We haven't said much yet about our interactions with the three kids when we went on our court trip in late October. We weren't allowed to share photos of them until they were fully ours following the court decree and subsequent 10-day wait. Now that we can share freely, we thought it worthwhile sharing a glimpse of what we saw then... and what we've seen recently. The changes wrought by God have been nothing short of miraculous.
We met Oksana in Moscow in January but then didn't see her again until October when we traveled to her region to go to court, 400 miles east of Moscow. We can't even imagine the confusion this precious little girl must have endured during those months. She was 5-years-old when we met her and six by the time we were allowed to return! Did she even remember that we had met? Did she understand that we wanted to be her parents?
We likely added to her confusion by being absent when she was brought to the apartment where we stayed during the court trip. We had been whisked away to a briefing session with the orphanage director and orphanage social worker. Although we knew there was some risk she would arrive while we were away, we had no choice in the matter.
So, while we were out, Oksana was delivered to the apartment where we were staying. Wonderful, grandmotherly Luda, our apartment hostess, greeted Oksana and helped her settle in, but when we arrived after the legal briefing, the little one was anything but comfortable with us!
In the picture below, it is hard to tell but she's backed herself into a corner between the refrigerator and the wall. Each time we tried to initiate contact she just pulled herself tighter into the corner and grimaced. She was scared and, as a result, sullen.
What a wonderful difference we've been privileged to see over the past few weeks! Even in just the past couple of days, her countenance has started to reflect God's healing at work deep within her. She has been transformed into a walking, giggling smile!
She's also opening up to people outside our family more readily. Tonight our dear friend, Heather, brought us a meal and Oksana sought Heather out twice to hug her in the short time she was in our home. We love watching our little beauty blossom!
God is at work in her already, healing the unimaginable neglect and abandonment she has experienced. Her smile and giggle say much about the kindness and power of the Great Physician!