Our adoption story began more than a year ago when God began to grow a desire in our hearts to reach out to and love the fatherless, unloved, and unwanted (Isaiah 58:7). At the time, we didn’t know any orphans specifically, but we had a vague idea that someday God would call us to pursue something related to foster care or adoption, so we committed to walk through the door when God opened it for us.
In spring of this year (2021), we learned about orphan hosting from a family member and took our first step to welcome an orphan from Ukraine into our home for the summer. However, due to COVID restrictions, the child we had planned to host could not travel to the United States. After filling out paperwork, paying hosting fees, and starting into training, everything shut down. It seemed that perhaps this wasn’t God’s plan for our summer. However, a few weeks later, we were given a last-minute opportunity to host a different child. With two days to make a decision, we only had a single photo of a little seven-year-old girl named Margarita, but we loved her at first sight. After praying together, Christy and I clearly felt that God wanted us to open our home to this sweet girl for the summer.
In late June, we picked up Margarita at the airport to spend the summer in our home. She quickly joined our family’s routines and rhythms and found a place among our five children. As we introduced her to new food, our children’s favorite games, and plenty of other family traditions and routines, she introduced us to new things as well: we learned some very basic Russian, tried Ukrainian cooking, and she gave each of us a nickname. Margarita is an energetic, fun, and curious girl – she is also very thoughtful and kind, especially towards younger children. We found out that she loves babies – she had an opportunity to hold a newborn cousin near the end of the summer and loved it!
About halfway through the summer, we reached out to our hosting coach to inquire about Margarita’s adoption status. Many children in Ukraine are social orphans (i.e. their parents are still alive, but are unable to care for them) and most are not available for adoption. We found out that Margarita is available for adoption and is a true orphan (i.e. one of her parents has died). Our hearts were broken for her situation and by this point we had grown to love her and consider her a special part of our family. In August, we started the adoption process with a local adoption agency.
As the summer hosting time ended, it was sooo difficult to take Margarita to the airport and send her back to a life no child should have to live. We love Margarita so much and know that she has gone through significant trauma already; even in the orphanage she is vulnerable as a younger child. It is clear that Margarita needs a forever family, and we believe that God wants us to be that family for her!
So here we are, brand new to adoption, early on in the process, and excited at the prospect of welcoming Margarita into our family – not just for a few weeks or months, but as a forever daughter and sister. Adoption is an intense process and a big investment (in terms of finances, time, and emotions). Additionally, it’s risky – we currently have no control over Margarita’s situation and anything could happen to her in the 6-8 months that it takes to complete our initial paperwork. Right now we are trusting God for each step as we take on this new adventure.
Please consider joining us in this adventure by contributing financially and praying for our family. Even if you are unable to personally host an orphan or welcome a child into your home, we hope that you can still be a part of the story that God is writing about Margarita’s life.