Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Borrowing a Sister

About mid-way through our hosting we were blessed to be able to "borrow" Aliana's older sister for a week. We had begun to have an inkling of feeling that the Lord would be asking us to step in and seek to rescue these orphans from the sad future that Ukraine would offer them as they aged out of the orphanage stage of life at 16 years old. By this time, we had found out that Aliana was one of FOUR sisters, all under eight years old! The whole idea of becoming a family of TEN was earth-shattering to us when we thought we were done at a comfortable SIX! However, we did feel this could very well be an area of our life that we were supposed to follow along in faith and see just what the Lord had in store for us. So, we decided that the wise thing to do would be to spend some time looking into the heart of Aliana's oldest sister while she was here in America. After all, whatever caused them to become orphaned would be most prevalent in her little life as the oldest child, which in most dysfunctional families means: the little "mom." Christiana's host family lived about 6 or 7 hours north of us but so graciously agreed to rearrange their schedules and meet us halfway, not just once, but two weekends in a row!

Well, what a week it was! Christiana was a strong-willed blessing to us! She did help get her little sis in order (and vise versa) when we were having an issue and the language barrier was hindering our reasoning abilities. Normally, the one not involved in the present issue-at-hand would step in and reason it out for us in their native tongue. And, on we'd go! We found them to be very desiring of love and, for the most part, our approval. What fun it was having THREE little girls to play dress-up; watch princess movies together; splash each other in the pools around town; encourage one another to be brave at the dentist! The week, in general, opened up our eyes to rescuing older children by way of adoption. It had been over 10 years since we had last considered adopting an older child and had pretty much closed our minds to it for reasons not to be published here. During those years, we had used child sponsorship through World Vision to help older, poverty-stricken children around the world.

"But, what about the fact that there are FOUR of them?" you ask. Well, that is precisely why we began thinking in terms of a rescue adoption, at all. We were told that large sibling groups do not get adopted very often in the Ukraine and so many of the girls, after getting too old for the orphanage, enter into prostitution in order to just survive. It is so easy to go through our comfortable American lives without really considering the plight of the orphan on the other side of the earth. Sort of like scrooge says before his conversion, "Are there no poorhouses; ie:orphanages?" But, borrow an orphan for a while and no longer can a blind eye be turned upon their plight. Their eyes hold you in your memories of them. We just could not allow this large sibling group to suffer a life of being "unwanted." We don't have much, we'd say, but we have more than they have and we can share. Just ask our 5 year old, sharing is a big thing in her little life. She'll share the meal in front of her if someone else looks like they might need a bite to eat. And, with 3 teenage brothers sitting across the table, there is always someone looking like they need another bite to eat!


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