Thank you all for so patiently waiting and regularly checking the page for updates on O. It’s been almost three months since we heard that O would be sent back to her mother and would not be open for adoption. We’re still in very close contact with her while she waits at the orphanage for the court’s date for when she will move to her mother’s house, a new town and a new school.
For now she is well looked after, and happy to be with her friends. We’re thankful we get to talk to her every few days but are not sure how much longer that will last. It’s heavy and hard but we’re all trying to be strong in it and hope for a beautiful future.
In the meantime we’re still supporting Vova to come into the orphanage and teach all
the kids English. And they’re doing great! O’s English has dramatically improved in the last year. Our gratitude goes out in buckets for Vova!
So, with that gratitude in mind, I’d like to take a minute to talk about the state of Ukraine and what we’re doing to
help there. Ukraine is a country about the size of Texas with over 100,000 orphans. They’re a country impoverished by war and extreme scarcity. At one time Ukraine was a flourishing farmland of prosperity, but now most of it’s countrymen and women are despairing and desperate. Without hope. Which results in poor waste management, unemployment, sex trafficking, drug and alcohol abuse and an overall lack of education.
Unfortunately, as in O’s case, many orphans are not truly orphaned, they are sent to live in orphanages because they’re parent or parents can not care for them and there is no foster system. So aside from the already low number of adoptions that happen for kids ages 5-18, there is a whole section of kids who can’t be adopted on top of that. So the orphaned numbers are growing daily. There is no end to the supply of hurting children in Ukraine. When a child ages out of an orphanage in Ukraine they have a chance to go to a trade school or take a stipened from the government to move to a city and try to make a life. The trade schools make it almost impossible for a child to succeed there with harsh living environments and zero support. And the stipend alternative is not enough to sustain and when given to a child with no life skills training is spent within the first week of the month on alcohol and clothes and whatever else an orphan who is on her own for the first time in a strange city might find. So most of these kids hit the street at 15 or 16 and are quickly succumbed to drug dealing and prostitution.
This is why it’s so important that the kids have the skill of speaking English. Speaking English could make the difference between working in a coffee shop or living in the streets. It could even mean a shot at college or a career. Right now Vova is teaching an English class of 10-15 kids, in one orphanage, but I would like to see him teaching life skills as well at the public school across the street, and also traveling to other orphanages in the region to teach English and life skills to even more kids!
I’ve started a handmade upcycled gift business called Paper and Thread, and I will be donating 50% of all my profits to support Vova and his family as they work to educate and care for these orphans. I invite you to shop the things I make to support this cause, or join the few who have pledged a monthly donation.
This is the work that I will be doing while I wait and pray for O. I hope you will pray with us that God will bless the efforts and the love that is between us and our Ukrainian friends. We have already experienced such wealth in listening to God together—I can’t imagine the joy that could come from truly making an impact for these children.