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Monday, April 4, 2011

Why Ukraine? Why not....

​So why adopt from Ukraine?  Ukraine is a country roughly the size of Texas.  A former Soviet Nation who is struggling to create a successful, working economy.  There is over 100,000 orphans in its borders.  Usually at the age of 16 years old they "age out" of the orphanage and are required to live on their own. They haven't been taught much about life skills. Simple life skills to survive like grocery shopping, cooking, applying for a job, renting an apartment, etc.  Obviously, they have a lot going against them and they end up desperate for food and shelter, thus making them victims to hopelessness, predators, and criminal behavior.    Take a moment to remember what you were doing and thinking at 16, and then think about trying to make it on your own completely, with no family. Add to that, the common prejudices the country has towards orphans.  Sobering isn't it?  
 ​This still doesn't completely answer the question "Why Ukraine?". In reality there are many other counties with similar and worse situations.  Honestly, it's the country God first opened our eyes to and revealed to us that it's the Christian's responsibility the help the orphans in our world. (James 1:27)  We are blessed to be in a community with a strong support group of families who are and have adopted from Ukraine, and they are an amazing resource and support to us.  There will also be a network of children with similar back grounds for our children to interact with.
​Our personal faith and humanitarian views definitely play into our desire to adopt.  The scriptures clearly state that...take care of the poor, immigrants, widows, and the fatherless.   Our Lord tells us that this is pure religion.  Do we have to adopt because of that scripture? Clearly no. He calls us all to fulfill this command but this the looks different for each of us. Monique and I feel that this is the path God is calling us to take. Do we feel qualified? Yes and no. Yes, we have raised 4 wonderful children who continue to live and excel at life. But do we feel qualified to raise orphaned children?  Frankly no,  they all come abandoned, broken and hurt and so many come filled with lives of abuse.  Some come full of fear and a lack of love that only a parent, family and God can bring. Can I relate on some levels? Absolutely.  Do I know how to deal with what they come with?  Not fully.  I do know that we are confident we are called to this journey!  Someone very wisely stated:  God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Also, where we are weak He is strong. We have been adopted into His family and He teaches us daily how to love. He will do the same for these young children whom He loves and cares for so deeply.