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

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.  


  1. Karen... I love what you are doing. I have followed your blogs for years... seeing your camps, drama, and whatnot. But I suspect this is going to really take off. I know of others that have opened their homes in Ukraine for American adoptive families, though not so publically as your endeavor. We stayed with one for a time while were adopting in Odessa in 2009 and it was truly a godsend for us. Anyway I wish you the best and please don't be shy about your needs. Our blog gets lots of hits for Ukrainian adoptions and I'd be happy to pass on prayer requests and needs. Blessings to you!

    -- Alan

  2. I love this post! So cool to see how God is using you and your new home!

  3. I, for one, cannot find the words to express my appreciation. Karen has let me stay here three times in five weeks in short intervals. My new 13 year old is going to be a lot of work. The small examples that are being modeled are priceless and will have huge impact at some point-when God sees fit to cause those memories to resurface at just the right time. Thank you.

  4. Oh, Karen - you are so right about our young ladies! I still look at Oksana every day and I'm so thankful she's here. She's safe. She's loved. She's well adjusted and happy. It is a blessing seeing her this way. Thank you for all you did for us and for her!!!
    Love you and miss you!

  5. As I look at this picture, I can honestly say we are not those people sitting on that couch. I certainly did not know how to be Natasha's mother. I did not know how to handle the emotions and outbursts. Even though it was my second teenage adoption, a girl was completely different. I thank you for helping us during this very difficult time. You are so patient and I really cannot thank you enough for allowing us to stay in your home. God is so good and everything is going great now!