Yana is 16 years old. Raised in Crimea, as a young girl she experienced the tragic loss of both her parents. After her grandmother’s death, and with no place to go, Yana was placed in a state orphanage. With nobody to love her, would Yana simply become another statistic in the vast catalogue of human suffering? No! God had other plans for Yana—plans to give her a future with hope and adoption into a new family.
For some years, God had been impressing my wife and me to adopt a child from Ukraine in addition to our three biological children. After adopting a teenage boy, we believed God’s call had been fulfilled, but God had other ideas.
And so it was that last November my wife and I found ourselves in Kiev, Ukraine, prayerfully preparing to adopt another child. God had miraculously provided the funds needed to cover the costs of adoption. Outside our hotel windows, the world watched as massive street protests against the government turned increasingly violent, and we watched anxiously as government offices closed each day in response to the street violence. What’s more, the judge overseeing our adoption seemed dead set against it and placed massive bureaucratic hurdles in our way. Did our adoption have any chance of going through?
When we finally met Yana at her orphanage, masked Russian gunmen were in the streets, forcibly taking over Crimea. But by God’s grace the administrative processes for adoption somehow remained functional. Russia does not allow Americans to adopt Russian children, so Yana (now known as Melissa) was quite literally the last child adopted out of Crimea. Our joy is immense. Hallelujah!
If earthly adoption is a blessing, how much more is God’s adoption? The joy of finding a Father who loves us and who will provide for our deepest needs is transforming. God has removed our spirit of fear and slavery and has given us a spirit of adoption that we may call Him “Abba” or “Daddy” (Rom. 8:15-16). As heirs with Christ (Gal. 4:5), we look forward to sharing in His glory (Rom. 8:17).
Today, the world’s media continues to focus on various trouble spots around the world. In the shadow of these earthly crises, AFM missionaries worldwide are focused on a ministry of reconciliation in which spiritual orphans from many nations, tribes, languages and peoples are experiencing adoption into God’s family.
We may not all be able to adopt a child from Crimea, but we can share with AFM missionaries in the adoption of spiritual orphans worldwide into God’s family. Jesus invites each of us to become active partners with Him: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40).
Does adoption transform lives? Absolutely—just ask Melissa! And adoption into the family of God transforms lives for eternity! Thank you for being part of the AFM family as together we connect spiritual orphans with our Heavenly Father.