Monday, October 1, 2012


Those of you who came to last year's Hope at Home conference (you can still register for this weekend!) may remember hearing Kristina Templeton share in our adopted and sibling panel, or you may have read her story on the blog, here and here. She shared her struggle with God about why she had to experience the hard things,  

 Why God, why did you allow all these horrible things in my life? Why did I have to see and feel all the things I did at such a young age? And why did you chose me to bless in such a tremendous way?
God’s reply was, 
So that when I call you to minister there you can relate to those kids because you have felt what they feel, you have done what they do and you have seen what they see. But above everything else you can give them hope for a new and better life because you have seen all the blessings and good I have done in your life.

I asked Kristina to share some more of her thoughts about being adopted and how that has affected her life and her future. We hope that this will encourage you and give you some insight into some of the realities your children may deal with. God has a plan for each one of our children and it is good!

Russia on My Mind

As I was standing during worship at my church in Orlando this past Sunday, out of nowhere God brought up Russia on my mind. It caught me by surprise that God brought this particular thought into my head. God does that, catches us by surprise. Now for those who don’t know me very well you must know that I think about Russia all the time. Oftentimes I wake up in the morning just simply missing Russia. 

I really do miss Russia every day of my life. This is not to say that I hate living in America. I love America. It is where my family is, my home, my friends. I love going to college in Florida, baking in the sun at the beach in the months when everyone else is already getting out their winter clothes. I wish I could combine the best of both worlds; Russian culture and the American family and climate. One must always make sacrifices. Recently missing Russia and talk of Russia has been incessant due to the fact this is my last year in college and I must decide where my future must head. The constant question of, “do you know what you are going to do after you graduate?” is engrained in my brain. I almost can predict when the people will ask the question before it comes out of their mouths. I get excited and at the same time sad answering the question. "I’m moving to Russia," is my initial response. Then comes the question, “What are you going to do there?” This is where I hesitate….What am I going to do in Russia?! 

It didn’t take me by surprise that God brought up Russia on my mind this past Sunday, but it did surprise me that he brought up orphans and adoption. Even from a young age I knew I would go back to Russia and that God would use me to minister to orphans, but as I got older, my desire still stayed the same-- minister and help orphans. However, college changed my perspective. What am I going to do ministering to orphans when I’m graduating with a double major (Russian Studies and Environmental Science)? Was the time spent in college working so hard going to go to waste? Did I choose the wrong majors? I could make a very good living through in either of those areas. I’m going to need money to live on. I can’t do ministry work in Russia; I need to find a real job.

I Want to Help Orphans Because I Was One Once

Oftentimes, I go into thinking in this way. I imagine myself being a very successful government official or businesswoman. I see myself changing the world in some grandiose way. I desire those things; however, then I see someone in need and my heart just breaks. I know there is nothing wrong with wanting to be successful or making a lot of money, but it all comes down what is most important in this world to me! Money comes and goes, experiences come and go, troubles and happy times come and go, but people live on. Whatever I do in my life, I want to help people better their lives. I want to see them succeed and be happy and satisfied with life. I want to help orphans because I was one once and knowing this I know there is hope and there is life after you have been abandoned and rejected by those people who gave you birth. 

God is Enough

Over the years my very good friend, my mother, and I have been making a quite interesting observation. We have been surrounded by many adopted children most of them coming from Russia, who have been placed in wholesome, loving, caring families. The adopted children have every basic need satisfied in their lives plus more, for these new parents provide them with overwhelming love and care. We have seen these adopted children grow up and live their lives like they grew up in a home without love, care, protection and parents. The decisions they make are harmful to their lives. Oftentimes they begin to use drugs or alcohol, get into rebellion--and the list goes on. I look at those children and without judgment and wonder, “Why is this so?” I know these families well enough to know that they have poured nothing but love into their adopted children. 

I can testify to this happening not only as someone looking from the outside, but also as someone who has personal experience. In my own family we have had many such experiences. My own adopted siblings have sometimes chosen paths of destruction and hurt. I have watched for months, which later turned into years as my parents did everything humanly possible. Some situations got so bad that only God could do anything, because it was humanly impossible to do anything else. I don’t know how it feels to be a parent of a struggling child, but I know how it feels to have someone of your own blood be in a painful place and feel so helpless. 

And I began to entertain the idea, could it be that love is simply not enough to dramatically change the adopted children’s lives? Could it be that God isn’t enough to change their deeply hurt hearts? I don’t entertain that idea for too long, because if God isn’t enough to change these hurt hearts, then there is no hope for orphans. God has to be enough and is enough to make a difference in the heart of the orphan. All I pray is that God will use me to do just that. 

I think this Hope at Home conference is a work of genius and a step in better understanding how to help adopted children. It is an awesome conference and community of parents who have adopted children. Why struggle alone, when you can have others to lean on, ask questions, and even cry or be happy with? 

We would love to see you Friday and Saturday, October 5-6 for Hope at Home 2012. We have such a sense of the love of God being poured out for the mothers and fathers who are partnering with Him in transforming orphans into Sons and Daughters. It's going to be a good time! 
For more information and to register, click HERE.

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