Caring For The Orphan - The Ucherek's Story 2

We left off with part one of the Ucherek's story yesterday, so if you haven't read it, please check that out first.

Warning: The first video in this post made me tear up. In a good way! So sweet. Just thought you should be made aware.

Okay, on with the story . . .

The Uchereks felt called to adoption shortly after their mission trip to Guatemala, but as they tried to pursue adopting the two sweet girls they fell in love with they found out all adoptions from Guatemala were now being closed . . .

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As we continued to call these girls our own and share them with everyone we knew... God made it clear that He was still calling us to adopt, even though these girls were unavailable right now.

WHAT? You break us with this trip.... we FALL in love with these girls... we call them our own... we are BROKEN that we can't get on a plane right now and bring them home... you want us to put ourselves out there again, knowing the same thing could happen again? Really God?!?!

Trust in ME, I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE!

So, we took steps in obedience. We started talking with agencies and began praying over every country on the map... we eventually read about the Ethiopia program through All God's Children International and their transition home, Hannah's Hope. We prayed that God would make it clear.... and He did!


The feelings of a piece of us missing started immediately! 

The thoughts of whether or not our child was being taken care of were intense! 

The guilt of doing anything BUT paperwork every second of every day took over! 

Dan constantly wondered if our child(ren) were safe! 

I constantly wondered if they were being loved!

We moved forward in faith! January 2010 the paperwork began and we tackled it with great joy knowing that God was in control of EVERYTHING... that HIS timing was perfect! By April we were ready to be matched with a child, which we thought would be quick.

Quick it was not! Easy to smile and look back on now, but HARD in the midst of it. Side note - if you know someone going through the adoption journey, their emotions are REAL, RAW, and need to be validated! Do not discount that they are expecting, whether you can see it in their not-so-growing belly or not! This journey is HARD... people do NOT understand... you get STRANGE comments... and everyone somehow thinks they all of a sudden are open to ask any personal question regarding your sex life and your uterus that pops in their head! Assumptions should NOT be made... just because someone is adopting does NOT mean that it was plan B for their family... adoption is OFTEN Plan A, just like it was for OUR family!

We waited... we prayed... we shared our hearts... we advocated... we served... we told everyone we knew... we fundraised...  we asked our friends to fundraise for us... to ask their friends to support us... it was humbling, it was overwhelming, and it puts you under a microscope. However, it is truly a MIRACLE to see the Lord work IN and THROUGH so many to bring HIS plans to completion!

On February 17th, 2011 we received the call that would change our lives forever!To read the details of the call, see this post! Here's the video we put together to capture this sweet moment -



"Jesus we praise You and thank You for allowing us this opportunity... thank you for breaking our hearts for the fatherless... and for allowing us the opportunity to say that as of February 17th, 2011, there's ONE LESS orphan in this world!"

We walk through the rest of the process, fly to Ethiopia twice, and return home on Father's Day 2011 with this bundle of joy!








This little sweetie turned our lives inside out and showed us Christ's love in a whole new way!



You see, God tells us to love each other unconditionally... those that may get on our nerves, co-workers that we don't work easily with, etc.... BUT we've never before been challenged with loving someone that pushed us away, rejected us, and did NOT want to be in our home. This sweet boy has taught us more in the 9 months that he's been in our home about Christ's love for EACH OF US than anything else in our lives! He has blessed us more than we will EVER be able to bless him!


After our first trip to Ethiopia, we both knew the Lord was calling us to overseas mission work. Our hearts were once again broken by the plight of the orphan, the vulnerable, and the outcast...





As we returned home... we were broken-hearted. Not only had we left our son on the other side of the globe, but we also left a country and people that we had grown to love dearly in one short week.

We again prayed.... we KNEW God was calling us to serve overseas and we made a commitment that we would take steps of faith as He opened doors!

Four LONG weeks after our first trip we returned to be re-united with our son and bring him HOME forever. Our hearts and minds were consumed for many weeks with helping him transition, being the consistent in this life, and making sure we were doing all we could to bond and attach with this sweet boy. We still prayed for the Lord to reveal HIS plan. We could NOT return unchanged!

As the Lord does in HIS time, He started to open some doors and slam others shut... we soon knew that He was calling us to Guatemala to serve full time! We felt particularly drawn to Eagle's Nest International and the work that they are doing. You see, our hearts are to serve the orphan, show them what a family is, to reach out to a lost community, to bring hope to the hurting, and love like we've never loved before. We took a trip this past December asking the Lord to give us clarity as we served together and HE made it abundantly clear that we are to serve at Eagle's Nest.

For many of the children living at Eagle's Nest, it is the ONLY home they have ever known... it is where they will form their idea of a 'family' even though we all wish they could be in a family rather than an orphanage. For others, Eagle's Nest will be a refuge and a safe haven where they can learn about Jesus and His great plans for their lives!

We plan to move to Guatemala, Lord willing, this coming June to serve at Eagle's Nest International. Some of the ways we will be serving include providing holistic orphan care to the children living at the home and will continue to bring in more children as we are able. We have a fantastic opportunity to reach out to the community through the Manna feeding program, a sports ministry, and a new music ministry that Dan will be launching! In addition, we'll serve the Sololá community through outreach and evangelism, a Christian school, and New Birth Church. We're incredibly humbled that God has provided so many opportunities to minister to those in need!

 


Along with this step of faith comes a lot of uneasiness if we are really honest! We're doing all we can to sell our belongings, sell our home, and prepare our hearts! We've asked many to consider reaching out to pastors, small groups, or Sunday school classed to allow us the opportunity to share this story... knowing that God can use it to plant many seeds!

We need you! It's as simple as that! 
We can't go until we have 75% of our need in monthly commitments so that we can effectively minister to the Sololá community and care for our family! That's where YOU come in! 

Would you consider giving $10 and telling 10 of your friends? It's that simple!

We need your partnership.... through prayer, through giving, and through telling others! 

Even if you can't give... do you have 10 friends that you could share our story with? 

To continue watching this journey unfold, follow us here.

Love in Christ,

Dan, Christi & Malakai Ucherek

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I hate to be redundant, but this week is sort of (unofficially) Missionary Support Week on this blog! This is something that is so important, and for those of us who aren't called to full-time missions, we still need to be doing something.

If you already have missionaries that you give to, then please continue to give to them! But if you are looking for some way to get involved and support those who are bringing the good news of Jesus to those in other countries, will you consider contributing to the Ucherek's? As I said before, I'm sure they would appreciate even just five bucks!

Even if you can't give anything financially, please keep them in your prayers! They are being faithful to what the Lord has called them to in going to Guatemala, and they need prayer warriors to stand for them as they go to reach the fatherless.

And check out their blog to keep up with the rest of their story. I'm sure it's only going to get better from here on out!

Maybe I'll have them back for another guest post in a few months, after they get there? We'll see!

God bless you, Christi and Dan, as you follow His call to Guatemala! You'll be on my mind and in my prayers!




P.S. Once again, if you are a missionary or know a missionary, I would LOVE to feature more stories on this blog. Please contact me at throughcloudedglass@gmail.com if you are interested, or if you know a missionary who might want to do a guest post for me!
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Ash said...

I loved reading their story! Missions has always had a special place in my heart after going on two trips to Haiti (pre-hurricane). It's such an eye-opening experience to see a culture so different from our own that's really not that far (Haiti/Dominican Republic is like 1000 miles off of the Florida coast). They are such a blessing and inspiration to so many people!

Kayla Rae said...

Beautiful post, Callie. Thank you for sharing their story.

Christi said...

Thank you so much Callie... you'll never understand how much this means to us! We've already had a couple people contact us that saw our story on your blog asking how they could help... God is SO good! Thank you!

Christi

Amy said...

Thank you for sharing about this amazing family!!!

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