I have always had a particular unofficial agreement with God. In fact I have repeatedly thanked Him that He has never asked me to travel for His works. I have been happily serving him in my wonderful comfort zone of Canada and the US for as long as I can remember. In fact I joke about it to my husband all the time. We foster, adopt, run orphan ministries, all things I can do from the comfort of my own Country. It just so happens that I am not a fan of ethnic food, REALLY not a fan of bugs, kind of a germ phobic so DEFINITELY not a fan of public bathrooms…or strange bathroom set ups. But above all else, I am TERRIFIED of flying. I even pondered adopting from a different country just so that I wouldn’t have to fly (some countries fly the children out to you). So there you have it, I have been comfy cozy with where God had me (I think that is the problem right there isn’t it!).
This past year I have started following an amazing blog www.nogreaterjoymom.com The author is an adoptive mother and astounding advocate for adoptions; special needs adoptions to be exact. Many of her posts have to do with children in the Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Eastern Europe in general where special needs children remain in orphanages wasting away. By the age of 4 or 5 they are transferred to mental institutions where they live out the rest of their lives, no touch, no stimulation, and definitely no love. Many of them have minor special needs yet so many of them deteriorate to almost nothing from lack of resources, food, and neglect.
Myself and a few friends recently started the process of opening a Christian adoption agency. While we plan on facilitating adoptions from anywhere, foster care and international special needs adoptions will be our focus, with significantly reduced fees making adoptions more accessible. My heart is to see the very children in these Eastern European countries come home to their forever families. I figured this would involve setting up connections in those countries and merely facilitating adoptions.
Man was I ever wrong! A couple of weeks ago I woke up and immediately felt God telling me that I needed to go to Bulgaria. That was kind of strange as God had never asked anything like this of me before, and he knew our unofficial deal…didn’t He? I immediately tried to pass the buck off on my husband and asked him if he might be interested in going. He of course was, as he loves to travel, yet as I asked him it felt wrong somehow. I had never experienced these feelings before. I had never had any sort of inkling towards travelling anywhere! I started to argue with God. “Come on now, really? Me? Are you SURE?”
But he kept coming back with the same answer that it was ME who was supposed to go to Bulgaria. Since then I have been a bit freaking out. I wake up in the mornings terrified and ready to call the entire thing off, then by the afternoon I am excited and researching hotels and country information etc. I have been on a major emotional roller coaster! Yet deep down, past all my irrational fears, I feel confidant and excited for what this trip will bring! I will be going down the first week of September with a small team from our agency where we will spend a week traveling around Bulgaria visiting the various orphanages filled with special needs children, forging relationships and having our Hearts broken for what already breaks God’s. I am hoping to come home changed and even more on fire to advocate for these precious and forgotten children that so desperately need a home! Until then I think some antacid might be in order J
If you are interested in seeing a video series of what life is like for these children please click here.