Ten years ago today, Debbie and I were driving down a highway and we stopped at an intersection where a car was waiting. It was raining slightly. A cute, short-haired three-year-old girl got out of the car, escorted by some adults who brought her to us, and she got into our car. We drove away with her.

The highway was the E105 – the main highway between St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia. The girl was Anna. Our forever daughter Anna.
That morning she had woken up at the baby home where she’d lived her entire life. Her care-givers had taken off her baby-home clothes, dressed her in a dress and jacket that we’d left for her and they had driven her to meet us.

She accepted us (and her new situation) very quickly. While our driver took us to Moscow, she sat between us in the back seat of the car and it felt like she was at peace and content. She was also hungry and quickly ate the banana and other snacks her care-givers had given for her.

Perhaps she’d never been in a car before. She was very interested in watching out the window of the car. But it was a six hour drive; she fell asleep next to me. We felt love for her.DSC01160

We were driven to our hotel and she was very interested in looking out the window of our room at the Moscow River.

And then what was the first meal we ate with her? McDonalds, of course – a ten minute walk from our hotel. My journal says, “Anna ate her cheeseburger tentatively, but she ate most of it.” She still isn’t a big eater.

We brought her back to the hotel room and we looked at books.

Also from my journal: “Anna looked at a grandfather clock in one of our books and said something very similar to ‘Tick Tock Tick Tock.’”

When we put her to bed for the night, she laid very still. I’m guessing she learned to do that in the baby home.

Our family was starting an adventure and it was (and has been) weird, exciting, frightening, happy, challenging and rewarding. We believed God was calling us to this adventure.

I know this won’t work for many, but can we recommend that you’d consider adopting a child? And if so, (and this will work for fewer) would you consider adopting a child that isn’t a new healthy infant, but an older child whose current situation is not good and whose most-likely future is less than ideal?

What adventure is God calling your family to?


Update: In case you’re interested – last night I found the location of our Anna pick up on google maps.