JV Returns to Ukraine on Monday

It has been a LONG (not-even-quite-an-entire) month. Tonight, I’m just going to post happy things, but later we will definitely be sharing the ups and downs of hosting in more detail, so that you will have a better understanding of what it’s like and what it’s all about (and whether it’s for your family).

JV has become comfortable enough to behave like a child. He is goofy, more talkative, playing imaginatively, playing WITH other children, trying new food, expressing emotions, accepting affection, and picking up language skills. These accomplishments have been a blessing for us to witness, and we have been pleased to see that he is thriving in spite of the totally crazy circumstances of his situation. Reading books about the development and special needs of children from hard places definitely helped us to be ready for certain issues as they arose, but it also made us prepare for the absolute worst case scenario and helped us appreciate how wonderful JV is. He has gifted us (and hopefully you, if you’ve spent any time with him) with eye contact, checking in, affection, sharing, “please”s, “thank you”s, “bless you”s, and “you’re welcome”s. Through him, God has shined a light on our sin, and shown us (me and Jason, that is) how easily we become discouraged, how quickly our tempers flare and how much more growing we need to do in order to be more like Christ.

One particularly cool thing happened on the day we went to Disneyland.

As you may have already read, JV was sponsored to come to the U.S. by another family, and over the course of his visit we have been trying to arrange a time to meet that family with him. It wasn’t working out for various reasons and it didn’t look like it was going to happen before he left. However,  while we were riding in a horse drawn car down Main Street, that VERY FAMILY happened to recognize JV riding past and chased us down the street. Seriously, what are the odds that that family who lives an hour away would have come to Disneyland on the same day at that same time, would have recognized the little boy they’d met once, and would have even bumped into us in the first place at a busy joint like Disneyland? COME ON. So, long story short, JV’s sponsors got to meet him, and we got to meet them, and I hope that they understand they have changed our lives. So very grateful for them.

Tonight as we put JV to bed, he cried. He knows there is only one more full day left. So, Jason and I showed him the drawn out schedule for tomorrow, and let him point at the things we would be doing together, each time repeating that it would be “Papa, mama and JV,” until he laid back in bed smiling. He fell asleep holding Jason’s hands. *heavy happy/sad sighs all around*

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Would you please pray that Jason and I would be calm and comforting on Monday and that from our demeanor and words, JV would be able to have a sense of peace and comfort, also? I want so badly for him to know that we are advocating for him, not sending him back by any real choice of our own, and that we are confident he will be awesomely provided for in his life. If he could just come away from this month knowing that he is so loved and not alone, and that Jesus had something to do with that, our job would be done well. More soon. Thank you all.

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