Stories // Anastasia

The day she joined our family forever!

The day she joined our family forever!

I’m so excited to share a beautiful video about our adoption journey, created by Petro Studios, Church Project’s Story Team, and The Orphan Care Network. As you watch this 6 minute film, please remember that there are an estimated 153 million children worldwide in need of families, and think about what role you could play in bringing them home.

Our story would not look the same without the countless prayers, gifts and support of our family, friends, church, community and even people we’ve never met. This film is not simply about Anastasia, our family or TOCN, but instead demonstrates what can happen when people dare to believe they can make a difference, and (instead of sitting idly by) invest into the lives of those they love. The community around us partnered with our dream of bringing Anastasia home. Through their actions, God’s will is being done in our family. To Him be the glory!

~ Justina Dee

Read more about our adoption journey here: She’s Finally Home : Our Ukrainian Adoption Journey & Timeline

Click here to connect with The Orphan Care Network


Orphans & Human Trafficking – Is There More I Can Do?

Not to speak is to speak, not to act is to act The stories make my stomach lurch. Girls sent away from the orphanages of Eastern Europe at sixteen years old with nowhere to go. Predators prey like vultures, and mercilessly snatch them up. Kidnap them. Sell them. Abuse them. Buy them. Use them. Beat them. Even kill them. They are trapped in rooms and broken down. And horrible, atrocious acts are inflicted upon them. They contract HIV. They suffer. They die. And where am I? I never even glance their way. I have MY very busy life to live. My spouse, my children, my family and friends, my job. My health. My goals.  And on top of all my responsibilities and problems I’m too busy catching up on my favorite Netflix show. Pinning on Pinterest. Tweeting on Twitter. Deciding where we should vacation. Organizing my bathroom shelf. Getting my oil changed. Perfecting my life plan and mission statement. Reading a book to help alleviate the stress of it all. You know, important things. Oh, I’ve attended fundraisers. I’ve studied up on the matters of human trafficking. I’ve even shared videos and Facebook statuses about it all. I refuse to live in naivety and bury my head in the sand. Yes, I’m aware. But is it enough to be aware?

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Hold on! I’ve done more than just educated myself! I’ve prayed. I’ve interceded on behalf of these victims, and asked God to bring freedom, justice, healing and restoration. I’ve prayed for those in law enforcement and human trafficking ministries and organizations who are in the dangerous and life-threatening trenches – bringing comfort, rescue and a future to these precious souls. I know that awareness and prayer are vital! I have seen the powerful effect of our fervent prayers directed towards the human trafficking issue. I believe that it is during those times of prayer that the complacency in my heart began to melt, and my eyes were opened to the truth that I’m not helpless to the issue.

“The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying.  He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.” –  Samuel Chadwick

But then there’s this:

…be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22

The next step is to be a “doer”.  As my heart impacted by the things that stir God’s heart, my feet and my hands cannot help but move in response. I will begin to live in such a way that as the Spirit moves in my heart I become a vessel of God’s love and mercy through my actions. God has gone to great lengths to rescue me, and as a result of my overflowing gratefulness for what He has done for me, I cannot help but to the same for others.

Praying men are the vice-regents of God; they do His work and carry out His plans.” E.M. Bounds

Our family has long talked about the injustice of human trafficking. And faithfully prayed about this issue. We’ve met and been inspired by brave people who are taking action in this area. And now we have decided the next thing we must do is to find one girl who is about to leave an orphanage, has no family, no support system, no protector, and is headed to the street to survive, and welcome her into to our home to give her a chance to say yes to the invitation our family is extending to her, and find love, safety, healing, and most important of all: meet Jesus. To be frank, the thought of adopting a girl who has grown up in an orphanage, doesn’t speak our language, and has all sorts of emotional scars and psychological damage is scary. It’s unknown territory. It’s a downright crazy thing for our comfortable, most-of-the-time happy family to do. But it’s what God has asked us to do. And we’ve committed to doing it. And we know that He will sustain us, give us the tools, surround us with the people we need, and that she will be an unimaginable gift to us. And we believe that we will see beauty rise from the ashes. And that we can literally prevent at least one child from becoming another human trafficking statistic.

 “Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Church: if we are truly concerned about the issue of women and children bound in the unspeakable horror of modern-day slavery, there are many ways to take action. It’s going to look different in each of our lives. And all of the things we do must be done with wisdom and in God’s timing. But let’s at least do something. We can begin by becoming aware of the issue of human trafficking. Then pray for all parties involved, ask God how he wants us to help, be obedient to His call and become a “doer”. If you (or someone you know) have responded to this great need in some way, be it seemingly tiny or quite large, I’d love to hear about it! Please share it with us in a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you. May you be challenged to answer the stirring in your heart. And be blessed. ~ Justina Dee

“If God sends us on strong paths, we are provided strong shoes.”  – Corrie ten Boom

Links: International Justice Mission Fact Sheet  | Stella’s Voice : Watch this video to learn about what is happening to girls in Moldova  | 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Slavery, Human Trafficking, (& What You Can Do About It) | End It Movement Ukrainian Resource Center Hosting Program – Consider hosting an orphan! | The A21 Campaign | Love146