Help Bring Vlad Home!

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Some dear friends of ours, Connie and Jeff Pruitt, are in the process of adopting a 12-year-old boy from the Ukraine. His name is Vlad (above in the center of the photo wearing the blue M&M shirt). Some of you met him when he was living with the Pruitt’s this summer. The above photo is from his first ever birthday party (see a photo of Vlad with Connie and Jeff below). 

The big need is financial and time is of the essence. If you are able to help in any way, please contact Connie at 706-864-5753, e-mail at thepruittfamily5@gmail.com, or drop your donation in the mail to 1755 McDonald Rd.  Dahlonega, GA, 30533.

Here is the Pruitt’s story:

As many of you already know, the Lord laid it on our hearts back in November of 2009 to make our home available to a child or children in need of a permanent family via adoption.  Even though we have already been blessed with four beautiful, healthy children, three still at home and one who is married with a precious family of her own, we felt VERY led to open our hearts and home up to more.  Once we felt sure about our calling we immediately went through the whole lengthy process with the state system “thinking” that was the only way we could financially  make this possible.  After a year and a half of getting absolutely nowhere, we were extremely frustrated with the system, exhausted from the emotional roller coaster, and very concerned/confused as to why it has to be so difficult to give a child a home when there are so many in need of one!   We had made it clear that we were open to any and all races as well as one child or a sibling group.  The thing that we were oblivious to was that God already had a child picked out for us.  We had been working so hard on our end trying to “make it happen” while, all the time, God was preparing our family for His own special gift to us.  His timing is always better than ours!  

On Monday, May 2, 2011 after receiving a phone call from Ms. Robbie saying, “Check your e-mail. There was a message sent out about a little boy who’s available through a hosting program that looks an awful lot like Jeffrey!”    (thanks Celia for forwarding that very special e-mail!)     I checked it out and discovered a precious little orphan boy, 12 year old Vladislav Novikov from Ukraine. Vladislav (Vlad)  was available to be hosted over the summer through a program called New Horizons for Children.  I had no idea what this “hosting program” was about.  I learned that Vlad had been chosen earlier by a family to be hosted over the summer, but at the last minute, for whatever reason, they backed out.  We had VERY LITTLE information on him including the question of if he was available for adoption.  After much prayer and discussion over the next 30 minutes or so, I made a phone call to the hosting program.  The phone rang 3 times and an actual “person” answered!!!!  Wow!  Within the hour Vlad was ON HOLD for our family!!  All we had to do now was send them the $$$.  It was so easy that I became skeptical of the whole thing.  I started thinking this was some kind of scam to get money.  I ended up calling them back and getting some references from other families.  It wasn’t long, however, until we all realized that through God’s divine intervention, Vlad had been saved for us and us for him.  The New Horizon’s program was amazing, professional, and all about these precious orphans!   By 9:00 that night we had been blessed with the entire $1,500 needed to get him here!  We were all in absolute awe of God’s amazing power and the generous hearts of our loving friends and family!  We thank all of you who contributed financially and prayerfully for this whole experience to take place!   Regardless of what the future holds, you have all made a remarkable difference in the life of an orphan.   

We picked Vlad up from the airport on June 28th, and he spent 5 weeks with our family until August 2.  We knew almost instantly that Vlad was one of our own.  We had many “goals” to accomplish while he was with us.  The most important being that he would know without a doubt that we loved him unconditionally, and there was nothing he could do to gain or lose any of that love.  While ALL of us (MANY, MANY PEOPLE!) shared so much of ourselves and our resources with Vlad, during his stay in America, he also shared as much of himself as he possibly could with us in return.

On August, 2 (one of the most difficult days of our lives) we took Vlad back to the airport to return to Ukraine.  Many times during his last two weeks here, Vlad said to us, “Vlad say good bye Ukraine.  Vlad stay America”.  Remember, he speaks Russian, however, we heard his message clearly!   We were not allowed to express to him, at any time during his stay, our desire to adopt him (for many various reasons; a rule of the hosting program).  Our hearts tore in half as we watched Vlad walk away from our family not knowing if he would ever return to us.  

Shortly after his departure we received some disappointing news.  Vlad was not available for international adoption at this time.  It would take 12-14 months for him to become “available”.  Needless to say, we were devastated.  We reminded ourselves many, many times that God was in control of this situation and NOT US!    The only good thing we could make out of waiting for another year was that at least we would have more time to raise the needed money.  About 2 weeks later we found out that they had made a mistake, and Vlad is available RIGHT NOW!  We were ecstatic beyond belief…until the realization of our lack of funds set in.  We’ve reminded ourselves once again that God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.  The cost of a Ukrainian adoption is between $23,000-$27,000 Our family has taken a huge step (really a gigantic leap) of faith in moving forward with this.  We know that God has called all of us to “defend the fatherless” (Isaiah 1:17).   We are humbly asking you to partner with us with your prayers and financial support as we begin this exciting journey of bringing Vlad back for good!  Please, share our story with as many people, churches, etc. as you know who might be interested in helping us!!  While we are responding to God’s calling on our family, we are totally dependent on Him for providing the financial support!!  

Interesting Info:  We found out today (Tuesday, Sept. 20) that if we move quickly enough, there is a “chance” that we can get the paperwork over in Ukraine completed before Dec. 31.  This is very important because “if” we can complete that, we can get a reimbursement check for $11,000 from the federal government for international adoption assistance.  This would lower the overall cost by almost half!  We’re going to give it our best shot!  The “kicker” is that we have to complete about 3 weeks worth of paper work, leg work, and home study visits in only 1 week.  Also our first payments are due immediately.  The home study is $1,400 and our criminal background checks are around $100 each.  

The great news is that we have our first contributions!!  Sarah, Annie Bell, and Jeffrey have donated $250 from their own savings to get us started.  We are so blessed already!  If you feel led to help us financially, please, give us a call 706-864-5753, e-mail us, or drop your donation in the mail 1755 McDonald Rd.  Dahlonega, GA 30533.  Absolutely no gift is too small…or too big! 

James 1:27 states that true and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to help orphans and widows in their time of need and to keep onesself unspotted from the world. 

Please, pray for Vlad over in his orphanage.  It will be a while before he actually knows what is happening.  Pray that he is safe, and that he feels the love from all of us reaching across the ocean to him along with the love from his heavenly Father that is much more than we could ever match!

I know this was a lot to read.  I just felt like I should share our story.  Our prayer is that it has a beautiful ending!
Love,
Jeff, Connie, Sarah, Annie Bell, and Jeffrey  : )
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