Wednesday, May 5, 2010


This week we celebrated Jaynie's 17th birthday. Jaynie is the oldest of the six children we've thus far adopted from Russia. She is the oldest of the trio of siblings we adopted nearly nine years ago. She was eight when first met her in her orphanage, and, in all honesty, she kind of scared us. She was a street child through and through. She was tough. She was hard. She was self-assured. She was distant. She was challenging to correct. She was anything but a girly-girl.

As we entered into that first Russian adoption we knew enough to understand why Jaynie had a demeanor worthy of the label "Ice Princess." This little eight year old had already lived through more suffering than most adults ever endure. Jaynie and her siblings had been so neglected by their parents that they'd lived under a bridge for a time with her as their leader. When Jaynie entered our family her torso was ridged with stretch marks that told the story of hunger so profound that her belly had at some point protruded. A grandmother that Jaynie and her siblings loved had been forced to take them to an orphanage because her health was too poor to care for the three young children. However, that same grandmother felt capable of caring for two older siblings so our trio was forever separated from their sister and brother who remain in Russia. Upon entering the orphanage, Jaynie had had to have her head shaved to eliminate the lice that made her scalp their home.

As we entered that first adoption of a trio of Russian siblings, we also knew enough about our God to know that He was capable of tranforming a life. This week with our celebration of Jaynie's 17th, we joyfully acknowledge that He has done just that (despite our weaknesses as her parents!).

Truly, you'd never recognize Jaynie as the same child. She no longer holds people at a distance but instead approaches others with a wide open heart. She has a special gift with young children and collects groups of them like a Pied Piper. She not only enjoys people but she yearns to help others. When someone is new to a group, she rushes to make sure they are included. The little girl who once bristled at the slightest effort to change her behavior now yields to our correction. She is delightfully feminine, but most importantly her beauty is as much inside as it is out as she grows in her desire to spend time in God's word and yield to Him as He molds her into the image of His son.

We're so proud to be her parents!

--Mrs. Beaver


Scott said...

Happy Birthday Jaynie!!!! Thanks for sharing the wonderful account of the Grace of God in your lives and Jaynies. Praise God, praise Him all you that have breath.

Nordstroms said...

Happy Birthday Z! We are thankful for God's hand in your life. We know that He will continue His beautiful work in and through you.

the johnson crew said...

she is so beautiful! praise God for His beautiful work in her life. what a beautiful story of God's grace and mercy. you all are a blessing.


hennfamily said...

We love you Z!!! We are blessed by your life and celebrate with you as you enter into year 17. It is evident of the Lord's hand in your life. We know he has GREAT plans for you. Much love,
The Henns