During this season of The Lord leading our family to something different than we expected - WAY DIFFERENT than we ever expected, we have learned so much about the wonderful organization: New Horizons for Children - an international hosting program for orphaned children from Ukraine, Latvia, and China.
I first learned of New Horizons when my adoptive mommy friend Andrea over at Babe of my Heart hosted a Ukrainian girl this past summer. It was so fun to watch her host "Princess T" for a summer and how they loved her with such a great BIG LOVE. In the end, they did not adopt "Princess T", but some dear friends of theirs did! Little did I know that God was planting a seed then for what He would have for us in the future.
On January 10th, Andrea posted about a darling 15 year old boy, Edgars, who was hosted in New York over Christmas break and needed a forever family. You can read her post here: Edgars Needs a Family - the moment I read her post, the Lord brought to mind my sweet friends, Jewel and Claude McRoberts. Their family is dear to us and we have walked through life with them over the past 3 years. I can't describe the prompting I felt to share Edgars' story with them - I knew they were currently preparing their hearts for a child from the Foster Care System, I knew they were open to the possibility of an older girl, but I felt like I was supposed to share Edgars with them, but I wasn't sure what God was up to.
Meanwhile, Andrea had mentioned that she had information on other children that were hosted by New Horizons over Christmas break that were not being adopted by their host families and needed forever families. She and I were chatting online the next morning (Friday, January 11th) and she said she'd email me the bios and pictures of the children with NHFC that she was going to advocate for. Adoptive mamas can testify that some children just speak to your heart and captivate you in a way that is different than the rest. I am a mama who advocates for children who need forever families and I look at a lot (read: A LOT, A LOT, A LOT) of photo-listings of waiting children all over the world. I read their stories; I see their faces; and I know their names. But every once in a while, a child pulls at your mommy-heartstrings, and captures your heart, mind, and thoughts. This little boy did that for me:
This is Viktors. He is from Latvia and was hosted over Christmas with a wonderful family in North Carolina. I contacted his host mom to ask how I could help her advocate for him. I told her that I felt like his story spoke to me and I wanted to talk to her about Viktors. We chatted on the phone the next day; just that morning, she and her darling family had taken Viktors to the airport to go back to Latvia. Her heart was broken and she missed him terribly. I cried on the phone with her and I could hear the pain in her voice as she knew her family was not going to adopt him. Oh, this sweet mama would have brought him home if she could. She loved him so well for four weeks. Their whole family loved him, loved him deeply and with no regrets - and he loved them too! I got off the phone and just wept for this boy, and for this family. God intertwined our hearts for the same boy and I was just sure after getting off the phone, that the Lord had put me in the middle of this story for one reason: to help this family take the steps of adoption and to walk the path of adoption with them. I just knew after days of him being gone, that they would change their minds and decide to adopt him. That's what made sense. That seemed perfectly logical - they LOVED him - surely they'd adopt him! But God was writing a different story; He had a plan that is not what we ever would have expected.
I sat one night and read their blog, Barefoot Walks, and just wept for them and for this boy, Viktors, who has captured my heart. It was that night that I asked the Lord WHY had He allowed me to feel so deeply for a little boy in Latvia; WHY did He not want them to adopt him? I had to be reminded that His ways are NOT my ways, and His thoughts are NOT my thoughts. "Lord, I don't know what You're doing, but I trust you. I relinquish my control to You." Those were the words I wrote in my journal that night. I prayed that God would move on Viktors' behalf - a precious 11 year old boy who was back in Latvia at his orphanage. This boy who had love the lavish, unconditional love of a family for four weeks and was back in the orphanage again.
That night, my heart physically hurt for this boy and that seed that God had planted back this summer when Andrea hosted "Princess T" began to grow. I didn't know what it was, but I knew God was up to something and I didn't want to miss it. It feels so good to follow when He leads and to know He's got this all under control.
Stay tuned for more....