At first, I thought it was one of those annoying spam comments that end up on the blog periodically. You know, the ones that are in a foreign language and point you to some website selling t-shirts. Upon closer inspection, I saw Kristina's name and realized it was a message for her. It was a message from her best friend in the orphanage. A girl who was the closest thing to a sister Kristina has ever known. Karina's adoptive family is in Odessa to claim their daughter and they must have allowed Karina on the computer to send this message across cyberspace.
I knew Kristina would be ecstatic. She jumped up and down reading and re-reading the message on my cell phone. She wanted to get on the computer right away and post a message for Karina on the Nasekos' blog. We were due to youth group though, so I promised she could write as soon as we returned home. Holding me to my promise, she plopped down on her bed with the laptop and began to click away on the keyboard two hours later. She was so happy, I clicked a few pictures of her.
Periodically she'd look up and regale me with a memory of her time with Karina. The clicking on the keyboard became slower and the interruptions to share a memory with me became more frequent. Before I knew it, she was remembering things that made her shake as she spoke. She gripped the sides of the keyboard and her voice grew tense as she struggled to hide her feelings. In her mind's eye she was seeing old photos of her mother, the pigs her grandmother owned, and the first orphanage she lived in. Eyes downcast, she was remembering running away from the orphanage and navigating public transportation back to her father's house. She was seven years old. She was remembering the pain of feeling his anger upon finding her on his doorstep and then him escorting her back to the orphanage. He made sure she understood that the orphanage was her home. The orphanage was where she belonged.
My heart broke watching her relive these memories and share them with me afresh. Sensing my empathy to her pain, she set the computer to the side and made her way into my arms. I reminded her she would never wonder about home again. She would never question where she belonged. Her father had lost out by throwing her away. He had missed out on knowing a beautiful girl and we had been blessed to scoop her up and make her our own.
Kristina has moments where she cannot remember things from the past, even as recently as my first trip to Ukraine in 2006 where we met. She expends a great deal of energy suppressing a painful past. Tonight is the first time in six months that she has chosen to open up and talk. We don't push her to share; we know that things come when she is ready to talk. Please pray for our beautiful jewel of a child. We are so blessed to have her as part of our family.
- Psalm 68:6