We are well into the New Year with opportunities to serve and trust abounding! We have five
new children who have come to the Sparrow’s Nest, and all are between the ages of ten and sixteen years old. With the arrival of new children, a second wave of Covid is sweeping through our center with five staff members and four children testing positive. Through the generosity of one of our partners, the children and staff had a sweet “quarantine” Valentine’s celebration. Overshadowing our home events, the situation with neighboring Russia arouses fear, stemming from past history and concerns for the future.
Our new children are coming from a mixture of failed placements in foster families and homes where alcohol and drug abuse have placed them in danger and kept their basic needs unmet. Three children have already been approved for adoption due to parental absence, death, or long-term addiction that permanently impaired the parent’s ability to provide. Two brothers aged fourteen and sixteen who were placed with us six years ago requested to be sent back to us when their home situation deteriorated again.
Children in these situations usually arrive with their guard up. So many of the significant people in their lives have failed them that they are determined to take care of themselves. This is the case for thirteen-year-old Evalina who let us know from the start that she didn’t need our help. There begin our efforts to seek God for wisdom and the patience to find the key to the children’s hearts and how we can create an environment that is safe for them to trust one more time. Sadly, international adoption will no longer be open to children from Latvia, and this change will hit this older age group hardest. Please pray with us for Latvian families to open their hearts and homes to these vulnerable children.
Our second outbreak of Covid within the Sparrow’s Nest occurred in already vaccinated staff members and children whose schools experienced outbreaks. We are thankful that the cases have been mild to moderate and that our healthy staff members were flexible and willing to work unusual hours while bringing cheer and comfort to sick children. Strict COVID-19 regulations have been in place throughout the winter months, so we have stayed close to home, creating fun in the snow and working on good grades in school!
The miltary escalation in Russia and Ukraine has gripped the attention of many Latvians. Our children were all born after the Soviet era, but nearly every staff member carries Soviet era memories. We continue to focus and lean on our Heavenly Father as the world stage shifts and changes dramatically.
Smiles and tears marked our celebration for the retirement of “Mama Tanya” who served as caregiver and Montessorispecialist for over 22 years. Tanya served the children of the Sparrow’s Nest with love and joy. She was known for taking the children to the circus on her birthday and for teaching chess as a means of developing logic, strategy, and memory. Tanya also served as part of the training team for new care workers benefiting the whole center as she shared her experience. Tanya’s influence will remain for years to come!
With Mama Tanya’s retirement and the addition of five children, we have a need for three new employees. Many have left the social care field because of health concerns in light of COVID-19. We ask for your prayers for provision as we seek qualified candidates.
Another key prayer request is for five of our children who need an adoptive family. These are children who have been waiting for two to five years for a forever family. With international adoption closing July 1, we have a sibling group of three children and two individual children who need a forever family. Pray with us for this miracle—wherever the families are from.
Please pray with us as we work to design age appropriate incentives and programs for our preteens and teenagers. Our whole team wants to grow to meet this challenge and provide what these new children need to trust and succeed.
Thank you for your lifechanging partnership. Your prayers and financial support provide a flow of kindness and generosity that enables our work to go on. God bless you as you follow Him.