I stand amazed at God's goodness and how He uses seemingly tiny details of our everyday lives to create a big, beautiful, and perfect picture. Some details are so hard and seem to be so confusing as we're dealing with them, but God takes them and molds them into a magnificent portrait of redemption. Sometimes we never see the details merge into the masterpiece, but I firmly believe that all things happen for a reason. We may not see how our actions impact others' lives, but I know that when we get to heaven, our eyes will be opened and we will be in awe of the ripple effects that happened in the world simply because we said "yes" to a simple task that God set before us. At other times, we can see the picture coming together, and God reveals to us certain dots and details that we can connect. This is happening in God's story of Vitaly, and I can only marvel as the pages and chapters emerge.
It actually goes back further than this, but I will start at a point in time 3 years ago when God called us to adopt our boys. The two boys that He had picked out for us happened to live with 2 other little boys, who were brothers, at an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I became friends with the boys' mother, H, on Facebook. Because I was an adoptive mother, I attended the Created 4 Care retreat in Atlanta, Georgia, last year, where I met another adoptive mother, H. We also became friends on Facebook. This past fall, both of these mothers posted a photo on their Facebook pages of a little boy named Vitaly who needed a family to host him over Christmas. God touched our hearts with his picture, and 2 days later we agreed to host him - that day happened to be his deadline for getting chosen. Vitaly came and spent a month with us, during which time we prayed that God would show us whether or not we were supposed to be his forever family. We did not get the signal to move forward, so I started advocating for Vitaly. I posted his picture and bio on Facebook, which was then shared by over 40 people on their Facebook walls.
A lot of people saw V's information over the next few days, and I started answering phone calls and messages from people who had an interest in him. Two couples seemed especially interested: G and C from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and N and V from Van Wert, Ohio. I was thrilled that both couples lived close to us, and we met with G and C for several hours on a Saturday so that they could meet Vitaly. They were a wonderful couple, and we really enjoyed our time with them. That night, C texted me with the exciting news that they wanted to move forward with hosting Vitaly again this summer. N and V called us back with the same intentions. That night, we received an email from a family in Mississippi that had actually already started the process to adopt V and his friend the year before. Their story had taken some twists and turns as well, but they had recently started the paperwork again. She had been trying to get in touch with me for weeks, but didn't have my contact information. She had prayed that she would be able to contact me before Vitaly left for Ukraine again. Her friend saw a blog post with Vitaly's information and my email address included (some of our advocating efforts), and forwarded the link to her. As it turns out, this mother and I have a mutual friend, who I also met at Created 4 Care and who adopted a little boy from the same agency as we did. This little boy happened to be friends with my nephew, Sintayehu, at the same orphanage in Ethiopia that my boys were from. The world definitely kept getting smaller as I learned more and more details.
I was thrilled that Vitaly had a family! We had prayed so hard for him! And it was so encouraging to me that so many people wanted to make him a part of their families - he is certainly loved! When I first received this email, however, I was a little confused as to why God would call us to host this little boy that already had a family out there. Why not another orphan that would never have a chance otherwise? But God knows exactly what He is doing, and sometimes He chooses to work in mysterious ways. We contacted the families from Van Wert and Fort Wayne and told them of this new development. While they were a little disappointed, they were also thrilled for Vitaly.
This brings me to last night. We were at my mother-in-law's when I got a call from V, the lady in Van Wert. Her family had prayed and decided to adopt another child after reading Vitaly's story! She had filled out some application forms with Loving Shepherd Ministries, an organization affiliated with the church I go to, that does background adoption research. They tell families which countries will accept them into their adoption programs based on family size, income, etc. and provide the information of the agencies that work in those countries. I was thrilled! Because Vitaly came to us, another family was pursuing God's call to adopt a child. The world would have one less orphan! A few minutes after my conversation with her, C, the lady from Fort Wayne, called. Her family had decided to move forward with adopting another little boy from Ukraine! I was blown away. She had decided to use Gateway Woods in Leo, Indiana to write their home study. Gateway Woods is also affiliated with our church. As I gathered the details from these two women, my heart overflowed at God's goodness, and I could not stop smiling. He does have a perfect plan. Because He called us to host Vitaly, there will be two more orphans coming home to their forever families. And who knows the ripple effect that will occur because of that?
I can't wait until Vitaly comes home to his family. I can't wait until he learns English. I can't wait to have the conversation with him about how God used his life to touch others. This dear boy is most likely sitting in his orphanage right now, missing America, and longing to come back again this summer. He has no idea the turn his life is about to take and how many lives he has already touched at his young age. What an amazing story. And my great God is the Author of it all.