in the whole adoption process
that shines brightly above the rest.
It was a few days before Christmas 1993.
For three days I had been spending time with my six month old baby girl
in the orphanage. My heart would beat with excitement every time I saw her.
The moments would fly and with sadness I would place her back in the nurse’s
arms until the next visitation time.
In between I was busy with paperwork. Endless paperwork.
The other couples adopting with me
and I often spoke
wondering when we would get to take our children from the orphanage
and ride the overnight train back to Moscow.
We could hardly wait.
Although the kind Russian facilitators had placed a small, Charlie Brown like Christmas tree up for us Americans
we longed for home.
Finally the day came.
“Tonight bring your clothes…the clothes your child will wear home.”
I carefully packed my suitcases putting Noelle’s traveling outfit in another bag.
Carefully purchased items. A pink top and pants outfit, socks and undershirt,
A pink snowsuit, hat and gloves.
I looked at them again and smiled overwhelmed with gratitude
that God would give me this special gift.
A child to mother for Him.
My heart’s desire from the time I was a young girl.
The other couples and I gathered in the large room at 10 o’clock Christmas Eve as told.
We chatted about this and that
all the while watching the clock.
“Bet they’re going to wait till midnight,” a soon to be father spoke.
We all smiled in agreement.
Tick tock. Tick tock.
My thoughts wandered back to Virginia
wondering what my family was doing.
What a strange Christmas
to be so far away physically
but so very close in heart.
And then I thought about Christmases to come.
A little girl to surprise.
A little one to teach about God’s great Love
in sending Jesus.
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed.
Tick tock. Tick tock.
We continued to sit waiting for the word that we could go to our children.
My heart was filled with wonder and humility
that God would give me this awesome experience.
He knew my heart’s deepest longings
He knew the pain and disappointments.
He knew. He cared.
Here I was halfway around the world; far from anyone I knew
but I sensed His Strong Arms of protection and peace.
All was well.
Suddenly the door opened
and the Russian facilitator stepped in with a big smile on her worn face.
“Now,” she whispered motioning with her hands.
Quickly getting to my feet I grabbed my bag and followed the rest
out the door,
down the long partly lit hall
into the nursery.
I waited for only a brief moment
she was placed in my arms. My daughter. Eyes wide open.
I immediately went to work
taking one piece of clothing off at a time
and replacing it with my carefully chosen
just for her
She was so good. So easy going.
Before I knew it
Noelle Joy Oksana Brani
was completely dressed.
“Ok, honey. This is going to be one big adventure.” I said picking her up
and holding her close to my heart.
I glanced up at the clock on the wall.
The time had come.
His Time had come.
In His Time. In His Time.
He makes all things beautiful in His time.
A new beginning for both of us.
The old had passed away.
It was a new beginning.
How marvelous that God loves to give us new beginnings.
He loves to show Himself faithful and true.