Submission Date draws near; Asking for Prayers.

It’s a Monday evening. I’m sitting back relaxed after a bike ride and nice dinner made by my beautiful wife, with my feet up on the coffee table watching the O’ Reilly Factor while drinking a beer (a seldom treat). It’s a peaceful evening after a long hard day at work. Ah.. this is the life.

Well okay, not really. Though I do enjoy nights like this, I realize that life as I know it is about to change. And although I will miss quiet evenings like tonight, I am ecstatic for change. I selfishly have enjoyed being “comfortable” for years but the thought of being a father, especially in these circumstances, is a honoring feeling. That might sound prideful in earthly terms, but I am honored because I truly feel Lindsey and I have been called to this adoption by our Father. Just as He adopted us through his son Jesus Christ, we too have a child waiting for us in Ukraine who does not know us, who will be saved from a life of crime, prostitution, or even worse. This child will be adopted into our family – the Howell family, and we will love on this kid like no way it could ever imagine.

With that said though, I am totally unprepared. Not that I’m not ready to adopt. I’m ready, willing, and anxiously wanting to get ourselves over there and meet our child. But there’s a little panic setting in as Lindsey and I come to the realization that in just nearly a month we will be in a foreign country, where only us and our facilitator will know English, and in the middle of a strange land miles and miles away from home. There’s still things to do, still things to buy, and things to figure out before we go. It’s been over a year since we started this process and you start to get used to it being in the distance. All of a sudden here we are just days from our submission date and one step closer to becoming parents.

The Lord however is a gracious God, and he is preparing us. He’s put friends and families in our path during this entire process that have helped us mentally and spiritually get ready for such a transition. One of these moments happened a few weekends ago when our LifeGroup friends The Carr’s introduced us to Doug & Cara Layne. The Layne’s have adopted two girls internationally with special needs – Hannah, now age six from Ukraine and Mila, now age three from Serbia. Though we have not signed up to adopt children with special needs, we know very well that there is the possibility that we will come home with a child with “minor or correctable health issues”. Whether this be a lazy eye, a cleft palate, or something else we are prepared for that. Even though we want the healthiest child possible, I know now from meeting the Layne’s that there’s no doubt I will fall in love with our child. The Layne’s children are the cutest I’ve met in a long time. I even shared somewhat of a connection with them. Hannah and Mila both have cerebral palsy, which I too have, even if just a mild case. It was neat to have that connection, and especially with Hannah who was from Ukraine. I have never met such a lively and happy girl at age six. She has a handicap that she will live with for the rest of her life, but you wouldn’t know it from speaking with her and listening to her tell stories and laugh. She truly is precious.

It was great to meet with a family whose heart is for adoption, and also great to meet a family that we could ask as many questions as we wanted about Ukraine, the trip, and more. We even realized our home study was done by the same lady. We look forward to talking to Doug and Cara in the future and making new friends!

To wrap up, our submission date is indeed this Thursday. We’re hoping to find out what our travel date will be the week after that and I’m sure Lindsey and I will be on pins and needles as we wait.

To end, we do have one small concern that I want to bring up briefly. It seems like the devil is always there trying worry us or put things array at times. Our agency has not brought this to our attention, but we regularly read various blogs by people in the process of adopting from Ukraine. One of the rumors in the blogosphere this past week has been that the Ukrainian Parliament will be putting up a vote on September 21st to put a hold on international adoptions. I could speculate forever on the reasons why, but in the end it’s out of our control. This same vote has been put up before on June 1st and did not pass, and we are reading it’s a vote that has been put up on the table a couple of times a year and never does pass. It has something to do with reforming the program, but in the mean time, it ultimately could affect many children from uniting with families who want to love and save these children. We ask, as many families are, that you uplift a prayer or two and ask that God puts in the heart of these individuals responsible for the vote to go against such a hold on their program. We have full confidence though that God will work things out for His will, and He is in control!

6 responses to “Submission Date draws near; Asking for Prayers.”

  1. Aunt Carrie Avatar

    As always, you both on my mind, in my heart and in my prayers. I love you!

    -Carrie Ann

  2. Aunt Carrie Avatar

    So, it’s a little after 4am…and I’ve found myself reading through the last several years of your life. Seeing where God has taken you has been a nice story to read.

    Waaaaay back you wrote this down and it made me smile because little did you know that God had Lindsey in mind for you…you just needed to be patient:

    “Two souls,
    One love,
    Sent from up above,
    How did I ever survive,
    Without you in my life,
    Two souls,
    One love,
    The one I’ve dreamt of,
    And for as long as I live,
    I’ll give you all I have to give”

    You wrote that because you wanted someone to share your life with so badly. In Jan. of 2006 you wrote:

    “Oh, and there’s more. I’ll just say it. I’m sick of being single. Everyone around me is either getting married or is happily in love. I’ve never had a girlfriend and I don’t think at this rate I ever will. Mind you the whole career mess of mine hasn’t helped as I haven’t been in the best of moods to socialize, but I’m beginning to think the entire world is against me. I want to be successful now, I want to be dating, and hell I’d honestly like to start a family in the next 5 years. Is there something wrong with me? What is it that either holds me back from dating, or holds people back from being interested in me? If I ever have told you I’m happy being single I’m lying through my skull. I’m completely lonely and I know that that missing part of me is having someone to love and care about. It’s driving me nuts. I feel like if I had companionship I’d probably be a lot more motivated in life and probably care a lot more about things. Because right now I have little motivation for anything.”

    Awww….I remember reading that after you posted if and my heart broke for you because I could see you had so much love to give someone. You just needed that person to show up!

    And I also cam across this entry:

    “July 8, 2004

    Ryan told me and Nic he wanted to start a Bible Study on Sunday’s at his place. I was dreary of the idea, because not only did I feel really uncomfortable discussing God around other people, I hadn’t touched my Bible in years and was honestly covered with dust.”

    Look how much you’ve grown! I’m so proud of you. 🙂

    I love you so much!


  3. Mom Avatar

    Om gosh, I have read your new blog entry and
    your sister’s comment … I never knew you were in so much pain, reading your old entry made me cry. We have Loved Lindsey for a long time, she is a very special young woman … I always knew in my heart and soul you would find someone to love … God has truely blessed you Scott. “You” will have a wonderful life with “GOD” and Lindsey at your side. I am so proud of you and Lindsey. …. I will think of your adoption this Thusday and I will pray that GOD’s plan for the adoption will be smooth and with no delays and that this will be a wonderful Christmas as you and Lindsey share it as a “Family” with your first child. I love you both, Mom

  4. Doug Avatar

    Scott I love your blog, keep up the good work. Ukraine will be one the best events of your life. I know the apprehension, but once your there things will just fall into place. God has a child set apart just for you and Lindsey. Nothing will get in the way of that happening. That being said, I’m praying nothing happens to change the Ukrainian government on Thursday, but if things do change, and all seems lost, God is still on His throne and in complete control. Me and Cara where going to Ukraine to adopt a ten yr old boy when God moved, crushed our lives( so we thought), but keeping our trust in Him has rewarded itself a million times over. Our Hannah came out of our heartbreak. So, I hope things go smoothly, Thursday rolls around and nothing happens, but if a suprise brings itself about, fully, I mean fully put all your trust, all yourself in God.

  5. Scott Avatar

    @Carrie: Love you!
    @Mom: Ditto!

    @Doug – Thank you, these are very kind words, and so true!

  6. […] to take place today, a moratorium to put on hold international adoptions. Like I mentioned in my previous post, the purpose was for various reasons, and I won’t speculate here, but just google “Ukraine […]