I'm not sure who to give credit to for this, but it's so beautiful, I had to post it. It's a letter written by a father to his extended family shortly after he and his wife committed to adopting a little girl from the Ukraine who has been blessed with Down syndrome. The family has given permission to reproduce, edit, whatever.
Sometimes in life there becomes a moment when you need to make a decision about where life is going to take you, how you are going to impact this world and how you will be able to leave a legacy that long out lives your time here on this earth. As I look back at the last few years of life I can remember a few key moments where either I or Dena and I had to make decisions about what was next and those decisions where going to impact our lives in profound ways. Just like all of you, we have made good decisions when confronted with a fork in the road and we have made bad decisions. I can honestly say that the bad ones really were a result of either me or Dena and I not following the whispers or outright shouts of God to go a certain direction. Of course we ignored or flat out denied Gods way in that moment and we ended up hitting a number of rough patches, that all turned into learning experiences for us, but were non the less difficult.
I say this because Dena and I are about to embark on a new journey in life that we feel is a true calling for us and is centered deep in the heart of what God wants us to do with our lives. Today marks the first official day in our journey to adopt a little girl from the Ukraine named Melanie. Melanie is a gorgeous little 2 year old that has a smile to die for and what seems to be a set of eyes that will light up a room. Melanie also has Down Syndrome and needs some medical care to ensure that she will reach a ripe old age.
Dena and I are not starting this journey without careful consideration and thought about what this process will mean to our family in every way. We have thought through the financial issues, the family integration issues, the potential medical issues, the time issues, the travel issues and the issues related to long term care. Over the past year and a half, we have had the pleasure of talking about this desire with people from church, random strangers we meet at Flea Markets, friends and some of our family. Over the same time period we have also been praying and seeking out Gods voice in this and feel that we are squarely in the core and the center of what God calls us to do with our resources. God calls us so very clearly, in a number of areas of the Bible, to seek first His Kingdom, to care for the widows and orphans and he says that we are only stewards of HIS resources in order to bring healing, grace, peace and undeniable love to a world that is
broken, dark, disgusting and full of hate.
The reason why I am writing this note to you all now is that we are so very excited today about this first step in a very long process that will lead us to Melanie and thus closer to the heart of God. There will be ups and downs along the way we are sure of this. And this is why I am writing this to you today. Over the course of the next year or so, we will be asking for your support in every possible way to help us bring home a little girl that will go into an institution if she is not adopted soon. We will need prayers, we will need ears for listening when we are frustrated, we will need creativity when we are stuck on a problem, we will need encouragement when we are hitting a road block, we will need your feet and hands when we are mobilizing for a fund raiser, we will need your smiles when we get down and we will need your love when we finally bring home a little girl that needs hope.
There are a number of questions that I am sure you all will have over the next few weeks and months as we kick off this journey. And we will be sit and answer as many questions as you have to ask in order to help you understand why we are pursuing this path. Most of the time the answers we give to you will make logical sense and will clearly demonstrate common sense and thinking on our part. But sometimes the answer that we will give you will likely leave you confused or even frustrated. That is because this journey is one that started from a whisper. Not an audible one, but a whisper that came over Dena and I at different times, pushing us if not compelling us to take a gigantic leap of faith in order to make a difference.
Today, as I look out my window into the blue sky and think about my Grandma Sader and her failing health, I well up with deep emotions because we got where we are today because we feed from the fields that were prepared by our fore fathers and mothers as they stepped out in faith. We drink from a cup that is given to us by those that gave up ownership in what they had and believed that they were simply entrusted with resources as a means to bless others. And because of these sacrifices and love that have been laid down before us, we today begin a journey that started a year and a half ago with a humbling and honest question that my Grandma Sader likely asked thousands of times in her life: "Father, how can you work through me today to bring a little more heaven to earth?"
We believe down to our core that we can only do this with the help and encouragement of you as family, with the love and support from our church and friends and clearly with the help of our God. With that being said, I wanted to leave you with a verse from 1 Timothy 6-17-19 that will serve as our inspirational verse through this next year as we work to bring Melanie home:
"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, SO THAT THEY MAY TAKE HOLD OF THE LIFE THAT IS TRULY LIFE!"
That is what this mission is all about. Going and meeting God where he is, in the dirty, dingy and broken orphanages of the Ukraine so that we can find and hold onto life that is truly life!
We love you all and look forward to answering any questions you have. Again, we can't do this without your love and support.