It all started one day when my phone rang. It was a pastor from my church and he was telling me that there was a group of orphans coming from Ukraine in a couple months and would I be interested in hosting a 12 y/o boy? That was the day I learned about “Frontier Horizon”. Well, I said I would get back to him. We had 3 biological sons and one was also 12. After I looked up Ukraine on a map, I discussed it with my husband and we figured it would be an incredible experience for our family.
A few months later we went to pick up our Ukrainian guest. He was a little scrawny kid who was sleeping on the bus just moments earlier. He managed a smile and jumped in our truck. Little did we know how profound that meeting would be.
We immediately adored this child. He was not at all shy. He would ask for “7 eggs” for breakfast and we couldn’t keep him in fresh fruit. We took him swimming at the beach, to the pool, to the waterslide park, the amusement park, etc. He was so very gracious. At one point, he asked if he could have a Gameboy. We told him that was kind of a big request and that he could have one if he did a few chores…he was elated and said “Give Me Job” in his limited, but charming English. So, we told him to wash the truck. He quickly did the chore (and did an amazing job) and came running to us and said “Give me more job”. We asked him to coil up some rope…again he was on it and did a great job. He came running to us and said “give me more job”. At this point we took a look at our bio-kids questioningly and told our “little work horse’ that he had earned the Gameboy. He was so happy.
We spent a few weeks and the time passed quickly. The dreaded day came when he was to return to Ukraine. Sergei and I spent most of that day in each others arms sobbing. We didn’t want to make any promises to him as we didn’t want to hurt him if we couldn’t keep our promises. We did tell him that we would do everything we could to help him and that we hoped to see him again.
We toiled for a year going thru the international adoption process (that was the average time it took when we adopted) and finally were reunited with our son, Sergei, 13 months after we sent him back.
Here we are 14 years later. Our son has taught us so much about love and trust. It wasn’t always easy but it was always worth it. Sergei is now married and living in upstate NY in his 3rd year of business college. He has come such a long way and through it all, he has touched so many lives with his kindness and gentle spirit.
It’s been the most rewarding experience of all of our lives.