Monday, March 1, 2010

Baby orphanage "Yolochka"

I'm sure everyone knows of someone who has adopted from Russia or Ukraine. Adoption from here is a pretty common thing, and I personally would attribute that need to the core problem of alcoholism. Of course, many other factors exist... but, the alcoholism problem here cannot be denied. We've probably all heard it said that "the Russians love their vodka," and, sadly, that is very, very true. Unfortunately, though, there are consequences to such a lifestyle, and sadly, it is all too often the children who suffer the consequences... They are born with serious health issues, abused, and abandoned.

I have a special heart for orphans, and I pray daily that God will use me to reach these precious ones with the Gospel - and to show them that someone cares for them.

I am beginning a series specifically on the baby orphanage in our city that houses babies from 2 months of age to the age of 4 (on their 4th birthday they are transferred), called "Yolochka." ("Yolochka" actually means "little Christmas/New Year's tree" which is a symbol of holiday happiness here). Since the conception of my blog nearly a year ago, I have had handfuls of couples write to me after typing in their search engines: "orphans, Ukraine, Simferopol, Yolochka, baby orphanage #9, etc..." Most of them are looking for someone here to help them during the part of their adoption process that brings them half-way around the globe to my neighborhood. Yes, I am an American living here that loves orphans. And, even if it is just to provide a security for these families (since we know the city, the language, the customs), we are here to help as the Lord leads.

I was recently given my first tour of Yolochka last week, when kind Julie sent money to our home church for us to buy medicines for the babies. The director of the orphanage gave me his full permission to take as many pictures as I wanted (I took over 70 pictures!) and share them on the internet. So, here I am... showing you, my dear readers, what a baby orphanage in Ukraine looks like.

I will start with pictures of some of the children I took, since the children are my inspiration in the first place!

And of some have compassion, making a difference. Jude 22


  1. Beautiful Children :)


  2. Thank you so much for this post! I think about and pray for the children in that orphanage frequently. I will pray for you as you minister to orphans and adopting families!

  3. Oh, thank you! What precious children. Did the director share any other specific needs?

    Looking forward to more photos!

  4. what an amazing opportunity. This post really touched me. Thanks so much.

    If you have the time can you tell me how do you sign your name?

  5. Hi Jolene,
    Love your "new look". Can you tell me how you did the three collums? When I get home (in a couple of days :)))) I was planning on changing my blog back ground and look a little. Have lots of posts to add to my blog. SOOO excited to be returning to my hubby and boys.
    Take care,

  6. you are sooo wonderful!! there is a little boy names aloysha that is in one of those orphanges that i pray for everyday. he has touched my heart in so many ways.. i would love to see an updated picture of him. or to just know he is doing ok!! we wanted to adopt him but it just didnt work out :(
    thank you for all you do!

  7. Jolene,

    Oh, what an opportunity! I will be praying.

    ~ Esther

  8. Thanks for all of the comments here. I'll try to answer some questions:

    To make a three-column blog, go to and look up "free blogging secrets." It's a pretty complicated process, so be sure to follow the first step and save your template!

    To make a signature, go to: It's a lot of fun! Save the html code under settings-format-post template, and it will show up in every future post.

    As far as specific needs in the orphanage, I would have to ask.

    I do not know anything about specific children yet. I will have to wait until I can establish more of a relationship there before I can get specifics.

  9. I was wondering what information you might know concerning adoption from ukraine/russia? just some minor details...what red tape you might have to go through, finances,ect...just curious
    as always I'm praying for you and your family as you continue your work there in Ukraine. I love your pictures and updates and feel like i know your people personally and have grown to have a love for your ministry.

  10. Great pictures! I just got back from an AIDS orphanage in UA - it was so much fun playing with the children. I have pictures on my blog if you're interested.

  11. Jolene...I LOVE your blog. It's so pretty and inviting. I can't wait to come to Ukraine and see the work first hand. We met when you were on deputation at Fellowship Baptist Church in Durham (Pastor Rick Finley). You are the missionary family that my family prays for on a daily basis!!! We follow your ministry closely. Blessings to you today.
    Renee Parris

  12. Hello, I sent an email to you, but we have trouble with them going into people's junk mail. It is about a child in Yolochka. Is there a way you could look in your junk mail to see if our letter came through??
    Thank-you so much!
    Our email is

  13. I just found this page. Thank you, Jolene, for posting it!

    For those interested in adopting from Ukraine, Russia, or many other countries, visit They will walk you through the entire process!

    I have "followed" several adopting families over the last year, since my daughter first introduced me to RR. I have often wondered, Jolene, if any of those orphanages were in your area -- sounds like one is!

  14. I am in the process to adopt a child from can email me at


Thank you for your encouraging comments! "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25