Monday, August 20, 2012

D Day

It was as hard as I thought it would be.

But God’s grace was evident and your prayers were felt.

The tears started yesterday. She had to say goodbye to “Papa” yesterday. We had known before she ever came that he wouldn’t be here for the goodbye. There was just no way. And it was ok. Really, it was. She said goodbye to him yesterday and then said goodbye to friends at church last night. She bawled the whole way home and I didn’t think my heart would be able to take it. I tried to picture how today would go, but when we picture the future we never account for God’s grace. His grace makes the unbearable seem…well, bearable.

Last night God was loud and clear. I sat down to highlight a few more verses in her Bible. She had helped me previously but I thought I could do it alone. Wow. Translating the verse I wanted into English was easy enough using a translator, but finding it was a whole other story. The books are not in the same order in her Bible. The names of the books are looong. And some of the numbers seemed off. So I *thought* I had found the one I wanted to highlight and I wanted to make sure it said what I thought it said. I began to type the Ukrainian into the translator- which if you haven’t already realized- is a different alphabet. One I am not familiar with! So it was taking for-ev-er and I finally began slowly seeing words appear on the English side. It wasn’t at all the verse I *thought* I wanted to highlight.


Be still and know.

Be still and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10  

I didn't know whether to cry or laugh out loud. Ok, God. You are right. This one is better. I don’t really know if it was really for me or for her, but I think probably both.

This morning Nana came to watch the littles while Kayla and I met a friend who would ride along to the airport. We ended up in the airport for much longer than I expected because we were given their passports to hold and helped the children check bags. We were with her until she went through security which must have been a couple of hours total. It felt like 47. Tears flowed off and on but there were smiles and giggles too as she reconnected with friends. They shared each others’ photo albums and she rambled on to them in a way she had not been able to ramble in weeks. Every time she looked at me the tears came again. Lots of “I love you’s” and tears, and she said “Mama you are in here (pointing to her heart) forever”. I motioned back the same. I looked to my friend who was no help because she is a tender hearted mercy kind of girl who was crying with me (thanks for that Sharon- you were perfect today). 

I almost made it out of the airport before I broke down the first time and I am sure it won’t be the last. But the ride home was filled with a mix of tears and laughter, reminiscing about the past few weeks and dreaming about the future. I know this is how God wanted us to spend our summer and I can smile about that. I can smile because His plans are good. His ways are higher, and better. Vika’s summer here was His idea - no doubt. Through the hard and the fun and the frustrations, tears, and laughter. God was all over it.  
And it was bigger than us- you all have told me so.

I haven’t had time to come out of the fog or think through things with perspective. I am looking forward to spending time with God and taking time to see it all through His eyes over the next few days and weeks. I went into “her” room tonight to find a message she left.

And I looked around at the empty hangers in the closet and the few items she left- the pictures she forgot to take off the bulletin board and the handwritten Ukrainian notes. And I just backed out and closed the door. Too soon.

It hurts to love. There is almost imminent danger when you invest a part of your heart into another human being. As I am sure you know by now, I am a mess today. But I am not the girl who started this journey 7 weeks ago and I thank God for that. There are so many signs that God has done a work here. I can’t bring myself to call her an orphan because it’s a label and it feels wrong. She is Vika. She is a person with a name, a face, a sense of humor, and feelings and likes and dislikes. And now I see what He saw all along.  The lessons have been so much different and gone so much deeper than I have even been able to articulate so far. We are changed. And I hope that Vika is changed, too. Actually, I know she is. She is not the same kid who came here 7 weeks ago either. 

There are some hard days still ahead. I don't know about your emotions but mine always lag behind everything else and tag along in a much leakier, much more dramatic fashion than I would prefer. Just bear with me for a few days, ok? If you notice something off like, say... my shoes don't match ... be a doll and just pretend its a new fad. I'll be better in a few days. Promise. 

Because I already know it was worth it. 

It was really too early but my friend went there anyway. “Do you think you will ever do anything like this again”?

I told her this had been so hard and costly in so many ways and today has been excruciating. I never want to do this again today.


We all know that His mercies flow in the morning. ;) 

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed
 for His compassions never fail. 
23 They are new every morning;
 great is your faithfulness."     - Lamentations 3:22-23

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed to us."  - Romans 8:18 


  1. Oh How I loved reading your blog. We are hosting 2 kids through projectonefortythree as well and out two return next week to the Ukraine. Your family is so amazing and I am sure your family has been forever changes as ours has from hosting ( we hosted for the first time last Christmas). Will be praying for your family as I know it is hard to say goodbye.

    1. Thanks Lisa! We have definitely been changed by the experience. Thanks for the prayers. Its so great to connect with other host families! :)