Kostroma, December 2002.
Born weighing only 1 ½ pounds.
A miracle if she had been born here a doctor said.
I knew from the time I saw that short video of her that she was my second daughter.
Noelle and I watched with tears running down our cheeks
as she walked
and silently stood with her big brown eyes staring.
My heart jumped across to where I knew she was
But it was weeks until I finally met her on that cold December morning.
She kept her eyes down as I softly spoke to her.
Her eyes were attracted to my watch
So I took it off and she held it and put it on her teeny tiny wrist.
I lifted her up on my lap and she finally got brave enough to meet my eyes.
I kept talking quietly
and then we walked together to play with some of the toys in the room
and drink some tea
and eat candy.
This was how our visits went spread over three days.
I loved her immediately
knew she was a survivor
and longed to bring her home to meet my oldest daughter.
Then on the third day while visiting her in the afternoon
she was suddenly taken away
and my heart felt like it had stopped breathing.
Where had they taken her? Why?
Would I get to see her again?
I knew that I must leave Russia and return in a few weeks.
That was the law.
But I had not said goodbye.
Given her another warm embrace
Reassured her of my return.
but there was nothing to be done.
I would see her when I returned.
But what would she think, I worried.
So I purchased a teddy bear and rushed it back to the orphanage.
“Please give her this for me
and tell her Mommy would be coming to get her
to take her home.”
Tears filled my eyes even as I got back in the car and was driven away.
A few hours later I boarded the plane at the Moscow airport.
One quick stop in Amsterdam and we should be home, I thought.
Christmas Eve. I could hardly wait to see Noelle. To hold her in my arms.
But the plane that was to land for only a few minutes
ended up being grounded
until the next day.
Miss Christmas? No way, I thought. I had to get home.
I stood at the desk inside the airport scanning the flights.
Cancelled. Cancelled. One after another. Big snowstorm in the East.
“No flights until possibly tomorrow,” the woman behind the desk informed me.
With a very heavy heart
I walked the long hall and found my room.
I picked up the phone and dialed home where my parents were staying with Noelle.
“Hi honey,” I said hearing her sweet voice on the other end of the phone.
“No, I wasn’t able to come all the way,” I explained a lump forming in my throat.
“No, you go ahead and I will get there as soon as I can. Promise.”
I heard her fighting back the tears and that did me in.
For the second time in one day
tears trickled down my cheeks.
Christmas Eve. One daughter in Kostroma, Russia. The other in Virginia.
My weary heart was stretched in both directions longing to have my daughters together.
I’ll never forget that night alone in the huge hotel room.
Alone. But not alone. I sensed His Presence.
Sometimes things don’t unfold the way you think
The unexpected happens and you are forced to adjust
But I am not surprised. All is well.
I am never late.
In His Time
I went back to Russia
got two year old Jenny
and brought her home. My heart was finally at peace.
And oh what a homecoming that was. But that is for another blog.