Saturday, August 17, 2013

I Have Laid My Sword Down......But He Still Reigns.....

As fast as I got Sash back when I received a call he changed him mind,  I lost him. God calls each of us as Christians to seek after the widows and orphans in their distress but he did not make promises of the outcome.  He did not say specifically what each of us are called to do for the orphans or widows in the details of seek and care for them, pray for them, foster or adopt, help a foster or adoptive family with assistance or financial support, etc. But He does call us into action, there is no question.  He did not single out any specific gender or race, He made a BOLD statement in scripture to all Christians and believers of Christ.  Big, tall, short, fat, skinny, blonde, redheads, brunettes, etc, He did not exclude anyone and He made it loud and clear.   I firmly believe He will lay on ones heart specifically your calling of action to the widows and orphans.....but He did not say it would be easy.  He did not say the outcome would be what you have hoped, thought, dreamed, expected.....after all it is not for our is not for our is not for our happiness and joy but for Christs and Christs alone.  He knows these children's names....He knows how many hairs are on their heads, He knew their future when they were born and all the decisions they would be faced with good and bad.  But God is sovereign, He is just even in times like these, He is the Alpha and the Omega and HIS WORD DOES NOT GO VOID.  In my last post I tried to explain what was clear to be a mass Satan attack what looked like from an above aerial view of what would like a plane crash with wreckage all over the place.  The clanking of the swords of God angels verse Satan's demons fighting at the gates of this boarding school for the souls of these kids....I did not only hear the swords clashing but I was witnessing the battle first hand. The wreckage went beyond my boys........

What happened and why did we now return home when there was 3 you know the battle for Sash was his freedom verse family.  It was difficult to watch as you would see him battling the 8 year old rejected by this mother then the freedom's he wanted on a going on 16 year old.  You could literally see him flop from one to another.  His girlfriend that got to him emotionally he could not bare to leave and the pressure of his freedoms and what could be.  All three of my boys leading up a week to my arrival had pressures from others about not leaving and of course the old wise tale of what we will do with them once they are here in America.  Then Sash also carried a burden of something again I vowed to keep between us that loomed over him.  He was at war, basically with boxing gloves in a ring by himself punching himself.   But then there was the silent battles for Alex (tall Sasha) and Slavic.  Slavic again wanted to be hosted.  We could not get him hosted so we went diving in to adopt him and take the risk.  He wanted us to adopt him like the other boys 7 days prior to arrival but haven't ever been to America the lies and deceit crowded his mind with fears.  Slavic had family as well.  Although they gave us their blessing, it was ever so abundantly clear when I saw him he did not want to leave his family, friends nor Ukraine.  I could not bare to ask him to leave his life there.  Although the outcome in unknown for his future I know his heart was not in it to leave everything he knows.  Then Alex.....this young man started to blossom as our relationship grew and his trust grew.....he was smart enough not to believe the foolish lies that were spread about Americans but in the same breath the fears I had for him in a family with children although they never surfaced they did on our last day before heading to Kyiv.  There were little signs leading up to the last day and  I even joked with Sash I could telegraph his punches but Alex...he was quiet and you have to watch out for those ones.  Well a few things happened that were not normal and were a little off over the course of a couple days as he got closer to me but I addressed them and moved on.  But our last day with him out of no where and not provoked he came at Kolya and he wanted to hurt him.  I was right there and saw it start to finish and a second time he went at him.  When I saw the switch in his eyes when he hurt Kolya and I told him to stop I knew it was over.  I could not allow him to hurt Kolya but my worst fear with him I had now witnessed....I could not risk him hurting Stopha or Tania which in no question in my mind he would.  I asked God to let me see and hear the things I may not want to hear and see the night before and He faithfully did as much as it hurt to witness........My love for those boys will never waiver.  Now I have a clearer understanding of Gods love for us when we constantly reject him or run from him and He is always just there waiting on us.
My friends that are missionaries that brought Christ into our boys school, one of them was accused by another child of saying and doing something that was never done and fault was blamed at her.  Then my dear friend whom was on the mission trip with us when I met the boys and is not adopting Lisa....he and his family were prepared to fly in 2 weeks to adopt their girl I love and adore to find out that she is not legally free.  She was put on the registry then booted off at one point then put on 6 months ago and still has 6 months to go.  The family is devastated as was I when I got the news standing outside the Kyiv office when I was suppose to be also in there getting Sash's referral.  There was one hit after another beyond our family and boys.  Then before we left for Ukraine our friends that came to adopt a precious young lady we got the pleasure of meeting on our mission trip in March/April when they showed up to bring their girl home the wife was not yet old enough by a month so they have to return for her.  When I said Satan is not slumbering, he truly is and was not slumbering.  The battles at the school were thick and wide like a chunky soup.  It was like being in quick sand and not being able to get your feet out and just when you thought you got them out enough to step on hard solid land you started sinking again. 
In the midst of this mess I would read my daily devotional and oh how each day it spoke to me in the midst of battle for the boys and the children there I have come to love and adore.  The outpouring of prayers for the boys and myself was amazingly felt...each day when I should have been breaking down I fought harder....I still have the war wounds to show it....I need a cane at this point.  LOL! I am a runner and at this point their ain't no running.  Cut open toe on the right and sprained all toes on left and soar shoulder and back.  I feel physically that I went to battle with Satan in a boxing ring but emotionally and mentally was equipped by God with your outpouring of prayers.....the peace that I had and still carry can only come from the grace of God.  Hear my bold statement.....He still reigns......
 Here is Kolya and I after the news that Sash wanted to stay in Ukraine and although he said no we still went to Kyiv for his referral and clung to God and one another and laid our swords down and Sash's no still remained.  I am so incredibly proud of Kolya and all he endured, he did not buckle to the temptations of following all the mass chaos around us let alone orphanage life he could of easily tried to gain back again like he once had.  He stood firm fighting beside me.  God still reigns........
In the midst of mass chaos from the hi's and low's of battling for Sash, the boss that hired him that was a bad influence, the lies, the deceit, the drinking, the smoking, the squatty potty issues, the fighting amongst kids, the division amongst friends, the destruction, the bad train rides, fake train tickets, missing trains, being harassed for money on trains, being billed on food more then what was purchased or even ordered, cutting my toe open, spraining all my toes, attempted to be hit by one of Sash's friends on a moped, chasing Sash down a road, watching kids with families in route to them making horrible decisions without the guidance of a mother and father,  our friends being spiritually attacked that serve with the kids, our friends adopting hitting obstacles, the list goes on and on of all that took place in these last 3 weeks BUT God still reigns! 

Words cannot express the amount of support from all our friends all over the the world and their outpouring or prayer and support for the boys and us.  The outreaching to respond to write and even call Sash to help him in his decision was amazing....not short of it awesome.  Our Ukraine adoption team and local friends which I do not have all photos of them to help us and step up was amazing.  God placed each and everyone of these people in our path to help lift us up and continue the battle.   He still reigns......

Although I sit here feeling physically battered and abused and with great loss of the boys my spirit is un-broken for Christ, the orphans and the fight to bring them home.  These boys were never mine to begin with....actually none of our children are truly ours....they are God precious children that He is allowing us to bring up in His way and life for a certain time that He so richly blesses us with.  But in my heart they are still my boys, I do not need any documents to know that, Satan cannot have that.  God still reigns......

My mother asked me last night...."Well honey I guess this was not meant to be".  I told her I do believe it was not meant to be.....God lead my on the missions trip not by my doing, He lead me to Sash before I even was on that trip.  He lead me to Sash and the boys on that missions trip.  He lead me us to adopt Sash.  He then lead us to adopt Slavic and then Alex.  He orchestrated it all without us pushing.  Then why did they not come home....why did he allow Satan to win this battle?  That is for God to know and for us to be in His quiet peace and presence and learn from what all he wanted to show us and pull the good out of it and trust Him that he specifically lined everything up for His greater good because.... God reigns!  
When I sit here and look back at my life one obstacle after another....I think this
“Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says “Oh crap, she’s awake!”"

With each loss in my life there is gain.......
  Sometimes I Want To Ask God Why He Allows Poverty, Famine & Injustice In The World
  … But I’m afraid He may ask me the same question.
This battle is not over....this is Gods battle for the orphans but He calls us to step up...He calls us to make a move......He calls us to get out of the pews and take a stand......He calls us to love him and THEM the orphans as He first loved us.....the point is He called US!  Not him, not her, not them over there....YOU!

Psalm 82:3-4

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

With all these losses in my marriage from miscarriages, false pregnancies, adoption losses of a boy we fostered here in the US, Sergiy in Ukraine and now the three boys...Satan is trying to get me to lay down my sword for the orphans.....NOT A BIG FAT WHOPPING CHANCE. 

The day we were in Kyiv and were suppose to be getting the referral for Sash my friend sent me this video.  This video made this battle all so worth it.  This video will be viewed in over 40 nations including Ukraine to advocate for the orphan for Orphan Sunday.  We have been so blessed to call most of these children in this video our friends and know their families personally and are incredibly dear friends of ours.  These children have all been brought home by ones willing to step up and not give up when Satan brings in the storms of despair and brokenness or throws obstacles in their way.  If you look closely in this video you may see a familiar face.....our Stopha.....He wanted to do this video in order to help encourage other families to step up and out into the unknown with no promises but just a faith in God that He ultimately will win this battle for the orphan.  Stopha watched the video with me today and high 5'd me after the video and said Mama more kids can come home to their families now.  Oh how we are praying so..... God is mighty, He is faithful, He is good and
 Oh how he reigns!

And where does this lead me next.......let me introduce you to Andrei and then Anya they are praying for their forever families to come for them!!

Let Me Introduce You To Andrei! 
Andrei wanted to make sure he stood proud and tall in this photo so he could impress you all.  :)  

Andrei is 15 (just turned 15 in April) and an aging out teen.  He has already graduated from boarding school and will be attending trade school here in a month and learning to become a metal welder.  I am currently hoping and trying to get him into an aging out program because he wants to work but not go to trade school and so badly wants to be in a family.  I met him on our mission trip to Ukraine in April/March.  He was in my class.  He was a hard worker and you could see he was exceptionally bright, incredibly intelligent and respected the elders.  He knows some English too boot.  He was very bonded to Scott one our the guys on our mission team that Andrei met on a previous trip.  He would soak up the attention from the adult guys showing he so desperately wanted it.    When I first met Andrei in March/April and watched him in the course of our mission trip I saw that he has a competitive streak....very, more then I liked to see.   But I will say it is still there but in these months away from him that streak has decreased and a maturity I had not seen in him is now there.  He is competitive but a healthy competitive...he has nothing short of shocked me out of most the children I saw.  Some gained maturity and other lacked in it more. 

I noticed when I started talking to Andrei again when at the school we spent a lot of time together and I saw a sadness in him.  Then he finally came out and said "Nicole will you please help me find a family".  With his maturity and the changes I saw in him I was very much on board and God laid him heavy on my heart.  Then the weight was lifted from him when I told him I would fight tooth and nail for him.  He saw much of the battle with Sash and when we were at the creek when the kids were swimming and right before I went into a full speed run after Sash for another battle round Andrei yelled at me and said "Nicole I would never do to you what Sasha is doing".  I smiled, gave him a hug and took off running.  Shortly after my jog after Sash, Andrei, Kolya and I were playing soccer in the street.  I did one bad kick in my darn flip floppies and a chunk of my toe came off.  Literally....Andrei was faster then a lightening bolt rushed to my aid and as I was pouring water over my toe to get the gravel off he started taking tissues I had and wrapping my foot.  He did not stand back, think to act but was on it like a bad habit and then said "Nicole you know I would go home with you, if you would adopt me".  Oh how I was so confused and focused on the pain in my toe and the pain in my butt Sash and the battle ahead.  I could not see from top to bottom at that point.  But just register all the amazing things this boy was doing and how much he had changed for the better.  

I talked with friends that had asked me to advocate for him and they vouched how badly he wants a family and the positive changes in him.  Verse Sash knows his freedom is knocking at the door and desires it more then family, Andrei knows it is knocking at the door and wants to run the other way from it and into a family 

Andrei has a family but his family is supportive of adoption.  They want him to have a better life.  The truly mean this so much that Andrei's sister has already been adopted out to a family in Italy.  The know Andrei wants a family and is so hoping one will step up for him before it is too late.  

Ok so let me tell ya about this boy....
He is a goof ball of a kid but you ask him to do something and he is on it like a bad habit.  Where many of the kids will try to get out of it or ignore their elders.  If he is given a task he is on it like a bad habit.  If he is expected to be somewhere he will tell you he has to leave but will be back.  Again he has that competitive streak but it has tamed down to a level that is excellent with sports and he can easily be re-directed.  He is a VERY gifted athlete.  He is shorter then most his classmates but he can move and shake.  It did not matter if I was bringing out the soccer ball, football or baseball which none of the kids have played that boy could play with little to no effort and that more aggressive streak I had seen in him on the past trip was not there.  He just played.  
Here he is being dragged around by another Andrei while being tickled in the freezing cold creek.  But still waving to let me know he is still ok and moving!  Again he is an excellent student and extreamly intelligent.  He does not cause trouble and tries to stay on the outside of it or break it up verse being the cause of it.  If he sees someone in need he is on it like a bad habit.  His favorite sports are soccer, ping pong and volleyball.  He would like to learn more math, Russian history and biology.  Told you he was a smart young man!  He does not like Ukrainian, physics or geography so much.  He would like to learn to be a car mechanic.  He does smoke, not often but occasionally (most the kids at this school do).  He said if there was one thing he could change about himself he would not smoke or drink.  He believes in Jesus and would like to be in a family that also believes.   He listens to rap music which most kids in Ukraine do but he tries to listen to the music that does not have bad lyrics.  He likes the beat and looks for rap that is on the better side of what the message may be.  He likes to sing.  He said he isnt too crafy and hasnt really tried to learn how to draw.  

If he has 3 wishes he would wish for a family, learn more English and be a good person.  He likes horses, dogs of all sizes especially big ones and cats.  

If he could choose a family he would prefer to be the oldest but if not that is ok.  If he had a choice to be with friends or alone he said he would prefer to be with friends.  When I asked him would he prefer to be with friends, be outside, read or be on the computer he said a little of everything.  When asked if he would prefer to be a leader or follower he said leader.  Then I shouted to him across the creek what if you are not then what "He said OK".  He said he would love to have brothers.  He is ok with a sister(s) but would love brothers.  He said if he had a sister he would not know what to do with girl toys.  LOL!  

Again this young man respects authority, and the tasks given.  He never challenged me or any of the teachers which was a rare thing to see.  Here he is on the roof when our soccer ball got launched accidentally on the boarding school roof!  OOPS!  Guess who the first one to run up there and get it was!  Andrei! If you look closely at the photo he is on the roof with his arms open.  You can barely see him!
Can you help me PUSH this boy to his family!  He is ready and waiting before it is too late for him!  

 Meet Ms. Anya!
Second Chances….Meet Anya!
This is Anya she is asking for a second chance.   Anya has been hosted to America before and a family wanted to adopt her.  At the time Anya had a laundry list of expectations and demands on what she wanted from her forever family which was centered around friends and friends only no care of what a family could provide her, family, education, life skills, learning more about Christ, etc. 
Then she started watching her friends get adopted and saying “yes” and then they were gone.  Suddenly it hit her… really was not about just finding a family in North Carolina next to all her friends but about the love of a family.  Anya has searched out different adoptive families including myself, mission team members and mentors that I know to reach out to say she made a great mistake and is hoping for a second chance. 
She has been anxiously awaiting someone to hear her voice and change of heart.  When I saw her I told her I heard she has had a serious change of heart since I last saw her in March/April of this year.  She said yes and I told her then we need to talk.  Little does this young lady know many of my friends God has placed her specifically very heavily on their hearts.  Too many in that it cannot go un-noticed God has a plan for this young lady.  
Let me tell you about Anya….Anya is 14 years old and is the smallest little thing!  She is at the school with my boys we are adopting so I will be spending a lot of time with her and look forward to getting to know her more.  She has been at the boarding school for 7 years and she does have brothers and sisters but they have aged out and are on their own.  When I asked her if she recalls what happened or why she came to the boarding school she said her family did not want her and brought her there because she had speech issues.  She has an occasional stutter and you rarely hear it.  You can tell by talking to her she is a very bright and intelligent young lady and a spitfire if need to be.  I will say since I last saw her the spitfire has tamed way down and reality has hit….she wants a forever family and her laundry list had to go and she indeed let it go.
If I can give you a visual picture of me talking to her and if you can just go this road with me for a moment….when asking her things like if you could be like anyone who would you like to be like…..answer, I don’t know.  If you could change something about yourself what would it be……answer, don’t know.  Do you have a favorite singer?  Her response “do not have one”.  So talking to her was like pulling teeth out of a horses mouth with a pair of pliers.  Then it hit me……she has been so humbled by her laundry list and letting it go that she has truly set it all free and out the door.  Then I asked her Anya are you just wanting to do what your family wants to do and learn and experience what they want to.  Then the answer came “yes”.  She said “yes I just want to be with them and do whatever they want to do”.  I told her girl that is a good answer. 
Ok let me tell ya some things I did learn about Anya…….she likes a lot of different styles of music and would like to learn how to dance.  She really does not dig eating salads but she said she loves just about everything else.  She made sure I heard the word everything.  Not sure where the food goes on this girl, being so tiny!  She enjoys swimming, there is a creek right next to the school and the kids have fun swimming in it.  She likes to sew, make crafts and dance.  Anya is more on the quiet side and I like to refer to this as she is not all up in your grill/business.  When I asked her if she preferred quit times or a busy atmosphere she said she likes a little of both.  When asked if she would like to be with friends or alone she would prefer to be with friends.  She told me she does not care if she is a leader or a follower so she will not be fighting for the lead dog role.  And to follow that up which is really rare she even said she would prefer to be the youngest in a family if there was kids.  THIS IS RARE FOLKS!  She loves to be outside and have fun and would love to learn English.  She said she loves learning period and is excited to learn. When I asked her what is one thing she would like to learn to do her response was she wants to learn and do whatever her family is willing to do and teach her.  Open book folks!
Her wish is to have a family to love and treat her well.  So I reversed the question and asked her if you had a family would you treat them well too.  She said yes she would love and treat them well.  I asked her will you make demands on your family like you had done before when a family wanted to adopt you and her response was “no”.  Anya believes in Jesus and is praying for a second chance.  She is eager and awaiting a family to come for her and she is ready!  If you have any questions please let me know and I will do my best to answer them, again I will be with Anya for the next month while doing our adoption.  

Today 8/10/13 I asked Anya's friends (boys and girls) what could they tell me about her they all agreed and said the same thing.  That Anya is a good girl and helps others.  She is more on the quiet side but she does not smoke or drink like many others.  
Please help me push her far and wide!



  1. Still remembering you and the boys with love and prayers. God is not done. But you knew that.

  2. YOU HAVE NO IDEA how much I love you and respect you. My prayers for what comes on the next page of this chapter for the Dewberry's..Love you...

  3. Nicole, what if in all of your running for the three boys who just can't, you're missing Andrei, who is running to you? Instead of trying to grasp what isn't there, perhaps grasp what IS. Praying for you, for them, for God's clarity as you discern your path.

  4. To God be the glory for the work you are doing!! We have 4 adopted grandchildren and one is 16 and from Ukraine. Blessed and privileged to get to go with our kids to get her last year!!! And we are seing others hosted and adopted due to work like yours and the prayers and courage of many saints! Thank you for what you are doing!!