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 ~

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.