Welcome to the Wells Family Blog! We want to continue to share with you the amazing journey that God has called us to as we try to live ON PURPOSE and ON MISSION in a world that says to do otherwise.

If it seems that the blog is changing and "under construction" at times then it is just a reflection of our family life... We are working hard to find our "new normal", so please hang in there and keep checking back!

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Week in Pictures

I am a very visual person... plus I simply don't have the time or energy to be creative and write... so here you go...

Kenzie and Sasha helping get food ready for the 4th of July

Olga, Katya, Sasha (the one staying with the Cox family) and Mariana out on the lake.

Hunter and Kenzie with some friends getting ready to jump off the high diving board.

"Our" Sasha flying off the diving board for the 327th time.

Great Friends!

Beautiful Smile!

Me and my favorite "little people".

Have a great week!

Monday, July 2, 2012

It's here!

And so our long anticipated summer begins!  Here is our gang heading off to church... in two vehicles!

Along with our very good friends, Kevin and Jill Cox, I headed up to Atlanta, GA on Friday to attend a training for Homes of Hope International.   After the training and a few delays we greeted a group of very tired kids who had traveled about 26 hours across the world to come and be hosted by many excited families.  I can only speak for the three that we headed back to Orlando with but they were doing surprisingly well despite being exhausted.

Since we brought home two Sashas... I will refer to the one that is staying with us as "our Sasha" and the one with the Cox family as "their Sasha". 
Although he does not know any English, our Sasha jumped right into all kinds of "boy activities" with Hunter on Saturday.  They definitely did not need words for biking, rollerblading, airsoft,  swimming, Wii, or volleyball.  They basically went from one activity to the next all weekend long.  He is helpful, polite and easy.

Olga and our girls had much catching up to do as they have been best friends for a long time.  Olga does speak a bit of English and is very sweet and quiet.  On Sunday we spent the day on the lake and in the pool at the Cox home... it was a day filled with smiles.

Kevin and Jill are thoroughly enjoying their time with their Sasha.  He is so bright and is working hard to learn more and more English.  It's great that we will be able to hang out altogether this summer.  Of course, lying in a hammock and eating pizza is a pretty universal language.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hosting Video

Ty and I had the opportunity to be in a video advocating for the hosting program. 
Check it out and feel free to share with your church family or friends.


Thanks to Jeff and Gabe at our church for putting it together.

God's Ridiculous Provision

I guess I shouldn't be surprised anymore.
I mean really!
Am I slow or what?
(No comments from the peanut gallery!)

How many times is it going to take for God to SPECIFICALLY, PERFECTLY, AND CREATIVELY meet a need (financial and other wise) before I stop worrying, doubting, fretting etc.?

Throughout my 40 something years of life I have had MANY prayers, more than abundantly answered.  I have also witnessed numerous miracles in my life... and in others.
Sometimes the miracle or provision came as a "moving of a mountain", other times I felt like God was taking me "around the mountain", and still other times he just helped me "climb that mountain."

But no matter what it looked like, or how long it took, or how miserable I made myself in the process...

God was there!

When I think back on all the times that God has provided in my life... in ways that I did not even think to ask, so thoughtful about little details, AND so abundantly...

I realize that God is really RIDICULOUS in HIS provision towards us!
Think about that for a minute... it's really true!

Recently Ty and I celebrated 22 years of marriage!

Now in case you are wondering... I don't see my marriage as "climbing a mountain". 
At least that has not been my experience... hopefully not Ty's either :)
I guess I see it more as God chose for me the Perfect person to climb those mountains with.  Back when I was 20 something I had absolutely no clue to what I needed in a spouse.

But God knew!
He blessed me with a man who has qualities I would not have even known to ask for.

Thanks God!!!

This past week we both got to witness God moving a mountain.
This is Sasha.

He is 15 years old.  He was on the Homes of Hope hosting list for this summer but had not been chosen yet.  Time was running out.
He has no siblings and no other family.When he turns 16 he will be out on his own.
At that point Sasha's life could go in many different disasterous directions.

We prayed for a family to step up...
We sent out an email to about 100 contacts.  We asked for help to get Sasha here.  It costs $2950.00.
Within less than 24 hours the financial "mountain" was moved!
Shortly thereafter, a family answered the call to step up and now Sasha is coming to Florida for the summer!

It seemed at first... ridiculous how quickly our prayers were answered.
But I guess in light of what was at stake, it was not ridiculous at all.

And I suppose in light of how much God really loves us...
HIS provision is not ridiculous either.  
We should not really be surprised!

If only we could clearly see and deeply understand the true measure of that love, moment by moment, how different would we live our lives!
Hmmmm!  Something to think about.

ON another note... my boy turned 14!!!

Hunter is becoming a strong, thoughtful, funny, loving, creative and helpful MAN!  I know he is still a boy but we are seeing hints of the man he is becoming and it is awesome!
I really love being the MOM of teenagers!  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

We can't wait for the summer!!!

Around this time every year we start getting so excited for the upcoming summer.  Freedom from normal school responsibilities (YAY!), numerous trips to the beach, church camps, lazy days etc.  All normal and probably similar to many other families.

BUT THIS YEAR...  we are counting down the days til we have a couple more Ukrainians in the house!  That's right we are evening up the ratios - 1 Ukrainian to every 1 American :)
Ty and I will be VERY outnumbered by the teenagers this summer because we are hosting two kids from Ukraine for 5 weeks.

Meet Olga...

She is 14 and lives in Pertrivske at Father's House.  She is a best friend of Katya and Mariana.  Ty and I got to know her while we were in Ukraine and she is so sweet and thoughtful and has a real servant's heart.  She loves photography and loves to express herself in artistic endeavors.  We are hoping to give her a great summer here with the girls and perhaps find a forever family for her.

And here is Sasha...


He will be 14 in July.  We are told that he really wants to come to America.  He is a little shy but very helpful.  He likes sports and being active and he also enjoys computer games.  He wants to be a gas electric welder someday.  Although we have never met him a good friend of ours got to spend some time with him and she said, "he just captivated" her.  We are so excited to get to spend the summer getting to know him and we pray to also find his forever family.

It is such a privilege to get to enter into the story of these orphans and hopefully have an eternal impact.  If you have never prayed about hosting a child in your home for the summer or for the Christmas holiday, then I urge you to spend sometime seeking God's direction in this.  I promise it will shape the heart's of everyone in your family and will also have an impact on your circle of friends and extended family.  Visit http://www.hohinternational.com to learn more about it.  Mary Beth and Margaret have such an amazing heart for these kids and work tirelessly to get them here and connected with great families.
Stay tuned into our blog as we will post pics and updates on our Ukrainian Summer Adventure!

By the way... hosting a child does not mean that you want to adopt.  This program gives these kids such a great opportunity to get out of their normal circumstances (which often are not good) and it gives them a hope for the future and helps them to be around a healthy functioning family which in some cases might be the first time they see one.  You also never know what family they might get to meet while they are here that will feel led to adopt them.  Your willingness to host could change their lives forever and I promise it will also change yours.

Thanks to God's direction and provision we are now living in a beautiful 5 bedroom home that is tucked away under some gorgeous 100 year old oak trees.  We have unpacked most of the boxes and moved fairly quickly thanks to the army of friends and family that showed up to help lift our ridiculously heavy furniture.  

Also a few weeks back Katya, Kenzie, Mariana and Hunter got to spend a couple of days doing a service project at West Palm Beach.  They had a blast!  Here are some pics!

Katya and our youth pastor, Joel

I have more exciting news to share about God's provision and a family's obedience but I am being summoned over and over again by a bunch of kids so it will have to wait til the next post... stay tuned!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Change and more change!

I guess I am just going to have to realize that as much as I want to keep this blog more up to date there is just not enough time in my days right now to get it done.  So sorry to those who have faithfully followed our story from the beginning... I feel like I leave you hanging!

So many changes going on over here I really don't know where to start!

How about Christmas in March?  Yes we FINALLY celebrated our Christmas.  Since we were in Ukraine over the Christmas holiday our kids decided they wanted to wait til their sisters got home so that we could have Christmas together.  As it worked out March 30th was the first day that all of the family was available to gather together.  We had a GREAT time!  Lots of our traditional Christmas food (Ty's famous danishes, Mom's popular deviled eggs, Murry's Antipasta, Shell's Christmas chocolate) And some new treats like Mandy's southern cornbread pancakes.  We also had some AWESOME and competitive games of volleyball in the backyard.  We were so grateful to the rest of the fam to put off Christmas til March.

Shortly after our Christmas celebration we headed over to New Smyrna beach to visit with some great friends who are in the process of adopting a sweet boy from Father's House (you can check out their blog  http://drpnutmommd.blogspot.com/2012/04/braxton-hicks-and-a-word.html 
It was great spending time with them!

 We have been home with Katya and Mariana now for a little over two months.  We are still very much in the adjustment phase, but I am happy to say that we have more good days than not so good.  The girls are working hard to learn English.  Thanks to a good friend we came across a FREE English class being taught at the local library.  This class is put on by the Adult Literacy Campaign and they have graciously offered us a FREE tutor as well!  Praise God!  This was definitely an answer to my prayers as I have (being transparent here) felt like I am drowning almost every day.  We are also prayerfully considering enrolling the girls at the local high school for the ESL (English Speakers of another Language) class.  My heart is definitely for homeschooling as that is what we have done for the last 11 years but we also want to be open to what will work best for each of our kids and so we are praying about what that looks like... I will keep you posted on what we decide.

Recently a new milestone was reached by our "Kenzer"  She got her driving license!!!

For all of you with little ones... watch out!  This happens overnight!  Not really sure how my baby became 16 but she has and I love it!  She is like me but improved on by about 1000 times.  Whoever said that teenagers are difficult never met my Makenzie. 

On April 15th we celebrated a second Easter in recognition of the Ukrainian Easter (they go by the Eastern Orthodox calendar).  All the girls in the house spent the day preparing and cooking some traditional Easter dishes.  It was fun but a lot of work.  The girls actually got up at 6am to make the Paska! 

 Ok now for some more big news...

We have two more Americans in our home!

On Thursday April 19th Katya and Mariana officially took an oath and became American citizens.  They now have the privilege of being citizens of Ukraine AND America.

Well there are many more exciting things to report on but you will have to check back.  I promise to post more this week.  There is much going on this summer in the Wells' home!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Great Friends!

First pool party of the year... kind of a last minute... pool is still cold but heck who cares kind of party.  Kids started with a pretty informal game of volleyball in the backyard, which progressed to some slightly burned pizza, next a bit of wii dance followed by each person getting thrown into the cold pool kicking and screaming. 

It was GREAT FUN!!!

Katya and Mariana are slowly learning more and more English.... and working hard to adjust to a very new and different life. 

We apologize for not blogging more but life is on fast forward at the moment and we are just trying to hang on.  Please continue to keep our family in your prayers as becoming one cohesive family takes time and effort and God's blessing.