Our last post give just a glimpse of the hurdles we are tackling in order to get home.
I, Kim, am going to give you a very honest and in depth look into my heart as we travel this thorny path.
Upon arriving into Ukraine for the very first time I knew that this was not going to be a cut and dry procedure. Every time we spoke with or met a person that was vital for the process, we were given different information. This happened even before entering Ukraine, but was made worse in country. The country of Ukraine is not to blame for the battles we are facing, it is a much greater and more sinister agent at work. For those who can not fathom anything greater than your eye can see, you may not understand who I can assuredly say is the evil that lurks in the details. Human beings.
Maybe the more church attending folks thought I would blame Satan, or those who hate my Heavenly Father, might have thought I would say God. My heart is heavy knowing that it is what is in the hearts of man, that have made this journey so ridiculous. Why am I so sure of this? It is because I can easily see the evil of laziness, indifference, ungratefulness, irresponsibility, selfishness, pride, and manipulation in my own heart.
When Vitaliy had been my son for only 3 days, it was a only by a miracle that I didn't take him back to the orphanage. (I think I heard you just gasp!) The miracle was that God had laid on my heart that Vitaliy was my son and not just a random kid. This is an actual real miracle, as real at the parting of the Red Sea! My son was so hateful, ugly, and down right mean that if God had not placed a mother's love in my heart for him, I would have taken him back. Why after 16 months and all the pain and struggle would I even have considered that? Because my heart is still the heart of man. I still want what I want, when I want it, how I want it, and as easy and as comfortably as possible. Here was this little boy, my son, and the hate that poured from his broken heart, out of his mouth, were shards of glass tearing into what I wanted to happen. Even though I read all the books and knew that this was a likely response, it was still a shock to watch it happen.
As the days rolled along he softened, when we left his town for Kiev, I could see more layers of fear fall away. Every day in little ways I can see that the hate, which is evidence of fear, beginning to subside. Oh we definitely have a long, LONG road ahead but God has proven faithful in healing his heart while chipping the sin away from mine.
My God knows my heart more than I do, He knows what keeps me from fully submitting to Him, He knows that I still want things my way because I doubt that He knows what is best. More times this week than I care to admit, I have wondered where my God was. Was He still listening? Did I do something wrong? Do I need to do something more? Maybe I am not praying as much as I should, perhaps I need to read more chapters of the Bible each day, could be that I am being punished for something I did?
Then I remember that His promises are true and His love is real as demonstrated on the cross. Vitaliy is having to find out what having parents that truly love him is really all about. Our coordinator recently told me something an adoption expert suggested parents tell their children,"There is nothing you can do that will make me love you less and there is nothing you can do that will make me love you more".
When you are adopted by the Creator and Savior of the world, that is His promise to us as well. Grace is God giving us something that we can never deserve and Mercy is God saving us from what we do deserve. And His Grace and Mercy is telling His children, "There is nothing you can do to make me love you less, and there is nothing you can do that will make me love you more."
Jeremiah 31:2-3 Thus says the LORD:”The people who
survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for
rest, the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an
everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
As Paul Harvey said, "And now you know the rest of the story."