Monday, April 30, 2012

Joe & I Verses The Ledge.........

Joe and I are at the ledge with our toes hanging over holding hands side by side.  Our backpacks securely fastened (so we hope) to our backs with a parachute we hope that will open.  That parachute is God.  I have my eyes shut ready to jump and squealing at the idea of jumping and Joe is squinting one eye evaluating the land should the parachute not catch our fall.  Could be a hard and messy land and we crash or we can have an amazing journey on the ride down.

Why the see when we had Sergiy here over Christmas both the boys wanted to have a little sister.  Sergiy never having one and Kolya having his 3 year old sister separated from him when he was 5 is enough to tear him up now.  He misses his older brother dearly who is now 22 and Kolya has that longing for his sister that he does not know nor have a relationship with like he does with his big brother.  She was adopted from the orphanage so there was no good-byes or let's stay in touch it was poof she's gone all three kids separated from one another.  Kolya was too little even if he wanted to do anything about it.  The amazing thing is when Kolya's older brother Dima was separated from Kolya he ran away from the orphanage they moved him to at 10 years old to find Kolya and his little sister.  He was wore out, lost and hungry when officials found Dima and brought him back to the orphanage.  He ran away once more in search of Kolya a couple years later to not be able to locate him. Everyone Dima asked to help him over the years to find his little brother no one would help him.  At the age of 20 he finally found his little brother.  Kolya's director in Lutugino and staff was so excited they found each other and had no idea Dima was trying to find Kolya.  What a blessing it was to meet Dima and have him come to see Kolya and support him in finding a family.  We will be forever grateful to him for his love for his little brother and his support in letting him go so that he could be with us.

Once home from Ukraine without Sergiy we still know we all wanted to adopt a younger girl but we were all so broken up about the loss of Sergiy.  After a couple weeks I picked my chin off the ground, dried up the tears and found comfort in the Lord that he knows best for Sergiy and our family.  So our family started our homestudy stateside here in North Carolina.  With having the loss of Sergiy we actually almost wanted to avoid Ukraine which is like our second home because now there was hurt associated with it.  But needless to say when we left we also left our dossier there.....(I am sure you are gathering where this is going to lead...) no intention of doing anything.  The idea almost repulsed us at that point because the pain of losing Sergiy was so strong like a death but we had nothing to loose or nothing to gain so we thought let's just leave it......

OK so NC homestudy almost done.  With being foster parents in the past the homestudy was able to breeze through fast....all we sit here and wait for is our FBI clearance and were good to go.  We have located several girls here in the US and every one of them just is not a fit for our family nor can we meet their needs.  Now that we have a child, Kolya it's a different ball park for Joe and I to pull in any child like we had in the past.  There are many things to factor now.  Needless to say we have not found a match and well I did the unthinkable for myself and that was "BE STILL".  That is not in my genetic makeup to be just be still.  I do believe it is past down from my father.  I will take responsibility for my own actions but I do believe again it is his fault.  (:

So meanwhile while our NC homestudy was being worked on before I decided to "be still" Kolya and Joe decided the decorate the room for our "future daughter".  Please catch that I said my boys names not myself!  They picked everything our from the bedspread, to the lamp, the posters, all the way to the pink and white polka dot dog on the bed which was what Kolya found for his li'l sis to have.  So they picked it all and I put it together.  It looks awesome by the way! The pink and white surfer girls bedroom with a hint of modern! 

Now to current.....last week in the midst of "being still" even though my eyes would wonder to daily (couldn't help it! struck out anyways) my sister and I decided to go online to to look up Zap kids in Ukraine in search of some kiddos I met on the trip for Sergiy and when I did the New Horizons For Children interviews.  Plus my future nephew, Andriy lives out there so we were in search of photos of him.  Now eight month ago approx. my sister kept trying to lead me to Reese's Rainbow.  She told me about the children with Down Syndrome and she is a huge advocate for this ministry in hopes of finding homes for these precious children by spreading the word.  Joe and I know we are not called to specifically adopt a child with Down Syndrome so it never crossed my mind to go there.  Actually whenever she mentioned going on the site which was often she would try to tell me there was other special needs kids but I just would not let my mind go there because we so I thought were adopting Sergiy.  Then after the disruption of Sergiys adoption we did not want to return there for a while in order to heal and the idea of going back and having a disrupted adoption again about scares the bigeebees out of Joe.  So last Thursday my sister hood-winked me.....she got me on and somehow got me into Reese's Rainbow in search of this child "I may know" and well a couple clicks and there she is.

I am not a crier nor do I turn to mush over little girls in pink bows, pretty dresses, shinny shoes, grinning ear to ear .....but this girl has had me in emotional tears for her almost daily now.  Never felt this before nor can I even try to explain it.  I look at her and I pray for her several times a day.....why because she has no family, she is alone, she longs for a family and she has no one to hold her and tell her she is going to be OK and I want her to be cured of this disease she battles everyday, HIV.  Long ago way back when I use to be certified as a foster care baby sitter for special needs kids in High School.  I worked daily with a little girl, 3 years old named Bianca that stole my heart and soul.  Her mother was a prostitute and HIV was past down to baby Bianca when she was born.  She went from HIV to full blown AIDS because she could not fight the disease off nor was there the medication we have now nor the knowledge we now have of the disease.  This was back in the day when you did not touch their boogers without gloves on and saliva passed the disease.  The doctors said she would not live past 3 and she made it to 5 years old.  After that loss I choose to avoid to even go there with this disease.  God seems to be swinging me back around.  Funny thing is when we were filling out all our NC Homestudy paperwork we checked off disorders and diseases we would have never gave the time of day to before.  I couldn't figure out then why HIV was in the back of my head and I felt God just put it in my mind and cause a little stirring.  Didn't know what the reasoning was then but now I know why.  I pray for this girl to be healed of this disease and I know he can.  He is the creator of it and he sure can take it away too.  Never in a million years would I think I would be standing on this ledge thinking of jumping.....waiting on the Lord for Joe and I to jump.  The jump is, is it the Lords calling for our family to pray and advocate for her or to pray and adopt her.  Joe and I will not move unless were on the same page and God is moving both our hearts.  Kolya well......she had him at hello in one of the photos where she's wearing a little white hat, playing with some weeds, dirty as ever, her teeth are a stained and rotted and she is grinning ear to ear giggling.  Everytime he sees the picture he giggles himself, smiling saying she is adorable and very precious mom.  Oh how I feel the same way.  I have officially put her photo on the fridge.....yes you know where this can go......but we are all so convicted in this household to pray for her non-stop and where and what God is calling us to do with this precious girl.  She will be 7 years old next month.  Our dossier sits in Ukraine with only 2 simple things that needs updating which we were already in the process of doing before we found her "JUST IN CASE" we were ever to return to adopt.  Gathered no reason to let it all expire if we can update so we were.

The only thing between us and the ground to get us to jump is Gods clear direction that WE ARE the family he is calling to go get her and 26K.  Our faith will have to kick in like never before that God can and will land us safely to the ground.  I will and can actually say we will be tested like never before in this journey.  With both boys adoptions all our resources are tapped out, all stocks are drained, all retirement is gone and our rentals for retirement being unrented in order to keep them have drained us over the last 2 years.  Thankfully as of 1 week ago our vacant one rented!  AMEN!  But there ain't nothing left to pull from to bail us out......All our tax refunds went to clear the debt/loans.  Again we planned on staying in the US so this was nothing to factor nor a big deal until I found "her".  So my heart and mind are in pieces.  This past weekend I went to a "Together For Adoption" event in Winston-Salem and met some incredibly awesome women there.  In all the years I have gone to adoption events and also the ones I work now for New Horizons For Children not ONE has had anything about HIV resources, HIV adoption, HIV sponsorships, etc. nor have I met anyone who has adopted an HIV child.  This event I met three incredible women, 2 that work for that have HIV children with incredible resources right here where we live and so do they!  One of the gals when I just started to speak of the girl grabbed my hand and told me to pray for her healing and I told her that is all I have been praying which was crazy to have her just say that to me when that is what the Lord has put on my heart.  She then told me we are going to go get her and she asked to pray for us and her..... it was incredible.  These ladies are a true answer to prayer.  It is clear Gods hands are surrounding this this little girl that has stolen my heart and my families.  I feel in my heart she is already my daughter......I can't even figure it out even if I try.  I am done looking for a daughter to adopt.  I do not want to look any further.  I have stopped looking.  This has to mean something?  I go back to look at adoption websites and I see children I want to pray for and hurt for their needs but she is the one that is in and on my heart.

What will God reveal to us? I am not sure but we are waiting on the Lord for his calling for her and for us and what he is asking us to do...........we cannot jump separately nor will we, we have to jump together even if our eyes are closed and trust that parachute will open which would be the blessing and covering of God to land us safely where we belong.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

God Has Re-Routed Kolya & I This Summer For Missions!

Kolya and I have been preparing our hearts and minds for a mission trip this summer.  We had planned to go to Ukraine but God had other plans instead.  (:

We are blessed to have awesome opportunities to come up that we will get to take part in.  Kolya just joined the Boy Scouts and is loving the kids, the leaders and everything he is learning.  Our boy is old school so the leaders said he has some old tricks up his sleeve to help the other kids because being raised in an orphanage using matches was not unusual for a little kid.  Knowing how to use a knife at a young age, no biggee.  Apparently a couple things the kids would fear or were afraid to touch he jumped right in.  So proud of him.  Then we have all our New Horizons For Children kiddos flying in for hosting and also a local hosting program, Redline United Kolya and I work with for 3 weeks.  It is also a hosting program that brings orphans over from Ukraine but right here a couple miles from us so we love working with the kids in the day camps.  Then our kiddo is joining the swim team.  He's a fish.  So with all these exciting things happening we had to juggle where to go mission wise.  We wanted to go to Ukraine and we could actually work it time wise but all in all God gave us plenty of clear signs this was not his plan for us...he needed us to stay here in the US of A.  So by golly we are!

Kolya and I picked a ministry that specifically focuses on outreach in the US and abroad with youth.  I love it!  SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUTH!!  Again I will say I love it!  It is called  We studied all the states including ours to do outreach and we felt lead to Tampa, Florida.  We will be helping do repair construction on the church in this community we will be staying.  We will be working with special needs folks and helping build ramps and items needed to help them move around better and doing Vacation Bible School outreach in the community with the kids.  So we will be tackling a bunch of wonderful things all in the time we are there.  We head out June 10th for the missions for a week.  Verse flying we will be rocking the rental car and cruising in our Hyndai to Florida listening I am sure to Toby Mac all the way looking for gators on the side of the road and hopefully not in the middle of it!  We are both so excited about this opportunity to serve here in the US and be used by God in whatever way he needs to.  We are both excited about our own spiritual growth and relationship with God and being able to experience this together! 

We come to you and ask for prayer for our trip in that again God uses as he needs and sees fit.  That we are alert and aware to his calling of where he needs us to be and move right to that specific spot, location or person of need.  That in all our construction (being first time for Kolya) that the team is safe in all the building we do.  Safety in all the teams travel to this location and our time there.  THAT GOD ROCKS OUR WORLD and changes out hearts! 

We are officially signed up were going and again excited for all to come!  We have paid all our enrollment fees and at this point, YEAH!!  Now we are in need of raising our last remaining funds before launch on June 10th of $1800.00.  This will cover the expenses for both Kolya and I.  Should you feel lead to donate towards our mission we would forever be so grateful!  You can click the Florida State Seal in the top right of this blog and it will take to you Paypal for any donation you would like to make towards our trip.  Or you can donate directly to through paypal.  Or you can if easier you can mail a check directly to us at our home address.  Again we thank you so much and we look forward to being used by GOD ALL summer with this mission, New Horizons For Children and the Redline Hosting kiddos!  AWESOME AWESOME! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I am writing about these boys because not only is my friend emotionally invested in their future knowing them for many years and watching them grow on her missions trips there but also because they keep popping up through people we know on our computer screen.  We keep meeting more and more folks that know and have served with these precious boys.  They are in need of a host family that is willing to be open to adopt them.  This is a large task but not too big for God.  So I ask if you are open to adopting and have not yet located the children you are adopting please read below.  Their story will touch you.  If you want more information about the boys I have several resources of folks that have served with these boys over the years.  If you are not dossier ready but are touched by this story please pray for these boys.  As you will read below these boys do understand family and do want family.  Can you help us make their hopes of a forever family come true?

I received this via e-mail about R & K, and my friend who knows the boys gave me permission to share online. I really believe it further shows K's hearts desire.

I was looking through my bed side table this evening and came across
two items very precious to me that I wanted to share with you (it was
the drawer where I keep the things most important to me in the world).
I'm attaching photos of them. Both of these items are from 2 years
ago, after I'd known him for 2 years. First, it's K's teddy bear
that he gave to me to show me his friendship and love. It was so very
sweet. He has nothing to his name, yet he gave me this. The second
item is a journal he decorated for me with his photo, a bunch of his
artwork inside, and a picture of an angel on the front. You probably
can't tell from the photo but he colored the angel with markers (very
carefully), cut it out (along w/ cloud background) and pasted it to
the journal. Then he wrote me a several page letter in the journal.
Here's an excerpt from that letter that I thought was particularly
"Amanda, when I first saw you I immediately understood what a person
you were. I thought that America is an unrecognizable country, but

                              then I saw that Americans came to visit us, and I understood that

                        America is a pretty good country, now I'm sure of this. Then I became
                                your friend and now I know about God and he helps me.

Amanda, please tell me, do you read my letters? I read every letter

                         of yours, because I want to learn more about my friend. Do you know

                           that someone wants to adopt me? But they still haven't adopted me.
                          But I hope that they will adopt me. If they do adopt me, I will never
                              forget you. You have been like a mother to me. I give you this
                                  present, my best friend diary, with all of my wishes."

No family ever came for them. But for me, this note shows his heart's

                                             desire ... his biggest wish, for a family.

-This team member also gave me some background on their story and it is heart breaking, and yet a real story of redemption-that these boys have been able to rise up above the mistakes of their parents, and become the young men they are today. They have been in orphanages for 7 years now. They grew up separately but were reunited when they arrived at the orphanage. The younger brother-"K" has no one to care about him....Amanda shared that she was the only one to call him on his birthday this year, for example. Friday, March 23, 2012

Edit *Added comments at bottom from someone who knows these boys personally* 
The grant is now $4000!
We just received the information for an amazing set of brothers-Radion and Koyla. 
This will be their last chance to find a family. 
We only have 8 DAYS left to find them a family!
They have a grant of $1000 towards their summer hosting.  $4000
The have spent a lot of time with missionaries that serve at their orphanage, and come HIGHLY recommended by all who have met them. Please take a moment to read about them, and please SHARE their story. We can find these boys a family before it is too late! Both boys are artists as well. 
Hosting is open to families anywhere in US-
The kids will fly into New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle. They will stay around 6 weeks.
$1000 Grant toward hosting these brothers! LAST CHANCE. This boy is 100% recommended by director and missionaries. This boy has a very high IQ and is an amazing child. This is a special situation that we agreed to because of all the things people have to say about him. "He is such a wonderful boy that he will actually be a leader with our mission team's work at another orphanage this spring." They have until December until they are no longer available. They are still waiting for a family to come for them.

This boy comes highly recommended by missionaries who know him well. They brought these boys to us, as they are in desperate need of a family. We are told by his director that he is a calm and very nice child. The brothers are very close and wonderful! Many people are advocating for them because they are so amazing. I know we can find them a family.
Here is a picture from 2 years ago-showing their artwork:
The older brother showing his award for his artwork!
Younger brother showing his award-winning artwork:
Younger brother-picture from a few years ago-doing his artwork with the missions team:
Older photo showing his personality!
Working hard on Bible study:
Another recent photo of the older brother:
One more photo-another older picture-this is when they made superman capes!
Comments from someone that knows these boys well:
R is a very smart boy and gets the best grades in school. He's on of the few orphans still in the system at his age who could have a chance to go to a University. He is a great artist and loves basketball. He is a leader in the orphanage and is a kid that most every kidin his orphanage would consider to be a very good friend of theirs. Even the teachers and director look to him as an example for the other kids and as sometone they can always rely on. He's even participating as a member of an American mission team this week, doing ministry at another orphanage. We heard from the team today that he's doing wonderfully and is just a trememdnous help for anything and everything they need. He really has a servant's heart. I don't think there's anything R could not do if he's given a chance. Until this fall the boys were at an orphanage that wouldn't allow them to come for hosting and honestly I had all but given up hope on finding them a family. They were recently transferred to an orphanage that will allow them to come! It was a miracle. This winter R pleaded with me, tears in his eyes, to do everything I possibly could to find he and his brother a family! Please, help us fulfill their greatest dream!

K is a great kid too with a very good heart. He does not excel in school the way R does, but it seems that it may be due to needing guidance and motivation rather than intelligence. He also is a good artist (more cartoon style) and loves basketball. He has a fun loving personality and loves to joke around and be silly! R and K look out for each other as good brothers!
For more information on hosting, please send me an e-mail at 
or e-mail Ginger at or call her at (408) 710-8902

I'm only one. But still, I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still, I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
-- Edward Everett Hale