One year ago today - July 8, 2008 - Sheila and I asked Karina if she wanted to be adopted. She quickly and enthusiastically said, "YES!" Later that evening, her guardian from the orphanage in Ukraine that was accompanying her told her, "You did not even think about it! You said yes so quickly. Don't you think you should take time to think about it?" Karina responded, "I have been thinking about having my own family for years. There is nothing more to think about. I know I want to be adopted and I know I want them to adopt me. I said yes quickly because this is what I have been dreaming of for most of my life."
Today I asked her if she was glad she said yes to us a year ago. "Oh, daddy! Of course!" She has been with us in the States for over five months now and God's grace continues to be evident in her. Monday night one of her classmates from her orphanage flew into the Jackson airport with his new family. How amazing to see God's hand at work to not only bring another orphan home... but to bring an orphan that has lived with Karina for several years to the same state... less than an hour away from one another. Karina walked up to Grisha at the airport and said, "You see all these people? They have been praying for you. Welcome home." On the ride back home Karina said, "It is just so amazing to see how God has provided for Grisha. God has given him a family that loves him and a family that loves God. He will be OK now. This is what he needed... this is what all of us orphans need." Karina says that July 8 - the day we told her we wanted to be her family - is bigger than her birthday. It is her big day.
By God's grace we desire to live our life to serve and glorify Jesus. He is our treasure. He is the one we trust. He is the one we love.
We are a family of eight praying that God will use us to minister to orphans around the world and encourage Christians to reach out in mercy to orphans. At home we serve with Palmer Home for Children. Palmer Home is a ministry to children who are growing up as social orphans without the nurture and support of a loving family. Palmer provides a stable, Christ-centered home for these children. Internationally we serve with Share the Hope. Share the Hope ministers to orphans around the world. Both at home and around the world we proclaim good news of Jesus Christ and reach out in mercy to these precious children. We hope that this blog is a testimony to you of God's mighty hand and that you are encouraged to serve Jesus with all your heart and to reach out to orphans.
Matthew, Sheila, Karina, Harrison, Isaac, Noah, Storey Grace and James!