Anyone who knows me and/or is a follower of mine on social media will often see my favorite tag line of "An Orphan No More" on a large portion of my posts and comments. In fact, just this year, David and I have "adopted" the phrase as our theme for the adoption of our precious son, Felix, who is currently living in a mental institution in Eastern Europe ~ only because he was born with Down syndrome. We have once again humbly and with pride (I assure you, no paradox applies here!) answered the call from God to make one more precious special needs child "An Orphan No More" by giving him a forever family and a chance at life. With this calling comes great emotional ups and downs and, at times, dreaded heartbreak.
Prior to the last two weeks, I had been extremely vocal on Facebook about what is going on in Ukraine ~ from Euromaiden to Putin's impending illegal takeover of Crimea. My heart yearned and stood united with all of those Ukrainians who wanted to further distance themselves from Russia. I had spent many hours on bended knee in prayer interceding on behalf of three (soon to be four) of my children's homeland. However, after Russia officially invaded Crimea, I had to step back from social media for the most part. I had to allow myself to mourn and, through my mourning and broken heart, I went into a dark depression where I had to temporarily isolate myself from the world. This is what I do, this is what I have always done when something of this magnitude hits me this hard, knocks the breath out of me, brings me to my knees ~ literally and figuratively. I need these times of dark depression and mourning. I need time by myself, cut away from the world, where I am temporarily stuck in an all-encompassing grief. Because, ironically, this is a time of great healing and resolve for myself. It allows me to make sense of the grief and figure out ways to positively use it. It allows me solid time with My Father ~ time where everyone/everything else is shut out (for the most part) ~ so that He and I can spend time alone. It is during these times that I receive clarity and strength. It is during these times that the Lord shows me what I need to be doing in my life and how I can further bring Him glory by continuing on my journey, to hold steadfast, and not waver from His call on my life.
This brings me to this ~ my latest blog post. Ever since we adopted Teague, Trenton, and Maclayne from Ukraine in 2011, I have spent countless hours in prayer for the thousands of orphans still in Eastern Europe waiting on, praying for their forever family. Even more so, I have focused on the countless special needs orphans who are mostly discarded by their countries to live a life of abuse, neglect, and malnourishment. The latter has required more of me: more time, more prayer, more tears, more heartbreak, more everything. God has given me a calling, a calling that requires me to be vocal about rising up for the world's special needs orphans in hope that at least one more will become An Orphan No More. After Putin enacted his cold-hearted adoption ban in Russia, I have been in fear of Putin's evil hand reaching Ukraine. You see, I know what Putin does to his special needs orphans. I have seen firsthand: I have seen the pictures firsthand, I have heard firsthand accounts from families who have adopted from Russia, and I have heard firsthand accounts from the families whom Putin's adoption ban have devastated. In fact, let me introduce you to one Russian orphan who was born with Down syndrome. A sweet little boy whom Putin decided was not worthy of a family, a sweet little boy's life whom Putin decided to play an evil god with:
Russia banned adoptions and Kyle was ultimately transferred to a mental institution in early 2013. This is the dramatic change that occurred. This is what PUTIN DOES TO HIS SPECIAL NEEDS ORPHANS. The story doesn't end there, sadly enough. In September 2013, we learned that Kyle passed away. He died an orphan with no hope, no family. He died severely neglected and abused. However, the story did not end there, either. Thankfully, and by God's beautiful Grace, Kyle is in the arms of Jesus. He ultimately became An Orphan No More in the truest and purest sense. For that, and only that, I am thankful. And, I praise God that Kyle is no longer hungry, no longer neglected, no longer abused. To see Kyle's profile from the Reece's Rainbow website, please click HERE.
I write all of the above to give you a backdrop on the main message of this blog post: Orphans Forever ~ Putin's Evil Hand At Work. A few hours ago, we received word from our stateside facilitator working with us on our adoption of Felix that the adoption authorities in Ukraine are no longer giving out referrals for the orphans in Crimea. This comes as no surprise and it is what I have been fearing for the last several weeks. In fact, I imagined that we would receive this very news before the weekend was up after reading the email alert from the US Embassy I received early yesterday morning. However, it does not lessen the heartbreak that I am feeling. It actually makes it worse, because now it has officially come to pass.
Now, I earnestly implore you to start praying for the families and orphans who are being affected by this. As I wrote on my latest FB post, "There are no words for how hard my heart is breaking and I cannot stop crying...Putin's cold hand at work...Please pray for the families affected by this ~ some were already set to travel in the coming days & weeks. I cannot imagine their pain and loss." I leave you with information on the orphans from Reece's Rainbow who are being affected by Putin. (Unfortunately, these are only SOME of the orphans being affected.) These are the precious children who will remain Orphans Forever if nothing is done. I pray that these beautiful faces are seared into your heart and that you will unite with me in continued prayer. Better yet, will you be moved to action?!?
SPECIAL NEEDS ORPHANS ARE MY HEART AND SOUL, MY PASSION ~ THEY ARE MY MINISTRY. WILL YOU FIND IT IN YOUR HEART TO LET THE LEAST OF THESE INTO YOUR HEART BY SIMPLY PRAYING FOR THEM??!!??
The Judgment ~ Matthew 25:31-46
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Mesomething to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [e]take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”