I heard the words "Thank you" fall from Lisa's mouth almost a trillion times on Sunday, knowing what she was feeling...I just smiled, as to say it's ok.
I stood in those running shoes only a short year ago. It's ok. I was up at 5 am last Valentine's Day too. It's ok. I fundraised like a mad woman last year. It's ok. I pleaded with God in my prayers. It's ok.
I hated every moment of fundraising for my kids, but serving others has become a large part of my walk with Christ and is so much more fun.
An international adoption is a ton of money. It is a paralyzing amount of money. Money the average person doesn't have just sitting around when God calls you to adopt. Money that seems nearly impossible to imagine, even though you are desperate to free a child from an institution. Desperate to give them a life, a mom, a dad, a grandma, a grandpa, aunts, uncles, siblings. You see the amount as so big, and too much.
But our God is bigger than so big and He is much more than too much. God puts people in our lives and plans in our hearts. He gives us a path that we follow, He gives us guidance and determination.
Last year, as we cleaned up our Faith Hope Love 5k, Adam and I decided to continue it every year. Valentine's Day is a day we celebrate love. We decided to sponsor another family adopting each year. To give, like we had been given. To love like our kids had been loved.
The Molnar family is a family whose kiddos went to Adam's School. They have 3 boys, and the oldest was a student in Adam's 5th grade class 3 years ago. We would occasionally see them at church and catch up with them as the years continued to pass.
That is until last spring, Lisa had contacted me to talk about hosting...
God blessed them with a 13 year old girl, Masha. They shared their life with her this past summer but their intention was never to adopt.
It was only after she went home, back to Ukraine, that they knew what they had to do. If you like to know more about the Molnar's Adoption please click here, or if you feel called to give please click here. (All donations are tax deductible.)
Enthusiasm filled the warm air as the runners began to arrive. Seeing many of the same beautiful faces as last year, and even more new ones gave me a sense of joy.
The race horn blew a little after 8:20 and it started. Runners in the front and walkers in the back, all wearing a grey shirt with the words "Faith, Hope, Love." Volunteers at their stations waiting to cross runners at the street, or pass out waters to those who needed it.
Last year, Alex and Yana were only a distant dream. They were in Ukraine scarcely having 2 meals a day. Enduring verbal abuse from caretakers and teachers, hoping their life would one day finally change.
On Sunday, Alex, Yana, Lily and Elliot ran the race. The Klimas family kids, I am one proud mommy.
Yana ran with her sisters, encouraging them to keep going, telling them they could do it. Holding her heavy four year old sister when she said she could not take one more step or just decided to sit down in the middle of the course.
Alex began the race with the runners in the front.
More than one hundred and seventy people ran or walked on Valentine's Day. They came to show support for an amazing family. They came to show support of an amazing walk of FAITH. They came to give HOPE for a thirteen year old girl. And they came to celebrate LOVE for a great family.
Last year, Alex and Yana were orphans but this year they are my son and daughter. Last year, they lived in an orphanage, this year they participated in bringing Masha home. Last year, Alex didn't get to run, but this year he won the race.
Maybe Masha will win next year. :)