Natasha and Maxim

Natasha and Maxim
Natasha 16 yrs and Maxim 12 yrs

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

So Much Hope!

I am so thankful that I can have a little glimpse into their future and see such hope. It is sometimes hard when your smack dab in hard circumstances to see. I have been praying that God would help me to see how their life has been. I cannot comprehend it even still, and I am bringing them home in 1 day. I am so thankful to have people to remind me, when they do strange things, that they have lived in an orphanage most of their lives. It is hard to remember sometimes. They like going places but not for very long. They want to go back home pretty quick. You can tell that they have never gone places before. Can you imagine being locked up in one place and never leaving. It is hard for me. They had never seen a grocery store, never rode in a car, naver done so many things we take for granted, or at least not that they can remember.

I am so thankful for our day today. It has been good. We have seen lots of smiles. That is always nice. We have not always had this. My new wonderful friend Lisa and her new son Alex(Sasha) are going home tomorrow, a day before us. I know we will be fine. The Lord has been right with me to comfort me through this journey here alone. He has sent me Lisa, which I have made a lifelong bond with. And He has definitly been ever so present with me, helping me every step of the way. Maxim and Alex have been so sweet today. They are planning there future. How precious is that. They said that when they got 18 they would go to college together. What an awesome thing that they would, more than likely, never got to experience. They have traded t-shirts and I am afraid it may not ever come off of him. You can tell that friends mean alot to them. That is really all they have ever had. I know that Brady will have a big impact in his life. Just the short time he was here they were already like brothers. I know that we all have a big roll to fill in each of there lives and only through God can we do this. We will be on our knees daily!

So glad to say we will be back in America on Friday at 4:00. My heart was so warmed to hear of the people who wanted to come to the airport to welcome them home. I just can't describe it. We have the best friends and church family that anyone could ever ask for. Thank you all for making a difference in these childrens life. I know they will always remember and feel so very special to see how many people care so much about them. You are sent by God! I love you all!

Monday, September 5, 2011

So Ready To Be Home!

You can't even imagine how much I miss my family and friends. I have realized since I have been so long without my family that they mean more to me than I ever imagined. Just one of the many things God is doing in my life.

 This is the hardest thing I have ever done. Being without Brad to guide me has been so hard. I really have no clue in what to do in many situations. I have been on my knees alot, knowing that is where God wants me in the first place. It is the best place to be. I am so thankful that the Lord has sent Lisa to me. She and I and our adopted children are all staying in the same apartment in Kiev. Can't really imagine what it would be like without her. I know that God did that. He sent just what I needed. He has given me all I have needed each time to make it through. I am so thankful and I know that no matter how hard this will be, He will continue to do this.

 I always knew from the very beginning that this would be a hard road. I knew God had called me to something I knew nothing about. I still don't. I walk each day by faith and I know that I will have to continue to do this. If you are a Christian God has called you to put your life to the side and do His work. He has called us as Christians to take care of the needy, poor and widows and orphans. These children have broken my heart. They are at the top of the list for needy. They just need someone to love them and guide them through this life. I know this in my heart but sometimes it is so hard to get in your mind. It is such a hard thing to imagine. We cannot put ourself in their shoes. We have no clue. I have always tried to block bad things out of my mind. Ignore them, try to act like they are not real, because I had no idea what to do about it. I believe that God wants us to see these things. He has placed me in this position and has called me into this service. I am not doing this because I want to do this. I am doing this because God has told us to do this. Every morning I read Psalm 121. I lift my eyes unto the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. This is all I can do.

 Yes, they stayed in our home for 5 weeks but I can't begin to wrap my mind around where they have been and what they have been through. Please pray for them. This is a very hard thing for them. They were fine while we had a translator, but now I know at least me and Natasha both are so far out of our comfor zones. This time was needed for us to be on our own, but it is hard. All I can do is hug and sometimes that just doesn't feel right either. It is so amazing though, when God shows you those little glimpses into the His plan. He shows me that no matter how hard this is, that one day I will see the amazing work He did in all of our lives through this.

 To see Natasha smile is like the greatest gift ever. To see where she has been and then see where she is going. This was so emotional for me as we left the orphanage. I just saw how each of those children could walk out of that place and never be the same. If only God's people would answer His call. Please pray about this. Ask God how you can help these children. I was very saddened to find out that my little Misha was not on the list where he could be adopted. I tried to get his director to find out about him. He called him up to the front before we left and asked him right in front of me about his family. His mother had given up all parental rights to him, and his father, which hadn't ,was in prison. He asked him did he want to start the procedure to try to sever his fathers rights so that he would be able to be adopted if he had the opportunity. He said yes. They said that he had a grandmother that used to come and visit but hasn't in a long time. They said that this procedure would take about 18 months. He is now 13. By the time he is available he will be 15 and close to being sent out of the orphanage. I will do all I can to find him a home. He is so precious. At their 1st day of school celebration he walked up to me and Lisa and gave us each some of the flowers that they had. He is just such a little gentleman that just needs that chance. Please pray for him also.

 I know this is very long but I feel like I haven't had time to write much lately. I need to give Maxim and Natasha my time. But of course now everyone is in bed. Just alittle more and I let you go. Tomorrow we should find out if we will get their passports when we expected to. If we do, we should be having medical appointments and Embassy appts. on Wed. and Thurs., possibly all on Wed., which would be wonderful. This is what we are praying for. We are so ready to be home. I can't wait to see everyone. Love to all, Tracey

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Words can't explain my last few days

 Our surprise at the train station, Aunt, Cousin, Natasha, Me, Maxim, and Sister

 Saying good bye to Alex, orphanage director. What a sweet loving man. He said," I am giving my kids to you."

 Natasha's teacher

 Our breakfast at the orhanage!!!
How ever heard of noodles for breakfast?

 Saying goodbye to friends

 Maxim's bed in the orphanage

Maxim's  teacher

The first day of school is a huge event. Everyone dresses in their finest!  Little Dima that fell out of the tree at camp is the little boy with white hair, smiling real big. He is totally fine now.

Look at these two beautiful children. They had a part in the Ist day of school celebrations.

And these are ours, They joined in even thou they were leaving to go home to America!!!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

At the Orphanage

Well, since Chicago I have been a much stronger person. The Lord has taken perfect care of me. I slept most of my flight to Dusseldorf, except for eating, and then again on the next flight to Kiev. It was very nice to see Natasha (my helper) at the airport waiting for me. She took me to stay at the Harmon's appartment while I waited to catch the train. They are adopting two 16 year old twin girls that were such a joy to spend time with.

The train ride was great. I took my Melatonin and slept like a baby. If Alla (my facillitator) had not been on the train with me I may not have woke up. After getting off the train at 6:50 in the morning the rest of our day was spent getting Maxim and Natasha's birth certificates. Then Alex (orphanage director) came to pick us up and take us on a two hour ride to Cherigivka  to the orphanage. I was expecting us to be here at least a week but now I am told maybe not. Please make this a matter of prayer. We would like to be home as soon as possible. We will get their passport tomorrow. They say that we will not be able to get one day passports because our children are healthy. They say it will be three working days, and of course they are closed on Mon. This would make us get them on Wed. or Thurs. Then we have two more days in Kiev to get other things done. Then we will be able to come home!!!!

I thought I would never get my internet working. The nice guy worked on in for 3 1/2 hours. I was so glad to have my communication with my family and friends. Last night and today have been great getting to spend time with the children. We have eat snacks, played cards and made videos. Hopefully I can make it work right and one of them will be on this post. Sweet little Misha showed up last night. I was so happy to see him. He is a very precious child and wants a family so desparately.

Once again I want to say that these children are God's heart. You can put the Gospel into action by showing these children His love. If you have wondered like me how your family can be on mission for God. He has commanded us right in His word to love and take care of the unwanted. So many orphans. It seems so hard to make a difference. If one childs life is changed it makes a difference.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

On My Way Back.....Just Me and Jesus!

Well, I am now going through what I knew would be my biggest fear. Along with all the others on this journey. I have never been one to do much of anything on my own. It seems as though I must have had someone always with me to guide me and help me make all of my decisions. I knew down deep in my heart when I said I was not going by myself on this trip that I would be. I knew God had much work to do on me in this area. I know I need to learn to lean on God to guide me and not everyone else and learn to let Him be stong in my weakness. Well, this time He is all I have, and I know I will find that He is all I need. I have spent most of this day trying hard to hold back the tears and much of the day trying just didn't work. First, Brad and the kids took me to the airport at 5:00 this morning. I had to fight the tears as we started down the road. When they had to leave me I couldn't hold it back. I have never done anything like this in my life. I have led a sweet little sheltered life. Of course I don't know how to do any of this so when I was checking in I failed to get my boarding pass. Brad and the kids left as I was about to go through security. Just when I thought I was on my way and could make it, they told me I didn't have it. So I had to go back and get it. I had to fight the tears back then. Then when I went back to get it the lady wasn't very nice and I started crying there, too. Maybe she didn't notice, I tried my best not to let her see me. Then when I got on the plane I sat there and tried so hard to hold them back but the tears came, I wiped them up quick as I could and went to the bathroom and let it flow. I know people wondered what in the world I was crying about sitting there all by myself. I am now in the airport in Chicago for a seven hour layover. I feel much better now. I am still scared but I have prayed with all my heart God's peace over this and I know He will take perfect care of me and my family while I am gone.

I miss church so much this morning. I know it was an awsome service. You have been in my prayers. Please pray for me to be strong, for God to give me His wisdom, and for Him to guide me as I parent my new children while I am here. It is so hard when you can't really communicate. Please pray that God's love would shine into their lives through me. I don't have a clue what I am doing, but God has called me to this and I just know I have to have faith and follow. I am following blindly! I am crying again, I better go! I love you all and thank you for all your prayers, I don't know what I would do without them!

I love you Brad, Brady and Sarah Grace! With all my heart!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We Are Now Officially A Family Of Six!

Yes, we are now officially a family of six! Our court day went just perfectly. God has been so amazing through this whole process. We have not had one issue so far to have to deal with. Our facilitator has been so wonderful. I don't know all of her duties, but we feel she has gone over and beyond them. She was not the one we were told we were getting, but God had another plan. Thank you Lord!

We are now back in Kiev to get ready to leave. We will be leaving bright and early in the morning. We can't wait to get home to see our children there and everyone else. We will definitely leave part of our hearts hear with these children. Hopefully we will be back someday. Before I leave you for the last time I do want to be an advocate for these children. We have many to share with you but this one inparticular has stolen our hearts completely. I told you about him last time but I would like to share with you his last words to us. Brad told him we would love for him to come to America. He said," And find me a family!" So excited, smiling from ear to ear. He said, in English, ' I'll be waiting." Talk about break your heart. We want to find this child a loving home so bad. We hope he will be on the host list for New Horizons. I am telling you this is an awesome child. Please help us find him a home! His name is Misha and he is 13 years old. Here is his picture above. He seems very smart and very personable. We really feel like he would be a huge blessing to you, as I know you would be to him!

I f you feel like God is calling you to this, don't let the money get in your way. We had none either, but we had God, and that is all you need!
See you soon. Home for a week and a half and then back for maybe 2 more weeks. We are hoping for a week and a half. Then we will all come home! Praise the Lord! Thank you for all of your prayers, we know they have been heard!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our Last Day At Camp!

I was not prepared for the overwhelming feelings I felt last night as I realized that today would be our last day to spend with all of these precious children. I guess I didn't want to think about it, but as I started listening to Casting Crowns and Lauren Talley on my head phones before I went to bed, my tears began to flow. We have grown so attatched to many of these children. We have spent many hours just sitting and playing with them and getting to know them. Most of them are from Maxim and Natasha's orphanage. We have fallen in love with them all. They have all been waiting for us to come each day. I want them to find families so bad. But more than anything I want them to know that even though they do not have a father here on earth that they have a Heavenly Father that will never let them down.

 Misha is one little boy I have fallen in love with. He is 13 and he is always waiting on us. He is in alot of pictures with Brad. Our friends here, Dave and Lisa say that he looks just like Curt on the Sound of Music. He has sat right beside us studying the Russian/ English dictionary. He is doing great with his Engish. We are trying to get him and others on the hosting list for New Horizons. We love him. He would make someone a great son, and just in enough time to save him from the horrible life they are given when put out of the orphanage at age 16. Another little one in alot of our pictures is Dima. He is 8, and last night he fell out of a tree and on to the pavement on his head. They rushed him to a hospital and he is still there. He loved Brad so much. There has really not been a good way of finding out about him since we don't speak the language. Sometimes we have a translator and sometimes not. Anyway, it will be very hard to leave them. At least we know the life of love that Maxim and Natasha and Sasha have to look forward to. Our heart is to find a way to give the others this hope also. If you have ever thought about hosting or even if you have not, I can promise you that you would never be sorry you did. It is so amazing how New Horizons has started something so awesome in giving these kids a chance they would have never had. It has been so amazing to look around and see so many kids lives changing because they were hosted. There has only been 1 child so far from Maxim and Natasha's orphanage adopted and now there are about to be three. And then another family is on their way. It is so awsome to see what God is doing here. We are praying now that there will be an overload of childrens lives changed forever. Not to mention the families lives that are doing the hosting. I have spoken to many families while I have been here that have heard that we are here with there children they hosted this summer. The excitement on all faces envolved as we have allowed them to Skype on our computer has been so amazing. And also, so many of them are sharing their photos from America with us. We are literally seeing lives changed right before our eyes. God is so amazing. He just keeps on changing our lives more than we could ever think possible. Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus!

Please keep these children in your prayers. They are so very special to God and I know that He has a wonderful plan for each of their lives. New Horizons is getting ready to visit Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, and maybe others to interview for the winter hosting. Soon all the childrens pictures will be be up on their website who will be available for hosting. Will you change a child life and yours in the process? Much love to you all!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Our Trip

We have been having a great time at camp, getting to spend time with Natasha and Maxim and all of the other children. The Laudenslayers have also been a great blessing. It has been very nice getting to share this experience with someone else.We have now met many families who have hosted children in this camp. We are getting the awsome opportunity to reunite some of them. It was so wonderful to see the joy on all of their faces. Vanya is 16 and this was his last chance to be adopted. This family worked so hard to get this all done right in time to give him a forever family. I have put  the photo on my blog of him getting to talk with his new soon to be family in America. It was great to see the excitement they had in getting such a great surprise. It was so great for them and the others who have met their forever family, but it was hard not to think about those watching the excitement who did not have that opportunity to receive something so awesome. I pray that someday they have their eyes opened to know that they have a Father in heaven who will give them far more than anyone else hear on earth could ever do.

We have also met a very sweet college girl that is helping at this camp named Lily. Her picture is also here with Natasha. You could tell that Natasha really looked up to her and what a wonderful girl to look up to. We were very surprised to find out that she went to a Ukrainian Baptist Church here in Urkraine. We never thought we would meet someone with our beliefs here. She saw my "My Favorite Book Says We Are All Adopted" shirt and said"You are a believer?" We said, "Yes, very much so." I had also been wondering about this ring that Natasha was wearing, and I got to ask her. It said, Lord please save me and protect me. I was so glad that to hear that. We had no idea what it said. Natasha is such an awesome child. She has been so sweet to everyone, helping to take care things. God has truly blessed us with the children he has chosen for our family.

Also, we have been really blessed to meet many of the Ukrainian people. The place we are staying is very neat. They have truly tried real hard to make good out of bad. There are pretty flowers everywhere and every kind of fruit tree. The guy in charge of our apartment has been so gracious to us. This is a picture of the meal he cooked for us, and a picture of his child and two more of his friends and all of us. He cooked such an awesome meal. He grilled chicken, tomatoes, eggplant, onions,and bell peppers. It was one of our best meals. It was amazing how he and others see how truly blessed we are in the US. They acted like we were the greatest people in the world. It has really showed me how blessed we truly are. It was a truly unique experience, making conversation, or trying with people who don't speak your language. We had a great time anyway. I am thankful the Lord is broadening my horizons as they say.

Well, we only have 3 more full days here in Berdansk with the kids. Then we go back on Tues. for court, and then on to Kiev for one night, and then home. I miss my other 2 children so bad, I can't wait to squeeze them so tight, But I know that God has a plan to grow us all through this experience.Goodbye till next time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

So Much To Tell!

. .I have so much to tell I don't know where to begin. I don't want to forget to tell Maxim and Natasha's new names. We decided to give them my parents names and I know they are so thrilled. They are Natalia Caroline Spruell and Maxim Evan Spruell. We have not had a good chance to sit and talk about what they would like to be called yet. We gave them both the chance to decide themselves but they wanted us to. We told them about what we thought and they both liked them. We were very happy. Today we had such a great time playing with our children and then getting to play with many of the others also. Our hearts have been so touched to want to find many of these children homes. We met these two 16 year olds in the picture to the side. They were so sweet and were so excited to tell us about their trip with the hosting program to America. They showed us all their pictures. All I could think about was that they were 16 and about to be kicked out of the orphanage that they were at. They seemed to be such awsome kids. Since then I have found out that the blond is being adopted and I don't know about the other one yet. If anyone has ever thought about adopting, we have met so many wonderful children that seem like they could really go far just given the opportunity.             Tonight when we went to eat got to see more of the city. This is Ukraine's
vacation spot. The beach is here and we realized that it is like Panama City down there. It is wild. Theere have been many pictures that I have wanted to take but was afraid someone would get mad. There are people on side of the road selling fried fish. Yes, exactly what it sounds like. Fish hung upside down to dry out and people buy them and eat them. Sounds amazingly gross.            Before I close, I would like to thank the good Lord above for giving mee this opportunity. He is blessing me in ways unimaginable. I know He has a lot of work to do on me. It is still hard for me to truly imagine just what these children really must go through. I  want the Lord to give me that glance. I know that He has,  but I know that He has so much more to show. May God bless each of you and may we all be ready for all God has for us!

All of these little girls were so precious. They all need homes. Also the ones on the previous blog!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

By the time you get my prayer update you will probably have this update too. We are now back from the first part of our trip today. We get to return back at 4:30. Just look at the precious faces of these children. None of them have any parents. They all just walk around here and seem to take care of themselves. They have touched my heart is such a big way. God gave us a wonderful visit. Brad played Americanki football, they call it, with lots of the boys and some of the girls too. They loved it, even though soccor is their real love. It was something new for them. I sat and gave everyone the bracelets we sold to bring home Maxim and Natasha. They loved those too. Even though we could not speak their language the all crowded around us hopefully to experience God's love. I could have taken home everyone of them. I know that God has placed us here to take care of those who have no one to love them. It will be short now but I will give more info later. More photos are on my facebook page if you would like to see them. I praise the Lord for showing me that out of my comfort zone can be so awesome!

Please Pray For Us Today!

Yes, we had a beautiful day yesterday. Our facilitator who has made good friends with everyone talked the camp director into letting the children spend the day with us at the beach. This really seems unheard of to us. Many, many people never get to spend much time at all with there children when they come to adopt. We feel really, really blessed. She has said that we can spend time with them twice a day everyday, wow. And now is where my fears want to set in. It all looks so pretty and easy, but for me, it is not. As many of you know, I have stepped way out of my comfort zone. So far I have been very comforted by other Americans that are experiecing the same things we are and also by Alla, our facilitator, is so confident, takes care of everything for us, says all the right things to the children to comfort the children, and encourages them how to speak to us and call us mama and papa. Well, today we get to do it all alone. Just Brad and I going back to the camp by ourselves. Brad probably has no fears in this like I do. Why is something like this so scary to me? This whole journey is scary to me and has been from the beginning. It would be so much easier to go run and hide. This is just another time in my life when I have looked to other people other than God to be my guide. Today is the day I have no other choice. I have to turn to Him to be my strengh. Why can't we just see that we can't go a day without His strengh? Why do we try to do it on our own until we have to? I have known from the beginning that I could not do this and only He could, but I just keep on trying myself or just doing whatever whoever is with me says to do. I know this is not God's plan. I have never been a leader, always a follower, but God wants me to follow Him, not everyone else. You would think that as I got to be an adult that I would have grown out of this, evidently I have not. This is my prayer for you today. It is easy to go through your day and just survive. We want so bad to show Maxim and Natasha  and all the other children God's love today. Not just love, but God's supernatural love. We cannot do this on our own. This may seem so small, but it is not. It is huge to us! We do not have words to say to them to comfort them because they do not understand our language. Help us Lord! It is 10:30 in the morning here and 2:30 in the middle of the night there. You will not get my prayer request till after we have spent our time with them, but I know that we have many people praying for us and I know that they will somehow get there right when we need them. That is something only God can do also, but I know He will somehow do it. That is the amazing God we serve! Thank you in advance for your prayers, we need you!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Finally Getting To See The Children!

We have been through so much since I last wrote, but these pictures show the best part. So I will start with where we are now and retrace my steps back. First of all we have not been able to get internet for the past few days. This has driven us crazy. One because we have not been able to skype with Brady and Sarah Grace and two we have not been able to share with you all the excitement that has been happening in our lives. Today is Fri. and we got to see Maxim and Natasha for the first time yesterday. They are now at a summer camp in Berdansk. This camp is right on the ocean so we think they are having a good time. The excitement of waiting to see them was just about more than I could handle. It took a long time to round them up. Then finally Natasha walked in the door of this small room we were sitting in with the orphanage director, the camp director, and our facilitator Alla. I think we kind of took her by surprize, but then she had the biggest smile we had ever seen on her face. Alittle later Maxim came in, and the picture above show the two of them writing a letter to the courts saying that they wanted us to adopt them. It was an amazing feeling, seeing God's plan unfold and seeing Maxim come and hug Brad and tell him he loved him. It was like he felt safe. We have been so amazinly blessed. We did not get to spend much time with them though. We gave them a few gifts and had to leave.We are spending tonight and we spent last night in Chernigivska at their orphange. The orphanage director is a very nice man and has offered for us to stay here while getting all of the paper work done in this city.We have already got our court date scheduled for Aug. 16th. Just in time to leave and make our plain on the 18th. God has been so amazing. We give Him all the glory for the timely manner and ease to this process. He has sent us wonderful people who have worked so hard to help us. Our facilitator Alla, has been amazing. We met her as we got on the train Thurs. night. We spent 11 hours sleeping, or shall I say trying to sleep while riding. After having no sleep, we took a 2 hr. road trip on the bumpiest road  I have ever been on in my life. We needed dramimine both times. When we got to the orphanage we set out to get all the paperwork done and took a trip to see Maxim and Natasha. This took another hour. It is hard to explain how all of this got done in one day, but it did. Today we got to sleep in and Alla did alot more work for our adoption. She has worked so hard, constantly trying to get this done so that we will be able to go home on the day we planned. We are so thankful, God has put so many sweet, wonderful people in our path. Tomorrow we will return to Berdansk and get an apartment close to the camp. We should get to stay here for the rest of our time before court. The camp director has allowed us to spend some time with them each day, but we still don't know how much. We will get to travel with the Laudenslayer family as they get to visit the child they are adopting for the first time since their Christmas hosting. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Pleas pray for our safety and for us to show God's love to all the people we come in contact with. We do consider this a mission from God that we are on. We want to shine His light! Please pray also for the other families here adopting. They also wish so bad for things to go smoothly so they can return to their families.

You can look at more pictures on facebook. The new ones put on are of the orphanage. It is a big rock or brick building. Brad is playing basketball on their playground and all the pictures outside are around the orphange.

 Thank you all so much for youer love and support. Your the greatest!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We Made It!

Yes, we made it here finally. We had a very tiring flight but we got lots of good rest and today we were ready to go. The Lord has been with us every step of the way. Everthing has gone so smoothly, God has truly blessed this trip so far. From being worried about getting to our flight on time in Paris, we ended up gettting there 30 min. early. There wasn't all the questions we had expected at the airport in Kiev. We were also told to expect our luggage to be lost and it wasn't, praise the Lord! We definitly know our Heavenly Father is taking perfect care of us. We also had the big SDA appointment today which was so quick and easy. We did find out that Maxim and Natasha's mom died of being an alcoholic, like so many people here. It just seems like this is everyone's life. I was shocked today as I was asked if I wanted alcohol in my chocolate fondu. We didn't find out anything else that we didn't already know about them today. Natasha, one of our facilitators said we would learn more when we meet the orphanage director. She has been very good to us and helped us in everything. We also met two other families adopting. We have been waiting to meet the Laudenslayers which are adopting Maxim's friend Sasha. We had dinner with them tonight. It was nice getting to finally meet them after talking on the phone and through the internet for months. Today  we also got to walk around  and sight see in Kiev. As you see in the pictures above we have seen some very neat things. I will put the rest on Facebook if anyone wants to see more. Tomorrow afternoon we will pick up our referral and get on another plane to their region, which is some long word that starts with Zap. We will just call it that. Just keep praying for us and Maxim and Natasha. We will get to see them soon. We can't wait! We will let you know more soon. Love you all!   

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Our Provider Has Provided Abundantly!

I have been so amazed and overwhelmed of the outpouring of love that has been shown to me and my family. I have always been a taker, but so many people have shown an amazing gift of love to us. We have watched God's people sacrifice and show a level of selflessness that I have never known. We have watched people we don't even know give so selflessly. It is mind boggling to me. I want to be that kind of person. I want to give like so many have given to us.

 Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who have sacrificed your money, time , and things to help us bring these precious children home, whom God has ordained to be a part of our family.Only God could have multiplied that money, in this economy like He did. I know the world sees now that this was God's plan from the beginning. This could have never been accomplished apart from Him! God has provided more than we could ever ask or imagine, just like His word says He will. As of this weekend, we don't have the exact count , but we think that not only did He provide enough for our trip but also to finish paying the adoption fee to New Horizons and to finish giving God the tenth that He asks us to give to Him. Yes, we have given God His part of the money that has been given to us. This is not to brag by no means but to testify to God's abundance He gives when we follow Him. To begin with we never even thought about tithing on this money we received. After all it really didn't seem as thou it was ours because it went straight into an account for our adoption. Then one day I was reading a devotional sent to us by ShowHope, Steven Curtis Chapman's orphan ministry. I read of how God blessed this family so abundantly as they gave God a tenth as their adoption funds were raised. As I shared this with Brad we were both very convicted to do the same. This was really a step of faith for us as we new we had so much money to raise, but we did what we knew we were called to do and just look what God has done. I pray that everyone will see what an amazing God we serve. I have realized lately that I don't need to take a step on my own. It is always a disaster. I have realized all those times that I felt abandoned by God that it was really me who abandoned Him. I can never imagine what God has in store for our family through this adoption, but I know that is is huge and life changing, just like it has been so far. I know that it is a love that  my family has never known here on this earth, but just like the heavenly love that I have found in my Heavenly Father.  I knew before and had been shown by God through previous experience that the way to the Promised Land is through Him and that is why I followed blindly. He always proves so faithful. My Promised Land is just beginning and I can tell you that I left once and I never want to leave it again. Your Promised Land is not meant for you to wait till you get to Heaven. God wants you to live there here on earth. It takes giving up what you want each day and seeing what God has for you. Believe me, it is much better than anything I could have ever planned on my own. I was so scared. I had let Satan put so much fear in me. He still wants me to fear what lies ahead, but my God is going to win this one. However hard it may be, I have the one who loves me and cares about each part of my life and that makes all things be for good for those who are called according to His purpose. You can have Him too. I have always wanted to go on a mission trip and never felt like it was God's timing. God showed me the night that our mission team, that just returned from Honduras, spoke that this is my mission trip that I have always prayed for I new that I wanted to live my life telling others about the Lord and now I get that opportunity right in my home. Thank you, Lord!

I am sorry I haven't posted on my blog lately but I have been too busy to stop long enough. God has also been busy working on me. We will be leaving Sunday and we covet your prayers. They have definitely been felt thus far. I will update my blog while I am gone and let you know what is going on. Thank you so much ! Please keep praying! 

Oh, and one more thing. I beg you to host a child and change their life and yours. You do not have to adopt. That doesn't mean you want change your mind after you do it. It is a very tangible way to impact a life forever. Just show a child God's love, that they have more than likely never experienced. It will change their life and yours forever! Much of God's Love, The Spruells

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Still Just Waiting

First of all we would like to thank everyone who made our Chick-fil-A Night such a great success. A lady at Chick-fil-A said that we had one of the bigger turnouts. We don't know how much we made yet but we really appreciate everyone taking the time to help. Thanks so much!

Right now we are still just waiting. We hope to here our travel dates next week. The problem is that the kids are leaving for the whole summer to go to different camps and the orphanage director is coming to America. He says that we have to wait till he gets back if we don't make it before he leaves which is the 28th of June. We just have to wait till we get the dates till we can figure anything out. Who knows? Only God! We just have to be patient and wait on God's perfect timing. It is a very hard to listen to Natasha with the only sentences she has ever said is ,when are you coming to get us and why are you not hosting us for the summer. Elena, our translator says she is very sad. Her friend Vika is now here in Canton with her new family and she got to experience how adoption was all really real. Maxim seems to be doing fine. He is outside playing with friends most of the time when we call. We will not get to talk to them anymore after the 25th. They will be leaving to go off to camp. Please pray for Natasha's heart. She is probably one of the oldest children there and really would rather be doing something different. I know she would love to be around children her own age. She has always been mom, being one of the oldest, and I know she would like to experience someone taking care of her instead of always taking care of everyone else. She still needs to be a child herself. Please pray for God's perfect work in all of us as He continues to change their lives as well as ours.

I found a wonderful scripture this morning. Psalm 68:5 says, "A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in His holy habitation". When God wants us to grow to be just like Him, this is part of it. It is so easy to go through our days praying, (yes and even) reading your Bible, going to church and doing all the churchy things and forget to be where God would be, in His holy habitation, taking care of those who can't take care of themselves. This is what I have always done. I have actually felt like I didn't even know how. Sometimes we just need to jump out of the boat and let God do it for us. Just obey. Get out of your comfort zone and let God do amazing things in your life. I believe He is waiting on us to do that. That is where we can experience Him more than we could ever imagine. When you realize that you can't do it, but He can. Let me tell you, it is not an easy road, but you can never imagine the blessings that come with obedience. It is so so hard, but so so rewarding. It is life changing!

 I have no words that could thank you all enough for all you prayers and support. Please continue to pray. None of this can happen without Him. It could be 2 weeks, a month in a half, or 5 months. Whatever it is, it is God's perfect plan, and that is all we want. For Him to be honored and glorified through all that happens! We have realized, it don't matter what you have as long as you have Him! He is all that matters!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lifesong for Orphans- Chick-fil-A Night- Video- God's Heart: Adoption

Please view this great video and see God's Heart for Adoption.

I have great news to share about Lifesong for Orphans. This is an awesome organization that seeks to help bring joy and purpose to orphans. They are partnering with us and assisting us in bringing Maxim and Natasha home. Funds donated to Lifesong for Orphans from now through July 19, 2011 will be given to us as an Adoption Grant to help cover adoption expenses for Natasha and Maxim. As a 501(c)3 organization, your gift is tax deductible.We are also waiting to here if this will turn into a matching grant. This could help us receive another $5,000 when we raise $5,000 of our own.You can send a check to Lifesong or you can go to the link on the side of this page and donate on Lifesongs website. Please write “preference Spruell #2101 Adoption” in the memo section of your check or when donating on-line.
1. Please make checks payable to: Lifesong. You may preference how the donation may
2. Mail checks to:
Lifesong for Orphans
Att: Spruell #2101 Adoption
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744

Please come and join us for Chick-fil-A Night to raise money to help bring Natasha and Maxim home. It will be Thursday, June 9th , 5:00-8:00, at Chick-fil-A in Carrollton. We will receive 15% of all food sold if you give them our ticket at the register. Everybody loves Chick-fil-A. It is an easy way to help, just come and have supper!

Thank you for your prayers and support!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Prayers, Prayers, We Need Prayers!

Today is the first day we have gotten through to Natasha and Maxim in about 2 weeks. I don't know what it is, but the phones have been busy alot and there has also been a bad connection. Maxim didn't come to the phone for some reason but we got to talk to Natasha. She broke my heart today. I know I have mentioned that she usually doesn't talk much, just answer our questions with yes or no. Well today she kept on asking when were we coming to get them. We just really don't have a good answer for that. We know that we are striving to get there by mid June and we told her that. But Elena told her that if we couldn't get there in June that it would be August because the orphanage director is coming to America during July to be a chaperon with New Horizons. I think since she has seen the process of her friend Vika's adoption it is making her realize that this is really going to happen. The thing is that it could very well not happen in Aug. either because the SDA has pushed there closing forward until maybe Aug. If that happens it could be even Nov. before we could get them. Natasha then asked if we could not get there before August could we host them for the summer. We had to make the decision not to host because there was the chance of bringing them home in July. It was very hard to not be able to say we will be right there. She has never really indicated that she really wanted to come other than saying yes, so when she said this I wanted to be right there. We then said our good by, we loved her and we would get there as soon as we could. It did make me really excited that she opened up so much and was so ready to come, but also sad because she wanted to come and I couldn't do anything about it. The tears wanted to really flow but I held them in. Then after that I called the adoption agency to see if our dossier was getting turned in on schedule, which was going to hopefully be today or tomorrow. Well, I found out there was some delay and it would probably be next Monday or Tuesday. This was hard to here after  I had just been listening to Natasha want to come so bad. It was just about already to the impossible point but now even worse than that. Now as soon as the dossier is given to the right hands they will have to choose to give us a date to travel immediately. This will be a miracle. This does not usually happen but the Lord has done some pretty amazing things so far and I know that if He wants them home now they will come home now. Please pray for God's miracles. We know that Maxim and Natasha  are not in any danger besides that of a broken heart. We can't wait to see God work in their lives to repair that. It is so hard for me to see how they could have to wait even longer to be united with their forever family but we do trust whatever God's perfect will is. Please also pray how you can be a part of changing these children's lives. The Lord works in lives in different ways. He blesses some people by giving them a heart to open up their homes to orphans and He blesses some people with the finances to help these children find a home. We can't always do it all but we can work together to give them everything they need. We still need $20,000. Are you the one who can help financially and give Maxim and Natasha a chance at life. We know that God wants to change more than our lives with this. If you let your heart see what God wants you to see , you will never be the same. I praise and thank God for what He is doing in my life! I will never be the same. Please pray that God's miracle will happen and the dossier will be turned in quickly and we will get a travel date before the 3rd week of June. Please pray that Maxim and Natasha would not have to wait any longer to be united with their forever family. They have been without a family long enough. We all know God's heart for orphans. We are His hands and feet here on earth. Help us show these children Him. May God be glorified through all that will happen. To God be the glory!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

True Faith

Here is the newest picture of our puzzle of Maxim and Natasha. We have now had 170 pieces. Please help give them life by donating $5 and have your name on the back of the puzzle to show them you care. You can click the donate button at the bottom of the page.

We had an awesome weekend at Roopville Road Baptist Church. We had our Global Missions Conference. We had many missionaries from this area and from all around the world telling about the mission that God has led them on. It was great to see all the Lord is doing in every part of the world. Through our adoption process the Lord has pierced our heart for orphans in a great way. We know the Lord is calling us to help these children in some way. Please help us pray as we seek God's will for this. 

Now for my story about true faith. As we have been going through the adoption process I have claimed many times that we are moving forward by faith and trusting God to meet each need (and He so graciously has). We have never been in the financial situation to do what we are doing. This whole adventure has been God's from the very beginning. We knew God placed Maxim and Natasha into our home because by the time we realized this was what God wanted us to do they were about the only sibling group left. Brady and Sarah Grace wanted a boy and a girl and we thought that would be great. We watched as the Lord provided every dime we needed to bring them here and not only that but provided for them while they were here. As the Lord confirmed in our hearts to adopt them we knew that this whole journey would have to be a matter of faith. We knew that we not only didn't have the money to adopt them but we would living on faith each day after all this is over also. As time is drawing near to go to Ukraine the Lord has shown me that the faith I had has really not been faith at all. I realized this as my family was having our prayer time the other night. I shared with them since our time was running out that I knew that if all else failed we could get an adoption loan that was interest free and payment free until we received our adoption tax credit check next year ( which sounded so great and perfect). We have known this of course but hadn't ever talked about doing it until then. Thinking the whole time that I had been living solely on faith, in the back of my mind that we could always do this if the rest didn't work out. Then it was like I had been shot in the heart. Brad proceded to remind me that we had decided long ago when we got out of debt that we knew that it was not God's will for us to ever be in that situation again. I guess that all this time I had blocked this out of my mind because I had to have a backup plan in case God didn't come through for me. You can't imagine how that hit me when I realized all along that I didn't really trust God if I had a backup plan of my own.That just truly tore me up. The next day it was all I could think about. How I claimed to truly trust God and even made myself believe it. But I know that this is not true faith and trust. It is our humanness to always have a backup plan in case God doesn't come through for us but it is not how God has called us to trust Him. He has called us to trust Him in everything. We don't need a backup plan when we truly trust Him. I realized then that God is calling me to a faith I've never had or experienced. So now if I truly trust him I have to move forward in real faith. God has shown me what real faith is. We have no other option now but to really put our faith to work. We have come so far already having $9,000. But it is so hard to look at $21,000 more and think it is even possible. We have to have a HUGE faith for this. As I have said before, we have a HUGE God, but all this takes on a whole new meaning of huge.I know that many people in this world don't understand this and even many Christain people don't understand. We all have it in our nature to think we have to fix it all. Sometimes we just can't and thats when you are pointed to the One who can, Jesus Christ.

Please join us in faith as we believe for the HUGE. He would not have brought us this far for nothing. Next week our dossier will be turned in and we will be awaiting our travel dates. When we get this date we have to be there or it is all over. You can't just reschedule till you get the money. This is it. This is where we trust God for the HUGE. We know the Lord has called us here. We can't even imagine how He will pull this off, but I can't wait to see just what He is going to do. I pray that the world would see Him. I pray that the world would see how awesome it is to truly give your whole life to Him. I can't wait to see what He is going to do in your life too!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Waiting on God's Timing

Please pray for God's perfect will to unfold. We really can't believe how things are coming along so quickly. Just a few weeks ago we were told it would be a miracle if we got to Ukraine before the SDA closed down. Today we can say that each step is working out amazingly. We were first waiting on our marriage licence to get here from Jamaica. We thought they would never get here. They got here about 2 weeks ago and they were sent directly to Washington. They had to be apostilled by the Jamaican Embassy. They have now been sent back to us, thanks to the wonderful man in Washington that helped us. Back here we have had a very nice man at Johnny Isakson's office helping us to get our adoption approved. We had waited a week because he needed proof that Maxim and Natasha are brother and sister and that Natasha is about to be 17. This came Tuesday and we just found out today that they are now considering expediting. I really don't understand all of this but all I know is that this could be happening very soon. Our dossier is being sent today to Joe and Nicole ( the family adopting Kolya) and they will take it with them to Ukraine on May 9th when they go for their first trip to adopt Kolya. It will then be up to them to give us a court date. This normally takes awhile but we have reason to believe that we could know soon after that. Please pray for God's perfect plan. We know that whatever is His plan is best. We have many, many details that will have to be worked out but our God has told us that HE will work out each one. We know that Maxim and Natasha are supposed to be here with us. God has called us to take care of them and love them and said He would take care of the rest. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!!!

Also, please pray for us as we seek God's will about what He wants us to do with what He has shown us. He has touched our heart for orphans in such a mighty way. There are so many out there and we could bring hope to their lives in many different ways. It is hard to comprehend not having a family or ANYONE. We don't know how blessed we are just to have someone who cares about us. They have no one to tuck them in bed each night, no one teach them the most simple things we take for granted. Just try to imagine what it would be like. It is hard. I think it is almost impossible unless you have had it right in front of you. And then even then it is. My children had them in their home for 4 1/2 weeks and still have no clue, but they will, and I know God is going to change our lives forever. I am so excited about what He is doing. I pray that each one of you will be touched as we have been but you do have to choose to see it. We can keep blinders on our eyes if we want to or we can choose to jump in to what God wants to do in our lives and follow Him no matter how hard it is. I challenge you to do that. I have found that missing the awesome things God has for us is like missing out on life. You can't imagine what He can do in your life till you make the choice to follow. Then you will see just how amazing He is and how He can run or lives perfectly if we let Him. I promise you don't want to miss it. It is more awesome than you can ever imagine. God loves you more than you can ever imagine!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You !!!

We would like to thank everyone who helped us to make our Fundraising Festival a great day. So far we have raised over $3,000. just from this past weekend. The BBQ was great! Everything turned out great! It truly was such a show of God's love to us and we can't wait to show Maxim and Natasha the outpouring of love to them. I can't imagine how it must feel to think no one loves you and then to get to see that not just one person loves you but many, many people love you. I pray that they will see God's love abundantly as we have through everything you all have done. I have so many people to thank. I do not want to forget anyone who helped so I just want to say thank you to everyone. Thank you to everyone who helped in the kitchen. That was a huge job! Thank you to each person who helped at each table, ticket table, shirt table, Maxim and Natasha's table, cake walk, silent auction, inflatables and to our great face painters. Also to everyone who donated a cake, something for the silent auction, and the inflatables. If you did anything, thank you! If you prayed, thank you! We could never thank you enough.

Even though we did great on Sat. we still have along way to go. We are now up to $8,000. That means $22,ooo. left. Seems impossible in our human minds but we know that we have an amazing God who says He will finish what He has started. We hang on to this everyday. We now have very cute shirts for sale that say "My Favorite Book Says We're All Adopted" Ephesians 1: 4-6 with a picture of the Bible on it. We have hot pink and light blue. They are $15.  We also still have many prayer bracelets. These are the colors of the Ukrainian flag, blue and yellow. They are $3. You can always be reminded to keep Maxim and Natasha in your prayers. Also remember that we still have a puzzle to put together. When you donate $5 they will see your name on the back and know that you care about them. The quilt works the same way. With a donation of $25 your name will be put on a square on their quilt so that they will be wrapped with lots of love. In James 1:27 it says," Religion that God accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Lets help these children find life!

Here is a picture of the shirts and bracelets!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

God's Words to Me Through Our Journey and Puzzle Update

We are so excited to announce 104 puzzle pieces donated! The Lord has been so good to us. So far every dime has been provided for, just like He said it would be. It has been truly been a blessing to see the outpouring of love for Natasha and Maxim as we get ready for our fundraiser. Please pray as we see what the Lord does through this event. Thanks to everyone for your love and support.

Since we have begun this journey the Lord has showered me with His words each day. He has shown me so many different things through these scriptures. I thought that they may could be the encouragement to you that they have been to me, no matter what you are facing. As I read them every day He gives me the strength I need to get me to the next place He has for me to go. Read the amazing words God has for you also.

Matt. 6:33- But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Joshua 1:9- Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Exodus 4:15- And though shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: And I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth and I will teach you what ye shall do.
Psalm 25:4-5- Show me your ways O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth, and teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 32:7- You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
1 Thess. 5:24- The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
Gal. 6:9- Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Jer. 32:11-Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is to hard for you.
Isaiah 26:3- I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trust in Thee.
Gal. 5:16- The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Eph. 5:1-2- Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Jer. 17:5-7- Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.
Phil. 4:6- Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with
thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God.
Eph. 1:19- And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.
Luke 9:23-24- If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it , but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matt. 11: 28-30- Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Psalm 147:11- The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Bump In the Road

Many of you may have heard we have gotten some news that could set us back 3-4 months on bringing Natasha and Maxim home. The place that handles adoptions in the Ukraine is moving locations and changing names and will be closing down starting around the 1st of June. The lady helping us with the adoption is trying her best to get us there before this happens but says it will be a miracle. We know our God is in that business. We know that He will do it if that is what is best for us and them. But we also know that He may have another plan. Please pray about this situation. If we don't get to go till later in the year we know that it would be best for them to come back for summer hosting with New Horizons. We know the longer they are away from us the worse it will be on them, learning to trust  all over again. The hard part is that it will cost $5ooo. to host them again. As we know that nothing is too hard for God, we realize that this still is something only God could do. As big as this journey is, God has met every need in the exact amount, right on time. First we had to pay for our homestudy to be done which was $1500. Then we had to send our application package to the USCIS to get approval for our adoption which was $890. Right in time, of course, we had it to send. Just last week we had to have another $1500. I know many of you are curious about where all the funds go for adoption. Here is is a list that I received for our budget.
  • USCIS approval process
  • First half of contract fee-$1000.(already pd.)
  • Translation fee- $500.(already pd.)
  • Prepare Ukrainian dossier and apostille dossier-$90.
  • FedEx dossier to Ukraine- $100.
  • Final steps in traveling
  • 2nd half of adoption to adoption agency- facilitation fee-$1000.
  • flights- 2 trips-$1400-$2400
  • Money to take to Ukraine
  • $8500. balance for Ukraine Facilitation Fee
  • $4000. 2nd child in-country fee
  • $1000. orphanage donation
  • $1000. orphanage donation for 2nd child
  • $1050. Food ($25. daily x 42 days-a few extra just in case)
  • $1000. Internal Ukraine travel
  • $1500. Lodging (Kiev Apt. $60 x 5 nights= $300) + (regional apt. $40 x 30 nights=$1200)
  • $300 clothing/personal items for children/souvenirs
  • $400 at Kiev American Embassy
  • $400 at Kiev American Embassy (for 2nd child)
  • $2000. + extra cash to have in case some unexpected delay happens
  • $1800. Plane tickets to come home including one child
  • $700 Plane ticket for 2nd child
Please pray that the Lord would continue to meet each need as it comes our way. Also that He would bless our Spring Fundraising Festival on Sat. April 30th. The Lord has called each one of His children to take care of orphans. It is one specific way for us to follow Christ and love His children that no one else loves. The Lord has totally blessed us beyond what we can even imagine. Thanks to everyone for your amazing outpouring of love. God has used many of you more than you could ever know. From God's overflowing love, we love you!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Puzzle is Coming Along!

We have sold 36 pieces,464 to go. WE KNOW GOD CAN DO IT.

What the Lord is Doing in Our Lives

Luke 9:23-24 If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake shall find it. 
                                                                                                                                                                  I really didn't want to share this but the Lord has impressed upon my heart that I must. My whole life I have seemed to always make everything about me. I did not want to do this because this is supposed to be about Natasha and Maxim, but I have to share what God is doing in my life. I have always lived a very selfish life like I know many people would say. I was an only child till I was 10 years old and then I was the youngest and everything was still about me or at least I thought it was. I have lived a life where I always expected people to give to me. In other words I have always been a taker. It has never been in me to be a giver. Then God called me to be one. I didn't have a clue how to be a giver, only a taker. I am the one who has always needed the attention, so how in the world could I give attention to someone else. When my relationship with the Lord grew, I started praying about this in my life. I knew to be a Christ follower, I was to be a giver. I have always wanted to be that kind of person but never had it in me. Since I started praying about this the Lord has put one thing after the other in my path for me to do that didn't seem possible for me to do. First, it was homeschooling. I knew this was something I could never do myself because I didn't have a clue how to give this to my children. I stepped out in faith and did what I God wanted me to do and let God do the rest. Now, God has called me to step out in faith again. For anyone who doubts this adoption, and says I hope they are not making a mistake, I want to say this is no mistake.God has called me and my family to do this. It is the farthest thing that I would ever choose for myself. I have many fears that haunt me everyday. Satan continues to tell me that I can't homeschool and that I can't help care and love these children. As hard as it has been I have set out to prove him wrong. No matter what, in and after this adoption it is not me leading but God. He has much to do in my life and has already done more than you could ever imagine. The Lord's plan is soveriegn and I would never want to miss what God has for me. I prayed this prayer long ago that He would help me to reach out to others instead of letting others reach out to me. I know without a doubt that God has called me to this. He has blessed me beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I praise Him and thank Him for that. I want to say too that everything I have done and will do is God and only God. I could have never made it this far on my own. He is my guide so we will continue to see what all He has in store. I do know that it is exceedingly abundantly more than I could ever ask or imagine.

I know this seemed to be all my story but it isn't. This morning after I wrote this I took it to Brad to share with him. After he read it he said," This is my story." I was very shocked to hear this. As different as we are, God is working in us in the same way. Brad is always so strong to me and always seems like he can handle anything. I know God has given him to me to help hold me up and help me when I am weak. I would have never dreamed that he experienced the same thing in his heart as I had experienced. God is just so awesome! Remember Luke 9:23-24. If anyone wants to save his life he must lose it. God's life for us is so much better than we could ever make on our own. The question is, will we follow what we want and have the ordinary, or what God has and experience the extraordinary?

Monday, April 4, 2011

What A Great Day!!

What an awesome day we had today! What an awsome God we serve! Today was our day to call Maxim and Natasha. I still can't get over how the Lord just happened to plant a sweet, sweet lady who speaks Russian a mile down the road from us. I feel like she is becoming part of our family since she is helping us communicate with our soon to be children. They have not said much when we call other than yes or no when we ask a question. It is so hard to open them up and know their hearts. Our heart breaks for them. We want so desperatly to show them we love them and want to help them and be there for them.But because it seems so hard for us to reach them, it is awsome when we see some glimmer of hope. Today was about the 4th time we have spoken to them. They seemed really happy and much more open today. It is beautiful weather there like it was here and you know that always brings a smile to your face. Natasha told us she would like her room pink. Sarah Grace was very excited and wanted 2 walls pink and 2 green.  They said they were learning to speak German in school. I said noooo! We need English! Everyone laughed. They seemed to be opening up a little more. It was great! And then to top it all off I said to Maxim " I love you"  and he said "I love you" in his sweet little voice. We were all so excited that he spoke and boy did he speak. He spoke words of hope and healing.And I do know that those prayers I asked for went up and He was answering with flying colors. How awesome it will be to see all that God wants to do in their lives and in ours. It is amazing how something so small can mean so much. That just goes to show you how God wants to work in even the smallest things. He is such a BIG God that cares about every little aspect of our lives. I feel like so many times I just wiz by and miss the wonderful things God wants to show me in the small things in life. I have realized that God's plans are just too big and too awsome to miss and I want to stay right beside Him so I don't miss them. I pray that you do the same. I love each one of you and God loves you more than you could ever imagine!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Our Fundraising Activities for April

This month we are planning some exciting things. Starting the 2nd week in April we will be having a Charity Basketball tournament to help us raise the funds to bring home Maxim and Natasha. This will be at Roopville Road Baptist Church. Lots of area churches around are adding their basketball teams in to participate. If you or anyone you know would like to participate you can call Brad and he will sign you up. We will also be having a concession stand and selling bracelets, with the Ukrainian flag colors of royal blue and yellow, to remind you to pray for Natasha and Maxim.  Anyone that can help me in the concession stand would be a great help.

Next, on Saturday, April 30th, from 11:00 till 4:00, we will be having a SPRING ADOPTION FUNDRAISING FESTIVAL. This will also be at Roopville Road Baptist Church. We will be having yummy BBQ plates for $5. We will be selling these tickets in advance starting next week. We will also be having a silent auction with lots of good things for you to come and bid on.  There will be a cakewalk and also lots of fun for children like face painting, and a moonwalk and slide. We hope that you will come out and help us to give Maxim and Natasha a family.

We also need much help in making this happen. We need people to help prepare the food. We need donations for the cake walk and the silent auction. We also need help at  the different tables we will have set up. I know that many people don't have money right now to help, but I do know that God has already appointed  where every dime will come from. He knows who don't have the money but can lend a helping hand in other ways. There are many ways to show these children that they are loved. One is by helping and another is praying. Please continue to pray for them. We are calling them on Monday of every week. We have a very sweet lady that speaks Russian who comes over each week to translate. I would like for you to pray that they would begin to open up more. They rarely say anything other than yes or no or directly answer our questions. We are praying that even though they are far away that they feel all the things that God is doing in their lives even now. We know they are made to believe that no one cares for them and they will never amount to anything. I can't wait till they can see for themselves the outpouring of love for them that we have already experienced. They will then see how much God truly loves them and see how so many people love them and care about their lives. Thanks in advance for all of your help. We are truly overwhelmed by God's love shown through all of our friends and family. You all are the greatest!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Buy a puzzle piece for just $5 or a Quilt Square for $25 and help bring our children home!!

We have just finished making our 500 piece puzzle of Natasha and Maxim and we are selling each piece for $5 each! Once a piece is purchased, we will write the name of the sponsor on the back and join it together with the others in hopes to complete it entirely, all while raising a crucial $2500 to help finish all the documentation needed to file for our court date. This is a great opportunity to sew into the lives of two orphaned children for less than the price of a value meal at McDonald's! Once we complete the puzzle we will display it in a two sided glass frame in our house so that Natasha and Maxim can see all the people God used to bring them home! To purchase, simply click the "donate" button on the right hand side of this blog and continue through paypal. Please write in the notes field "Puzzle Fundraiser" and be sure to list the name you would like listed on the piece. Thank you in advance!

Another fundraiser we would like to introduce at the same time is Patches of Hope. A dear friend is going to make a beautiful, unique quilt for each child. Upon each purchased square the donor can either have their name, scripture or message sewn onto their square and when complete will provide a blanket of love, hope and faith in Jesus to Natasha and Maxim to wrap themselves in. Each square is $25 and can be purchased through the same "Donate" button. Just be sure to write in the notes field "Quilt Fundraiser" and list what you would like to have sewn into the patch. This too will provide the crucial funds needed to help us complete our paperwork and prepare for travel and attorney expenses that are soon to come.

(Example of Quilt w/messages/scriptures)

Thank you again for all your prayers, encouragement and support as our family steps out of the boat and onto the raging sea. $30,000 can seem like an unreachable mountain that can shadow our dreams of our completed family. BUT our faith in Jesus and His promises to finish what He has started continue to shine a light into this unknown darkness and will lead us to Natasha and Maxim. Please prayerfully consider how you can help. Feel free to share our blog with you friends and family.
Love and Blessings,
The Spruells