As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Goodbyes Are Hard.....

Grandpa Ehnle died suddenly last night and passed from this life into eternity. We will miss him dearly, but are so thankful that he is able to celebrate in heaven today. He no longer has the headache that has plagued his life ever since he had a brain tumor 60 years ago. And he has new ears to hear the beautiful, powerful praise and worship of his heavenly Father.

We will travel to Illinois this week to say our last goodbyes to Grandpa, a man that I have learned to deeply appreciate and love over the last 13 years I have known him. At the same time, we are preparing to say goodbye to a dear boy that we have known only 3 short weeks. Vitaly will be leaving us next week, and I find myself making comparisons today. On one hand, we are saying goodbye to a man, who, despite his doctor's prediction that he would not live to see his 7th birthday, has lived a life of 90 years. A man who is going to a much better place. On the other hand, we will say farewell to a boy is going back to a very hard and difficult place. A boy who will age out of the orphanage system in 5 short years and will die at a young age if someone does not step forward and help him get the medicine he needs to survive. 

I will admit that I am burdened and struggling right now. My emotions have been riding a roller coaster for the past several weeks. The first week Vitaly was here, I wondered what exactly we were getting into. We had fun experiencing new things with him, though, and kept busy with Christmas celebrations. The second week, he settled into a routine and became comfortable with our family, and we stayed busy with the holidays. By the third week, the emotions and extra work were taking a toll on me, and I was exhausted. I selfishly wanted my own life and routine back. I was convicted and comforted by the verse in Galatians that says:

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

Now, heading into the 4th week, I am realizing that V's time with us is rapidly diminishing. I am so overwhelmed by the thought of sending him back. I have pleaded with God to show us His will, and have asked Him over and over if we are supposed to be V's forever family. But we are not getting the signal to move forward. I pray that God has another family picked out for V. I know that God loves him so much more than I do, and that he has a plan for V's life. And I don't need to know that plan; all I need to do is trust. That's where my faith must take over. I just memorized this verse, and it is ministering to my heart right now:

"Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear." Isaiah 59:1

Yesterday, we mailed out a care package that will be delivered to Vitaly a week or two after his return to his orphanage. In it, we packed up some things that we know he loves (tea, smoked sausages, candy, and a few small toys) along with some necessities (toothpaste, deodorant, etc). Chris sat down at the computer to type up and translate a letter to him, and we both found ourselves bawling at the thought of him returning to his life as an orphan. Please say a prayer for Vitaly this week as he prepares to leave. May he always remember that no matter what life brings, Jesus is there for him.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss Erica. And my heart aches for you as you prepare to send Vitaly home. Praying God will comfort you as only He can.

  2. Also...IL? Are you going to be near us? If you are send me a message - I'd love to get together with you guys!

  3. Holding you in our prayers. Such loss in such a short time. Wishing your heart to find peace...Oh so difficult:(