I am sorry, but once again I was without the internet all day yesterday, last night, and this morning... but I wrote a letter to our precious daughter and wanted to share it with you.
My Precious Eliisa Vika-Faith,
Today, June 23, 2011, one week after your fifth birthday, almost 7 months after seeing your first picture, and almost 6 months after you became our daughter in our hearts, I had the privilege of becoming your mama FOREVER. Today, we left behind the life in an orphanage, which is the only life you have ever known, and you are starting a very new life. I can’t promise that the life that lies ahead of you will always be easy or better than the life you have known. I can’t promise that I will be able to give you everything you want or need. I can’t promise that you will be able to talk and communicate one day or do all the other things that your sisters can do. I can’t promise that you will easily adjust to this new life that is ahead of you. But I can promise you, that we will ALWAYS love you, unconditionally for all that you are and all that you will ever be, and that I will be right there by your side through the good and the tough times.
You have four sisters at home, who love you in the same way, unconditionally. They have prayed for you, pleaded for you to come home, waited patiently on mama and papa to work through the mountain of paperwork, the ups and downs of the process, and the time of being away from them so we could be with you and bring you home. Undoubtedly, there will be times when you will disagree and argue or when you will feel misunderstood. But no matter the circumstances, you can know that you have four sisters, who will always love you and be there for you.
You have a papa back home, who loves you, my precious daughter, with an unconditional, undying love – a love, that was willing to step out in faith and follow God’s leading in our lives; a love, that was willing to be bent and stretched to the very limit and past that so that we could bring you home; a love for your mama, that entrusted her to come back here by herself while taking care of your sisters back home; a love, that will love you forever through all the hard times that may lay ahead of us; a love, that is willing to sacrifice any pleasure or convenience to give you whatever you need; and above all a love, that prays for you daily and for the day to come that you will be able to understand and become adopted into God’s heavenly family, so that we can spend all of eternity together with God.
You are loved by people around the world, who you may never be able to meet. People, who have prayed for you, supported us financially, helped us complete paperwork, encouraged us when we were discouraged, watched our girls for countless hours and everything associated with them and our home while we were away, advocated for you when you were still a lost orphan without a family, loved on you even when they knew that they would not be able to take you home with them, and who have raised huge amounts of funds making it possible for us to bring you home. You were loved by a couple and later an organization, that raised money so that you could have surgery and rehabilitation so that you could learn to walk. You were loved by people who have followed and prayed through our journey to you, who not even I will ever have the privilege to meet.
But most of all, you are loved by your heavenly Father, who loved you from the beginning of time; who knew where you were and what your needs were; who spent years molding your mama and papa into a piece of clay that would become a vessel that He could use to bring you into our lives; and who loved you so much, that He gave His only son to die on the cross to pay for the cost of your adoption into His family. He loves you even above and beyond any love that your Mama and Papa, your sisters, your extended family, and the people around the world together could ever love you.
Today, you came officially into our family, but it feels like you have been my daughter since the day you were born. How I long to have been there for you on that day and every day after that before today. I will never be able to make up for that time, but from here on out, we will only walk forward together. I promise with God’s help that I will try to be the best mama I can be to you, that you will not go hungry, that you will not hurt without us by your side, that you will always know that Mama and Papa are here for you and love you just the way you are. There is not a mile I have walked to bring you home that you I wouldn’t walk another thousand miles!
I LOVE YOU, ELIISA VIKA FAITH!!! Thank you for blessing me with the privilege of calling you my precious daughter and teaching me so many things, simply by your mere existence! I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for your new life.
Once again, I am without an internet connection! I still haven’t talked to Abe and the girls back home. How much I can’t wait to get home! Today was the day I got to take Eliisa Vika out of the orphanage forever. What an emotional day it was! It did not start as I had envisioned it because my alarm did not go off, and when my phone rang, I had no idea what was going on. I was supposed to meet with Erica another adopting mama, who had just gotten to Vika’s region the day before, and I slept in. I was so thankful that I had packed and prepared everything the night before. So, I fixed some coffee and quickly got ready and spent some time talking with Erica. And then, Igor came and we loaded up my stuff once again and checked out of the apartment, and we headed to the orphanage. I handed off Eliisa’s clothes I had brought with me, and I waited for her to come. There are no words that can describe how it felt to be able to pick her up and wrap her up in my arms. I couldn’t hold back the tears! We said good bye to the orphanage staff. I think Eliisa was overwhelmed by all the attention she was getting. And, off we went in the car, and drove out of the orphanage gates for the last time, never to return. We drove straight to the capital city of the region we were in to finish up the passport application with M., another RR facilitator. During the drive, tears were streaming down my face as I sat there in awe looking at Eliisa and realizing that she is really mine/ours. What a precious gift from the Lord. Eliisa Vika just snuggled up to me and turned her head to look up to me from time to time and just had the biggest smile and a look on her face that said: “I am really yours. I can’t believe you are taking me home forever.” It went quickly, and then Igor brought me to the train station to buy tickets and then we waited on the train back to the capital city. We did go and walk for a long time and had some Eastern European “fast food.” It was good. We made it on the train where we spent the next six hours riding in a car with two more people. We finally got to our destination at 11 p.m. and Eugene picked us up and brought us to our apartment where we will spend the next week until we can finally pick up the paperwork. We don’t have anything that we need to do until Monday, when we have our first embassy appointment. Our second appointment will likely be on Thursday after we get Eliisa’s new passport. And then, on Friday, very early in the morning, we will be on our way back home! I can’t wait! Hopefully, I will be able to update regularly again once I get an internet connection to work. I am a little lonely without being able to talk or communicate with anyone. J
I'm getting you out of here!
I don't have time to explain the pictures, but I wanted to at least finally post some again:
My trip to Eliisa's birth city: