Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2011 Fall Trip - part one

Project TLC completed its first trip to Ukraine earlier in November. Each of us has traveled there before, but this was our inaugural trip as Project TLC.

First up was our highly anticipated visit to the invalid home. Some say "mental institution" or "mental internot", but it doesn't really matter. This is the place where the most severely delayed children are hidden away.

Emotions and nerves were on edge as we made our way into the countryside on that cold, gray morning. Would we be well received? Would we accomplish anything?

Enormous bags stuffed full of donations lay in the back of the bakery delivery van that transported us, three Project TLC team members, two missionaries and our lovely interpreter. The bags were crammed to the point of bursting with diapers, pull-ups, school and art supplies, hand made hats, gloves, shoes, and hygiene items...mostly donated or made by our supporters. You know who you are!

When we arrived, Project TLC member Shelly enjoyed a sweet moment of reunion with the director of this facility, where she adopted one of her daughters earlier in the year. Next we unloaded the donations and headed upstairs to meet some of the children.

As we walked into the auditorium, we were greeted with applause (!) by an excited group of youngsters. They were all clean, neatly dressed, happy and very polite. The simple craft project was a huge hit with all the children, though it was difficult for some of them to sit and wait for their turn. Some children got to blow bubbles after completing their project. Some of us were covered in bubble solution! A few children came back to sneak another craft project! Or two!  

A movie had been planned for the children after that, so we left them...all riled up! We made our way to the director's office for a chat. I cannot tell you all that was discussed, but I can tell you that I considered the whole visit to be miraculous.

Next time: more about our work with this facility and ways that you can partner with Project TLC!

~ Stephanie

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meet the team: Shelly

My name is Shelly Burman and I am the proud mommy to eight beautiful children. Two came to me through birth, five through international adoption and one special little man through domestic adoption and is now dancing with Jesus in Heaven. I am married to the most amazing husband who goes to work each day not only to protect the citizens of our city but also to provide for his family. I am a former special education teacher who now stays home to manage our home, take care of our children, and home school them as well. We are  now preparing for our 3rd adoption journey to another Eastern European country for our two boys.

All of our adopted children have special needs and bless us in special ways.  Our first adoption from the country of Ukraine blessed us with the triplets (not biological just same age) Evelyn, Hudson, and Owen. They each have Down syndrome and came home in May of 2010. We thought our family was complete until God showed us He had other plans for us and soon we found ourselves traveling back to Ukraine for 2 little girls: Carrington and Reagan. Reagan was the first child adopted from the institution in her city so we feel that God has used us to create a path for other adopted parents to continue on.

Our sweet Carrington was in very grave condition when we took her out of the orphanage. Upon landing on U.S. soil Carrington was taken immediately to the hospital where she would spend the next 5 weeks just trying to live. She was a 3 1/2 year old weighing only 11 pounds. Watching our daughter triumph over all the wrong that was done to her was the inspiration our family needed to join with Boston and Stephanie to create Project T.L.C. so we can help the 99 Left Behind.

To watch, hear, and feel the cries of precious children only wanting comfort is beyond words. We will always keep our hearts and home open to orphans with special needs. What we are doing is not for the faint of heart but for those God has called upon and He will equip us with all we need to carry out His plan.