A Leap of Faith.
Or in other words: We are crazy. And my husband has apparently joined me on the dark side.
You might want to get a snack, because the whole back story here is a little long. I can’t really believe that I’m writing this.
You all know how we want to adopt at some point, right?
Igor isn’t available for adoption, legally or emotionally. He’s been spending more and more time with his family, leaving the orphanage on weekends.
This is hard because we love him like our own son, and he loves us too. However I’m not sure he wants to come for two months this summer, honestly.
We’re happy that he’s able to bond with his family, and I’m still hoping one day they will adopt him so he doesn’t have to stay at the orphanage.
Well here’s the crazy part. Did I tell you all about what happened to me a few months ago? I was driving down the road thinking/praying about Igor and adoption when this car pulled out of a driveway right in front of me.
Once I got over the shock of almost hitting it I looked at the license plate. It said:
Why not two? Are you *kidding* me? Certainly that cannot be a coincidence, but why not two? Well first of all Tyler took a lot of convincing to just get one, and even though he loves our one orphan he still would never agree to *two* of them.
I tried to take a picture of the license plate. It didn’t come out well since I was driving down a country road and didn’t want to wreck and die. But I sent the blurry image to Tyler anyway. I’m pretty sure he rolled his eyes at me.
I couldn’t stop laughing at the audacity. Ynot2 on a license plate in front of me when I pray about adoption. I can’t make this stuff up. (I’m a tiny bit freaked out.)
But Igor is only one. And we love Igor.
I told God if he had a plan for two then he’d not only better make it very obvious, he would also have to make it Tyler’s idea.
Of course I didn’t think in a million years two would ever be Tyler’s idea. That would be a bigger miracle than Jesus walking on water or something.
So I’ve had Ynot2 in the back of my head for a few months now.
I was beginning to think it was actually just a coincidence. Even though I don’t think I believe in coincidences.
It’s been obvious the past few weeks that things were adding up in favor of Igor not coming this summer. We were still hanging onto the idea of hugging him again, but…we had to face the facts and decide what to do.
Last week I saw a post on Facebook with three brothers in Eastern Europe who had a huge scholarship for hosting. I immediately sent it to Tyler. You have to know I send him pictures of adorable orphans and various other things along those lines all the time…He doesn’t usually take me seriously at all.
But to my surprise he said he loved the idea of these. He said he would think about it, because of course he’s always worried about finances before anything.
Then he came home from work and told me we should go for it. So I filled out the application. By the time I got done filling it out someone else had already claimed them, they had been marked as hosted.
For about three seconds I took it as a sign that maybe we were still supposed to try to pursue Igor. Then Tyler turned to me and said that he was really disappointed because the more he thought about it, the more he loved the idea of siblings.
After I picked my jaw up off of the floor, stammered for about two minutes, and asked him to repeat himself four times I was able to breathe again.
We looked at the photo listings for host kids from several hosting groups and didn’t see any that would fit in with our family. Then we started talking about foster care, because Rosie is always begging us to become foster parents.
Tyler said he might like the idea of adoption from foster care.
I love my Ukrainians, but I’m willing to explore all options. Never know.
I spent an entire day calling phone numbers listed online, trying to get information about foster care classes in our area. Nobody could give me any concrete information. It was the weirdest thing! Finally I called the dean of social work at the University of Kentucky at the recommendation of someone with the main foster care and adoption department at the state capital. I talked to the dean and he was extremely nice. He hunted down information about the soonest classes. He was appalled at the difficultly I’d had in getting any straight answers.
The classes are an hour and a half away from us, and an hour in the opposite direction of our babysitting. Plus the classes are three hours one night a week for ten weeks. From 6:30-9:30.
That just…isn’t feasible right now with three little kids and Tyler’s work schedule.
I went through this past week unsure of what to do next. I prayed 82,402 times for a very clear sign because I was lost.
I used to think it was crazy to pray like that, but since we’ve started this whole hosting journey I have been flabbergasted at the results of prayer. Who knew it could work this way?
I pondered just refunding all of the donations we’ve received so far. Spending the summer with only my kids. Maybe we could just never think about hosting or adoption again.
Yeah, right. Faces of lonely kids are burned into the insides of my eyelids and into my heart. Dang it. There’s no escape.
And there’s Rosie, who asks me multiple times a day about Igor and other “Ukraine kids” as she calls them. My kids *love* hosting. I’m not exaggerating. It is the highlight of Rosie’s life, I’m pretty sure.
Today I was folding an endless amount of laundry when the thought dropped into my mind: Look at the photo listing again.
The photo listing for our hosting group, Children’s Cultural Connection, is hosted on my website. I look at it all the time. Why look at it now while folding laundry?
I kept folding.
I kept thinking I should look at the photo listing.
Finally I sat down and opened it on my phone.
There at the top were two siblings who were previously listed as hosted. Was that a mistake? I messaged the director to ask her if they had gotten moved to the wrong spot on the list.
No, she told me. Their family dropped out at the last minute.
I sent their pictures to Tyler, but he was too busy working to answer.
When he got home I showed him and he laughed and said, “Ynot2?”
Ergo, we embark on a new journey.
A new chapter beginning, perhaps? Who knows what will happen from here. The adventure of the unknown is sort of fun, though a tiny bit scary also.
Here is the answer to Ynot2.
Misha is 6 and Marianna is turning 9.
Her head is likely shaved to prevent lice. It’s a thing they do to girls in some orphanages there. (I can’t imagine the trauma of arriving at the orphanage scared and alone then having your hair shaved off. My girls would be freaking out.)
Here’s the thing:
We have almost enough money to fund Marianna’s summer with us. We fundraised $980. (Thank you, and you, and you!)
I’m going to list my Tulas for sale, I’ll just keep one. (Baby carriers.) They’re fairly expensive, and I love them dearly. I bought them with tax return money. Tyler has some things he’s selling also. After those things sell and I throw in two birth photography sessions we’ll have the $2,700.
But we have $0 for Misha. And it’s due in two weeks!
I told the hosting director that we would try to fundraise the money, but if we didn’t get enough then we would just host Marianna for this summer.
Tyler was all disappointed at that thought. Apparently he’s *really* into the whole Ynot2 thing. (My jaw may or may not still be on the floor over here…)
Tyler and I have been brainstorming fundraising ideas, but it’s difficult with only a few weeks until the money is due. I need a pause button for my life so I can catch up! I’m pondering if there is time to squeeze in a photography mini sessions fundraiser.
I made Marianna and Misha their own YouCaring fundraising page with a $2700 goal for Misha’s funds. The $980 from the Igor page we are putting towards Marianna.
I wish I could just win the lottery. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about these things. I hate money.
At this point I already know how it goes: If Misha is meant to be here this summer, then it will all work out. If not we’ll meet Marianna and go from there.
It’s been a crazy ride, hasn’t it? We’re not about to stop here!