I am SOOOOO EXCITED about this week's family! Please read through their story! It's really a unique how this family is coming together. Eric and Kim are just so full of love and they are so open to whatever God has for them! Join me this week in supporting the VanDevenders as they are aching for their son to come home! Love is Waiting will be giving 20% of sales this week to their family. You can also support them by purchasing a puzzle piece here. Or give a tax-deductible donation here! Just type in “VanDevender Family Adoption” where it says “Designation”.
We are the VanDevender family—Eric (Dad), Kim (Mom), Kyle (age 19), and Kelly (age 17). We live in Katy, Texas, and are in the process of adopting M (we will call him "M" to protect his identity), an 11 year-old boy from the Ukraine. Since starting the adoption process, we have learned that M has an older brother and sister who are also available for adoption. Currently they do not even live at the same orphanage, but we feel God may be calling us to take all three children. We won’t know for sure until we are actually in the Ukraine to finalize everything, so we are learning to trust God and His timing in the whole process. We do know our hearts are prepared for all three children if He calls us to that. People may think we are crazy to adopt teenagers, but we can’t stand the thought of them aging out of the orphanage at 16 and ending up on the streets on their own. That will happen for the older brother next year (2014). I can’t imagine that life for any child. To make things harder, these children are of “gypsy” or Romani descent. They are still very discriminated against in their own country—stereotyped as beggars and thieves, with little opportunity for education. In short, they don’t have much of a chance at all on their own. We are hoping to change that for these children. Below is a portion of a letter we sent to family and close friends to tell them about the adoption of M. I think it tells our story very well.
In the spring of 2013, God called us on a journey that has forever changed us. He called us to host an orphan from Ukraine, to open our home to a child in need for five weeks. Just the fact that the entire family was in agreement was proof enough of a miracle in the works; the miracle of God orchestrating us to pick this child from a photo listing and a small, brief biography. As most of you now know, M was a perfect fit for our family, and our lives will never be the same again. But God knew that M was meant for us, and so much more. He knew that M belonged in our family forever!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
As our family prayed over the prospect of adopting M, this is the verse the Lord gave us to encourage us; to show us that He would provide for us now, during the adoption process, and in the future. It is the same verse we have prayed over our children since they were born. God is good.
One of the hardest things we have ever done was putting M on an airplane back to Ukraine at the end of the hosting period. We had to, it is the law; but we didn’t want to. Imagine sending your child to a faraway country, not knowing what waits on the other end, having no control or ability to protect them. Now you understand why we want to bring M home as quickly as possible.