Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Place to Belong


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.

God sets the lonely in families.
- Psalm 68:6

14 comments:

MamaPoRuski said...

How exciting to learn that her friend now has a family too! Adoption is so bittersweet, to know they must lose everything to gain their new family. HUGS MOM!

Tami said...

I'm so glad she reconnected with her friend, but so incredibly sorry it brought back so many hard memories. We'll be praying for that precious girl. Working through those feelings may be necessary - but it sure doesn't make it any easier!

Heidi and Felix said...

I want those conversations with our kids, and I know that over time they will come. We all still know so little about each other.

Kristina is indeed where she belongs now. Tell her that her story was a major factor in our adoption decision and the desire to go to Ukraine for that purpose. She was meant for greater things and she helped bring home three (and one day two more) children. God uses even the little ones to further his purposes. Thank you, Kristina!

Felix

Debbie said...

It boggles my mind that a parent would not want to love and care for the blessing of a child from the Lord. I am so saddened for Kristina and the other children, all of whom have their own stories of loss. Elaine told me her own story this summer, and I often found myself tearing up as she tried to tell me what happened in her young life. I praise God that Kristina's story is one of hope, that she has a forever family with you!

Debbie said...

Oh, yes, and God used your blogs over time to work in our hearts as He led us to adopt, to adopt from Ukraine, to adopt "older" children...to adopt from Kristina's group. Amazing how He works these things out! Thank you, Kristina; thank you, Landrums (and thank You, Lord).

Matthew Nasekos said...

Kristinka sposibo za pesymo. ya evo pojychila. Tvoya mama sprawevala v kakyuy wkoly ya bydy xodity? Ya bydy xoditu v wkoly kotoraya nazuvaetsa homeschool. Sevodnya mu xodili v opernuy teatr mne konechno ne ponravilos Tu y menya sprasil pochemy ya otkazala Denisy? potomychto esli ya bu vstrechlasya s nim ya b nnesmogla ostavity ego v odesse yya b ocheny skychala amne eto nenada. bydy zakanchevaty pesaty tebe pesymo napewu mne pesymo powalysto.Karina...

Matthew Nasekos said...

Leslie-
We enjoyed reading your blog about Kristina's reaction to the letter. We were also reminded of what our future may hold. Thanks for blogging!!! We can't wait to see you! Karina is excited to see Kristina.
Sheila

Leah said...

Ugh! My heart aches for Kristina tonight, and for her friends as well. No child should have to live through things like that, much less live with the memories of them.

Leslie said...

Leslie G said
The pic of Kristina so excited is priceless! I know she can't wait to see Karina again.

I wonder if only a few years ago either one of these two girls would have dreamed such awesome dreams.....

The bits and pieces we have of our children's time at home in Ukraine and the orphanage are heartbreaking as well. Slowly, the good memories here are replacing the bad ones.

I often wonder how they let such treasures leave their country?

Melissa E. said...

I love the little memory times that pop up randomly at our house. I crave those little windows into their pasts. The boys don't seem to remember a time pre-orphange though. I wonder if they ever will.

Kristina is glowing in that picture! I am glad that she has loving parents now. You are wise and careful to comfort and counsel her in the Lord and to give her security. God has brought good out of the bad--His specialty.

Annie said...

Hey L. Thank you so much for helping me. How is Kristina doing? How is school? Say hi to her.
God bless you my friend.

Kim said...

OH how exciting that reconnecting with Karina has opened a door to Kristina's past. Even though it just breaks my heart for what these kids have been through. It breaks my heart when Anastasia shares from her past - but I love that she knows that her past no longer defines her and she's ours - no matter what happened in the past and what will happen in the future. I hope that Karina and Kristina are able to get together in the US!

Alan said...

Does Kristina know Sergey? I would like to get them in touch when we get back. Please email me.

Ashley said...

Have Karina and Kristina been able to see each other yet? I hope they can soon. :)

I also hope Grisha opens up one day to me. I do not even know if he remembers anything or not. It does hurt, though learning about their past and I am so happy Kristina has a family that loves her and will never leave her.