By Jaycee Jensen
RIGA, Latvia – A lot of you have been asking about me and how I am doing and mostly I share about ministry and how things are going from that point of view. So… I wanted to write and update you all on my life, not so much from a ministry perspective, but more of a personal one. There have been some major changes in my life here in Latvia in the past few months. For those of you who may not know, I am now a full time mother of three!
This did not just suddenly happen in a few months; it actually goes back several years to when I met two boys at a summer camp. Many people have asked me why these two? Why now?
In summer of 2011, I volunteered at a children’s orphan camp called “Pasaka”. About three days into the camp, I was hanging out with the kids and this one kid was standing next to me. As I starting rubbing his little buzzed head, he looked up at me and smiled, and something that I have never felt before happened. I cannot explain the feeling, but it was different than all the other times I looked at kids, fell in love, and wanted to take them home. He was different. I was stunned for a minute and then asked God what the heck that was and why I felt the way I did, but there was no answer.
A few days later, we were having a movie night and another kid cuddled up to me. When I put my arm around him to give him a squeeze, he looked up at me and smiled. Boom! That same feeling came again! What the heck was going on? I asked God again, with no real answer. The next day brought a little more clarity, and a lot more questions! I found out that these two kids who smiled at me and did something deep inside my heart were brothers! My heart dropped when I found out and at that moment I cannot explain why or how but I wanted to be their mother.
The minute that thought entered my mind, I threw it out. Scared, confused and full of emotions, I sat and thought, “there is no way God would call me to be the parent, no wait, SINGLE parent of two young boys!” Done. Let’s move on…
But God wasn’t done. I could truly write a book on all of the ways that God continued to lay these two boys on my heart. Over the next 2 years, there was too much that the Lord showed me to ignore it. So I started asking people what they thought. Assuming everyone would say it crazy and that it was not the right thing, but that is not what I got. Many people asked many hard questions and yet at the end of my searching for counsel and wisdom, it seemed like there were many more positive things than negatives. So it was time to make a move.
I went to the orphan court and asked about the possibility of an American single female adopting in Latvia. They said it would be possible, but there was a list of things that I needed to do. That whole process took over a year!
This past month, I was deemed to be a suitable adoptive parent by the Latvia orphan court! Now, I am starting the long and very challenging process of adopting my two little men, Konstantin, and August. They say it’s a long process and we might hit some bumps along the way, but we are moving forward.
Knowing that I was planning to adopt, I did not want the kids to start school in the town where their orphanage is, only to have them pulled out halfway through the year and put into a new school because the adoption was finalized. I have a permit here in Latvia that allows me to have orphan kids visit me on weekends and holidays. With the help of Orphan Court, I have discovered that I can use this permit to make a 90-day contract with the orphanage so that the boys can live with me until the adoption is finalized. That means that the boys are already in Riga and are settling into their new school! Praise God.
These first few months have been a HUGE challenge, as I have never been a mom (at least not to younger kids) and have never dealt with the Latvian school system. Needless to say, everyday has been a trial by fire! But I am getting used to it a little more each day.
But enough with the details…let me introduce you to my little ones!