I have debated about how much to share on my blog I feel like I want to be transparent about all our joys and difficulties but then I know I need to also not share too much that will be too private about our kids. I told you I would tell you some of our trials in the past several months. I wrote this and then thought I had probably shared more than I should so I am going back and see if I can do a better job. The first one is literally a trial to triumph story and I want to share it to show how God can heal and bring us through difficult times. God can change even the most seemingly hopeless situations to victory.
We adopted our Zhenya when he was 14 years old. He came to us a skinny shy boy who had been in an orphanage from a young age. He didn't want to bond with us at first and he hated women in general. We didn't know it at the time, but after he came home he would sneak out at night and smoke cigarettes in the backyard putting them out under the leaves, apparently he had been smoking and drinking since the age age of five. One night one of his smoldering cigarettes came within 5 minutes of burning our house down. We caught it in time called the fire department and had many thousands of dollars worth of damage, but the firemen said another 5 minutes and it would have been too late. We knew we had some work to do to bring him into the family fold, to obey our rules, and to help him overcome the debilitating previous damage done by people who were supposed to love and take care of him.
We spent several years working through some of those issues. Was it easy? No it wasn't, but was it worth it? Yes it was! He went on to excel in school and became a starting football player. We were thrilled that he seemed to have put his past behind him. He would initiate hugging me where at first he avoided any contact, adored his dad and was great friends with all his siblings. Zhenya seemed to be so happy and at peace until it came time for graduation and college.
A few months before graduation Zhenya started withdrawing from the family once again. He seemed very sad and we attributed this to his imminent graduation and coming departure for college where he was accepted into the electrical engineering school.
When we went went to adopt Zhenya there was another family there at the same time adopting a girl the same age from his class. These kids were very close friends and had grown up together at the orphanage. They live about 4 hours from us and we visited only once when we were all back, but after that Zhenya wanted nothing to do with anything from his past. We all lead busy lives, and consequently did not keep in touch.
Just before graduation this girl and Zhenya found each other on face-book and so they began corresponding. She decided to come for his graduation. It was a wonderful tearful joyful reunion. She is a lovely girl with a great family and she has overcome so much.
When this girl came for graduation, Zhenya's past came into his present, as he was trying to get his heart and mind prepared for a future and a change he didn't think he was ready to meet. Little did we know that a storm bigger than any of us could have imagined was brewing around inside him and all these events came together and created " The Perfect Storm"
Zhenya had a breakdown that pulled the whole family into an abyss that took us all by surprise. It was a very difficult time period and I won't go into it but lets just say that God was faithful and pulled everyone through.
Through intensive prayer and counseling he was able to get everything in perspective and he understood that college was not a change to be feared and that we would still be here. He is coming to realize that his past is just that- his past- and it can't hurt him anymore.
Our family came together and we are so proud of our children! They really supported us, each other, and Zhenya through this whole ordeal. They formed a circle of care and love around him.
We were going to keep him home and let him go to college from home but his counselor told us we needed to let him go that he is ready to make the change now. He is at a school only an hour from here so he knows he can come home if he needs to have a break. Praise God for getting all of us through. Please pray for Zhenya that he will know the love of God and have peace and that he will continue on with no more trauma from his past having any power over him. We said good-bye to him last week and we have to rest with the knowledge that our faithful God, the great father, is in control and is much more capable of taking care of him than we are.We thank God for being the great healer and for keeping all of us wrapped in his arms during difficult times.
Our sweet and faithful Kyle left for college last week and he was by our side the whole summer. God abundantly blessed us with this young man as our son. He returns to visit often so we look forward to each time we see him coming back through the door.
Kenna, although she wasn't home for the summer because she has her own apartment went back to school this week as well. We spent some fun times together this summer. She is such a hard worker and only has one year of school left.
Brett interned for an attorney's office and decided that is not what he wants to do with his life so he is currently looking for a job and is waiting on a job he interviewed with for the Texas legislature and will hear in the next couple of weeks if he got it.
Ryan is at home starting air conditioning/heating school next month.
Karina left this morning so we had to say good-bye for the third time in less than two weeks. She is just a delightful, sweet, loving and caring girl. She came into our room last night threw herself into my arms and sobbed "I don't want to go back to Ukraine". We talked and we cried. She wanted to know after that if she could call her babushka which she does every few days. It must be so hard to be so torn between two worlds.
She and Mark spent the day together yesterday as he has been out of town this past week and the rest of us have been in school. She adores her "daddy" and he took her shopping (this alone will tell you how much he loves her he hates shopping) he said she wouldn't buy anything for herself she just wanted to buy something for "mom". She picked out two cute shirts for me I couldn't have done better myself.
As I saw her off this morning I can only pray for what the future will hold for everyone I have to trust that in the Lord's time his plan will be the perfect one. Everyone knows I am the huggy one in the family. They all tease me mom could lose all her senses and be fine unless it was the sense of touch then she would never make it. Karina has the same nature she must have hugged and kissed me a 100 times this morning assuring me that everything would be OK. I know it will because my father has a plan for all of us greater than anything we could have put together. I just pray in my own heart that his plan includes Karina as our daughter.
My mother gave me this saying one time when I was nurturing a broken heart as a young woman and I have never forgotten it:
IF YOU LOVE SOMETHING, SET IT FREE. IF IT COMES BACK TO YOU, IT'S YOURS. IF IT DOESN'T, IT NEVER WAS.
Thank you God for being with your children, the ones you have brought to us, and as they leave our home we pray that they go with your peace, and if its your will that all will return to our home.