Christmas 2009: Long story short, my parents had been feeling God's prompting to adopt again (I already had six siblings from Russia). This time though, we felt drawn to a different agency than we had previously used: Russian Orphan Lighthouse Project. As I perused the agency's blog, which contained short bios of some of the kids, I suddenly found my brother. That's all there was to it. Mind you, I don't make decisions quickly: I ponder options, weigh pros and cons, and deliberate before finally deciding whether I agree with something. Yet as soon as I saw that dimpled smile, I was utterly convinced that was my brother.
I began dropping hints galore; casually mentioning the need for another boy in our girl-dominated family; proclaiming that I liked the name "Nikolai"; leaving the blog post about the 10 year old up on the computer screen for the next parent who happened by; and most often of all, putting on the song "All I want for Christmas" by Steven Curtis Chapman. My most energetic efforts, though were turned to prayer. "Oh God, please let us be Nikolai's family," I prayed dozens of times.
Christmas 2011: the same dimpled grin that captured my heart two years before delighted me this Christmas as Nikolai, now my brother, enjoyed Christmas Day with the enthusiasm that he brings to every single day. His laugh is infectious and frequent; his spirit resilient; his heart affectionate. Though wounded and betrayed by those closest to him in his short lifetime, Nikolai is willing to trust us. I'm so grateful God answered my prayer and gave me the chance to be Nikolai's big sister.
|The contents of a wonderful surprise package from a dear Alaskan "sister."|