Thank you for helping me to raise $20,000.00 for Yulia’s adoption in just five days. I am so thankful to each and every person who contributed to her fund. You are amazing!
Before you even begin reading this post, I must tell you that it is a long one. Please, please make sure that you read all the way to the end. This is by far one of the most important posts I have ever shared here on my blog. And there’s a great giveaway right at the end.
Most of you who have read my blog for a while will know that Anthony and I recently adopted two little girls who have Down syndrome from the Ukraine. In April and May I spent six weeks in that country finalizing their adoption. It was a long and crazy time there. I was alone without my hubby. But, as He always does, God came through for me.
Looking back, I know that my extended time in the Ukraine was all for a good reason. While it was hard to see the trees through the forest at that time, now the view from here is so much clearer. God’s bigger picture is always so much lovelier than my tunnel vision.
I spent five weeks visiting my daughters in their orphanage each and every day. Walking down the rickety path that led to their building became my daily routine. It was a good thing. Not only did I get time to bond with my new daughters, but God also gave me the gift of spending time with other children in that place. Some of you will remember my post here about Hailee’s room and the children that I had to leave behind on that day when I left the orphanage for the final time. You will also know that two of the little boys I shared about in that post now have a family who are working hard to bring them home as soon as possible. That means that three of the six children in Hailee’s awful room now have a home. Hallelujah.
There was a time a while back where I thought that I was done with that room. Since Yuri and Wade (now Bohdi) both have a family, I thought that chapter in my life was now closed. But, dear friends, I was wrong. It seems that the Lord is not done with me yet.
You see, for the last couple of months I have been burdened. My heart has ached for a situation, which, by all wordly standards seems hopelessly impossible. Some looking in from the outside may shake their heads in disbelief and say, “Forget it. This is futile. Just let it go.” It’s one of those things that I have really struggled to get my head and my heart around. I have begged the Lord to take the burden from me. But He has not.
There are times in life when I know that the only thing we can possibly do in a situation is to pray. Times when things are out of our control and the Lord expects us only to get on our knees and bring the situation before Him. But then there are those times when we are called to do more–times when we are called to rally. This is one of those times for me. Some times I struggle with the whole ‘being’ versus ‘doing’ thing. It’s a hard balance to find when you’re naturally a doer, but God calls us all just to be in certain seasons. This time there is no doubt in my mind…the Lord has called to me to action—to DO. But I cannot do it alone.
Please read on as I share my heart, and my burden.
I am aching. My heart is broken for one sweet little love. A sweetheart I know personally.
Please allow me to introduce you to Yulia, who is almost three years old.
It is with tears streaming down my face that I come to you. I come to you, my bloggy friends, begging for help with the mission that God has set before me (and hopefully you too). I have never done anything like this on my blog and honestly, I don’t know how it is going to work out. But what a privilege and an absolute honor it is to do this for her, sweet Yulia!
I spent five weeks visiting with Yulia. I really have a very deep love for her. While I was never allowed to pick her up and cuddle her close to me, I was able to love on her in her crib. She is precious. She has the sweetest smile and a very, very tender spirit. She is tiny and very malnourished, as are all the kids in that room. She lives a life of hell on earth. There are no cuddles or loves. There are no warm embraces or playful hugs. Outdoor time is never permitted. Those four walls of the crib is the only life she knows. She is taken out only to be fed (as fast as humanly possible) and changed. But that is it. The children are treated harshly. She wears the same clothes for days on end and toys are few and far between. All dignity has been stripped away. She lies in her own urine for hours on end. Nobody cares.
Yulia, like all the kids in that room, is drugged day in and day out. All in the name of “best sleep,” I was told. Yeah, more like all in the name of keeping them still and quiet so that they are a far less burden to those assigned to their care. She cannot function properly due to the adult tranquilizing drug she is given daily. Yulia, like our Hailee, is considered what I believe the Bible refers to as “one of the least of these.” She has no value whatsoever. She is merely a body in that place. A corpse with breath that has to be fed and changed. A burden to society.
It’s heartbreaking that any child should have to live that kind of life. But, my friends, that is only the beginning of Yulia’s story.
Yulia needs a miracle.
It was only after I got home from the Ukraine and posted her picture on my blog that Andrea Roberts (from Reeces Rainbow) was able to get more information about her. Truly, nothing could have prepared my heart for what I read. Any hope of finding a family for her seemed to fade quickly. I questioned God and have asked Him more times than I can count if this could ever possibly work. “Who will go for her, Lord?” “How much time does she have, Father?” “Is this even possible?”
Yulia has an extremely rare condition called Cockayne Syndrome. I read that there are only about 60 known cases in the world. The syndrome is characterized by premature aging, cataracts, sensitivity to sunlight, hearing loss, impaired development, and so on. Her life expectancy is severely shortened. She can live anywhere from four to about twenty years. Sadly, there is no cure for Cockayne Syndrome. Yulia may (or may not) also have some cerebral palsy.
Oh my goodness, my heart cannot comprehend it all. Knowing all that I do about where she is, I know for a fact that she will NOT get any kind of medical treatment. Physical therapy is essential for children who suffer from CS. But all the children in that room are NOT permitted to get any kind of therapy at all. They are not worthy of it, according to those who make decisions in that place. The result being that her little limbs will become stiffer and stiffer. She will not be given the drug for Parkinsons Disease which will alleviate her symptoms. Yulia is dying a very slow and painful death. Fact!
She does not deserve it. She does not deserve to be there. She does not deserve to not have access to drugs that can help her. She does not deserve to be transferred to a mental asylum when she is around 4 years old—a place where conditions are so inhumane that we would not even allow our dog to live there. Yulia does not deserve to die alone, with no arms to hold her tight and tell her about the glorious ONE who waits for her on the other side. She does not deserve to not even be told about Jesus. Oh God in heaven.
The fact is that without divine intervention Yulia will not live a long and productive life. Sadly, she will die early. That part we cannot change. Like all of us, her days are numbered in the Book of Life, and only He knows how long she has. I believe with all my heart that ALL children deserve the love of a family, no matter what is “wrong” with them. Nothing could ever convince me otherwise. I believe that even in sickness, her life has value and purpose. I know that God wants to use this little treasure for His glory. Yulia deserves a family! A very special family.
Yulia needs two miracles, friends.
The first one is to have a family. She needs someone to go and get her OUT of the Ukraine. Like yesterday. She is wasting away there. I know because I have seen with my own two eyes. Do I believe that someone will go? Absolutely. I believe in God’s people. I believe that there are those who are willing do whatever it takes to follow His voice. Radical Christians. We read about them in books, and there are many, many around today—including some who are reading this blog at this very moment. People who will follow the Lord, come what may. People who don’t look at the circumstances, but rather at the face of their God who calls them, no matter what. “Whatever, God” people is what we call them. I know that someone will go and rescue Yulia. We now need to pray that the radical someones will find her. Soon.
The second miracle: Yulia needs grant money. Her grant fund at Reeces Rainbow is sitting at around $400. That is not enough, friends. That is not going to help her much at this stage. Yulia needs a large amount of grant money for the family who adopts her. A Ukrainian adoption costs around $25,000. Is that too much to ask of the Lord? I think not. That’s nothing for Him to provide. He just has to mobilize His mighty army and it will be done. We all know that adoption is expensive. Finances should not be a consideration for the family who adopts Yulia. Their only concern should be getting the paperwork done and going to bring her home. The financial burden needs to be lifted. What an incredible incentive it would be for a family considering bringing her home to know that finances are something they do not have to worry about.
Whew. Tall order, huh?
Well, yes and no.
I’ll admit that there have been times in the last few months that I have almost given up on Yulia. In all my humanness, and with my puny faith, it has seemed impossible at times. But today I see her situation differently. I am choosing to see it through the eyes of faith. Dang it—is the God of the Bible not the same yesterday, today and forever? If He parted the sea for goodness sakes, can He not rescue a tiny, sick child from the Ukraine and place her in the loving, protective arms of a family? Can He not provide for her financially? We all know the answer.
So this is the point in my long post where I come to you, my bloggy friends, and beg for your help. Yulia’s mircale is going to have to be a Body of Christ effort. Not an Adéye effort. I am merely the one who has met her and knows the urgency.
I have added a Chip-In on my blog. Every single dollar raised will go directly into Yulia’s grant fund. Please consider making a donation. It ALL adds up. Having fundraised for our four adoptions, we know all too well that every dollar donated is seed which the Lord multiplies. She NEEDS grant money. It will give her a chance to be adopted.
What would an online fundraiser be without a little incentive?
We will be giving away an iPad to one person who contributes via the Chip-In. The giveaway will end on October 6.
Sweet, huh? Yep, sure would be great to win it. But not nearly as sweet as knowing that each time you contribute you are helping to rescue a little girl in desperate need of coming home. That’s what really matters here.
Please do whatever you can to help us spread the word. Tell Yulia’s story to everyone you know. Post her on your Facebooks, Twitters, and your blog.
The only hope Yulia has is if she finds a family. And so I’ll end by asking the question we all know the answer to….is ANYTHING impossible for the Lord God Almighty?
No. Not even this.
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Thank you, dear friends. There truly are no words to express how much I appreciate your help with this mission. Thank you for helping sweet Yulia come home. Thank you for helping me ensure that she does NOT die alone in a cold, heinous orphanage…but surrounded by the arms of a family who adores her.