I told her to make a list of what she wanted to get before she returned to Ukraine. Her list consisted of a towel, a wash cloth, a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, a blanket for her bed in the orphanage, and warm shoes for the winter. As I purchased the items, she kept apologizing. "I'm so sorry, Leslie. I know it is big money."
We've packed her clothes and some supplies for the other children that Whitney brought by the school today. In her backpack for the plane ride is a book, her jacket, a stuffed animal from Sara Hunt and a stack of handmade cards from the children in her fourth grade class. She has read them at least three times since she's been home. They are filled with messages of hope and love from the children in Mrs. Wilgus' class.
I sent her to bed a little while ago, yet she wanders in here periodically as if she's looking for something. Hannah had fallen asleep on the couch and Kristina insisted that I wake her up. I told her I would send Hannah to bed in a little while, but Kristina persisted. She wanted to sleep with her summer sister one last time. When we got home from school, Hannah headed to the kitchen and made two sandwiches. She retrieved two beach towels from the hall closet and went out into the side yard. A few minutes later she called for Kristina and the two of them had a picnic. I could hear their giggles drift in through the window as I went about packing the suitcases.
The boys have each had a moment today. It was just a brief moment, a glimpse of tomorrow's pain. "Mom, does she have to go?" "I'm going to miss her, Mom." She is one of us. Dealing with my own pain tomorrow is one thing, but I hadn't prepared myself for watching five other people deal with the same thing. The last time I faced this, I was alone in a hotel room in Vienna, Austria. Patti reminded me today that Christ meets us in our deepest sorrow; and there is sweetness in that communion regardless of the depth of the darkness. We desperately need your prayers tomorrow. Pray for Robert and the children. Pray that I will handle our parting graciously. Pray that the courage Kristina found to come here will carry her back home. Pray that she will have hope and know that she is loved in our absence. Pray that God will make a way.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. -Philippians 1:6
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