If you'll read this post: (Thanks, and Giving) written by a guest journalist on one of the Russian Orphan Lighthouse Project trips to Moscow like Mr. Beaver and I took last January, I think it will enchance your understanding of Daria's heart in my story below. The young boy mentioned in the story was from our children's orphanage and was one of Alexander's friends.
About three weeks ago Daria came to me in the middle of the afternoon. I was working at the desk in my room so the conversation was to be a private one. Her countanance revealed profound concern, and I immediately wondered what kind of deep talk we were about to have. When you've only known you're teenage daughter for a month, anything is possible.
Slowly, with effort and patience on both our parts, we worked away to uncover her thoughts using my tiny bit of Russian and her small knowledge of English. We eventually reached the understanding that she was bothered by the realization that she didin't have any way to buy Christmas gifts because she had no money. I felt a hurricane-strength wind of relief whoosh over me. This was a problem with which I could help. In fact, this was a dilemma with which I would find joy in solving.
I told my dear, generous daughter that this year her mama and papa would give her money to buy gifts. She immediately looked relieved and bouyed. That look of happiness only last a brief instance before she told me in no uncertain terms that our giving money to her could only happen once and after that she must get a job and earn her spending money. I just smiled non commitally, thinking, "We'll deal with that later. For now I have a happy 15-year-old who is eager to demonstrate love to her new siblings."
Tessa was the one who took Daria on her first-ever Christmas shopping foray. In a stunningly quick two hours after stopping at only two stores, Daria had collected gifts for all eleven of her new brothers and sisters. Tessa came home wide-eyed at how efficient her new sister had been.
When we opened gifts on Christmas, it was easy to see that Daria was not only efficient she was also thoughtful. She's been studying her siblings in the short time she's known them, and she had picked out a perfect present ("podarak" in Russian) for each of them.
Tessa was the first to open one of Daria's gifts:
Tessa was thrilled with her gift--she loves coffee--and the giver was at least equally happy. Daria's detective work had paid off.
All of us who have lived in America for at least a few years got a quiet chuckle out of something that is yet too subtle for Daria to understand. The coffee's flavor which Daria had picked out wasn't one Tessa would normally purchase. It was "Tennessee Whiskey"!
"...remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said,
'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35b