Sunday, February 27, 2022

Our Beloved Serge


I write this with tears streaming.

Our beloved Serge has given his life for his country.

He didn't have to. He had his American citizenship. He could have left and sat safely on this side of the ocean.

But he loved Ukraine.

So he entered the trenches with all the other volunteers, and he is gone.

We loved him. 

Without him we would not have Aaron. Pure and simple. He fought like a grisly bear and got our boy out, and I will be eternally grateful to him.

He oversaw all three of our crazy adoptions.

When our second one almost derailed, he sat in a coffee shop with us for hours while we grieved.

He was gruff and had his detractors, but he helped facilitate thousands upon thousands of adoptions.

He went to bat when no one else would.

Just weeks ago, when a family was turned away at the airport - he marched in with lawyers and got them safely home.

He was a fighter.

In every way.

We loved him.

The first American citizen to die for Ukraine.

A pointless, cruel, unprovoked war.

Please pray. We know so many others throwing Molotov cocktails at Russian tanks.

My heart bleeds this morning.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Our People

 My heart has been so broken the last few days.

I scour the news. Every 10 minutes. I keep tabs on my 'peoples' over there.

I have shed a lot of tears.

This is a bit of what we know about some of "Our People" over there. People who matter to us and to God. Precious souls caught in a war that was totally unprovoked. 

A group of precious souls in a ministry we support - Bible Orphan Ministry - is in the capital with a large group of children and youth - hiding out in a church facility. The terror they face is real. They are forced to comfort the small ones, holding their ears against the sounds outside. They wanted to get out yesterday, but they were unable to move as they couldn't find a driver. I'm praying they can find a way today. The bridge to the west has been blown up making escape more difficult.

Another ministry - Jeremiah's Hope - has lost contact with a group of 10 children and 3 staff members. That same blown-up bridge has made it impossible to get to them. The village is surrounded on all sides. 

Other dear dear friends - Wide Awake International -are in their homestead two hours from the capital. Their place bursting at the seams as they open the doors for those in need and care for the ones inside. They have so many lives in their care, and they are praying for wisdom in this time.

Two of our powerhouse adoption facilitators are in a village that is not far from the capital. They are making Molotov cocktails and standing ready to defend their land. I love those fierce women so deeply!

Another facilitator posted video yesterday of an empty city square. His was the only car on the road. That area is NEVER free of cars. EVER. It's a place we have walked hundreds of times - it's like home to us. I watched the video and wept. I cannot stand the thought of bombs being dropped there.

Down in the south are more of those we love - Heritage Ukraine. It is quiet there for now after the first day of bombing. Eerily quiet. They are watching and waiting and praying. Their area is dangerous. A place long coveted by Russia. They too have many people in their care. 

One missionary family from John's area got over the border this morning after a stressful 24 hours with small children in tow. The line of those wanting out of the country stretching for miles and miles. Those in the villages along the route who are choosing to stay are carrying bits of food and drink to those waiting in their cars. No money. No thank you. God speed.

I've sent messages to anyone and everyone. 

To John's birth family. Letting them know they are not alone. We are praying for them here.

I could go on and on. We know so many. We love deeply this adopted country of ours.

I am not alone in my obsession. I go on my Facebook feed and see all my friends waving the blue and yellow flag and grieving alongside of me.

We share the same story. This is our children's heritage - their birth home. There are thousands of us who are standing for Ukraine along with their children.

My boys are in shock. This is their people. Which has made them Our People. It's hard to process. It doesn't seem real.

Their birth country is being taken over and there is nothing we can do to stop it.

All we can do is watch and pray.

We can send out words of encouragement. Let 'Our People' know they are not alone. 

Watch and pray some more.

And pray some more.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

My Heart Bleeds

 When war happens across the ocean in countries where I have little knowledge, I feel sorrow for the people, but it's not soul crushing. This morning as I hear reports of bombs going off in cities where I have traveled and where three of my children were born, it's like a blow to my gut. 

I had to go back in my files to find a sweet picture of my three in their native dress. 

This is their home country that is being bombed.

Numerous cities.

This is not just a small operation. Do you see the map? 

I've been to a number of those cities. 

Aaron's institute - filled with precious helpless boys sits right near where bombs dropped this morning. 

Mary's institute was near another. 

John's orphanage a few hours from bombs in several directions.

There are faces to my prayers. People we dearly love. Ministries that we support. Orphanages. Institutes. 

There are families in the process of adopting who are there now. Despite the warnings they went because NOTHING keeps a Mama away from her child. 

There are adoptive families grieving here as they are now cut off and unable to go back. They are in the middle of the process. The children waiting for them. Dear Lord!

One family starting the process was leaving tomorrow. Can you even imagine? Their bags packed. The call of their boy screaming in their ears. 

So far, from e-mails we've received and watching Facebook, those we love over there are safe. Some woke this morning to their homes shaking from the bombs, but they are safe. 

But many have already lost their lives. 

And more will be lost in the coming days.

It's beyond real. My heart bleeds for a country that has been struggling for so long to get its bearing. 

I was there during the Maiden Revolution. I saw the fierce desire of the people to live in a country that is free. Free inside and out.

No matter what you hear in the news - they don't want this. Most of them may speak the language of the invaders but that doesn't mean they want to be invaded.

They are proud. They are fierce. I am praying with all my heart that they are not overcome.