First of all, we were led into hosting because we were drawn by two teenage sisters, one of whom was getting ready to age out of the orphanage. Because of their faces and their story, we were led to consider hosting. God orchestrated all the details and after speaking with the director of the hosting program she felt our family was better suited to 9 year old Irina. We weren't sure of God's plan, but we agreed. In the meantime, the two sisters already had their trip planned but still no hosting family. This was put on the back burners in my brain, but not forgotten.
As we have stepped out in obedience to the Lord, He has blessed us exponentially. It has opened up amazing spiritual conversations. Many I would have never expected and those conversations have left me worshipping Him.
People have given generously for Irina (tubs of clothes, care packages, undies and socks, a promise to knit her a winter hat, special sewing projects, a girly bedspread on loan for her bedroom while she is here, a stuffed animal, etc, etc.) The joy I see as these friends and family share these gifts are beyond words. It blesses me to see them excited to participate in the Lord's work. How cool that I get to watch?
Prior to hosting, we felt led to give financially to another family hosting. Once they learned of our plans to host Irina, they graciously offered to return our check to us. We felt strongly that they should keep the check we had written. We were certain that God would provide everything we needed financially to host Irina. Three days ago, someone unexpectedly gave us a check towards Irina's travel expenses. Wouldn't you know, it was the SAME amount as the check we wrote prior to hosting??? They had no idea about the check we had already written. Can you not see God at work here?
Friends and family have boldly shared Irina's story and have advocated for her. As a result, there has been interest from a couple families in getting to know her and possibly consider adopting her. God, You are good!
My sister-in-law has used her homeschool message boards in a neighboring town to spread the word about Irina and to gather bilingual resources. She connected me with a family (that she didn't know) who responded to her message board posts. They had interest in learning about Irina, about hosting and about adoption. Now, here is the kicker... this family was so curious about hosting that they contacted the hosting program, Journeys of Joy. They are now signed up to host the two teenage sisters that I mentioned in the beginning of this post. Do you see this tapestry He is weaving?
I've been obsessed about all things Ukraine. I've been searching online, checking out dozens of books from the library, and beginning to try to attempt to learn Russian. (I love languages!) As I've searched online, I stumbled across a blog of a dear young women who works with orphanages in Northern Ukraine. I emailed her and she quickly connected me to a warehouse in the states where I could buy a "Jesus Storybook Bible" in Russian. Guess what arrived today?
The boys are so excited to be able to sit side by side and look at this Bible together, theirs in English and hers in Russian. Let's just hope they can keep it a secret until we give it to her as a Christmas gift. :) That might not be so hard since she can't speak English. yikes!