Monday, August 30, 2010


As the plane pushed backed, I couldn't shake the feelings of emptiness that came over me. As she was sitting there on that plane in this moment, I tried to imagine the sadness she was enduring and tears that were falling. I hope she kept reminding herself that Mom and Dad would come as soon as possible. Even with my five kids at home and our new exchange student having just arrived, I still find myself walking around with that empty feeling like something just isn't right, someone is Lizzie.

Back in the Spring, when we committed to bring Lizzie home for the summer, I knew this moment would come. I knew we would eventually have to pay the price, or face the music as my old man used to say. I pray that is the only price we have to pay. I fear we may have done more harm than good. There are the threats from a cold, harsh chaperon who will remain nameless...and this will be the last time I ever speak of it. Despite repeated attempts to "win the hearts and minds" of this person, we were rebuffed again and again. In the latter stages we just realized that no one can reason with an insane person. Never before in my own home have I been so insulted, judged, watched, uncomfortable! Parting words to me from this person were, to say the least, astonishing and revealing of true character and intent. I now know why I didn't shed a tear when Lizzie walked away, down the jet way. I was bewildered!

I just can't write here all the awful stuff we endured or heard. Heidi and I stood fast and bore it for Lizzie's sake and sanity and we don't regret having her for one minute. The good times far outweigh the bad ones from the chaperon and it was good to build more bonds of trust and love with Lizzie. We would do it all over again, thank goodness we won't have to! She will be home for good early next year.

Lizzie has a good head on her shoulders and is keen to the perils she has to face. She told us many stories while she was here. It's remarkable what she has seen and avoided. Drug use, shooting up, prostitution, drinking have all been in the same room with Lizzie, yet she has managed to escape their attention. She is wise beyond her years and more mature than she should be for her age. Perhaps because she has seen more in her short young life than I will see in my entirety. I know God looks over Lizzie and protects her and that He sent her to us three years ago.

If you think I'm making this stuff up or that things like this don't happen, go read Tom Davis' book, Priceless. Read his other book Scared too! The movie, Taken, might get your attention as well. Then get involved, somewhere, anywhere, even in the US. There are more Lizzies out there!

Lizzie sent a message this morning on Facebook that she had arrived back at the orphanage, two days after she left home. Her message, as follows and not respelled or cleaned up, paints a potential problem. We pray it is something as simple as her phone was stolen or she lost her favorite bed.

hi,Daddy!!!how are you????i miss you so much!!!i have big problems!!I don't
want to say about!!!but we know you love us,and we love you!!!i'm in orphanage
in Kherson!!!and Ukraine is garbigge!!!

The father part of me wants to lecture her about calling that country "garbage". The daddy part of me just says, "I Love and miss you terribly, sweetie" In my present state of mind, guess which reply I sent. From here on out, we will write about the great times we had with her and the happiness with our growing family. Stay with us...

~ Tet-chka Felix ~


Just Another Day In Paradise said...

My heartstrings have been tugged with her sweet message. God bless her and make her time while she waits go by quickly and without problems.
Oh how I cant wait for her to be back HOME with you.
I want to check out that movie...

The McEacherns said...

I'm so glad that Lizzie knows just how committed you guys are to her. That has to help ease her sadness as she heads back to Ukraine. I'm sure that she knows love, and she has hope in her heart... more than most orphans have. Praying for her and for the quickest process possible to bring her HOME!

Conethia and Jim Bob said...

Praying for strength for you both! Dear Lord, please watch over her while away.

Alycia said...

My heartstrings have been tugged as well. We will include Lizzie in our nightly family prayers, praying that God will protect her and continue to give her the strength to cope with what she is facing--and that He will make possible a quick and smooth trip for you to finally bring her home.

Kevin and Pam said...

My heart goes out to you all. You are so brave to release her back to Ukraine knowing what she has to endure. My prayers are with you that you finish the race strong and be reunited with her very soon! I will pray she will be safe in Ukraine until safely back in your arms.

mattandlisasicilian said...

Dear Heidi and Felix,
I can not even begin to imagine what you are feeling right now. I give you so much credit for forcing yourself to dwell on the positive memories you made while your sweet Lizzie was home. I remember the feeling of cold, start fear when I had to leave my older daughter behind to visit my youngest (they were 4hrs apart).
He will certainly watch over your little girl, but know that extra prayers will be offered up by me and my family until your baby is home........

Lisa and Matt Sicilian

Kari said...

Praying, praying, praying for Lizzie's safety and quick return home.

Anonymous said...

That facebook comment was a little unnerving. I hope it was usual teenage drama but just in case I think we need to intercede with prayer. I pray that Our Father and Our Lady will watch over her and surround her with protection from those who seek harm and favor from those who facilitate the whole adoption process.

Julie said...

My heart goes out to you and your family! We, too, had to send off a special young lady (through the same hosting program). Trusting that God will protect them and fill their lives with His peace! So glad that you are able to communicate on the internet, even though it can be unnerving! We would love to have that luxury! Will be following and praying that everything goes smoothly (ha- is that possible) with your adoption!

Anonymous said...

Praying lots and lets just say some of them for the chaperone sound more like David's prayers in the Psalms. I hope the time flies by for all of you.

About Us

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.