It seems like yesterday that I flew to Russia to adopt my youngest daughter.
A few days before Christmas I once again boarded the plane for my first visit with her.
Amidst the voices of caution and fear ‘Don’t you know? You were lucky the first time?’
I packed my bags and prepared to fly.
“I’ll be home for Christmas,” I assured my ten year old daughter as I left that day.
It was a magical Christmas experience that even today as I write it fills me with joy beyond words.
It was December 2002. Once more I flew into the bustling airport at Moscow. Soldiers. Guards.
All around was strangely reminiscent of my previous trip to Russia.
Outwardly I was alone but deep within I walked with faith in the One Who not only calls
but also strengthens us to accomplish His will.
The short video of her had been so touching.
Every time I watched it my eyes filled with tears.
I knew she was my long awaited daughter. Yes, after two years of searching for her
I knew that this was her.
I can see those snowy back roads again as I was driven to Kostroma.
Alone in the night, we rode
Our late night stop ….
We were hungry but the snow was mounting.
Would we make it? Yes, I was assured by this Russian driver who knew every twist and turn of the road.
We would arrive in Kostroma before daylight.
Suddenly in the thick white landscape I saw lights twinkling.
We stopped and walked through the deep snow.
Entering the rustic restaurant, everything looked different.
Music was playing, a few people were eating.
My heart was warmed by the homey atmosphere.
As I ate my burger that night, my heart wandered back
halfway around the world
to my brave young daughter
who hugged me goodbye with the biggest bear hug.
“You will be home for Christmas, right?” she asked again and again.
Little did I know that my plans would change.
But that’s another story, isn’t it?
Behind the scenes a very tiny two year old slept
never realizing that soon everything in her life would change.
I think of all those children behind the locked doors of the orphanages.
My heart beats heavy for them as Christmas approaches
and I pray. And pray. And pray.
God bless these poor children and be with them, I pray.
And somehow open the way for them to find homes.