. . . And a poem.

I assume many of you have heard about the foolish act by the family in Tennessee that sent the seven year old boy, who they had adopted from Russia 3 years earlier, back to Russia, with a note saying that they couldn’t take care of him any longer.

And perhaps you have heard that Russia is considering stopping all adoptions to the US as a result.

This is an extremely sad situation. And right now I am thinking about the families who for months have been in the process of adopting a child, perhaps having even visited the child once in the orphanage, who now cannot adopt. And I am thinking about the thousands of children in Russian orphanages waiting for homes who now (at least for some time) will not.

The Joint Council On International Children’s Services has asked that adoptive parents who blog do something and so I am. I’m writing a post about our eight year old daughter Anna. Here goes.

==

Our oldest daughter Anna joined our family when she was three and a half. Our kids were so happy to fold her into our home. She took all of the changes (new home, new family, new bed, new continent) in stride and we learned quickly that she loved animals.

Animals, especially dogs, are her favorite subject.

She also likes running and climbing and finding things. She was, by far, the best garbage gatherer in our family’s park clean up outing last weekend. And when we geocache, we sometimes have to say, “Okay, Anna you can’t find this one” because she’s found the last three.

When I think of Anna still in the ‘baby home’ in Borovichi (between Moscow and St. Petersburg) as an eight year old, it makes me very glad for the opportunity we had to adopt her. As I’ve heard stories from others, I’m guessing that the orphanage she lived her first three years was not nearly as bad as some, but children need families. Children need families. Children need families.

Anna (right) With Sister Adelyn

Anna is beautiful. Anna is a child of God. We love her. We will always love her.

==

I’ll close with a poem about Anna in Moscow the day before we left her country. It’s a description first of the spot outside our Hotel and then her (in the last paragraph).

Outside The Moscow Radisson Hotel

You are standing inside a 200 meter circle
The edge of the circle is a 5 meter high platform for sitting
The center is a
complex and everchanging
fountain
This circle is a monument to the Union of European Nations
You feel
As an American
A little left out.

You are facing away from the center of the circle
But inside its perimeter
Looking towards the impressive, new Hotel
Which a nervous couple entered and was glad that its employees spoke English

Turn a little to the left
(We’ll go clockwise)
And you see the grand entrance to a significant train station
Which is very large and clean inside.
You are standing near the entry point for many visitors from other European countries.
Daily.

A little more to the left and you see steps
Going down
To a significant subway station
The subway here is called the metro
This station is the junction of three different underground trains

A little more to the left
(now you have turned 90 degrees)
And you see a tall wall which hides construction from the road beyond.
Cross this road and you will see a familiar looking building which has a familiar looking sign
If you look carefully the sign says in Cyrillic – “Macdonalds”
This was the first place the nervous couple went, because
Unlike other well seasoned travelers
They wanted something familiar

Another turn to the left and you see the disorganized random parking lot for the train-station
Actually you have been looking beyond this for awhile
But we will disregard it
And keep turning.

Another turn to the left
(now you have turned 180 degrees)
and you see a park.
It is filled with trees and benches and the remains of a bonfire
This would be a pleasant area to walk through if it weren’t so filled with litter
And party leftovers

For the remaining 180 degrees you see river
The primary river for this capital city
The river for which this city was named
The couple toured this river with their college choir
before they were a couple
they were both less and more nervous then.
And when you have made your way almost full circle
You see a bridge, with impressive architecture, interesting to walk across
Where you might note a police officer tossing his cigarette bud into the river
Where you can see
From opposite sides
A University and a hotel which look very similar
And a restaurant that looks like a Viking ship
What?
This bridge might be a good way to visit the city center
Rich with history and religion and shopping
You might find very cute dresses for two new sisters

But don’t think
Now that you have come full circle
That you have seen it all.
No. Try looking down.
You see that a three year old girl is holding your hand.
She has blonde hair
They kept it short at the baby home.
She is your daughter, but you don’t know her.
And since she speaks a different language, you may wonder what she is thinking
Clearly she is interested in the dancing waters of the fountain.
Indeed she wanted to climb into it.
And she has looked in wonder at much she has seen in the last twenty-four hours
And she seems to be cheerful, but
Does she have any real idea what is happening?
And to the degree that she does, does she have truly joyful feelings about it?
My suggestion is that you pray
To the God who made both her and you
Pray for peace for her and wisdom for yourself

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