Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Kohler's Journey



A blog I have been following for some time is the one written by Leah Kohler (http://thekohlersjourney.blogspot.com/). It has been inspiring to watch as this godly couple have heeded their heavenly Father's call to take care of the orphans by stepping out in faith to adopt a child from Ukraine. Recently, they got their invitation from the SDA and will soon be flying to Kyiv in the next couple of weeks. 

As anyone who's read this blog or has adopted or knows someone who's adopted, especially internationally, understands that there is a lot of expense involved.  

Here is what Leah has posted:

In order to raise the necessary funds for our adoption from Ukraine (the cost is approximately $40,000), we are starting a Puzzle Fundraiser.

If you would like to have a part in our adventure, PLEASE consider participating. The puzzle is 
1000 pieces. We would like a sponsor for each piece. If you decide to sponsor a piece, your name will be written on the back of the piece.
Once the puzzle is completed, it will hang in a double-sided frame, so we can take it down from time to time and remember those who helped bring our child home.

Cost of 1 Puzzle piece = $25

You may choose a single piece or if you want to donate a larger amount you may purchase as many pieces as you desire.

Thank you so, so much!

Grace and Peace,

Eugene and Leah Kohler

in order to donate please log in to paypal.com and send your donation to thekohlersjourney@gmail.com)


Please prayerfully consider helping this couple out financially. As our family knows, any little bit helps. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Joy


Adoption can bring some of the deepest joys you will ever experience.

For those who've followed this blog for some time know, our family has definitely experienced the ups and downs that come with international adoption. Yet what I have found is that it is because of those really hard times that those moments of joy are even more joyful. What most of us would not normally pay any attention to, the smallest of victories become the greatest of celebrations because of the work it took to get to them.

Adoption is a journey that begins in loss and pain but often ends in love and joy. So often it's the hardest moments that have led to us being the closest. As the Bible tells us, "Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith leads to perseverance" (James 1:2-3). Adoption is process that is both painful and miraculous!

Adoption is an answer to prayer. We delight in the joy of knowing that God had all of this planned and that He took our family and a boy from Ukraine, brought us together, and made us into a family that we now cannot imagine any other way.

Adoption is about choice. Cava loves that we flew to other side of the world and picked him out of all the other children we were shown. He delights in me telling him the story of how he came to be a part of a family. It gives him joy to know that he was picked because that means he was wanted. He likes to be reminded of this again and again and again.

Adoption has given me greater insight into the heart of the Father because it shows me that all great love comes at a cost. Many, many times Cava has rejected us and our love but when he finally allowed himself to be loved and to love back, it was only then that he began to heal and experience peace. How much like that is us to our heavenly Father?

These children are hurt and broken when they come to us. They are in need of love, patience, grace, and hope. Only by allowing God to work in our families and by giving our families totally to Him can we even begin to experience true joy and love.

Adoption and the process of adoption means letting go of the life we had planned for ourselves to let God give us the life He has for us. It's not always an easy one.  The road to adoption and the road after can often be full of heartaches, questioning, and doubts. It is full of the question, "Can we really do this?" All of it is exhausting but nothing worth having comes easily. If you think the road to adoption is easy just look at the one Christ took to bring us into God's family. Yet the cost was the cross which led to us being His children.

Cava may not have our DNA, but he has our hearts and our love, which are what truly make us mother and father and son. Cava was not born of my wife's womb, but he was born of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers, and our hearts. We rejoice in this and celebrate not only how Cava came to be in our family but that he is one of us forever. There is a joy in seeing how he responds to being accepted and loved for the first time in his life.

His smile, his exuberance, and his laughter bring us joy. Not a day passes that we do not thank God for this gift.


And how could we not delight in this?






Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Is National Foster Care Month


May is National Foster Care Month. When we hear this, we often just ignore it the way we ignore other national months such as National Poetry Month. "That's for someone else," we might think dismissively. But it's not. As followers of Christ, we are repeatedly commanded throughout the Bible to take care of the fatherless. God wants us to take care of them, not just pray for them.

Every year the number of kids in the foster care system increases while the number of licensed foster care homes declines. As Christians, what does this say about us? Do we believe that Jesus just meant that other followers were to take care of the orphans and not us? Like some many, do we pass it off as somebody else's problem? There are no free pass cards. Christ does not allow for excuses. He is explicit in telling us to do unto the least of these, which includes kids in the foster care system. So either we don't believe Him or we just don't care. It's that simple.


When one sees the statistics on what happens to kids in the foster care system, it not only breaks the Father's heart, but should ours as well. But that's not enough, as we need to move from distant empathy to being the hands and feet of Christ to take care of this need.  These are children to be loved, not problems to be fixed.

Not everyone is called to be a foster parent, but there are so many other ways you can become involved.
What are they?

1. Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate Volunteer
2. Provide Respite Foster Care
3. Serve as a Guardian for a child or youth in the foster care system
7. Volunteer on a local foster care review board
8. Transport children for sibling visitations
9. Transport families and children to court hearings
10. Transport families and children to medical appointments
11. Mentor a child
12. Tutor a child or youth in foster care
13. Help a youth prepare for SAT or ACT
14. Provide after-school care for a foster family
15. Volunteer to serve as an Education Advocate for those foster kids receiving special education services
16. Get your church involved with helping to provide basic needs (clothing), school supplies, or toys for kids in foster care.
17. Prepare a meal for a foster family.
18. Pay a foster kid's extra-curricular fees
19. Provide a prom dress or tuxedo
20. Donate to local organizations that help out foster kids in your area (an example is Least of These. Their link is http://www.leastofthesegaston.org/)
21. Donate diapers, formula, or other infant and toddler items

These are just a few of the many ways you can become involved. Since it is National Foster Care Month, pray about where God leads you, but please do more than prayer because these children need so much more.

God has called us to offer ourselves, not our excuses.

Become involved today!