Monday, March 12, 2012

Six Months Ago Today

Could it even be possible that six months ago today I landed in Orlando, FL with a very tried and confused little boy who had no clue what was about to hit him?  Six months ago today Dima walked into our home for the first time and was petrified of our dog, Jax.  Now they are best friends (most of the time).  Six months ago today we had a little boy who would wander around the house all night flipping lights on and off and then deciding it would be a swell idea to take Jax for a walk at 2:30 in the morning- in nothing but underwear and a ball cap.

And then God began to work on a masterpiece.  Day after day, little by little, a scared little boy became a confident, happy, adventurous little boy who loves life and lives it to the fullest.  Dima grew stronger physically, has begun to speak primarily English (sans a few of his favorite Russian/Ukrainian words), and loves to make people laugh.  Dima is beginning to understand that he has a Heavenly Father who loves him so much and every day Dima wants to go to church.  Six months ago Dima had no idea who Jesus is.

Some did not consider our adoption a mission.  I disagree.  Dima is a lifelong mission that the Lord placed into our home.  ALL of our children and families are missions.  Dima just happened to be on the other side of the world and we had to ransom him home.  As the days and months pass by I can see Dima ministering to others.  Maybe it us we who are abundantly blessed not the other way around.

I remain in awe of my God.  Without Him Dima would not be here.  My life would not be quite as full with love and laughter.  Jeremiah, Elijah, and Nathan (Sammy) would be missing out on another playmate and the chance to learn patience.  I would not have met some amazing people both here in the States and over in the Ukraine.  My life would be just fine, I'm sure, but there would certainly be something missing.

Eric and I are thankful for the past six months and all that has come along with it.  It has not been all sunshine and roses, but each day brings refreshment and the opportunity for us all to "get it right".  Dima is given the new opportunity to learn and grow as are each and every one of us.

I wanted to post some videos from when we met Dima and coming home.  The last video was taken last evening in our church nursery.  The difference in his communication is amazing.

But for many more littles ones, the harsh reality for them is that they wake up in a hopeless place each and every day.  They learn not to cry as nobody answers.  They learn not to show emotion or simply forget how to have feelings.  Their bodies stop growing and children that are 6, 7, 8 even 12 years old are the size of an 18 month old.  When a little one turns 4 or older they are removed from the baby houses are put into adult mental institutions.  They are essentially "warehoused" and left to exist.  If you even want to call that existing.  Dima is 7 1/2 and was beyond blessed to still be at Orphanage 18 when we went to rescue him.  He was loved there, taken care of as best as they could, and I know that is not the case for every child in that place.  I saw so many little faces each and every day that called out to Eric, Carol, and I, "Mama!  Papa! Mama!  Papa!".  They would longingly watch Dima play with us and while I relished every moment with Dima, my heart ached for those sad, little faces.

One face in particular haunts me to this day.  Sweet, sweet Lilianna.

As I said in my previous entry I only saw her for a brief moment as she was being carried down a hallway, but she had a profound impact on me.  In her eyes I saw utter desperation.  That morning I did not know that she was actually being re-listed with Reece's Rainbow but after a few days and a flurry of emails I learned who she was.  Sadly I never saw her again nor did I know the amazing story behind her short life until after I arrived back home in the States.  I am pleading on her behalf for a family to come forward to rescue her.  Her health is not the best, and she will need lots of TLC, but I am pretty certain that the positive well outweighs the negative here.  Just as Dima is a blessing to us, Lilianna would be a blessing to the family meant to be hers.

Can you help Lilianna have a similar happy ending as Dima?  Can you make it possible for Lilianna to have a 6 month home blog entry with a ton of videos?  Can we change this picture above to a happy, healthy, smiling little 3 year old?

Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to her grant so a family can be blessed and Lilianna's life can be saved.

In the meantime our family remains eternally grateful for all of the donations we received towards our adoption of Dima.  He is an eternal investment that has amazing return!

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