I’m usually really good at coming up with the verbiage for a blog or an email or to write a description for the website, but this experience is difficult to know where to start. There’s so many things I want and need to tell you about our adoption experience with Valik. So maybe a little bit of background for those who might not have followed our journey the last few years!
About seven years ago, we hosted in our home two teenage orphans from Latvia. "Hosting" is when an orphan comes to stay with you for a certain amount of time, and it gives them the opportunity to see what a "normal" functioning family looks like, gives them a break from the orphanage and a chance to be a regular kid, and most importantly, to hear about Jesus. It was a fairly good experience for us the first time we did it, minimal problems, so we continued to do this for the next several years! We hosted during the summers and Christmas vacation.
We had Pavlo from Ukraine three different times! We still speak to him daily!
Our sweet Aura! We hope to see her again soon!
All these children we would have most likely adopted, but various circumstances prevented it of which were out of our control. We still keep in touch with all these children!! So even though we weren’t able to adopt them, we still made a positive impact on their life! I could do an entire blog just on these children and the life they experienced in the orphanage and their life since they have aged out. Some are doing fairly well, others not so much.
But what about Valik! Valentyn Gregory Boldra! Yep, he’s permanently ours! He has been with us for one month. It’s been a very good transition. He has adapted to school well, and he likes it, which was not the case in Ukraine.
He attended his first choir concert this week, and he even sang! We didn’t know how he would react to being on stage, but he handled it like a champ! He has begun to make friends,(although he can’t ever remember their names) and he’s getting ready to go out for track and field. Can’t wait to tell you in the next blog how he’s doing because we think he’s going to do very well. He’s also getting ready to play recreational soccer, and he is excited about that! Valik has begun to watch TV which he never did when we hosted him. I’m sure it’s because it’s all in English. His favorite series right now “Big Time Rush.” It’s a Nickelodeon show so I’m good with that! Oh, I mustn’t leave out how much he loves school lunch! Partly because Valik likes to eat and partly because orphans don’t get to eat school lunch with the other city kids. Actually, they don’t get to each lunch at all until they get back to the orphanage at 3:00pm:(
So what hurdles have we had to jump over at this point? Valik speaks very good English, he reads it well, but he doesn’t always understand what his teachers are saying. In history, they are studying the civil war! Ha ha! Yes, Valik is lost and rightfully so! But he enjoys going to school, and this is huge! Another situation we are working on is teaching Valik about Jesus! Again the language barrier is a big issue here especially since Valik has no prior upbringing in church. For example, I was trying to explain to him the difference between Heaven and hell. I asked him if he knew what hell was. His response was...”P.E” It was funny! Valik is very athletic but does not like to run! But his attitude has already improved about being active and fit. He loves loves to go to the gym and shoot baskets!
Since we have had much experience with orphans, we know their stories. All different, yet all the same. We are all born with a desire to love and be loved, and these kids are no different. Unfortunately, many of these children don’t know how to do either. And we saw this among the kids we hosted. Luckily, for Valik, his story is a bit different. He had a grandmother who loved and cared for him early on so Valik is a very affectionate child. I will never tire of him kissing me on the forehead every single night before he goes to bed and saying I love you!️
On my next blog, I’ll share with you an amazing experience Valik and our family had with a man who grew up as an orphan in Russia and is now living in the USA! His story is certainly one that continues to remind us that Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us even in our darkest moments!
Hey, thanks for reading our blog! And until next time...
May God bless you and bless you richly!