Update: Thank you for praying and for sharing! Slavik has a family who is working hard to bring him home! Glory to God in the highest.
Honestly? My heart absolutely aches for the older children who so desperately want families of their own. They know that time is ticking and that very soon they will “age out” of the adoption system in their country. They know that every day that passes gets them closer to a life they cannot bear to even think about.
The statistics are staggering. Suicide, trafficking, helplessness.
Turning sixteen is a huge milestone for most teenagers. But sadly, not for many orphans around the world. Soon after the day of their sixteenth birthday they will be given the “gift” of freedom. Together with a small bag which contains all of their earthly possessions and about $30 in cash, they will be set free–no longer to be taken care of by a state orphanage.
It’s a devastating reality that most of the children who “age out” of the system literally have nowhere to go. They are left on the streets to fend for themselves. With nowhere to turn, and no one to turn to, many end up in the trafficking industry. The majority never make it past their teen years. It is the sobering reality for most orphans who are forced to leave the only place of safety they know. The statistics are hard to wrap our heads around. It is one of the many reasons why adoption advocates fight so very hard to get children out of orphanages before it is too late. They know.
It’s a humanitarian catastrophe that foreign orphanages are filled to overflowing with precious teenagers who are longing to be loved by someone. Anyone.
A couple of weeks ago, PROJECT HOPEFUL advocated for one of these beautiful children. It was sobering for me to see his photo and read his story. I could not help but feel that we, the Church of the Living God, have failed this boy. We’ve been silent when we should have been begging at the top of our lungs for someone to go and take a chance on a young man who is aching for someone to believe in him.
Like many, he has been crying out for a family…
…and no one has listened.
No one has been willing to give him an opportunity to belong and become all who God has created him to be.
Like many others just like him, time is running out. Slavik was hosted by an American family last summer and expressed many times his desire to have a family of his own. He is longing…desperate to be a part of family who will love him.
The sweet boy writes to his host family regularly…
“Have you found a family for me yet?”
Unfortunately, time is not on Slavik’s side. He turns sixteen on March 3 and MUST have a committed family before then.
From his host family:
“Slavik is a kind, quiet & unassuming boy. He loves animals & even enjoyed taking care of our dogs last Summer. He made certain they had food, water, walks & treats daily with no reminders! He is a very intelligent boy, quick to pick up English words, and very attentive in the English class he attended with other children in the host program. He enjoyed water sports after a bit of coaxing and really opened up to new experiences once he knew he was safe. He would do well in a family with younger children as well as preteens. He would also thrive with empty nesters. He enjoys soccer,computers and video games.“
From the PROJECT HOPEFUL website:
Slavik is a 15 year old boy from Ukraine. He has been in an orphanage for several years. He was brought there after extreme neglect by his mother. He is slightly built and shy, but very kind. People who know Slavik have noted that the other kids, boys & girls, all liked and trusted Slavik. He was hosted just once, last summer, by a host-only family. He is very eager to be adopted, and writes his host family and other friends regularly, asking them to find him a “family forever.” Slavik has been reading the Bible he got in America and says he prays God will bring him a family. He turns 16 on March 3. A family who wanted to have the option to adopt him would need to file (or already have) an I-600a to “freeze” him and keep him available.
Cara Helberg at Angel’s Haven (email@example.com) can help families who would like to know more about Slavik.
This one matters too, friends. His life matters. His heart matters. His desires matter. He may be just one life caught up in the middle of a massive crisis…
…but oh, how precious and valuable his life is!
Please will you help us to spread Slavik’s story far and wide? This is his last chance at finding a family. Please, please let’s ensure that he comes home and that this too will be a glorious story of redemption.
NOW…show us your glory, Lord.