Everywhere I look, the signs are there that school will be starting back up soon. Last year this time, I posted a funny commercial that I remembered about “the most wonderful time of the year” for parents. This year I’m a bit melancholy about the whole thing. That’s because this summer, we had Lizzie at home and she will depart on the 28th of August.
However, I’m not torn up inside about it like I was when we put Rimma & Lizzie on that plane back in 2007, never knowing if we would ever see them again, if we would get to adopt them, if they would be safe and sound until we got there. Those worries prompted the trip in April of ’08. No, rather, I am comforted by the fact that we will be there to get her early next year. In that regard, she has to go back. We regret that the date approaches, but we don’t dwell on it or dread it.
Quite simply, in our conversations with Lizzie, we all have come up with a term for the few months of separation we will endure. Lizzie herself will tell you that she’s not going home, she IS HOME! No, she’s going away to “Camp Ukraine”, sometimes referred to as “boarding school” from which she will be plucked out of in due time. We tell her that she better enjoy the last few months of her life in Ukraine. Enjoy the food, enjoy the music, enjoy the culture, ‘cause Dear Ole Dad won’t be traveling back there post-adoption anytime soon!
Lizzie agrees, too! She sees the longing by adopted Ukie kids (there are quite a few in our community) to go back for a visit, to go back and see friends, to go back and be in the culture. We realize this with Nadia and Rimma. Nadia has gotten over it and hardly ever asks about calling or visiting her old Diestky Dom. Rimma misses one friend and a cousin she hardly ever got to see. We allow contact, but both girls are slowly getting past their loss. Lizzie, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with Ukraine once she leaves.
One could argue that she is sheltering herself and will come to miss her past. She and I will tell ya, there is nothing left for her in Ukraine but hurt, abandonment, a care taker who hates her and a director that threatens her.
Last week, she told me that she wants to be like Kole and forget the Russian language. I cautioned her against that saying that a brilliant career could be had by speaking both languages. I mentioned to her about being a linguist working at an Embassy or a company that does business with Russian-speaking countries, being a flight attendant on trans-Atlantic flights doing the same, or about the need for mission work bringing Christ to those countries. She lit up as I discussed those possibilities. Her smile was evident as she stated, “I want to help the orphans and people who speak Russian when they come to America, but I want to work from here helping people.”
So, for the meantime, Lizzie is done with Ukraine. Hopefully, time will ease her hurt and erase all bad memories. God kept her there to do his work these past three years. Lizzie has aided, comforted and helped convince 4 of 5 orphans when they were struggling between adoption or staying at the orphanage and taking their chances. Lizzie should have been the first one home, but I now see that was the task that He had for her to do. She has done enough for now, I would agree.
In 18 days Lizzie will leave for “camp” and for the last time we will say our Goodbyes. A part of the family will be missing and a piece of our hearts will fly away on that plane. It is our prayer that God will remove all obstacles and will deliver her home forever. May the next five months fly away as fast as these 10 summer weeks have.
~ Felix ~