I was in Ukraine a year ago today, taking in the new sights, smells, sounds. Adjusting nervously and excitedly to a foreign place. Little children pulled on my jacket and pleaded with me, "Mama! Click, click?" I obliged and took all the pictures I could, trying to capture everything lest I forget some piece of the world I was experiencing. As if I needed evidence of these beautiful creatures I was seeing, I tried to photograph each precious face to prove to others that they actually existed. I was standing outside the only McDonald's in the city watching a group of orphans enjoy hamburgers, darting from table to table giggling with each other in a rare outing, when she crossed my path. I was trying to be the photographer that is there but unnoticed. Staying off to the side quietly clicking frames of candid moments between the children, I saw only what was passing in front of my lens. In a flash, a blur of pink passed in front of me and then returned. I looked up from the camera to see a child step back and pause to smile at me. She stood still and I understood it to mean she wanted to be photographed. I obligingly took her picture and she scampered back to her friends. I didn't think anything of it at the time.
Throughout the rest of the week there she was, always in my path. I arrived two weeks after Kristina's 11th birthday last year. One day I will ask her if she wished for a family on that birthday. Did she dare to have a conversation with God and ask for the impossible? Even if she never spoke these words, He had a special gift for her. This was my first glimpse of the girl that would become my daughter, but God had known her from the foundation of the world and had chosen her for us.
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