Monday, November 14, 2011

New place...Same people!

To all our faithful friends and followers...We have moved our blog!

Visit our new blog for a surprise!

Shane & Diana

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Meet Alina!

This is Alina! We met her on our most recent trip to Ukraine. Our good friend Anya introduced us to a ministry for Orphans that is wide open and that we had not even considered before.

Alina is 19 and pregnant. I'm ashamed to admit, when Anya first introduced us, in my mind i judged Alina. I thought, "you did this", "you made a decision to have sex and now you want someone to bail you out". After about 5 minutes with her I started to feel how scared she was. As i heard her story i began to understand that many people let her down along the way and that she made decisions with what little knowledge about life that she had. By the end of our first meeting my heart was absolutely breaking for this scared little girl.

When Alina was about 11 her mother died. Because there was no one who could care for them, her and her brother were sent to an orphanage. Alina's brother is still in the orphanage.

Before Alina became pregnant she was given a room in the dorm at her trade school. She can not have or raise a baby in a dorm. When her mother passed away there was a flat that was left to Alina and her brother. The neighbors noticed over time that the place was vacant. First they broke in and helped themselves to everything! Later, they found it a good place to discard all of their junk.

Alina saved for 6 months to buy new windows and a front door for the place. But time is running out. Alina is due in September and we'd like to be able to have her flat finished so she can bring her baby home to thier own home. Alina would also like to bring her brother home from the orphanage. If not permanently, at least during vacation times.

The living room.

The bedroom. Alina put that wallpaper up with a little money she saved.

The new front door that she saved for.

The shower stall.

The toilet stall.

Alina, Alexi and Anya. Alina looks so worried in this picture.

When i asked Alina how much it will cost to get her flat ready to live in she said she figured it would cost her about $3000. That would include putting down flooring, wall papering and furniture. I did notice that she didn't figure in a stove, refrigrator or kitchen sink. And i'm sure there is plumbing work to be done. I sent a plumber to her flat the other day to give an estimate, but i haven't received a report back yet. I think Alina is being humble in her estimate.

In all, i think we need to raise $4000 to have her flat ready for September. Sometimes orphans need just a little help up to be able to make it through life. Will you help Alina?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Beyond the Dream

I wonder what it must have been like always wanting a family but not knowing what it really is? Watching people come and take away your friends as you stay behind? You know this family thing must be great and you have hope that some day a family will come for you. But time goes by, more friends leave and your still there.

This i think must be the glasses that my Krista looks through. It is taking her quite a bit more time to warm up to this new family than it has the other three. It is almost as if she is not sure this is real and if it is, they will probably not keep me anyway. Two families before us had visited her and told her they would be her new family. What it must have felt like to deal with that kind of rejection?

But the best part for us is we get to watch her unfold and bloom. Little by little her protective wall is coming down and another beautiful part of this child is revealed.

This morning before i left for work i was being silly with her because she seems to respond to this. She isn't normally very affectionate with me. She has moments where she'll lay her head on my shoulder or briefly cuddle up with me. But she doesn't ever stay to long. But just before leaving for work today i felt little arms around my waist. I looked down to see a little smiling facing looking up at me. I brushed her hair back, kissed her forehead and told her "I love you and i'm very happy your here". The little face beeming back at me is what this adoption thing is all about. Every child needs love and deserves a family that will give them that. And the truth is, i need them just as much. They are teaching me more about love than i could ever have learned in the selfish life i lived before they came home.

Shane (Also known as Papa!)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Urgent Help Needed!

I received an urgent email from our good friend Natasha at Father's House Christian Orphanage in Green Forest, Ukraine. They are in dire need of help to feed the children there and pay the heating bill.

I'll try to give you as much info as i can and try to stay as brief as possible.

Father's House was started by Grigoriy Zinchenko, a survivor of Buchenwald. He wrote a book "Escape from Buchenwald" and used the proceeds to open this Orphanage. When Grigoriy was younger he traveled the United States speaking at Churchs and raising support for the Orphanage. He is now is his 80's and cannot travel. Many of the supporters that he had built up have fallen off. When we were there last October the Director told us she is keeping the place running on about $500 a month from the donors that are left. She didn't know how they were going to make it through the winter but she has faith that God will provide. We gave them what we could when we were there and told them to keep us informed of how everything was going.

This Orphanage has been under attack in a past few years by some unscrouplulous businessmen that are taking advantage of the fact that they don't have much money. When the land was first purchased there was nothing around. But now it has become a very nice area with larger homes. These people, although so far unsuccessful, are trying to swindal the orphanage out of it's land. One of the tactics they use is to pay off officials to come down on the orphanage with code violations. They are being required to install a fire sprickler system even though the government owned school across the street doesn't have one.

I want to say that these people work hard at raising these children in a Christian loving atmosfere. Diana and I fell in love the these children the moment we met them. When there is something this good and God honoring in the world, we have to dig hard a fight for it. It is what Jesus expects of us!

They were able to put the Sprinckler system off but are required to immediately change all the Interior doors. They don't have money for this and are asking our help. The government isn't giving them a break on the heating bill either so they were forced to start heating with wood. The government also requires them to feed the children a certain diet and they are required to show receipts for the food they purchase.

They humbly asked us to help them raise $2000. This is what they need to scrap by for the next two months. If we can raise more it would be fantastic and would allow the Orphanage nurse to buy medicine for the children. When we looked at her inventory in October there was only a few bandages. We brought her some supplies from the states on our second trip but not enough for what she really needs.

Natasha the Nurse. She is shy and quiet and a very sweet soul.

A couple of the girls wanted to show their artwork.

The old guy (Me) playing Ping Pong with the boys.

Please do whatever you can to help! If not us, then who?

Out of gratitude for your caring support we will be giving away a hand painted 5 piece Nesting Doll set that we purchased from a very well known Artist in Kharkiv. Each $5 donation gets an entry in the drawing.

If you have any questions you can email me at

With much Gratitude!
Shane Lewis

If you prefer to send help directly to the Orphanage this is their address:
English: Ukraine 62460Kharkovskaya oblast, village Vusoky, str. Octyabrskaya, 50 Children's House "Father's House" Director Khorolskay Y.Y.

Russian: УКРАИНА 62460Харьковская обл., пос.Высокийул.Октябрьская, 50Детский дом "Отчий дом"директор Хорольская Ю.Ю.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Great Day!

We celebrated thier birthdays that we missed the year we were paper pregnant!

I had one of those exceptionally incredible days yesterday! Nothing out of the ordinary, just started out perfectly with me having a little time with the girls before they boarded the bus for school.

I should have taken a picture but i was so wrapped up in the fun i neglected to include you all visually. What we did was play Soccer in the drive way with snowballs! I would kick it out there and Tessa would kick it, then Krista chased after it with Brooke and Chloe on her heels. Krista would kick it back and Chloe would stomp it to smithereens! They laughed histerically the entire time. It is times like that that make me realize how absolutely blessed i am!

I left for work right after the bus. But all day i spent in wonder of how great it is to have these girls in our family. Because we are older and past the survival mode kind of parenting, i am really enjoying this time of my life and everything our Daughters have brought to it. Yes, they are a hand full at times and oh boy can they misbehave, but they are a blessing that is immeasureable!

I have been working to fight and raise awareness to Human Trafficking for a few years now. And during my idle time i started to think about the future that awaited our girls before Jesus gave them to us.

Here are the statistics:

-143,000,0002 Orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home.

-Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…

-Every YEAR 14,050,000 children still grow up as orphans and AGE OUT of the system

-Every DAY 38,493 children AGE OUT

-Every 2.2 SECONDS, another orphan child AGES OUT with no family to belong to and no place to call home

-In Ukraine and Russia 10% -15% of children who age out of an orphanage commit suicide before age 18.

-60% of the girls are lured into prostitution. 70% of the boys become hardened criminals.

-Many of these children accept job offers that ultimately result in their being sold as slaves.

-Millions of girls are sex slaves today, simply because they were unfortunate enough to grow up as orphans.

Now, look at the picture at the top and think of this: Statistically, 3 of our girls would have been trafficked or worse!

I know, it started out super and ended with a harsh reality. But it is the icing on the cake for me. Not only do it get the be the Papa of four little Ukrainian Princesses, but we also are making a change in the Human Trafficking world by fighting the way Christians should...through adoption!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our Girls Talking!

Little Miss Chloe. Yes, she is really that cute all the time! We usually have to beg her to stop talking. At the wise age of 6 she has no problem setting you straight.

Miss Brooke. She tells you about the first birthday party she attended and a few more things. Diana and I had a great laugh watching her video.

I have two more videos to load but ran out of time. Enjoy these and i'll try to the the others up soon.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

3+ Months Home

I know, I stink at the Blogging thing. It has been pretty busy since we arrived home in October.

The girls are doing incredibly well, much better than we expected. We can only assume that because they were still in a Baby Orphanage and not exposed to older children we are having less issues with them than we were told to expect by many adoptive parents we talked to.

Christmas was very tight this year but we were able to get the girls a few gifts. They were super excited to say the least.

A few weeks ago Krista, Tessa and Brooke were invited to and attended thier first Birthday party. It is exciting for them and equally exciting for us to see them experiencing things that they have not previously.

This morning they left for school with Valentines for thier first every Valentines party. I can't wait until they get home so i can see the excitement on thier face. Who doesn't remember the School Valentine party?

They are all speaking understandable english and starting to read books.

Chloe had a Fashion show at School to celebrate 100 days. Her and Mama trimmed her shirt with 100 Popcicle sticks.

I'll try to post again soon. I want to get video of them talking so you can see how great their english is.