"Raising teenagers is like nailing jello to a tree!" Let the fun begin!!
“Oh the places you’ll go,” by Dr. Seuss. But I don’t think he really meant Ukraine! Or he really meant us!! But here we go! And you can go with us on our adoption journey right here on our blog! This is so crazy unbelievable to me that my husband and I are doing this at our age. But if not us, then who? Can’t imagine leaving this sweet boy behind. When people ask how old he is, and I tell them 14, their normal expression is one of extreme fear. LOL! No worries, I taught 14-year-olds for 31 years, and my husband has been a PE teacher for 30 years so we got this!
Let me tell you a little bit about Valik. He has lived in an orphanage for about six years. Valik is very smart! As a matter of fact, the orphanage he lives in is connected to a school where you must pass a test in order to be able to be placed in this orphanage. He doesn’t care for math which is ironic considering his “soon to be mom and sister” both taught math. And his other “sister” was quite good at math too! He often expresses how he is glad we will be able to help him!
Valik is very loving which isn’t always the case for children who live in orphanages and have experienced rejection. Valik is very affectionate too.That’s one of the things I love about him most. He always kisses me on the forehead and tells me good night before bedtime. We had Valik with us 10 weeks this summer and then again at Christmas for four weeks. We are very fortunate his orphanage has Wi-Fi so we are able to talk to him daily. Actually he calls us on Viber every day when he gets out of school. Sometimes we call him before he’s out of school, and he tells his teacher, “American family callling”! And they let him step out to talk. I told him that will not happen when he goes to school here in America.
Valik is the perfect example of how kids who come to America get opportunities they might not have had otherwise. We are a big sports family, and my grandkids love to play basketball. When Valik came here last June, he hated basketball. Actually, he only disliked it because he had never played it before, hadn't even shot a basketball once! But the more the kids played the more he would join them! When he came back in December, he wanted to go to the gym every day! And when he got back to Ukraine, the first video he sent us was him playing basketball with some girls from his orphanage! Valik may never play basketball competitively here in the United States, but it is these kinds of opportunities he will be exposed too. We know he will have much success in school because he is very smart and already has big goals. Sidenote: My husband noticed immediately that Valik was very athletic. Being a coach, those are things he notices! Valik has definitely joined the right family!
Valik’s daily routine doesn’t change much. He gets up at the same time, eats breakfast at the same time, goes to school, goes to his room, eats supper and goes to bed. And it’s pretty much like clockwork. That's Valik's room pictured above. He shares a room with another boy. Valik is a good-sized boy, and as you can imagine, he is not a fan of that twin sized bed. He rarely leaves the orphanage to do other things. Occasionally, he might go to his grandparents for the weekend, or they might come see him. His life is about to change drastically because we are a “busy” family, always going and doing something fun! And Valik is fun so he will enjoy the involvement!
One of the main reasons we are adopting Valik is we want to make sure his eternity in Heaven with Jesus is secure. When Valik came to us last June, he knew nothing about Jesus, and it’s very hard to explain it to a child who speaks good English but it's not his native language. We felt like the best way to share the gospel was to show him Jesus through our actions. When he left in December, he said grace before every meal. Don’t get me wrong, Valik‘s knowledge of Jesus is very limited, but it’s a start! He tells us he still says grace before every meal in the orphanage. Now whether he does or not, I don’t know, but we have planted the seed and with God’s help, Valik will learn what a wonderful Jesus we serve! And we hope one of our greatest testaments of God’s love will be that Valik will realize how God orchestrated a family for him all the way across the world and changed his life forever!
Our mission at Libby’s Boutique has always been to give back! Locally, we help our homeless shelter in town and provide birthday parties for the residents who live there. Globally, we financially help families who are adopting orphans. WELL NOW THAT’S US! So thank you for shopping with us because we truly 100% could not do this without Libby’s Boutique. Every purchase you make helps an individual, family, or small business since we try and do business with small companies first, and with companies who share our same mission to give back!
So where are we right now!? Our homestudy is done! Our initial paperwork and check has been sent to our adoption agency! The next thing we will do is start on our dossier. Let me just say the paperwork will probably be as tall as me which isn’t saying much, but you get it! Mounds! We will have to travel to Ukraine three times! And you will get to experience those times with us as we share pictures and stories while we are in his country!
Last but definitely not least, please pray for this adoption. I mean really pray until it’s final! There could be hiccups along the way. We know it’s going to be a long journey, pricey, and possibly even discouraging at times, but we stand on the Word of God, and we know He will be with us every step of the way.
May God bless you and bless you richly,