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When Mr. and Mrs. Danny and April McLaughlin invited Lidiya into their homea young Ukrainian orphan who previously had never known what it was like to be loved by a family, they did not anticipate getting as emotionally attached as they did

Author: Jessica Highsmith, www.theapexherald.com Published: 2011-11-21 18-30-00 Viewed, times: 1614
  
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As soon as Lidiya arrived it was already too late.

It all began when on a womens retreat when April McLaughlin was introduced to New Horizons, an international hosting program for orphaned children. McLaughlin immediately felt a calling from God to reach out to these orphans and give them a stable, godly, loving home that these children would otherwise never know.

This past summer young Lidiya traveled all the way from the Ukraine to stay in the McLaughlins home. She was not available for adoption yet so the family tried their best to not get attached.

We tried to keep our wall up because we knew she wasnt eligible for adoption but after only three weeks we had already fallen in love with her, Mrs. McLaughlin said.

As apart of host program requirements, the McLaughlins saw to it that Lidiya was provided with all over her dental and eye care needs during her stay. Wake Dental Care donated their services completely free and Cary Vision Care also graciously reached out to the family.

After the rewarding experience of hosting Lidiya, Mrs. McLaughlin decided to embark on a mission trip to Ukraine where she visited different orphanages throughout the country and spent her time meeting with children and finding out exactly what they wanted.

While over there, Mrs. McLaughlin received the best birthday present she could possibly imaginean unanticipated stop in Lidiyas orphanage.

I went in and saw her living space and her school. I even got to meet her brothers, Andre and Vlad. Seeing it makes you appreciate what you have. Appreciate what you have that you take for granted, Mrs. McLaughlin said.

By the time Mrs. McLaughlin has visited the second and third orphanages she was already moved to tears.

I asked the children what their top three wishes are and they said they didnt have three wishes. They only had oneto have a loving family, Mrs. McLaughlin said.

Upon leaving the last of the orphanages, Mrs. McLaughlin described how a little boy ran outside in the pouring rain, insisting on waving goodbye to her group frantically waving to generate the slightest glimmer of hope for a loving family one day.

During her visit to Lidiyas orphanage, Mrs. McLaughlin found out the encouraging news that Lidiya was in fact now eligible for adoption as were her brothers. The McLaughlins constant prayers and dreams of creating a loving future with these orphans seemed to be turning into a hopeful reality.

This December the McLaughlins are looking forward to hosting Lidiya in their home again for a very special Christmas. This time, however, her brothers Andre and Vlad will accompany her.

Every Christmas is special but this one will be even more meaningful because these children will be our gift, a gift of love, especially if we end up adopting, Mrs. McLaughlin said.

After her visit to the Ukrainian orphanages this past summer, Mrs. McLaughlin has made it her commitment to not only possibly adopt but to spread awareness on the harsh reality behind many of these orphanages.

Most of these orphans, unless adopted, are released to the streets at the age of 16. These children end up searching the streets for food and shelter and are often picked up by sex trafficking predators.

According to Amy Richey, a missionary for EFCAs Reach Global, traffickers target the most vulnerable.

The most vulnerable in Ukrainian society today are kids currently living on the streets, and/or kids that are just coming out of the orphanages. Fifty percent to sixty percent end up in some sort of a trafficked situation, Richey told Charisma News.

The McLaughlins realize that most of these children who are turned out to the streets face a world of lies, hurt, drugs, and prostitution. The family is committed to raising awareness on this devastating issue and is willing to adopt three teenagers from Ukraine if they can raise the money.

Love knows no language. These orphan children feel that they have no hope and will not know what it is to have a Christmas, Mrs. McLaughlin said.

It will take the McLaughlins $50,000.00 to accomplish their goal of adopting Lidiya and her brothers Andre and Vlad.

The McLaughlins ten-year-old son, Coby, also welcomed the possibility of three additional kids to the household, even when his mom asked, Well what if they gang up on you?

It doesnt matter mom. Were saving an orphan, a child a human being, Coby said

The family will be hosting a silent auction and hot dog dinner at Hope Chapel, Saturday, Nov. 19 from 5-7 p.m. in an effort to raise money for the cause. They are encouraging all who are touched by their story to come in support or consider prayer as they continue to try to make their dream of adoption a reality.






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