I was addressing letters to Ruslan and Nastia today just before sitting down to read Beautiful Girlhood with Patty Lyn. She was teaching herself to do candlewicking (she wanted to figure it out herself rather than have me show her how) and all was quiet enough for us to start reading the book together. I was holding little Lucy and reading aloud.
It wasn't long before I started to feel the emotions rising. I don't know exactly what in the book triggered it, but I could feel myself start to try to control the tears that were inevitably going to flow. Part way through chapter 2 I was a bit uncontrollable and had to take a breather. Poor Patty Lyn. She was so patient with me while I tried to gather myself. She just sat there stitching and waiting, looking at me with concern. I appreciate her letting me be who and how I am...however awkward that may be!
I think it all began with writing the address to the orphanage. The name "Children's Home" is on one of the first lines of the address. As I wrote the street name and city and country, I visualized what it was like there and it was as if I had traveled to Ukraine. I don't have a frame of reference for it because I haven't seen pictures or been there, but the reality of an orphanage in another country made my heart ache. The idea of a "children's home"...a home where only children reside...no parents, no mommies, no daddies, no shoulders to cry on except their own, no one to bear the burdens of children except other children whose shoulders are not yet strong enough and wide enough to carry them. The Lord must spend extra time and make extra assignments to angels for those homes.
The author of our book discussed the carefree days of childhood and encourages young women to love these days of freedom from fear and pain and responsibility of adulthood. I couldn't help but think of Ruslan and Nastia and the lack of that freedom in their lives. Having already been abandoned by their father and extended family, just to lose their mother suddenly and unexpectedly are not experiences in harmony with carefree, joyous days of childhood. They have experienced fear and pain that is usually reserved for more mature hearts.
As the author brought out the wonderful truth that all men and women, great or not, were all once an innocent babe in the arms of a woman, having their first experience with love and affection in this world at the hand of a woman who was responsible for their every need, their complete helplessness recognized by her mothering heart, my thoughts turned to Ruslan and Nastia's mom. I have thought of her so many times during the process. I'm sure she is overseeing the care of her children. I hope I am an acceptable subsitute for her. I know if I were in her shoes, I'd be right there, 24/7 if I could, orchestrating every possible assistance for my beloved children. Patty concluded that it would only be right that Heaven would assign angel parents to the guarding of their own children.
As I read to her about the blossoming bud of a young woman into womanhood and the beauty and grace of that position in Heavenly Father's kingdom, my mind reflected back to some of the thoughts I've had about the fact that I will be the one leading Nastia through this wonderful time. I will be the one who will be there when she gets married, I will be there when she has her babies, I will be the grandmother they know. Her mother grew her, suffered for her birth, held her, nursed her, invested in her day after day after day for 8 years...and I am responsible to live up to the dreams and expectations her mother had for her, rejoicing in the time I will have her...time her mother thought she would experience herself.
But isn't this true of all our children? They aren't really ours, they belong to that God who made them. He is their true Father. He knows our potential, has dreams for our futures, knows all that we can become. It is our responsibility to see that potential come to fruition, or at least to provide the environment, the love, the support and the means necessary to nurture them sufficiently for it.