Back to "the story"...
You have already read about how Ronnie and I were open to the idea of adoption.... But I want to tell you about Lena.
Our first time to meet Lena was at CiCi's pizza. The kids had been in country for three days and we were meeting to go shopping with the kids to buy some clothes for their time here in Alabama. Anytime we have worked with the kids at Bridgestone, we have an automatic attraction for the kids to interact with our family.... a baby :) She and another girl, Nastia, walked up to our table and knelt by the highchair where the little princess was sitting. They started talking to Lydia (in Ukrainian of course - so we have no idea what was said) but little princess was just LOVING the attention!
When we got to Kohl's to shop, Ronnie, Kaitlyn (from our church) and I were paired up with one of the boys, Max. An awesome kid. We loved helping him figure out what shoes he liked, what size socks he wore, etc. etc. When we were finished shopping we all gathered outside of Kohl's waiting for the others to complete their shopping. Several of us were having to work to keep little princess from running off of the sidewalk into the parking lot... and then Lena finished her shopping! She came out and picked up Lydia- was holding her, kissing her, and kept her entertained for the rest of the time we were waiting.
We put Max's clothes into the van, and loaded up to head home. Not realizing that the initial groundwork had been laid for Lena to capture our hearts forever!
Our next time to spend time with Lena was during our time as houseparents. We had actually seen her one other time at the park, but really didn't have much time to spend with her or any of the other kids while trying to stop Josiah and Lydia from diving down the slides.
When we were houseparents, we arrived late on Thursday evening and were waiting for the kids to come home from a fun day at the lake. They arrived about an hour after we got to the camp. Each kid was exhausted. I stayed outside with Josiah and a couple of the boys who were wanting to ride bikes. When I came inside, Lena and Nastia had gone into their rooms and gotten some stuffed animals that our sunday school class had sent when the kids had first landed in Atlanta. They had given them to little princess to play for a while. Lena was sunburned from her day at the lake and I remember trying to make sure she was not hurting too badly. Some of the time as houseparents is blurry..... partly because when you take a 1 year old, a 2 year old and 8 kids ranging from 10-15 who don't speak English.... it gets a bit chaotic at times.
I was the one to wake up the girls on Friday morning. I went in to their rooms to be sure they were getting out of bed. Like most teenage girls - they were not in a big hurry to get out of bed. How sweet they all looked resting peacefully... but then the morning started! We were going to spend most of that day at the camp, but had an appointment with a church group that was coming to play games with the kids. We all ate breakfast - Lena ate hers and then came over to help me feed Lydia. This became a routine at each meal. She wanted to help feed Lydia each time.
There is much more to the story - as we all fell in love with this amazing girl.... but it will have to wait for another day.
Until then... Thanks for the prayers and support.... we are already so amazed at how God is working through YOU to help us and our newest daughter!