Mr. And Mrs. Beaver:When Daria turned 15, we spent the day feeling sad. After all, she was in Russia, and we were in America. Our hearts ached as we thought, "Argh...we've already missed 14 of her birthdays! Not another missed milestone!"
We were also concerned. If she turned 16 before being adopted, Daria would "age-out" of the Russian orphanage system and no longer be adoptable. Now she was turning 15, and we were only a little way into the adoption process. Previous experience told us that just about anything could happen capable of slowing down or halting the process. Our adoption of sisters Tatiana, Natasha and Amy in 2005 had taken 14 months because the Russian government had stopped all foreign adoptions for several months while the process was reviewed by the Ministry of Education. We just didn't have 14 months this time. Not if we hoped to get this amber-eyed teenager out of the system before it was too late. We keenly felt our dependence on God to make the seemingly impossible possible.
The arrival of Daria's 15th birthday in March of 2010 made us just that much more aware of the urgency of getting this precious teen we desperately wanted as our daughter out of her orphanage and into our home. In the end, the Lord answered countless prayers and Daria became ours just four months before the ominous deadline associated with her 16th birthday.
Unlike two years ago, this March Daria's birthday brought us nothing but happiness. God's grace has been more than sufficient, allowing Daria to adjust beautifully to her adoption. She's wonderfully affectionate, kind, funny, loyal and loves Jesus. Daria is now so close to adulthood. and we will eagerly watch as the Lord takes this once hopeless life and transforms it for His glory and her good.
This year, we asked Daria what she wanted to eat for her birthday. Without a moment's hesitation she chose ice cream...
...so off to the Blue Bunny parlor we went!
The following picture is particularly reflective of the kind of hope and healing that God has worked in Daria's heart. Two years ago, she was an only child emerging from an orphanage... someone who had spent her entire life learning how to fend for herself. When Mrs. Beaver was taking photos as we enjoyed our ice cream, Daria herself initiated the hug below with Alexander. She now has real brothers and sisters that she loves and who love her as well. God is so good!