Families

These posts are a little behind, but we have just been enjoying the time here in SUNNY warm Birmingham. The hospitality is as warm as the climate and we have been basking in it!

Wednesday was a particularly special day for us…we enjoyed lunch OUTSIDE…first time this year. Mark and Marty introduced us to a nice little Greek cafe…so very tasty.

And we met with a missions pastor at Brook Hills — we wanted to share with them what we are doing in Ukraine so that the church at large can pray for us. We know sooo many families that attend this church that we felt it was about time to introduce ourselves!

Following that meeting, we went to the home of Jim and Donna Houston. We met them very early on during our time in Ukraine when they brought a team from Brook Hills who were taking part in a medical conference. My Jim was helping to coordinate between the Ukrainians and the Americans. The Houstons’ hearts were with children, and so I was able to visit several orphanages with them. This was really my introduction to orphanages in Ukraine. Donna worked at Lifeline Children’s Services at that time and this was actually the beginning of a great relationship between couples in America and children in Ukraine. And, from time-to-time, Jim is also able to assist medically with the adoptions.

Though Donna has officially retired from Lifeline, her daughter Jana Lombardo is working hard to connect families to Ukrainian orphans. Please pray for these connections…and for the process that takes place. Not easy. Quite time-consuming. Worth it!

Anyway, Donna graciously opened her home and invited several of the families that we have grown to love over the years — our family was connected to each of these adoptions in one way or another. And it was AMAZING to see these kids…growing up into lovely young ladies and handsome young men. The greatest part is that they are also beautiful on the inside!!

The very first Lifeline family that Jim helped came. Tyler was such a pale, teeny little baby…it’s hard to believe that this vibrant young boy is the same child! His parents are so much fun…crazy senses of humor!

One of our most favorite adoption stories involves the Taylors. They adopted two children and on their way out of the country we met them for lunch at a cafeteria. Not knowing what the children liked — and not being able to communicate with them about likes and dislikes — we loaded several trays FULL of a variety of foods. At one point Jamie suggested that Bruce offer some vegetables to his son. His response? No way…I am trying to bond with this child! Since then, they have adopted four more children.

The Debardelabens are another favorite family…with one of the CUTEST little faces you’ll EVER meet. We are so thankful that they take the time to catch up with us each time we’re in Alabama.

And there’s the Christenberry clan. They adopted two girls and arrived in the country with their three sons. Jeanne traveled with them to the region so that the boys wouldn’t have to stand in every line and wait in every office along the adoption trail. They have since adopted a couple of deaf children from China…life is never boring.

And how is THIS for a good friend? Mom and one or two children were out of state at a debate event. And their adopted daughter was at gymnastics. And yet DAD came by to say hello! We love the Rogers.

Missed some sweet families, but we know that not EVERYONE can be available on the day that we are around. Imagine that.

What will Thursday bring?

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