Saturday, July 6, 2013

Independence, Mobility and Freedom for Isabell Kolanowski

Isabell Kolanowski

I sat in front of this computer for hours trying to think of what to type. I thought of writing about Isabell's parents and how they are always right there for anyone that needs help because they love God that much and look at helping others as opportunity. I could talk all day about them! I thought of saying a lot of stuff, but the only thing that really needs to be said is that Isabell needs a wheelchair and a lift installed in her parents van so that she can start to experience mobility, freedom and independence...something that most of us take for granted and rarely think twice about.

The cost of the lift is $7800 and their co-pay for Isabell's Wheelchair is $6000. So we hope to raise $13,800.

The Kolanowski's have a blog, click on the picture below!

Donate by clicking the button below.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Part 2: Continued!

Mia hugging on dad!

Emma looking cute with Mom!

We are back in "U"! We have been here just over a week trying to complete the adoption of our girls that we told you all about earlier in the year. We filed with the court today and will hopefully find out something of a date tomorrow.

The girls are absolutely amazing! Over the weekend we spent quite a bit of time with them. During the week we get to see them for about two hours each evening. 

Hopefully we'll have more news tomorrow!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Prayer needed today!

As of today we do not have a court date. Our facilitator is flying in Tuesday morning to meet with the Judge and request that we have court on Wednesday if at all possible!

Here is what we need prayer for:

1) That when our facilitator arrives she has with her the last document we need to have the hearing.

2) That God will move and prepare everything that is needed so that the Judge will say yes to court on Wednesday.

We are growing tired of being here. Our children miss us and we miss them! Our girls aren't doing well with us being gone so long. And our dear friend Traci has really gone above and beyond in caring for them since we have been gone.

The minute the hearing is over Diana will be heading home and I will stay to finish up the process.

Peace and Love!

Shane & Diana

Friday, May 25, 2012

Part 2: Aliona and Nastya

The second part of our journey is Aliona (14) and Nastya (10), they are sisters. We have known about these girls for about 1 1/2 years. We learned about them while following a friends blog of their adoption journey. Heidi and Felix were advocating for them because the girls told them they wanted a family. Diana and I talked about them over a few days and had decided that we would like to adopt them. But when we inquired again about them we were told another family had committed to them. Oddly and as God would have it, right before we were leaving for Ukraine we learned that they were still available. So when were re-directed from our original plan, they immediately came to mind.

I was talking with Felix last week and he said, "You usually know your on the right path when the way is easy or easier". The details are to long to post, but i can tell you it was amazing how easy the path was to these girls.

"For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:30

Because of the law, the children are not available for international adopt yet. We are waiting to find out the exact date they are available. We think it is in September. We will be back for them the second they are available to bring them home.

Nastya is cute, silly and extremely loving!

AGAPE held an event for all the orphans in Kherson. They did a play that was the most powerful play i had ever seen. My friend Andriy and I sat next to each other and we were both crying.  On the other side of me, for the entire three hours was Nastya snuggled up to my side. 

I wasn't sure what they were laughing about. But this is my favorite picture of them. I love seeing the happiness in their faces.


I LOVE this picture!

It will be a tough time for us being away from them for the next few months. The day after we left them i think i had the worst day since we have been here. I missed them very much!

Peace and Love...Shane!

Lakshmi Sabrina Lewis

So, now that we have asked her if she would like to be a part of our family, and she has said yes. we would like to introduce you to, the soon to be...Lakshmi Sabrina Lewis!

Lakshmi will turn 16 this coming August. As a part of out outreach program at the transition home Anya began to get to know Lakshmi. She says that Lakshmi is a rare exception to most of the children she works with in the orphanages. So, when things started to go a different direction, Anya told us about Lakshmi. Anya told us that each evening Lakshmi and herself would talk on the phone, usually about the Bible. At the end of each call Anya would ask Lakshmi what she wanted to pray for, her answer was always the same, she wanted a family!

Lakshmi had been hosted 3 times by families in the US. The last time was about 5 years ago. She has had a few opportunities to be adopted, but always declined because she thought her mother would come back for her one day. At some point she said she realized that her mother was never coming back for her. She then had regret set in, since she had turned down families in the past. She continued to pray, but confessed to Anya that she was losing hope. Her 16th birthday was fast approaching, and she knew that after she turned 16 she would no longer be adoptable.

Then stepped in the Holy Spirit and directed us to her! I spent time looking at her pictures before we met her in search of some attachment to her. I felt it a little but not in a major way. That is, until the first time i seen her in person. Immediately i felt like she was mine.

So, that past few days we have been traveling all over Donetsk filing the necessary paperwork to adopt her. We are hoping to hear today when we will have the court date. After the court date Diana will be heading home while i stay behind and finish up the paperwork.

Sorry about the "just the facts" kind of post. I'm a bit tired from the past few days.

As promised, there is in fact more to our adoption story! I will blog more about it later and give you the entire story later. For now we'd like to inform you that we will also be bringing home two other girls. They are sisters ages 10 and 14. It really is an amazing journey that brought this all full circle. But there is a bit of sad news. They won't be coming home until after September. Friends of ours advocated for these girls and about 18 months worked to get them registered for adoption. Because of the laws here, the girls are not available for International adoption until sometime in September. We are waiting to hear the exact date.

Going to take a nap now!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

God's plan...Decision made!

We have been down but never out in this adventure. Peace always comes from faith in the Father and His plan. It is absolutely easier to say that, than to live it. But we have tried to stay very close to Him through all of this and trust in His Love and direction. We have tried as much as possible to resist our own flawed passions and stay in tune to those little pushes and pulls of direction from the Father. I believe we have a final decision!

We could have thrown in the towel and gone back home. Trust me, it would have been much easier that way! We were tired of being away from home and we miss our kids dearly. But we also felt strongly that God was not finished with us here. That He had a plan that He wanted us to see through. We decided to stay a little longer and see through what we felt God had revealed to us. I believe we have a final decision!


We can't share her info and picture because we haven't asked her the final question yet. We leave the city we are in on Saturday and head back to Kiev. Monday morning we have our appointment at the State Department of Adoption office where we will request a referral to go visit what we hope to be our  daughter. We have a tear jerking story to tell you all about her, but that will have to wait also.


But this is only a part of the entire story and final plan. Unfortunately, part two will have to wait also. So in closing, STAY TUNED!

Love, Shane & Diana

Sunday, May 13, 2012

So we danced!

The first part of the Father/Daughter dance was a blur as i was so focused on keeping in step. We practiced the waltz before hand for an entire 10 minutes. After the first 30 second i settled down we we just danced and talked. She was so happy yet so stressed about the day and that the details were perfect. I hope in time she learns to just enjoy life and let the details work themselves out.

We shopped for that dress for nearly half a day, and even then she wasn't sure it was the right one. As you can see, it was the perfect dress!

This is the last picture we took as a group. The rest of our time with them was great! We played, goofed around and laughed. After the ceremony ended we all went back to the orphanage. Diana and I told the kids again how much they are in our hearts and how much we enjoyed being with them.

That evening we took Masha out for a celebration dinner. She thanks us several times for help make her day special.

The next day we boarded a train heading for Donetsk. We have a transition home there that we needed to visit. The train ride was a time of quiet reflextion. We absolutely trust God and that He has a plan in all of this. We had been telling people we were totally fine with the decision the children made, but in our hearts we missed them. We do believe the right decision was made, but human feelings and love are what they are.

These children belong to God! It is only ours to care for them wherever He has them.

I guess someone knew we could use a little uplifting because this is what we seen when we pulled into the station. The girls stay at our transition home. Olya (holding the baby) is our house mother, Zulfia (behind the suitcase) is our first resident and the mother of the baby and Kristina is with Campus Crusades for Christ and helps in our home. This is our first time meeting them all face to face. They are so filled with the loving spirit of Christ!

Then we arrived at the home to find this!

We are continuing to seek God's purpose for us here.

Stay Tuned!

Shane & Diana