It had only been 2 weeks since I had connected with New Horizons for Children.  The staff in America and Europe was working so hard to help me make arrangements to host one of the Estonian orphans I had met on a missions trip 2 months prior.  I was so excited by the prospect of being able to have one of my special kids stay with our family for Christmas.  …to experience life in a loving family, even if just for a 5 weeks, could be life changing.

I constantly checked the photolisting of the 300 available Russian, Ukrainian, Latvian, and Estonian kids to see what was changing, who was new, and who had been chosen for a host home.  I had seen so many of the pictures before, but this time, one boy in particular captivated me in a powerful way.  He was a Ukrainian teenager with a huge smile that lit up his bright blue eyes.  His biography was even more touching.  He seemed different from the other kids on the list.  Despite perhaps a lifetime of neglect, he had a spirit of selflessness, gentleness, and promise.  He was special and needed a special family. I wanted to choose him for our family immediately.  But I couldn’t.  We were already working so hard to have one of my kids from Estonia.  I asked myself – “What if we could have 2?” …but I knew God had only given us enough funds to bring 1 child.  Nevertheless, this Ukrainian boy remained impressed upon my heart.  So I prayed.  I didn’t know who, but he needed a special family for Christmas.  He needed someone special to love him.  October 6th was the first day I prayed for Sasha.  

I continued in communication, asking many questions and requests of New Horizons for 2 more weeks.  We had finally gotten the invitation for one of the Estonian kids to come.  Only to find, the next day that none of the Estonian kids could come anymore.  The government wouldn’t allow it in such a short timeframe.  I was absolutely crushed.  My dreams of a beautiful reunion with one of my boys vanished.  However, my heart was still set on hosting a child… and I knew exactly which one.

Although I was the driving force behind all of this, I worked very closely with my parents.  I had not told them about the Ukrainian boy who was permanently impressed upon my heart.  I wanted to see if they had the same heart-tug as I did when I first found Sasha.  I told my parents to each look at the photolisting of kids and tell me which ones they would like to have, without discussing it together.  Among a few others, both my mom and dad chose Sasha… without ever knowing he was the one.  I was overjoyed and explained to them he was exactly who God had put on my heart.

God changed my plans around in a very unexpected way. I felt as if we were the most blessed family to have this gem amongst the hundreds of possible kids.  What an honor to have the opportunity to love such an extraordinary young man. And now I can see the great purpose that was there the whole time behind the Estonian government’s decision.   To answer my prayers for the opportunity to love on the special Ukrainian boy this Christmas. 

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