Hiding from the police, being physically assaulted, insulted, and in fear of arrest. This was a typical day in the life of Kim de Blecourt for a year while she tried to adopt a child from Ukraine.
Kim de Blecourt knows about tenacity and perseverance. She knows the patience of waiting. She also knows that God wants her to care for orphans: a reminder of that knowledge now runs around her house at top speed every day.
Kim and her husband, Jahn, adopted Jacob, now 6, from Ukraine, a process that began in 2006 and ended in 2010 when mother and son stepped foot on American soil after she spent nearly a year in Jacob's homeland. Their tale, fraught with tension and danger, is the subject of her new book, Until We All Come Home, which releases in November by FaithWords.
The story really began with Kim's church's mission trip to Ukraine in 2003. In Odessa she saw street children crawling in and out of manholes, the sewers their only home. She saw their sallow skin and tattered clothing, but left Ukraine wishing she could have made an impact on their lives.
"My desire to adopt, and also my orphan advocacy ministry, was birthed right then," says Kim, who lives in Michigan. "That desire was watered as I studied the Bible, especially James 1:27, which says, 'External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need'" (Amplified Bible). "I realized that Jesus was calling the early Christians and us to justice issues. It was a wake-up call to me."
Secondary infertility—the de Blecourts have a daughter, Jacey—prompted research into adoption in 2006, with Ukraine always at the back of Kim's mind. In 2009, they received permission to go to Ukraine to adopt a child.
They adopted Jacob, and began what should have been a weeks-long wait for proper paperwork and permission to take the then 3-year-old from the country. Delay piled on delay, Jahn needed to return home for work and Jacey for school, and Kim was left alone in a country whose language she didn't speak and whose bureaucracy was confounding, corrupt, and occasionally hostile.
Although the government approved the adoption, a prosecutor was unsatisfied and pursued appeals and warrants to have Jacob returned to the orphanage.