A ministry for adoptive families in need of short-term housing while in Kiev

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Kids!  There have been lots of kids staying with me lately! Honestly, I anticipated to be hosting more couples on their way into the country, but as it has worked out I think I've hosted more families on their way out of the country...which means I've had some sweet Ukrainian kiddos in my home...and I've been able to work on my translation skills as well-- being the go between for the kids and the parents as they are navigating the linguistic waters! :)

This is sweet little Vlad....who makes just about everyone fall in love with him!  Every evening when I'd walk in the door I'd get a loud 'Kerrren!' and a big bear hug from this little guy. He was also a great little helper in the kitchen.  I think he stole my heart the day I walked into the kitchen and found the magnet letters on the fridge spell out two words.... "Karen" and "Vlad."  Too cute.

Vlad was hosted this summer by Matt and Amy Garrett in Colorado along with his sister Oksana.

The Garretts win the award so far for staying at the hospitality house the most!  They made 3 trips to make this adoption possible....and had quite the whirl wind adoption experience--as a result they got to stay with me for quite a few nights!  It has been very cool to develop a friendship with their family-- especially since we got to spend a lot of time together-- I laughed a lot! (thanks Matt).  Oksana, their daughter was having a little bit of a teen girl melt down on the last evening with me, so we didn't get any pictures with her.

Ahh....teenage girls. I think God must be preparing me for something someday...I've had 4 teenage girls stay with me in 2 months...and another girl comes next week! :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Moms & Daughters

Dinner at home with new daughters Julia and Milana
 (both 16) and moms Selene and Pam
It was a busy month of March for the hospitality house (ie: me!)  I think I had all of about 5 nights without people staying in my home.  Very full......very fun...very blessed, (and very tired too).  I guess God took my desire seriously and has had this vision begin in full force!

I've had 3 sets of mom's and teen-daughters stay with me over the course of the month.  Since I have had a passion and a heart for girls in this vulnerable stage of life it has been an awesome privilege to get to open my home to these families and see these teen girls making the transition from orphan to daughter.  It is not easy that is for sure.
There is a bit of fear, mixed with unruly independence, mixed with excitement and laughter, mixed with tears, mixed with mood swings, mixed with being a teenage girl! :)  It keeps the new moms on their toes- that is for sure!

Ashely and 13-year-old Natasha
Some people find this newest trend of adopting teenagers to be a little weird....as adoption stereotypically is associated with little ones.  Personally I have been a part of more adoptions of older kids (10+) so this desire to adopt older kids doesn't seem to phase me.

One thing I will say, and that I've come to strongly believe, is that it is a calling.  It cannot be a good deed to feel good about yourself or to help some poor child.  It is not for the faint of heart. I see the wide range of emotions these teens are dealing with as they exit the orphanage and prepare to leave for a country they know very little about-- and what they do know is simply fantasy from the movies.  On one hand I know that a brighter future awaits them- but on the other hand I know that it is one that is full of pain as well as they navigate the newness of everything at such a challenging age of life.

These mothers have inspired me as they set out to love these girls that many have deemed unlovable, or unreachable. I know the road before them will not be one that is easy-- but with their hand held tight to the hand of Jesus, I know it will be one that will not be walked alone.

Heavenly Father, please be with these young girls as they transition into their new lives in the US.  May they understand you as Father and may they come to know you and receive your love. Protect these families from the attacks of the enemy and bind them together as they seek to build trust in their homes and teach these daughters what it means to be in a family.  Bless them Lord Jesus, and may you raise up many more like them to turn orphans into sons and daughters.