Thursday, November 18, 2010

What Are You Thankful For?

This is the time of year when we stop to count our blessings. There's many things we are all thankful for, and I'm willing to bet that everyone reading this would say they are thankful for their family. I am, too.

But what if you didn't have a family? No one, none at all?

That's the reality for Riley, and hundreds of other orphans like him. And if you think he's too young to understand, think again.

I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Larisa.
Larisa came with us on our missions trip to Vorzel this past summer. She was adopted from that orphanage and this was her first time returning. She had a powerful experience and I'd like to share with you some of her own words as she recalls being in the orphanage:

I vividly remember when I was 3 years old in my orphanage, and most everything that had happened from then on. One of my early memories from those days in Ukraine was not knowing what love was, or how it felt to be loved. Being so little and knowing that the only person I had in my life to depend on was myself is something a child should never have to think about. Coming to America and meeting my new family was a dramatic change for me. It took me awhile to understand that I had this wonderful family that was there to love me and support me. As I got older, I began to more deeply appreciate what my adopted parents have given me, how much they have changed my life, and the opportunities they have given me that I would never have been given had I remained in Ukraine. I used to ask myself when I was little, “why is it that all these bad things are happening to me, and I feel like no one’s there to help me?” When in reality God has always been there. 
You can read her full story here.

So this Thanksgiving, when you think about your family, please consider donating to help give Riley a family. He most certainly understands that he doesn't have a family, no mommy or daddy. And as much as the nurses there can love him, as one told me this summer, "Nothing compares to a mother's love". What better birthday gift for a child than the gift of a family!

We are so thankful for all that have already donated to help bring Riley home. Thank you, friends.

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