Our Adoption Announcement

This journey we have been walking on, in search of justice and restoration of the orphan has taken us along new pathways of discovery into the deeper love our heavenly Father has for his children, his creation. Randy and I are ministered to as we see the relentless and pursuing love Christ has for his children. We have been moved by his mercy and the grace that comes from living within his design for our life. It is not without trials and daily recommitment of our hearts and minds to his plan. (Romans 5:1-3, 2 Cur. 12:9) We are amazed the weaving of this plan and those innermost desires he plants within our hearts. (Psalm 37:4)

So many of you followed our journey to Grace in Ukraine in 2004 and have seen the transformation in her life. I remember so vividly our pediatrician (whom we love!) admitting to me a few years after Grace had been with us that she had been afraid for us after meeting Grace for the first time. FAS and the institution had weighed heavily on Grace and it was apparent to our doctor. I’ll never forget her looking at me and saying, I don’t know what to do to help her but I will sign anything you want for you to take her for the best help. We have been grateful at her honesty and humility. Well, the best help is the only true Healer- Jesus Christ! Unprepared and ill-equipped ourselves to “reach” her, God used this time to bring us to our knees. Like Hannah dedicated Samuel, we had to release the burden we felt inside to heal Grace ourselves. We have never known relinquishment as we have with her. She is his and he knows every facet of her. (Psalm 139:15-16)





We continue to work on many areas of difficulty such as judgment/reasoning/listening/visual perception/memory/auditory processing. With that said, she is gentle natured (most of the time- smiley face!), vulnerable, relationship oriented, loving, and is drawn to worship by the Holy Spirit. It is our prayer that she is so connected to her heavenly Father that it doesn’t matter what her brain understands, she will know Truth by her spirit! (Mark 5:34) This is true for all of us. It doesn’t matter what we can do, but it matters that we are poured out of ourselves that we might be filled up with the One who can do all. Grace is my constant reminder that with God all things are possible. God chooses the weak things, the lowly things, those despised by the world and he transforms! (1 Cor. 1:28-31)




And so now the journey continues to Dolly, our beautiful leader on the other side of the world. We already sense in our spirit that this girl will not be held back. Spina bifida does not seem to faze her. She is a warrior! We are moved once again as we have seen God provide just the amount we have needed at just the right time. When a payment was due, we would look in the account and see that within dollars, we had the funds to pay.

The update on our adoption process for Dolly is that we have about $3,200 left plus travel costs ($2,000 per person airfare + lodging)! We are almost there! So many of you ask when she will be joining our family. Because her country processes a very small number of adoptions per year and they have had some challenges with changing over to the new Hague laws, they are working through some things administratively. We are told to expect 9 months from the time of submittal of our dossier. That time should start mid-summer with most likely a spring/summer 2011 travel. We are thankful that she is in a Christian orphanage and receiving love and eating well! Oh how I long to show you updated photos of her! We have signed an agreement not to release any information about her real name, where she lives or photos. If you visit with us in person we would love to show you the hard copy photos we have so just ask! :o)

And so now, onto the reason for this letter:

In 2006, I was able to travel to Ukraine to work with caregivers of two orphanages and one mental institution regarding feeding issues with the children as it relates to failure to thrive (from lack of attention). This had been our initial greatest challenge upon bringing Grace home. Her body so shutdown, we needed to get nourishment in her! This opportunity allowed me to spend time in the bedridden rooms at Torez mental institution feeding the children. Children with special needs (such as FAS, cerebral palsey, spina bifida, Down Syndrome, epilepsy- just to name a few) are sent here to live. Several of them die within the first year. In the baby houses (up to age 4) the children receive a better care and while it may still be considered substandard to the US it is eons above what happens (or doesn’t happen) in the mental institution.

I met teenagers the size of 4 year olds- still in cribs, their legs curving from the Rickets that had set in. I was able to brush away the flies from a ten year old girls eyes as she lay dying, the size of an infant. I was blessed to kiss and hug children who were mesmerized with me as if an angel had walked into the room. I felt honored to be standing in the presence of great purity. God’s most precious; the oppressed orphan. The Lord is very serious and clear about the treating of the fatherless and I stood amongst complete violation as I watched roses being tended to outside the window only to glance over at a child lying in waste. (Psalm 68:5) God spoke to my heart that day, that this was not the end of our calling. There would be more. At the time, I thought it meant an ongoing relationship with this place.




I met one boy that I knew had changed my life forever. His name is Maxim and you can see me with him here. He was four in this photo and had only been here for a month. Maxim has cerebral palsey. He was vibrant and filled with joy and in a way God can only do, I felt like he was mine. We inquired about adopting him but the director said no adoptions were occurring

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Proverbs 15:30

from the institution and none of these children were registered. My heart sank at the thought of his whole life being spent here.
As I went from room to room and saw the children sitting and rocking in corners or running to me in hallways just to touch my hair or hug me, I was overwhelmed with that fact that in the midst of such despair, many of these children still had hope. I was brought back to my little world and how such small irritants in my life can cause me to become frustrated: A car breakdown, another broken appliance, a build up of to-do’s. I felt so trivial and shallow in that moment. Could it be that these kids, in their warped environment, actually know what is most important? I had to wonder. After our visit was completed, it was time to say good bye and you can tell from the look on my face, I wasn’t ready to let go.



I vowed to Maxim and to God at the time of this photo that I would come back for him if he ever showed me it was possible. I took video and photos of our time together and have kept them nearby. For the last four years I have prayed faithfully for Maxim and the other children in Torez.



About a month ago, I felt drawn into a deep place of prayer and began having many pregnancy dreams. I heard in my spirit that I needed to withdraw from usual business and seek some deeper time with the Father. I found myself crying a lot for the things breaking God’s heart. I believed at the time God was calling me to deeper intercession for others and that he was preparing us for something to do with Grace Haven. I couldn’t put words to what I was feeling internally. Randy knew that something was stirring in me. On April 12th, Grace Haven had a Light for the Way Adoption Night and still I wasn’t myself. Instead of wanting to stand up and talk about the orphan the way I love to, I felt my mouth being buttoned shut, as the move of God felt closer than ever. This same persistence of getting away with the Father was heavy on me. (Matthew 14:23)

Two days later I received a posting on Reece’s Rainbow in my emails about a little girl with special needs in Bulgaria whose adoptive parents had backed out and they needed to find a family soon. I knew that she was not mine, that God had not called us to her, and yet I found myself clicking on the link posted on my cell phone. As the link pulled up, my finger touched the screen and sent the page scrolling. When it stopped, my heart came up into my throat as my eyes landed on this photo. This is Maxim today! He will be 9 on May 21st. He bears striking resemblance to my father as a child. Our prayers for him have been answered- he is registered! He is still smiling and his eyes are shining with life.



Immediately Randy and I began praying and fasting. God, how can we possibly go after him when we are in the midst of adopting Dolly? It seems so much! With both joy and being overwhelmed we needed to hear God above all else. I see now why He had been drawing me into such a place of prayer for a while. I would need to hear His voice above all others. Is he ours, Lord or are we to advocate for him? We kept hearing; he is yours. We prayed for confirmations.
We shared with a few friends and asked them to intercede. We received the word “abundance.” In obedience, I searched the Bible for every time the word abundance was written. I was taken to Psalm 66:12-13 You let men ride over our heads (speaking of oppression);we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. But it is the next two verses that gripped me. Vs 13 and 14 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you- vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble. Vs 16-20 go on Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Praise God that He has protected Maxim and opened doors! Shortly afterwards I was brought to Psalm 72:12-14. For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.

One evening in the midst of this time of prayer, we went for a bike ride with the kids. Randy pulled Grace and Rainan in a ride behind. We joked that we would need another one for my bike if indeed this was what God was asking! Shortly upon our arrival back to the house, a friend of ours called saying they were getting ready for a garage sale and wondered if we had need of one! I quickly said YES!

As we pressed in we decided to test the waters all the while asking God to shut doors if it was not meant to be. We began checking with all of the necessary people to make sure that pursuing Maxim would not jeopardize our adoption of Dolly. Each door seemed to open. Not only open, but provide favor. We believe that God allowed me to travel to Torez and that he would pour grace on me to see firsthand and that I would not be afraid or overwhelmed by this calling. We see these and our adoption of Grace as preparations for more to come. We stand on the testimony of what God has already done. We know he is a good God and his plans are for us to prosper and for each of his children to have a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

This last week Randy and I committed to Maxim.

Maxim’s adoption situation is different than Dolly’s. With Dolly we wait on country issues. With Maxim we will be able to go for him quickly. If funds are raised, we have been told that we could travel as soon as October, possibly September. With finances being our greatest obstacle, we learned that our social worker would do our home study for $400. An incredible kind amount considering the costs of home studies so that is already in the works.

When the enormity of the calling comes on me I rest in this:
I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze, and cut through their iron bars. And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden wealth of secret places, in order that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by name. Isaiah 45:2-3
The hallways of Torez are dim. The only light coming in are from the windows so at night or on overcast days and long winters, the place is dark, cold and feels of death. This verse from Isaiah gives me the images of bars being broken off the windows, the ties that are around children to their beds ripped away for THEY ARE truly the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places.

Last week as we met in prayer with adoptive parents who are seeking the complete healing of their children, who have been abused, the Lord gave me this verse. The Lord their God will save them on that day as the flock of his people. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. How attractive and beautiful they will be! Zechariah 9:16-17
As we prayed with the children about all of this, Holden got tears in his eyes thinking about me going back into the mental institution carrying the photo of Maxim and me. We thought about the joy of bringing it to him saying, “I came back for you!” We talked about the power of that promise and testimony and what that would do for his faith!

Today we are asking you to please pray about your role in the adoptions of Dolly and Maxim. We know there will be many needs beyond just getting them home. We know this is life changing so we would appreciate your support in whatever way God lays on your heart. (A friend of ours, little girl is making Capes of Hope – “Go God” capes and 50% of her proceeds she is giving to our adoption! She is 6!) If you would like to support us right now, there are two ways you can help:

1) Prayer. Please pray for us as we make our journeys to Dolly and Maxim. Please pray for favor in every aspect of their adoptions and that every detail will be handled with utmost care and attention. Please pray as we make adjustments in our home and lifestyle to accommodate the needs of these children while we balance the needs of our children already at home. We pray that every detail of this journey is glorifying to God and that many more orphans will be touched in the process. We are also praying for a 12 passenger van for our family as we will have outgrown our minivan. :o) We trust all of this is already in His plan and are thankful that he has placed you in our lives to support us and storm heaven on our behalf!
2) Financial Support. When it comes to fundraising, every dollar counts! Whether you feel called to give $10, $100, or thousands of dollars, please know that we are grateful for every dime and stand in faith believing that God will bless you abundantly for your generosity in more ways than you can imagine. (Luke6:38, 2 Cor.9:7)

We need to raise $20,000 to bring Maxim home. This includes everything from medical exams, visa, passport, travel and lodging. Our in country estimated stay is 3-4 weeks with the possibility of two trips so travel costs take up a lot of this estimate. (We won’t know exact airfare cost until we go to purchase. Perhaps someone would be able to donate frequent flyer miles?) These costs are in addition to what we have left to fundraise for Dolly.

If you would like to give, here is what you can do:
1) For your convenience, you can donate through PayPal on our website at www.gracehavenhome.com by clicking on the Donate button. As you fill out the PayPal form, you will see a “Comment” space. Please write “preference Kacirek Adoption.”
2) You may also send a check to Grace Haven Ministries, P.O. Box 956, Rogers, AR 72757 Please write "preference Kacirek adoption" in the memo line. Grace Haven will send you a tax-deductible receipt at the end of the year.

We invite you to come along with us by following us on our blog. http://kacirek.blogspot.com I have been silent on there while we have been working through much in prayer, but I plan to begin updating to let everyone know new developments and prayer requests. Thank you if you have made it this far into our letter!

We are overjoyed, humbled, in awe at His workings!

We can’t begin to thank you in return for petitioning heaven or providing funds that will place a life in our home. There is no act, word or repayment that would ever adequately convey our gratitude. We simply get to be blessed by watching a child the world would throw away, blossom. We will be equally blessed as Dolly and Maxim.

If God is touching your heart as you have read about our story today, you can go to www.reecesrainbow.org If you click on the waiting children page you can see the faces of special need children who are facing institutions like Maxim if they are not adopted. We are advocating for Victoria (1) and Natalia (1) on the other angel’s page. If you would like to learn more about how to adopt them we would love to help you! And if God is calling you to foster/adopt, international or domestic adoption, Grace Haven would love to help you learn more!

We pray you are blessed!

With love,
Tina with Randy
gracehavenministries@gmail.com




Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Proverbs 3:27

Comments

Envyshope said…
Tina - I am still amazed that I can be inspired by someone so deeply! Your faith and knowledge of scripture has helped our family so much. We also have special feelings about Torez. Corinna was the first child we ever really fell in love with. She sparked our desire to serve God and answer His calls to us. We knew that we had to be obedient and not turn away. Even though we cannot adopt from Torez right now as our first adoption with very very young ones at home, we will not forget. We donate to them and pray for all of the children there. And I know that one day in the future, God will bring us there to adopt a very special child who needs a family. Chills ran down my spine when I read your description of your time there. Please know that I will pray for your family every night. You are special people who have been placed in my life for a reason - I just know it! You have a burning desire for the orphans of the world and you seem to know exactly how I feel about them also! Many blessings to your family Tina! May God continue to pour His grace and love over you!

In Him - Kelli Stever
Tina, I'm in pieces reading this. If you don't already have a grab button for Maxim, please go here: http://rrbuttons.blogspot.com/p/button-request.html

And, if you'd like to be a featured family on the Reece's Rainbow blog, go here: http://reecesrainbow.blogspot.com/2008/01/meet-family-interview-questions.html

Thank you!
Lu
Tina,

God sent me to your blog this morning. We are on the final leg to bring our Jeremiah home and still short of money, airline tickest are booked and the date it set but money is not all here, and my eyes have been looking with earthly eyes and not eyes of FAITH! Your blog this morning was so a devotion or Bible STudy! :) Thank you for sharing so honestly and for applying the WORD as you did. I NEEDED IT TODAY! Just wanted you to know that God is using you even beyond your adoption to your angels, but to help build me up and prepare me for my angel to come home too. I am praying for your entire family and for your journey and your fundaising! My earthly side of me says I so wish I could do more than just pray at this point...But my faith side KNOWS that PRAYER will make the difference. REMEMBER no matter what things look like GOD IS ABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, he can sell a bit for your babies and a bit for mine! HE has got this! I look forward to following your journey :) Dolly has had a special place in my heart for a long while :) and now Maxim will too :)

Blessings,
Tami
PRAYING JEREMIAH HOME QUICKLY
www.tillGodbringsthemhome.blogspot.com
WOW! I love the way God works! Your story is so inspirational to me and I am so happy for your family in bringing Max home. Dolly was one of the "five faces" that I fell in love with. We are adopting Dania, Josh, Luke and Dennis from RR. I have written about Dolly on our blog. I am so happy to see the wonderful family she will soon be a part of. I love the photo of Max and the hope he has in his eyes. I will for sure be watching and praying for you as you go through your journey.
Nance
MoonDog said…
I can not WAIT until this little guy is home in the arms of a loving family. wow how he will blossom with that attention and LOVE and just being allowed to be a little boy and not a forgotten object. you go get em! as soon as I get home from getting my girls I hope to be able to donate!
Tina said…
Thank you for sharing your family's story, Tina. It's beautiful and your children are beautiful! I can't wait to learn more from you as I follow your journey. :)

Another Tina :)
adopting Sasha (2)
Kat said…
OK I need to let you know how happy I am that Maxim has a family coming for him. I am a sucker for little boys named Maxim with cerebral palsy.When I first happened on Reeces Rainbow there was a little boy named Maxim with CP and I totally agonized about him. Unfortunately he did not have a family commit to him and I have no idea what happened to him.

When I came across a picture of your Maxim saw he was at Torres I was seriously considering sponsoring him so that he could have a private care giver. However, I guess that won't be needed now that he has a family coming for him!
Lauren said…
I am so excited about your committment to Max! YAY! I sponsor a little one at Torez - Kiril. He's about 6 now. "Peek" in on him and tell me what you can even it you are limited to say. I dream of adopting him but my husband's heart is not ready yet. Praise God for you and your family!

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