We have been swiftly moving along so Diana can get her visa and plane ticket. We had to request criminal record checks and child abuse clearances for Fred and me, a social worker came to prepare a homestudy, and we had to get notarized signatures and fill out forms and more forms. And money. We were told by the coordinator of our program not to let our finances prevent us from hosting a child. Our church would help, she said. We were counting on it. The families have to pay for the homestudy, a part of the plane fare, and buy clothing for the child. Then we had a most humbling experience.
Originally when I first had this vision of our small group working together to care for an orphan child, I thought we would each do our part. Some would help financially, some would provide for the physical care of the child, others would network to find a home for the child. When our friends committed to host a boy, I thought we could all chip in cover the expenses. (I haven't yet explained the breakup of our small group, but it is not there to support us or them anymore.) Then, this same family hosting Sergei gave us a very large check along with a card with these beautiful words: "We would be honored to put this in the hand that's reaching out to Russia." Their own hands are also reaching out to Russia! But they insisted on helping us. I have never known such generosity. Fred and I did not how to respond to this. It is still amazing to me and such a testimony to their faith and their character that acts on that faith.
My friend and I have been keeping each other excited by talking about "our" kids who are coming and all the fun activities we have planned and maybe even the remote possibility of these children becoming part of our families. Then one day last week I asked our coordinator about obtaining some additional information on Diana. We'd seen her video and had one picture, but that was it. Could we find out her background? Because another family had originally chosen Diana, our coordinator had forgotten she hadn't passed on the information to us. So she e-mailed me with the documents--the family circumstances that brought her to the orphanage and her medical report. I was stunned and crushed and heartbroken for this precious child when I read it. She was born into neglect and poverty and tragedy. Her medical report is so awful I feared to bring her into my home around my little girls. We cannot adopt her! Her problems are too big! I was devastated and so sad for this child.
Now that was a week ago. Since then I've been reading about Russian adoption. I've heard many horror stories and I've also learned Russia sometimes embellishes the medical reports. I'm well aware of attachment disorders and medical issues that come from alcoholism. Fred, my dear wonderful husband, is not worried. He says, "We'll just wait and see." My heart has changed too in that I just have this intense desire to wrap my arms around Diana and hug her tight. I explained some of her history to my girls so they would be compassionate and patient with Diana if they witness disturbing habits or behavior. This has brought out some discussion about their own pasts which has been good. We need to confront it from time to time and also it gave me a chance to explain vast differences in the reasons children in China and in Russia come into the orphanages.
I was cleaning clutter off our dining room table and came across a little note written in Liana's handwriting. It said simply, "I love Diana." My tender-hearted little girl, after knowing the realities of this Russian girl's life, is more than willing to give her a chance. Both of my daughters are ready to embrace her. Fred and I are too.