Saturday, November 30, 2013

I can only do so much

I am the President and founder of Grace to Ukraine, a hosting and outreach program for the orphaned and impoverished.  Its not always easy separating that "job" from my personal life.  Last night, over on the GtU blog, I blogged about a boy that Grace to Ukraine plans to host next summer; a boy who is friends with my new son, Sam.  I wanted to share it here, with those of you who might not otherwise make it to my GtU blog. Please read and share:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

I am sitting here in Ukraine watching the sun rise on Thanksgiving Day.  This American holiday is not recognized in Ukraine so it is “business as usual” here.  Our family back home celebrated Thanksgiving a week ago before we left for Ukraine, so I am content with business as usual on this cold wintry day.

We had court 2 days ago.  We have done this in Ukraine 4 times before.  Each court has been different; with different judges and prosecutors and different philosophies.  Out of all our adoptions, this one seemed to be most focused on the children.  All the  participants, from the judge to the jury, seemed to be genuinely interested in our particular family.  Most of their questions of us and the children were about relationships.  I remember one particular judge 5 years ago just wanted to talk to Gabe about  the economy and business opportunities in America.  Then another was just in a big hurry and went through the motions.  This judge was so personable and, well, insightful.  I am thankful today that she was our judge and that Lewis, Sam and Bella are now our children.

I can even say now that I am thankful for the 2 months it took to get to this place.  Yes, without complications, we should have all been home by now.  But I can see how God used this extra time to weave the hearts of us and our children together more tightly.  Each phone conversation and facebook  message over the last month has brought enlightenment and deeper attachment.  We have stories to tell.  Shared memories of meals, blunders, adventures and even arguments.  We have become a family.

Our first weekend in Ukraine I had asked my kids what they were most thankful for and they had replied “being put into the orphanage.”  That answer resonated deep within my soul.  It was an answer, a moment, that God used to refine my ungrateful, untrusting heart.  Three orphaned children, with little exposure to the gospel, recognizing the sovereignty of God in their suffering.  They knew that without the orphanage, there would have been no redemption.  I see life a little bit differently today because Lewis, Sam and Bella are in it. 

Lewis’ name was chosen by him with suggestions from us.  Lewis is my maiden name.  Gray is Gabe’s grandmother’s maiden name.  Lewis Gray Davie, we give you the heritage of a family.  Forever.  We chose as his life verse:  “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord.”  Psalm 127:3.

Sam’s name was chosen by him.  We added to it and came up with a name that suits him perfectly.  Shaun Samuel Davie, you are a gift to us.  We chose as his life verse: “…and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:20.

Bella chose her own name as well.  We suggested Izabella which she was happy with and then she told us to choose a middle name.  The day I was looking up Sam’s life verse, I turned to the book of Ruth and there was Bella’s middle name.  Ruth 4:14:  “Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a Redeemer.’ Izabella Naomi Davie, you have been redeemed. 

Each of these children emphatically rejected any notion of keeping their Ukrainian names.  They are new creations.  They know it.  And they desire to learn how to be a Davie.  What a beautiful picture of the Gospel.  God has used and will continue to use all 10 of my children to remind me of His grace.  Grace that is with you in suffering.  Grace that redeems.  Grace that sanctifies. 

And that is business as usual in Ukraine on this beautiful Thanksgiving Day.