starting point.  In the mean time, we were given a link to a photo listing to look over and read bio's of children that were listed.  The first day there was a group of 3 little ones that I remembered from the summer listing and we asked if their host family from the summer was going to take them again.  I had a deep down feeling they weren't right for us, but they were adorable, so I just had to ask anyway.  Indeed they are being hosted (and in the processes of being adopted by the host family!!!) again by the same family.  We weren't at all sad by that news, in fact, I was so happy they were going the same place.

The very next day Kathryn asks me if we could look at the pictures.  The site had been updated.  Kathryn saw them first!  "Oh mama!! Look at them! Those are the ones!"  I looked and right away I knew Kathryn was right.  It was love at first sight.  She calls Jesse over to come see (Liam and Jemima had to look too!!) and I get Ryan on the phone at work and he decides to take his lunch break right away so he could see too.  At that VERY same time, the lady with New Horizons emails me and gives their listing number that says "what about this group?!"  3 beautiful children from Latvia.  Two boys and a little girl.  They LOOK like us! They could have just as easily been born to someone in my family as my other children!  Even my Mom was stunned at the resemblance.

We prayed about it for 3 days before I emailed the lady back.  We had to pray about this first..  We also had to be sure Jesse was okay that one of the children is a year older than him.  He promised he was 100% fine and that he just felt like they needed to come here.  I then email her back, YES, this group is PERFECT!  It wasn't an hour later that under their listing read "ON HOLD! Dawson, KY!"  I am betting the shouts of joy from my children here were probably heard by my Latvian children there!

Justine-8, Kristaps-9, and Deivids-5
Aren't they precious!!!

Here's the thing.  We have to cover the full cost to get them here.  Not only is airline tickets needed, but passports, visas, insurance, our safety visit, etc.  It nearly $3000 PER CHILD to come here.  They also will have nothing but the clothes on their backs when they arrive and nothing else.  We are allowed to send them home with a backpack and a small suitcase full.

So many have asked how they can help.  Our main need right now is money.  Yes, these children need things once they get here, but without money we are going to have a hard time getting them here in the first place. We are saving every dime and I am sewing like crazy, but it's still going to be tight. This is the hard part for me, I highly dislike asking anyone for anything.  I have to swallow my pride this time though, for the kids! :)  We need your help!  I know times are rough, but every little bit helps.  Even if you are only able to pray and share this with anyone you know, that's perfect and we would be so grateful!  

They already feel like mine in a way.  I look at their picture and wonder how is it I am able to love them so much and all I know about them is that Kristaps wants to learn how to fish and really enjoys being outside.. and that Justine is a very good dancer and likes the colors red and pink... and that Deivid's favorite color is yellow and he loves to play outside?!?  In my heart I feel as if I already KNOW them.  My children are already talking about them as if they were already here.

This winter is going to be the best one yet! I am so excited to see what is in store for us!

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