This will provide the opportunity for two siblings ages 6 & 8 who were abandoned in the streets of Kiev to be part of a loving home.
When our children were young we had a desire to be missionaries and to adopt more children. We met with people and prayed about it but then my wife became very ill with a rare, chronic illness. For us, to go overseas would jeopardize her health. Unfortunately, this was also the beginning of a seven year trial of health problems, not just for my wife but also for two of our children, medical bills, and two job lay-offs for me; one of which lasted a year before finding a new job. With my wife unable to work and high medical expenses times were difficult to say the least. But through all of this we knew that God had a plan. Through these struggles God has brought us into a deeper, more dependent relationship with Him and an even stronger marriage relationship.
In the last two years we have had some stability again with a regular pay check, all be it small (I am a Revenue Tax Specialist for the state of Minnesota), health benefits (which we greatly needed), and a wonderful new church family where we are all growing.
After much prayer and discussion we realized that our desire to adopt was still strong and that we could be missionaries with our home being our mission field. We have several friends in our church and homeschool group who have adopted from Russia or the Ukraine. After reviewing some statistics from the Ukraine our hearts were broken and we felt convicted to do something. Only 5% of children over the age of 5 will ever be adopted and if the children are siblings then that percentage will go down to 2 or 3%. Then, between the ages of 16 and 18 they hand them some money and say goodbye; 60 to 80% will live in the streets, be in a life of crime or take their own life. We also talked to a young man who grew up in an orphanage over there and he told us that everything is much worse than any statistics or stories that you hear. Those statistics and his testimony touched us.
Upon inquiring to adopt a girl between the ages of 6 -9, we were shown an eight year old girl who has a six year old brother. We requested more information. When the agency sent us the information we knew God had meant for these children to be a part of our family. About three years ago my wife told me that if we ever adopt a little girl someday I would like to name her Alaina. This beautiful little girl the agency sent us is named Alena.
These two children touched our hearts. They were found abandoned in the streets of Kiev a year ago. Most likely they were sent into the city to beg and one day mom or dad just didn’t come to pick them up. This is definitely a step of faith for us because first of all we have four biological children and secondly we cannot even begin to afford this. My wife, with her health issues, cannot work outside of the home and is a full-time homemaker who homeschools our four children and maintains our home; all with a strong servant’s heart.
My wife and I feel that the Lord has equipped us in every way except financially; for this we are relying on God’s faithfulness. We have a good friend who adopted two years ago without the financial means and told us that when the financial needs are met there will be no doubt that it is from the Lord. We recently read a book by John Piper called "Don't Waste Your Life" and that has become our inspiration. We want to make a difference for eternity. We do not want to look back and say, “I've wasted it.”
With all that said we will be extremely busy for the next few months as we fill out grants and try to find ways to fundraise money for our adoption. The hard work and effort will be worth it for we are filled with much anticipation and excitement to bring Alena Joy (for she brought us much joy when she visited for 5 weeks this summer) and Caleb (for God is faithful) Rustam home.