Sunday, April 17, 2011

Overcoming trials

Today was a really good day. This morning started out a little hard, because Justus woke up at 5:30, and Malika was having a hard morning. I prayed and asked God for something to help me get through the day. I was lead to read Ephesians 6 again. For some reason I have been stuck there, so when I heard Ephesians again, my first thought was that I must not have learned what I needed to learn from it. It talks about putting on the full armor of God and that we fight not with flesh and blood, but powers and authorities of darkness. It really did help me to read over it again, because yesterday was a really hard day and I wasn't sure how I was going to get through today.

Yesterday, I went to the orphanage on my own in the morning. After about an hour, Kaylee fell asleep, one of the nannies (she is the only one who has never smiled at me and she always glares at me in the hall. I think she either hates me or Kaylee), anyway, she saw Kaylee asleep and stared at me for a bit, then talked to two other nannies. Then she came over and started yelling at me, for about 5 minutes. And she was so rough with Kaylee. I didn't understand the words she was saying, but I got the message. After she yelled about letting her sleep, she got angry and said something about not taking her outside (I was standing next to the door, just looking out), I had no intention of taking her out. Anyway, when I managed to wake Kaylee up, she just cried. I took her back to her class and one of the other nannies yelled at me again. Seriously, I think they think that since I don't understand them that I am stupid. When I left, I cried. I really tried not to, but it was just so hard. I called and talked to Marina about skipping the evening time, she said that was fine, so we took the kids to the park and to get ice cream instead. It was nice to just spend the evening with Malika and Justus, but I felt bad about leaving Kaylee with the mean nanny.

So that scripture really helped me this morning. I didn't want to go to the orphanage again, but I know that I am fighting something bigger than mean people, I am fighting the powers of darkness and there is nothing to fear in people, afterall, if God is for me who can be against me.

Today was sunny and warm (for Ukraine), we played outside all morning and most of the afternoon time. Kaylee did so well outside and all the kids had so much fun.

I can tell Kaylee knows who we are now and likes us, in the beginning she did not like going outside and she screamed often. Now she is so happy to be anywhere with us, and rarely screams anymore. The screaming was unnerving because I didn't understand it and I wasn't sure if it was a DS thing or an orphanage thing. She would do it at the same time as throwing herself backwards. She still does that some, but less. I kind of think she just likes the way it feels.

I have completely fallen in love with this little girl, I just think she is so beautiful, I love her almond eyes and the way they close when she smiles and laughs. I love her little chubby cheeks and her short and stubby fingers.

In all honesty, the love was not immediate and it worried me. I thought I would love her the moment I saw her, but she was nothing like I imagined, that little girl never existed. I had stared at her picture for so long that I fabricated a little girl in my mind, but that was the only place she existed. The real little girl didn't love me, she smelled bad, and had strange behaviors. I really had a hard time with whether we were doing the right thing, because it didn't feel right. I didn't think I would ever love her. I wanted to write the truth about it on my blog, because I thought others going into this needed to know the truth, but I was afraid to, thinking people would always wonder if I loved her or wonder if I thought of her as my own child. But now that I can say I truly love her, I can also say the truth. This is hard, it isn't sunshine and roses and it doesn't always look pretty, and definitely doesn't smell pretty, but that is ok. We may have hard times to come and hurdles to get over, but she is my child, just as if I gave birth to her, she will be no less in my eyes. And well worth it.


  1. Crystal-You all I can say is beautiful. You have a beautiful spirit, and a beautiful story, and beautiful children. That picture of Kaylee is absolutely amazing and her smile is priceless. Just scrolling through the pictures you have posted, you can see her transformation already. She is becoming a different person thanks to the sacrifices you and your family are making and thanks to the grace of God. He is so good.

    On a completely different note, (I am so sorry for asking this with all that you have been through) when things calm down a bit, could you ask one of the facilitators about Quinton? I know you might not be able to see him, but a part of me just needs to know he is still there. I know there are 180+ kids there, and he is probably there somewhere, but I thought the special needs kids were usually together. Also-can you tell anything about the sizes of the kids? I am dying to buy my little guy an outfit or 2, but have no idea what size to buy. Again-I apologize for asking personal favors in the midst of your time to be with Kaylee, I really do and if you cannot do it, I completely understand. I hope your days continue to be more like today was :)

  2. Maybe the one nanny is jealous of you and your family, and this is why she is being so mean. Have you ever heard the term kill them with kindness. When you notice her glaring at you, give her a big smile! She probably doesn't even know what it is to be loved herself! Be the change you want to see!

    I am glad you had a good day! Josh gave me your phone number so maybe I can give you a call sometime soon!

    Josh came over for dinner last night, he said you needed 12-18 month there anything else you need just let me know. I think we gave him about 10 movies to borrow as well.

  3. I am really glad to hear that today went better. We prayed for you at church this morning. It was good to see Josh, but it also made me notice your absence more. I can't wait until you are all back here. I know God has the right timing and even though you are being tested right now, He is strong enough to make you strong too.

    This may sound strange to say, but I am glad that you have already faced the challenge of knowing that the child you imagined is not the same as the real child...and that you have let go of the imaginary one in order to truly love the real one. While I know this waiting period is rather difficult for you, it is a great thing for you to have this victory now. I suspect it might be harder on both you and Kaylee if you had to face all those mixed feelings and doubts while she was fully dependent on you and going through culture shock. One step at a time, God is leading you though this... and we know that His ways are best, even if we don't know why at the time.

    I told Josh this already, but if there is something you need or something we can do that would help, please let us know. We talked about sending movies back with Josh, although I doubt I have much that your kids would like...most of my movies are too old. Is there anything else that you need (for you or the kids) or anything that would be an encouragement and still fit in the limited space he has?

  4. Hi Crystal! Our love and prayers go with you and Josh. We're praying every day for your safety and encouragement in the Lord, knowing that through all these trials He will draw you closer to Himself. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date.

  5. Praise the Lord for His Word and the Spirit who speaks to us!!! I am encouraged by the encouragement you have received. I loved what you said at the end!! It was so great to see Josh at church-it was like I got to see a part of you because I miss you! I am going to try and drop off some little things for the kids tomorrow for him to take with him-I still need to email him to see if that is ok-I'll probably just leave them on the porch. Any special requests?

  6. Hi Honey. My new great grand daugther is adorable. What an experience you all are having. Just remember, God is in control. What a growing time you are having. I love you all, Grandma Frammy

  7. Hi Crystal! For encouragement, continue to fight in the spirit. We really don't fight with people made of flesh and blood but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world. Continue to ask God how to specifically pray and what to do.

    I had a 30 year old Ukrainian woman in our car today so I took the opportunity to ask questions. First, she said that people don't sit on the ground because they are materialistic and do not want to get their clothes dirty. She said it isn't rule but that no one does it hence the hard looks. She also said that people are hard and tough there because the government, and not just the government, but the people are corrupt as well. I forget why(I have a chance to ask again)but the corruption makes it hard for people to get good education or orphans to get good care. People and government pay people off to get grades and degrees in school. So then who really has the experience or know how. Money is also taken away from people who it is allocated an orphanage. Who can you trust then and this is probably where the hardness of personalities come from. But still we fight against the unseen spirits at work here. Keep praying and keep overcoming evil with good by loving. We are praying here.

    If you have questions for the Ukrainian woman please email me ( put it in this blog before 12:00 Sunday. That's 1:00
    your time. She said she would like to not say anything bad about her country but she, like many others she says, does not like her country. She wanted to tell the truth anyway.

    Kaylee is very blessed and so are you. Give her time to get use to you and your loving family; she has had a different life in the orphanage. And give yourself time with her as well. God will see it through.