“Imagine you’re visiting a place where there’s little to no English spoken and you wake up one day to find that the group you went with has all gone home and you are left there alone. You are stranded in a culture where you can’t trust many, you don’t fully understand the language, and you can’t read the signs…Then add to that a constant fear you’re being watched, followed, and that at any moment you might be arrested.”
This is the story of Kim de Blecourt. Because of secondary infertility, Kim and her husband, Jahn, decided to adopt in September 2007. Kim had visited Ukraine on mission trips and felt pulled to adopt from there. She’d never forgotten the orphaned children in the streets of Odessa asking her for money.
Kim and Jahn began the arduous adoption process of paperwork and interviews. In May 2008, just as the de Blecourts were approved, the Ukrainian government stopped international adoption, encouraging women to keep their children and giving financial incentives to Ukrainian couples willing to adopt.
A year later, Ukraine reopened adoption. And so began their journey. Kim, Jahn, their daughter, Jacey, and Jahn’s dad, Jacob landed in Kiev in May 2009 to choose a child. A son.
The next 11 months would be filled with ups, downs, joys, suffering, blessings, hardships, injustices, and more. Kim and Jahn chose a little boy named Sasha, whom they now call Jake. But, after eight weeks of struggle and government red tape, they still had no court date for the adoption. Jahn and their daughter, Jacey, had to go home. With bills piling up, Jahn needed to return to work and Jacey to school.
Kim remained that July. She wouldn’t return to American soil until April of 2010. Nine months alone, navigating a corrupt system, hiding from authorities, and keeping her faith in a God she knew was bigger than the Ukrainian government.
The odds weren’t in her favor. Kim versus the Ukrainian government? Seemingly impossible. But, Kim remained obedient to God, staying in the Ukraine and seeing Jake’s adoption through in the face of insurmountable odds and great fear.
At one point Kim cried out to God, Lord, why do I tend to blame others and myself for what is clearly Satan? Help me to trust in you more, rely on you fully, and truly believe that through you all things are possible. Where I am weak, may your strength show through. When I am crumbling, may you embolden me. When I simply want to go home, help me to stay where you would have me.
This prayer resonated with me. That’s a prayer we can all pray…Lord, help me not to blame others when these issues are clearly of Satan and our fallen world. Help me trust you, rely on you, and believe that through you all things are possible. Where I am weak, you’re strong. If I am crumbling under the weight of this life, embolden me. Help to stay where you would have me – or help me to go where you need me.
I can’t begin to detail the horrific events of Kim’s time in the Ukraine as she fought for her son against an unjust system. I can’t begin to share her faith to God’s call on her life, the miraculous ways in which God showed up, or their treacherous journey home.
You can read Kim’s detailed chronicle of Jake’s adoption in her new book Until We All Come Home. It’s truly a remarkable story of love…a parents’ love and God’s love. The book demonstrates Kim’s faith – anchored in God and his character.
I chose to share Kim’s story and encourage you to purchase her book during 12 Days of Giving because the book will build your faith, increase your awareness of the plight of orphans, and help feed an orphan as Kim is donating all profits to Food for Orphans.
As Christ followers, we are called to love and take care of orphans: Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27
According to Food for Orphans, there are
- 160 million orphans worldwide
- 44,000 new orphans everyday
- Every 90 seconds another orphan starves to death
- Sixty million orphans go to bed hungry every night
- Every two seconds another child becomes an orphan
- It only cost 25 cents to feed an orphan
Friends, God calls us to love each of these 160 million orphans. He call us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31). That’s everyone. Love and care for everyone.
How might your Christmas look different in response to His call?
As you stop and reflect on how you can give differently this season please consider donating time or money to a local homeless shelter, adopting, or supporting orphans.
Let’s show His love this season.
You can win a copy of Until We All Come Home by commenting on this post. Please share with us a way you’re striving to give differently this Christmas. You can also enter by subscribing to the blog.
From Kim on ending the orphan crisis and how you can help: Placing orphans in a loving, nurturing family is the best solution. But when that is not an option, we need to create a simulated family situation around the orphan – create a surrogate family unit that functions as family for the lifetime of the orphan, not simply while they’re a minor. If the government and non-profit sectors can link arms with the profit sector we can fight for the future of the world’s children. We can end orphanism in every nation.
We have all felt a tug at our heart for an orphan at one time or another. Whether it be a child sponsorship program on television or a news article about hundreds of children found living in squalor, we’ve all said to ourselves, “Something needs to be done.” The next time you feel that tug, I’m simply asking you to take the next step. Visit the website. Call the number. Seek out more information. Take one step. That’s the big one, and it’s the one that leads to the second, and the third. You can help end orphanism.