Friday, August 30, 2013

His Beautiful Provision

    As I have been soaking in the amazing provision God has poured out through His people for the Higbie family adopting Nadiya, Oksana and Vasyla, I have been asking for a refreshment of my thankful eyes.  Lord, let me keep excited about your provision and the many ways you care for us!!  He loves us through one another.

One of the many ways God has blessed us is through our therapy team.

I love looking back and seeing how God has so carefully weaved our lives together with the perfect people for us!  Back in they day, about 10 years ago I became friends with Amanda Clark.  She and her husband have three blessings from Donetsk, Ukraine.  A few years later Amanda returned to Ukraine on mission and brought some therapists with her and I joined along too.  It was the summer of 2006 and it was the trip when I would first meet Maxim, Cephas and Lucia.
Kym (on the left) and Amanda (right)

It was from that time that Grace Haven has grown and our passion for the weakest ones ignited by Jesus!  At the same time a really incredible thing was happening with the therapists who went on that trip too.  One of the owners of our therapy clinic, Kym Hannah, met her own sweet daughter and began praying about how Children's Therapy TEAM could continue to return to Ukraine to help orphans with special needs.  What has developed over the last several years is that many of the therapists have caught the passion too and travel over twice a year with TEAM Ukraine!!

So how very perfect is it that the people who come in my house each day not only love God, but love orphans and have actually been where my children lived and some even met them there!!  AMAZING GOD!!  And of all the places in the country I could live....He has us here just down the road from all of these precious people.

Yesterday, our occupational therapist, Abby Snyder, came to evaluate Maxim and she brought her own little doll, Eva - adopted from Donetsk, Ukraine just last December. Our kids were NUTS to see her and hopefully we didn't overwhelm her too much.

Cephas needed to hug her and pet her, Rainan brought her an assortment of dolls, Grace made sure she had books and blocks and Lucia waited the entire time until the end when she could have special cuddle time with Eva.

Gosh it's true life is complicated and "get up and go" isn't how it happens so much these days, but this is the stuff that makes it quite perfect for us.  Life is beautiful.  Just LIFE.

So let me introduce you to some of the gifts that show up on my doorstep a few times a week. 
Danielle is one of our physical therapists and is a new special friend to Lucia.  I love how calm she is.  Such a perfect match for our children.
 Working on extension
 Tonya, GOD BLESS HER, still gets down on the floor and works hard at nearly 7.5 months pregnant.  She reminds me a lot of myself funny and serious at the same time.  She is loaded with information. Cephas loves therapy time!

Working on keeping balance while sitting on the bench without arm support and learning puzzles at the same time! I love multi-tasking!
 This is our lovely speech therapist, Amy Smith.  She is working with Grace to help her learn to read. 

    They aren't only therapists, they are friends.  They show up and see my messy kitchen and funny hair and think nothing of it (or hide their snickers really well!).  They put their heart into everything they do and it shows.  Their presence ministers to me and I love that I get to be free with my faith and passion for orphans with our therapy team.  

To read the beginnings of TeamWorks Ukraine go here:

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  1 Timothy 6:17

Monday, August 26, 2013

Priceless Heart - An Urgent Plea for Three


   Thank you so much for spreading the word and sharing the need for the Higbie family. I think collectively we are ALL truly moved by watching what love does. The final count for the gifts that have come in to Grace Haven is $8,510. Between that and some gifts that came in for them at Project Hopeful and Orphan Justice Center today, a total of $22,290 has been raised in two days. The amazing thing is this extra money should cover plane tickets to come back home!! I was able to speak with Bob and Diane today and they are humbled and want each of you to know they will be sharing their adoption journey and invite you to follow them in Ukraine on their blog. They want everyone to share in this testimony of what God is doing!!

The winner of the diamond necklace is Sheila Wray of Texas and the winner of the $200 Walmart gift card is Sybille Vought of Michigan!! 

    My tender friends who have cried out to heaven for orphans for several years  are now about to embark on an incredible journey to bring three hearts home.  Nadiya 17, Oksana 16 and her brother Vasyl 14, all at the deadline for being able to get adopted, are eagerly waiting to come home!

Yes, you heard me.  They have already spent time in Bob and Diane Higbie's home through hosting and have told the Higbie's that they wish to live with them and call them family!  And this is what makes this more dire than ever.  These children's hopes and future are on the line.  

Bob and Diane are in need of raising $6500 by THIS SATURDAY in order to have the funds wired in time.  THIS IS URGENT FRIENDS!!!

Lillian in arms, Bob (Papa), Vasyl in blue, Oksana in yellow and April light blue

 And precious Nadiya with Diane (Mama)

They didn't just meet hope when they came to stay with Bob and Diane... they met love.  They met up with a real touch from Jesus and they long to be back here soon to run on the farm, play nerf gun tag, snuggle with their siblings and BE family that will support them as God leads them into incredible journeys with Him!  

A GENEROUS, LOVELY and perfectly APPROPRIATE offering has been given by an anonymous donor to HELP MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!

This diamond covered heart necklace with gold clasp has a retail value of $500

From now until the end of day Friday, August 30th we will be accepting raffle entries to win this beautiful necklace to help bring THREE PRICELESS JEWELS HOME!!

For every $25 donated, you will receive 10 ticket entries!  

The Higbies are in need of a total $15,000 to complete the entire adoption but $6,500 is needed immediately so please repost, share, pray and bless Nadiya, Oksana and Vasyl!  

When you donate through paypal, please note "Higbie" in the comment section

To read more about the Higbie family and to see more photos of the children when they came for hosting, go to:

 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.    1 John 3:16-18

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Lucia's Radiance

    It's taken me a while to be able to update on Lucia.  The week we spent in St. Louis held much more than I ever expected and the Lord is doing much through this precious girl.  She is a bright shining light to any who will slow down long enough to look beyond what they see and willing to listen to the words she speaks.

   We had two women interpreters with us and through their help both Cephas and Lucia were able to pour out the deep places of their hearts revealing years of memories that were being held inside waiting for someone who cared to listen.  Lucia said she kept them inside because no one ever asked her how she was feeling nor wanted to know about her feelings.

    Surrounded by specialists and doctors, time and again she expressed her story with tears.  I was watching her cleanse as she shared wisdom beyond her years.  She longs to keep her native language to go back and speak to those left behind to not give up hope and to tell all of what God has done for her.

    Many brought questions to her.

Lucia, who taught you about God?

Nobody.  My heart told me of him and I believed.  I prayed and believed that one day I would get out of there.

What did you think about all of that time that you waited?

I thought about escaping.  I thought about the day when someone would come for me.  The caregivers told me no one would want me and that I would always be here but I didn't believe them.  (She always begins to cry at this point.  I can feel the emotional struggle she endured of hearing the words against her and her fight to hold to hope.)

She went on to ask me many questions too.

How did you find me?

God brought me to your institution the first time.  The second time I asked to find you.  I remembered you from the first time I ever saw you and I prayed for you everyday.  I walked through a few rooms before I spotted you again.  Your dad and I committed to God that if you were our child then we would trust Him and come for you.

Why did you want me?  

When I first saw you and from my first prayer on, I always heard the word "radiance" which is what your name Lucia means.  You were highlighted on our hearts and just like you said God told your heart about Himself, so He told our own of your beauty.  Our hearts began to love you deeply.

As we met with the specialists little pieces of her personality and thoughts were emerging.  When the pulmonologist switched places with me so she could get a better look at her, Lucia warned her she was ugly to look at.  This broke my heart to hear.  She didn't say it in a self pity way but in more of an apologetic and embarrassed way.    She is well versed in the words the enemy has used against her.

Her scoliosis is at 100 degrees.  Her organs are being moved around and the ultrasound on her heart was unable to locate all areas because of the displacement.  We have to be careful with her positioning because breathing is very labored in many positions and there are just few ways to have her right now.

She expressed thanks over and over to every doctor who spoke with her.  Her humility and thankfulness left most in tears.  She professed her dedication to working hard, doing whatever they tell her and to enduring the painful times.  She said she understands that it will be a long road ahead of her and that the surgeries will be painful but that she knows it is what is necessary and she will do her best to get better.

She told of her dreams to do things on her own.  She longs to feed herself, sit up, use the bathroom on her own and be able to help others.

I told her in front of the team of specialists, "Lucia, I think you bring healing to others as much as they are bringing for you."  She asked me how.  One of her doctors said, "Through your words."  She said, "Well I do have a good thought process."  Ha ha   I love that she does understand concepts like patience, endurance, and good humor.

While is she older and wiser in many ways she also has feelings of wanting to fill in some past losses.  She asked through the interpreter if it would be too much for us to take her to the store for her to pick out her own baby doll.  I had already bought her an older looking doll but she wanted her own baby.  We were thrilled to do that for her.

And I was sure that as I pushed her through the aisles to check out that no one around who was seeing her could ever know the magnificence of the moment they were honored with viewing.  Everyone around busy in their daily schedule while a lifelong awaited dream - a miracle of life was unfolding before us. 

This is how I see our days with our children.  A new little miracle everyday.

 In light of hearing all that was on her heart (and much I am unable to share until she is ready) I went back to watch her first video with her dad.  This was the second or third day we had come to visit her.  I can only imagine all that was going through her mind.

 Lucia's First Dance

Before we move ahead with surgeries, we had to run many tests.  She is too weak for surgery now and we have started some new medications to help her gain weight and to ease the pain.  Her hip is all the way out and rubbing bone on bone making positioning that much more challenging.  Her tooth is infected again and isn't scheduled to be removed by the oral surgeon until September 26th. 

Thank you again to all of you who have followed this journey with us and I know there are many more who have given to help her come home than I even know.  We pray blessings over all of you who took part in lifting her out of ashes and bringing her into this beautiful place. 

Lucia is very aware of the children left behind and prays for them.  Right now in particular she knows of some who stayed with her at Torez who have parents who are trying to come for them.  She also knows of some older children, her age who have a family traveling soon and in much need of financial support.

I want to encourage you that your investment into Lucia is priceless - the words she speaks is evidence of this.  She prays to be a voice for the silent ones in wait.  Thank you for assisting her voice to be heard.

Our love,

Kacirek Family

Monday, August 19, 2013

Medical Update for Cephas


     We spent last week at Children's Hospital in St. Louis meeting with specialists, running tests and making plans for the best way to help Cephas and Lucia.  We were absolutely blessed by how helpful everyone was in orchestrating the timing of everything and ushering us around to where we needed to be.  Some apppointments overlapped but we got it all in! 

    I pasted this image in that would explain, but not be too graphic. Most children born with spina bifida have surgery shortly after birth, but Cephas still has his myelomeningocele open on his back.  We will head back to the hospital on September 23rd for a brain scan on the 24th, and his surgery to close up his back is scheduled for the 25th.  It will be a 7 hour surgery.  We were told he will need to stay for a week for recovery.

    Before orthopedics can begin addressing anything with his legs and walking they needed to have this treated first.  X-rays that came back of his legs showed several breaks had occurred over time and his knees badly damaged.  One much more so than the other.  It's also very possible that that the knee damage happened over time as gravity worked on his legs when they dangled from the sides of the bed he was sitting in.  Thankfully he doesn't have feeling in his legs. 

   The doctor said this being a complicated case she would bring in a team to discuss but she hasn't ruled out the possibility of surgeries to turn his legs around and flatten his feet so he could be braced.  We are discussing amputating too- just keeping options open and praying for now.  He wants more than anything to be up and moving. 

    Another big praise is that the large prolapse from his rectum has been treated satisfactorily so that no further surgery is needed.  HUGE blessing!  Also, another common problem for people with spina bifida is bladder/kidney function and hydrocephaly.  Cephas tested beautifully on his ultrasounds.  The neurosurgeon is fairly confident the brain scan will show good too (as not having hydrocephaly).