About Dace

Dace (pronounced dot-say) is an eleven year old girl from Riga, Latvia. She has been living in an orphanage for the last five years, and she is very motivated to be adopted and have a family of her own. At present, Dace is in Westminster, Maryland, as a visitor on a hosting program called Project 143. She will be in the States until January 15, when she will go back to Latvia.

Jen Diehl, who has been hosting Dace, said this about her: “Dace has been a joy to have around – she is a sweet, helpful and very intelligent girl. She has been quickly picking up English – both reading and speaking it. She tries very hard to communicate and has been patient with our lack of Latvian! She has had fun playing with Alyssa and Inta and also gets along well with our boys. We’ve enjoyed baking Christmas cookies together and doing lots of crafts. Dace is very creative and quite the little artist! Since she arrived, she has been making crafts to give as gifts to us as well as grandparents and extended family. She truly is a thoughtful child and it has been a blessing to have her here for the holidays.”

Jen adds, “Dace  needs the love and security of a family of her own. Quite possibly, within 5 years, Dace would age out of the orphanage at 16 and be sent out to find her way in the world – on her own with no resources. Because of this harsh reality, we want to share Dace’s story in hopes of finding her a forever family.”

The danger of being sold into slavery or becoming a prostitute is very real for Latvian orphan girls.  Latvia, which borders Russia, is a former Soviet Bloc nation that shares many of Russia’s social pathologies.  “There were over 400,000 orphans in Russia in 2000. About 15,000 children leave Russian orphanages each year, when 16-18 years old. Of these 15,000, 5,000 are unemployed, some 6,000 are homeless, around 3,000 resort to crime, approximately 1,500 commit suicide, and about half the girls enter prostitution.  (Via MiraMed Institute –  http://www.miramedinstitute.org/russiaschildren.htm)
We know that we can’t adopt all of the Eastern European orphans who need homes.  However, we have long been impressed with the fact that we have room in our hearts and home for one more daughter.  When we consider adopting Dace, our question is not, “Why should we do it?” but rather, “Why SHOULDN’T we?”   We know that God loves this precious child and has His hand on her.  If the Lord opens the doors for Dace to become our child, we will welcome her into our family with joy.

Dace with one of her animal friends from the Diehl's farm


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Sonya Umstot
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 17:49:52

    What a beautiful website for your prayerful, committed journey to acquire a sister for Sasha! I love Dace’s pictures and it is SO GOOD to read her story. You two are special people and you are waiting on the Lord to create an extraordinary family. It’s always been His timing and His choice. You are an inspiration to me in many ways. The Lord bless you and keep you …… and I’ll talk to you again soon.


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