Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thanks at Thanksgiving time

Thanksgiving is coming up. Next week!! I was hoping to be all packed by then--still am!
I am so thankful in so many ways that I can not even begin with mere type to express it!

Kelli has a blog where she shares things that are special in her life. Right now she is "hosting" a Thanksgiving week. This means that if you go to her site you will find a list of links of others who are participating by posting on their own blogs things they are thankful for, Thanksgiving recipes or activities, etc... I am participating here and I hope on our family blog as well if I get the time.

For my part, I am going to tell you what stands out in this year as the thing I am most thankful for!
You Guessed it!!!

The biggest and most amazing thing that has happened/is happening in our lives this year is our adoption of three Ukrainian orphans! When we started this process, it was around this time last year. We announced our plans to some startled and some pleased faces in the family and our circle of friends. We knew it would be expensive; we knew to expect an emotional challenge; we even knew some of the risks involved. The biggest thing we knew, and still know, is that there was simply no good reason for us not to bring the count of helpless, stranded orphans worldwide down by three!

The financial costs have been huge--as much as we make in a year--including both the direct and indirect expenses. We had some saved but this was a lot more than we realized at first! We are now only $4,000 from where we need to be! God has provided again and again through his people and even through people who do not profess his name! this has been most exciting to me to see the way he has worked in others to bring about "salvation" for three little orphans in a far-away orphanage in a country wounded by years of communism.

Emotionally, it has been just what we had anticipated. A roller-coaster! Some days we have been on cloud nine--others, in despair. Do you know what? Every time we were feeling low, God was there! I am not joking with you--early on, most of our gifts came in $100 increments and many of them showed up just when we were feeling down! One time, a man at Shoney's pulled up beside us in the parking lot and gave us $100 bill because the girls had mentioned our adoption and we had given him a prayer card! We don't know him and may never see him again but by doing God's will, he blessed us just when we were feeling very overwhelmed by it all.

We are leaving in twenty-three days and will be meeting our newest children for the first time. We will spend Christmas with them this year there in Ukraine in an orphanage somewhere. And we can't help but notice that we are celebrating the arrival of Jesus who has made it possible for us to be adopted into the Family of God at the same time we are adopting these children into our family.

Our prayer is that they will accept our family and eventually join us in God's Family, too.

We have so much to be thankful for. We didn't hear a 'voice' from God telling us to go and adopt these children but we stepped out in the faith that when God said that we should help orphans and that what we do for the least of humanity is as if we are doing the same for him, he meant it. I think we would have needed a special call from God not to act!

How about you? Will you consider the plight of the father-less? Will you consider being a family for a child who is alone? If it is a sacrifice (and what child isn't?), will you consider making the sacrifice, remembering that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for your adoption?

Or maybe you have not been adopted into God's family. Jesus has already paid your way! All you need to do is to accept him! You can find out how here.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving and remember Who we are thanking!!
Praise be to God!


Kathy & Matt said...

Loved your post today and couldn't agree more that we have so much to be thankful for this year in particular! Thanks for sharing all this.
Twenty three days! The time will go quickly. I feel a bit stressed out and we don't leave until January.
Maybe we'll cross paths in Ukraine. It would be fun to meet some of our friends we've made online.
Blessings to your family as this upcoming holiday approaches. God has worked mightily through the adoption process thus far and it will be exciting to see how His plans are completed in December.

Kelli said...

I am so excited for you and your family, Melissa! So many blessings to be thankful for!!

Mommy said...

Congratulations on your up coming adoptions! That was a very special story, and how wonderful that people gave their money to help you! Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading about your new adventure. :)

Grandma Falk said...

Good words, Melissa. This has been a long process, but the time has finally come, and we grandparents are going to be discovering soon who our new grandchildren will be! God has shown Himself to be so faithful, and for that we are truly thankful. We look forward to making room for three more at Grandma's table! (I need to get myself a Ukrainian cookbook!)

Love, Mom and Dad

Nataliya said...

What a great post! It's true, all of us have a lot to thank for this year.

I'm so glad so many people are helping you to reach your financial goal to bring home your precious children!

Have a happy Thanksgiving! I'll be following your journey from Ukraine!