Before I give a glimse of our visit with Vanya, I want to just thank everyone that has prayed for us and Vanya over the past few months. To witness and experience the power of so many prayers from all over the world is so powerful, so overwhelming, so indescrible. I am so humbled that God has chosen us to be Vanya’s parents. I think He must have something really big planned for Vanya.
The day I’ve been waiting for arrived and it was AWESOME! The social worker told us that she was going to talk to Vanya before we could see him so that he wouldn’t “lose his mind from happiness” ! I’ve never heard that phrase, but I will never forget it! The first few moments were awkward, and Vanya was nervous. But after we did some drawings and looked at some pictures, it all felt so right! Everyone in the room – the social worker, psychologist, orphange workers, Marianna, Vanya and us – we were laughing and tearing up. God is so gracious that Vanya has had good care the last two years. He loves the sea, so we all drew pictures of the sea. Mat drew a heart, and then Vanya drew a heart, and then Vanya wrote inside his heart (in Ukraine) Mother, father, brother, sisters, cat, dog (our pets), and his own name, which he wrote Ivan. He then colored it with the colors I had said earlier were my favorite. What a moment – we represented our complete family in his heart!
Interestingly enough, when asked what he wanted to be called, he said Ivan (pronounced ee-vahn in Ukraine). Ivan is his formal name and Vanya is a common nick name and the social worker said he wanted to be more “grown up”. So, we had thought about Evan as a name, as it sounds more like how Ivan is pronounced in Ukraine (and Ivan pronounced in English is not so appealing). Initiall y I was not crazy about naming him a common US name, but when we looked the name up, can you believe this – it is a form of Ivan, which means (once again) “God is gracious” and in celtic “Young warrior”. It really does fit him…but we will table that for now. I’ll write more details tomorrow. What a blessing to have had our referral today, because now we can go visit him even through the long holiday weekend!