Disclaimer. Before I begin, if you don’t know me personally then you need to know that I am incredibly outgoing, extroverted, rarely intimidated, and I never meet a stranger. There. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I can tell you this story.
I received an email on August 5th, 2015 that was probably one of the most intimidating emails of my life. The email was from a professor that was new to Union and he would be teaching two of my classes. Looking back, I’ve laughed at how nervous this email made me and how chill the email actually is. But when a professor throws around things they’ve been involved in which include ESPN, his own website, and books he’s written I became intimidated. It also wasn’t doing any favors for him that he was from up North, so by fault he was a Yankee and I could only imagine how bad his accent was going to be.
Thankfully, I was wrong and very wrong at that. I don’t know how many students on a regular basis have the opportunity to call their professor by his or her first name, but I get to. Ted by far was not the professor I perceived from his email at all.
Once getting to know Ted, he shared more about his previous jobs, experiences, and family. One of the stories he tells that is so heart warming is about his boys. Ted and his wife, who he so preciously refers to as his lady, have two boys, Tristan and Maxim, who you can see running around campus on scooters or playing with each other on a regular basis. From the outside looking in, their family looks like any normal family, but their story is so unique.
When Ted and Kristin first got married, they didn’t know what to do so they moved to Lithuania to teach. “I wish it was more spiritual than that but we moved there because we also thought it would be fun,” said Ted. While there they had the opportunity to play with children in orphanages at night or when they had free time.
The orphanages were packed and the children were starving for love and attention and that led Ted and Kristin to feel the call to adopt when they became ready for children.
They finally became ready to adopt and think about kids and they immediately thought of the children in the orphanages in Lithuania. At the time Lithuania was not open for adoptions, so they looked for a country with a similar culture and they found Ukraine.
Today, other than having the boys as their own, they are still seeing blessing from the adoptions. One in particular that makes Ted get emotional is just being able to watch them play and interact with each other. The boys have the opportunity to play outside and grow and that was something they weren’t so fortunate to have the opportunity in Ukraine. Ted even feels nostalgic because when they got their son Maxim, he was 3 years old and weighed only 23 pounds, a “tiny peanut” in his words and now he and Tristan both are strong and so full of life.
From this experience Ted and his wife have learned and felt the Lord’s presence in many ways. “Adoption is a great, tangible way to trust the Lord,” said Ted. Their story is one that is special and unique and you can learn more about it in his book, Hello, I Love You or you can check out his website to learn more at www.tedkluck.com.