40 days to cry out

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of lent. Lent is the period of 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday, leading up to Easter. Lent is observed by Christians as a period of abstinence or special dedication to the Lord, in the footsteps of Jesus Christ who fasted from food for forty days. Sundays are exempt from the fasting, hence why people refer to this 46 day period as the "forty days of lent."

I spent today thinking about how I'm going to spend lent in 2013. In the past I've given up meat or television and other devices. I've also spend a number of lent seasons not giving up anything and just not seeing the point. This year instead of giving up something, I'm taking something on. Something small but something important.  And I'm going to invite you to join me.

This year for lent I will be offering up 40 prayers for Russian orphans. With US/Russian adoptions closed, my heart has been so heavy for all the children left in the wake of political turmoil. A friend recently posted an article on my personal facebook page which reminded me that even in this tragedy, God has not forgotten Russia's orphans. Indeed he has not. For as warm as the tears for those children burn in my eyes, God's love for them rages hotter. I am so angry that these children are being left behind, but I am reminded that God's holy anger is more powerful than mine. God cares for these children so I am going to pray that he will move for them in a myriad of ways.

Arie (fourth from the left) with his "siblings" at the baby home fall 2012.
Enjoying cake after a special event.
Will you join me? Will you come here for the forty days of lent and pray the prayer I post? Together we can storm the gates of heaven for these little ones.


Day one. 

God our Father,

As your children we come before you, grateful.  Grateful that you have given us the gift of prayer- a mysterious communication from the smallness of us to the greatness of you.  Hear us, we pray.

Today thousands of children wait in Russia, alone. Bring them to their families, we pray. Break down the barriers that keep them apart.

Where the barriers are governments, heal international relationships. Move in the hearts and minds of all those who make laws and write policies. Give them wisdom and make them compassionate.

Where the barriers are fear, send courage.

Where the barriers are stigma, bring understanding.

Where the barriers are health issues, bring healing to both heart and mind.

Where the barriers are money and resources, provide.

Where the barriers are sin, please convict, forgive, and sanctify.

On behalf of the children, we boldly cry out to you:

Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.  
Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression?

With faith in you, Father 
and by your name, Jesus
and through the power of the Spirit we pray:




  1. Sarah W.2/13/2013

    Jill, first and foremost, please forgive me for the long post. I just came across your blog only a week ago and I have read it from beginning to present. BTW I LOVE the globe adoption maternity pic, and I WILL be borrowing that. When I first came across your blog I did not know what I was getting myself into, but I have rejoiced and teared up (it was hard for me to read sometimes with the tears in my eyes) with you as I read your posts. I think I even read about 1/3 of the post outloud to my husband. :).

    I appreciate your honesty, passion, and complete reliance on God and His mercies throughout this process. My husband and I had long planned to adopt, even when were just engaged. We are really hoping to adopt 2 siblings. BTW we have the same wedding date, though a couple years later. We had hoped to start the process in 2012, but discovered early in the year my husband was too young to qualify to adopt from the country we are interested in (I am 26, he 23. The minimum is 25). So started our first waiting period. As this year starts, I look on with excitement as the agency will allow us to start the paperwork process in October, 6 months before his 25th b-day. I never though I would be excited about paperwork.

    That all being said, I wanted to thank you for letting me dive into your process. For giving me an honest insight into the struggles, the stress, and the successes. THANK YOU for the fundraising ideas! I thank you for the tips (loved the packing tips, and absolutely saved it to refer back to when our time comes!). I thank you for presenting ideas I had no idea about. I actually had never heard the term "Gotcha Day" (somehow my hubby had though), and I LOOOOOOOVE it! I also had not considered the bonding time. (You can tell I haven't gone through the home study yet). That definitely made me reaccess a few things we had considered when we bring our little ones home. I thank you for being frank in this as I honestly feel I may have to do the same when the time comes, and it will be nice to have your words in my head in that instance. I look forward to more about how you transition into introducing Arie to non-family. I look forward to whatever else you offer as we will soon start where you once began.

    1. Hi Sarah! thank you for your wonderful comment. I just loved reading it! I am so excited to hear that you guys are adopting too; not too long until you can officially begin, though I know you've already begun in your heart. So exciting! You are MOST welcome for everything and thank YOU so much for reading our story and sharing in the joy of what God has done for us. xoxo

  2. Amen, I love this Jill, from concept to execution this is the most lovely lenten plan.

  3. I will join you as we hope and pray we are able to bring home our little girl we met in October. Thank you for praying. My heart breaks for all the children there.

  4. Anonymous2/14/2013

    Thank you for this great idea. I will be joining you as you pray for these sweet children.


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