We had a really fun day, playing and laughing, drawing and dance class. As she sounded out each word, with so much ease these days, laughing at sections with abandon, delighted at the story, making me interested in what Josh and Zack were doing in the story, I decided to ask her if she ever missed Russia, or missed the orphanage.
|I’m pretty sure she thought she could fly with her new tutu from Bonnie 🙂|
Without breaking gaze with the book, her eyes popped in shock. And then she smiled, and laughed a little bit.
“No, mama. I don’t like it there,” eyes still on the pictures of the kids in the story. She laughed and said, “I don’t like it there. Maria is happy. Maria is home!”
“What was it called in Russian, the orphanage?” I asked.
“Internat. I don’t like it there. Everyone hit us, break my friends glasses, bonking my head,” she explained as she turned the page. “I don’t like it there, I like it home. Maria happy,” she smiled, and kept reading her story, which she really thought was the funniest thing she’s ever read.
“And,” I added, whimsically, “You have a mama and a papa, and a family who loves you so much!”
“Mhmm,” she nodded, like, duh mom, obviously,
Then, with more zest, “Aaaaaaaand,” she added, “Maria dancy!!!”
|Our little ballerina|
Most days, I can’t believe how far this girl has come since that first day we met her in a teeny, tiny, crumbling orphanage in Russia. Those moments? Those are ones I hold in my heart, the first time you meet your child, the one God always meant for you because he is oh so good. The moments that almost feel unreal, are we here? Is this happening? The ones that bond you and your husband, as you fall in love this precious child.
“Were you sad when mama and papa had to leave and come home for a bit before we came and got you?”
She shook her head, “No, because I knew you were coming back. I remember Nikita running, running to me and say, ‘Maria! Maria! Your parents are here!’
No matter where your posts show up in my feed I always read them first because seeing the joy on Maria’s face makes my day!! She is so beautiful & it’s been amazing to watch her journey!
Such a sweet post. Thankyou for showing the beauty of older child adoption.
One word: PRECIOUS! Simply precious!! ♥
She is such a sweet girl.
I’m going to have my 9 year old daughter read this and see if she will clean my room for me 😉
(don’t expect the naked boy shenanigans to go away any time soon… I wonder if they ever outgrow that? hehe)
What a blessing you have received in Maria! I am so thankful that she was able to come home to you and every time I read her story my prayers for Russia to re-open US adoptions are renewed. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story!
ok, this did it – this post made me cry! but good tears. mostly. hug her extra extra tight tonight. sweet girl. so so so glad you are HOME.
Another moving post, it brought tears to my eyes. Even though we are in our fifties I wonder if we should look into older child adoption. You have opened my eyes and heart.
I will pray for you guys. It is an honor and joy to be an adoptive parent and I do wish more could experience it!
Isn’t it amazing to hear these children talk about their former life? It blows my mind to see where they have come from and to hear from THEM what their thoughts on it are.
Geez, Amy, every time I read your blog I wind up with tears pouring down my face! What a darling girl Maria is. Your family just glows with happiness!
This is so beautiful! I wanted to tell you that it is reading through and following your experience with adopting an older child that my husband and I have changed our adoption process to include an older child. We are in the process of adopting a beautiful child from Bulgaria. Maria is such a beautiful light and blessing! Isn’t God wonderful how he can bring families together the way he does. God Bless- The Holland Family
What!?! That’s so amazing! I can’t wait to hear more. Maria is such a blessing in our lives….sometimes I think about what it would be like if we just had her….but I don’t think for too long, cause one of my boys is pooping his pants or making a mess. <3 Blessings to you!
I just wanted to say that I’ve been following your blog since pretty early in your adoption process and I feel like I have gone on this journey with you. I have always felt the need to adopt an older child but always assumed I would do it on my own as a single mom. When I met the man I am planning to marry this was a point of contention because he had (not irrational) fears about bringing an older child into our home. But as you went on through your process and we kept talking about it something amazing happened. As silly as it may seem I really think that God has used Maria to soften his heart and reevaluate. He, as did I and the rest of my family, fell in love with her. And the fact that such a “normal” family could take on the financial and emotional burden was very inspiring for us. When I called him in tears after I heard about Russia closing I was so surprised to hear him say “It’s okay, we can go somewhere else.” Not exactly why I was so upset but I think it is just so amazing how his attitude has completely changed about the whole thing. We are still far too young and still would like to experience marriage for a few years but I am so excited that adoption is in our future, whether domestic or international. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. You are truly touching the hearts of many.