For whoever believes


For God so loved the world that he gave us his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

To the right is a picture of Luke, walking a dirt road outside his orphanage in Ukraine, days before we went before a judge to make our plea to redeem our son.

He was a malnourished, filthy, scared, lost little boy. Much like the road each of us travels when we attempt to walk though life alone. Our sin is like filthy rags, we are lost and fear often fills our desolate heart.

When our court date did finally come, I stood in that stifling hot room before the judge and answered his question, “Why do you want to adopt this boy”? My answer was simple. I wanted him as my son and I had nothing more to say.  He questioned why we wanted a boy with so many health and behavior issues. He questioned our every motive, our sincerity and ability to love this boy.

The judge proceeded to ask my husband, Mark, why he wanted this child.  Mark explained that we had hosted him the year before and had decided to pursue adoption. A thought shot across my mind so fast…”Why did we want to adopt him?”  Of course, there are the typical “Christianise- right” answers…how could we not want to save an orphan, why wouldn’t we want more children, it’s pleasing to God to care for the orphans…but the thoughts ran deeper this time.  My ears heard Mark as he was telling the judge of his love for this boy, but my brain was racing with the question, “What was there about “Artem” (his pre-Luke, name) that made us love him?  Was it his floppy left ear, or his eyes that dart back and forth because of a condition called nystagmus, was it his adorable smile, his need to be loved in an attempt to heal his deep trauma and wounds, his feisty energy, his many health issues that needed attention, including fetal alcohol?  It was none of these things.  Mark attempted to explain his love but there really was no fully explaining it.  It was a mystery, this love.  I couldn’t come up with one thing in specific that Artem had done to cause us to love him.  It wasn’t that he hadn’t stolen our hearts, but the question was, how…it wasn’t about his actions, or his ability, or his appearance, or his need for us, or even his need for a family.  It really came down to this: God had called Mark out – “Go rescue this boy, he is your own!”    Artem could never, ever, earn his place, or our love because it wasn’t based on him, it was based on a supernatural love – placed there by God.

When I was still walking down my lonely and sin-filled dirt road, God loved me. It certainly wasn’t about my works, my appearance, what I could accomplish, or not, it was simply this mysterious, pure love from my Creator that caused him to save me.  Jesus stands as  my court room advocate as the Holy Judge requires that restitution be made for my sin. He will speak of His love for me. He will show his scars – that were for my sake.

Luke no longer walks that lonely path and neither do I. We have been redeemed! As we come to the two year anniversary of our son, Luke Aiden’s court date – the day we stood on his behalf…I am reminded that  I am an orphan no more!

Mark with Luke in the Ukraine court room waiting for the judge to appear








May friendship, encouragement and grace abound!