Once upon a time, there was a family who God called to serve Him. The family thought about it and the dad and mom said, “Yes.” When they said, “Yes,” they didn’t know what God wanted them to do, they just knew that they wanted to do it. The family found that even though they had told God that they would lay down their lives to follow Him, there were times when it was unclear exactly what He wanted. So a few years ago, they felt God calling again to surrender to Him at an even deeper level. They had a child who had Down syndrome, they had visited Ukraine several times, they had seen the terrible plight of the orphan there (especially the special needs orphans and the older orphans – both completely unwanted by society). They came home from a trip to Ukraine and thought they had figured God out. They started getting their house ready to sell and were preparing to move their family to Ukraine to work with special needs orphans. They imagined they would have a private home for orphans with Down syndrome – in Ukraine. After several months of preparations, God said, “No. That’s not what I’m asking you to do. Just wait on me.” A couple of years passed and even though the family had said, “God, anything You want, You can have,” it was becoming more and more difficult to wait on Him. But finally, He called again and the family knew they were to adopt a child with Down syndrome from Ukraine. So the family started the process and one child turned into two children. The family saw God do AMAZING miracles to make the adoption possible. They learned more about their Heavenly Father than they had ever known before. They found out that God’s heart is bent toward the orphan. They remembered that they, too, had once been orphans and that God had adopted them…saved them from certain death. God had called them to do the same. So they did. During the entire journey toward adoption, a little girl had caught their eye, but God lead them definitely to two boys, hand-picked for them by God, Himself. The little girl with pig-tails had been chosen by a couple of families but for reasons known only by the Father, those adoptions did not happen. So once again, this precious cherub was on the at risk list because she was in danger of being sent to a mental institution to wait for certain early death. Finally, another family stepped forward and started the process of getting the paperwork done and the orphanage made the decision to keep her in the baby home instead of moving her to the institution. And everyone breathed a sigh of relief. The Father had another plan. The new family went to Ukraine to meet her and bring her home, but something happened that changed their plans and they were unable to complete the adoption. She was to be transferred immediately to institution since she was not going to be adopted. A few months ago, the family that had thought they would one day have a private home for orphans with Down syndrome in Ukraine realized that maybe God was building that home here in the United States. God cultivated this in their hearts and when the girl became available again for adoption, they said, “she’s ours.” So…yes. The Malone Nine is about to become the Malone Ten. Our hearts ache for the family that was unable to adopt her, but we know that God’s plans are always much better than ours even when they are gut-wrenching. We have NO DOUBT that God has always meant for little Ruslana to be part of the Malone clan and that He had planned everything so that at just the right moment, it would happen. We don’t understand His hand sometimes, but we trust His heart. We have SO much to tell, but for now, please meet our little girl, Ruslana (we have another name but we aren’t ready to share that yet). Blessed be the Name of the Lord! Check back soon for more exciting things God is doing.