When we first committed to Teodor's adoption (in Oct. 2010) I had very high hopes of his being home as a part of our family by this summer. As time rocked along, I held out hope for quite awhile, praying that God would intervene and work it all out quickly. However, He didn't choose to answer my prayers in the way I'd chosen. Since I'd turned down every opportunity for summer activities, I had kept a very clean slate for all of the summer months. Toward the end of April, I started asking the Lord what exactly He did have in store for our summer if it wasn't going to be a trip to BLG to get Teddy!?!
I got my answer not very long afterwards in the form of an e-mail. It was a letter and video telling us about the opportunity to host a school-aged orphan from a different Eastern European country (not Bulgaria). The kids would come over together and stay in various host homes for 5 weeks. We started praying about it, and God confirmed almost immediately that, yes, this was His plan all along. How gracious He is..... He certainly knew that I'd need something to distract me from counting the days between "trip one" and "trip two." Now, of course, having five kids can be quite the distraction itself!! Ha! But, particularly our older girls had been wanting a summer missions opportunity themselves, and we realized that here it was: The "summer missions project" of international ministry at home!!
Our special summer guest arrived on June 24th. She is a very small (4'6" and 75 pound!) 14 year old girl!! We have gotten tons of practice at communication skills without knowing each others' language--- which will come in quite handy when Teddy arrives!! She was extremely shy at first, and yet has warmed up well. The time is flying by. We pray each day that she can see the love of Christ exhibited without words. We're also praying that the Lord gives her supernatural understanding of who He is, and that He will be planting lots and lots of seeds in her heart that would one day lead her to the saving knowledge of Him.
Most of this particular EE country's orphans "graduate" out of the orphanage at age 16. The place where she lives will allow them to stay until they are 18. Still, at age 18, they will leave the orphanage with limited opportunities or contacts in the world. By age 20, 70% of the boys are involved in crime, and almost 70% of the girls have turned to prostitution as a means of living ... just having a way to get a meal. It breaks my heart. We'll be allowed to keep in touch with her, and hopefully this summer will be the beginning of new options for her life.
I don't think that I'm allowed to post any pictures of her or say her name on our blog, but I CAN email them, so if anyone would like to see our summer in pictures, feel free to ask!!!