|Picking up our girl!!|
One year ago today Luke showed up at the orphanage to pick up our daughter...the start of a new life, a new forever. She's told us often about that day....about hearing that she may have to wait until Tuesday instead of Monday. It was the first day of school there and she was ready to go...not wanting to deal with all the grief she was being given...just wanting to be free. She tells us about a friend telling her that he thought he saw her daddy and describing him to her as her excitement grew. Good thing he came Monday...I'm so glad he was there Monday she'll tell us. I smile and am equally as glad. Because he almost wasn't. Our facilitator mentioned that it was doubtful we'd get the paperwork necessary to take her on Monday....that we'd likely have to wait until Tuesday anyway so we could just stay in Kiev when we arrived Sunday and then drive up on Monday. Luke asked what I thought.....we went back and forth....the rest would be nice, instead of getting in late and driving for several hours....but then we'd told her that he'd be there Monday. And more than anything, we wanted her to know she could trust us...that we meant what we said...that we'd be there. We agreed it was important...even if we couldn't take her until Tuesday, he could at least visit her and reassure her. We were so glad he went since he was able to get the paperwork on Monday after all.....but then each time she tells us her perspective, we are even more thankful. One day makes a world of difference sometimes.
She's certainly not the little girl she was that day one year ago...but in many ways she's the same. Her sweetness....desire to be loved and show affection....willingness to help and ability to just see a need and fill it.....the qualities that have amazed us and leave us wondering how on earth she is who she is with all that she's endured. Those first weeks and months were overwhelming for all of us, but still such a gift in all that we were able to witness....the progress, the attachment, learning what it means to be family and soaking it in. For a while now, we've just been dealing with normal kid stuff for the most part...we know how blessed we are!
We wanted to make this first "Gotcha" day a little special so we surprised her and took a trip back to the Russian Market so she could pick out some things that she's missed. The woman there remembered us, though it'd been almost a year since we went. Keira was so cute, excitedly pointing things out. The boys were equally as excited at the bins upon bins of candy at their fingertips. It was a bit chaotic with all of them running around, bumping into things....but she insisted they were angels (HAHAHA). It was fun listening to Keira speak to her in Russian...asking about different foods and getting to try a few things. She picked out some favorites and has been thoroughly enjoying them!
So thankful for this sweet girl that God has blessed us with! We have learned so much on this journey, and been so blessed beyond what we could have imagined - but that is really no surprise these days....God's ways always amaze us!
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Just a couple of updates.....Keira was recently able to reconnect with her Grandma and sister in Ukraine on the phone which has been a huge blessing! So many tears of joy, i love you's, and words of gratitude expressed. It's so nice to see her able to maintain relationships with more of her family there. She's tutored twice a week in Russian so she's been able to maintain the language, which allows her to continue to communicate with them - definitely another blessing! (If anyone is looking for a Russian tutor via skype please feel free to ask me for information!).
And the second update is that her friend Karina is once again in the orphanage and available for adoption!! We had continued to pray for a forever family for her, not knowing how things were in the foster family situation she was in and not knowing what God had in store. And within such a short time things have changed so drastically. Please pray for her family....God knows who they are....and for Karina, that God would prepare her heart...that she would be willing to take the courageous step to say yes when the time comes.