July 15, 2010
Sometimes in life, very special gifts have been given us. God for some reason decides to give us gifts we don’t deserve. One’s that we have no business explaining. July second I was given a special gift. Sitting in the back of a green Russian van, moments after I arrived in Volgograd, was a little girl: Tayna and Olog’s beautiful daughter Veria.
Never have I seen a little girl with a bigger smile, never have I met someone who could store nine feet of attitude into a 3 ½ foot body. Veria screamed, “I’m precious!” And she is.
The first Sunday morning July 4 2010, of our stay, I began to see one little part of this amazing little one. All of the American’s had gotten up to speak, now it was Kyle and Irena’s turn. So up to the front of the church they went, their son Daniel in tow. With Daniel being one and a half, he pretty much did not appreciate standing up in front of a church while his parents spoke about their vision for this camp. So up came Veria. She sat on the stage and played with Daniel, sometimes bothering him, but still for the most part keeping him out of trouble. Right then and there I saw it: Veria loves to mother.
That proved so true during all of camp. Time after time, that little girl would go up to the two little Daniels we have and just pick them up. Sometimes they would want to go play with her; sometimes it would be more of a fight. But that didn’t keep Veria from wanting to love like a mother, or trying her hardest to be the one in charge. On occasion that effort even extended to the children at camp who were quite capable of taking care of themselves, and never did it end anything less than comical.
And most of the funny came from Veria’s sassy, and way to cute attitude. This is the little girl who got up in the morning with enough energy to be electricity for the entire camp. She is the go-getter of a little girl who doesn’t stop for anything, the girl who got more bee stings than anyone else, just because she doesn’t believe in being passive.
She is the older sister who will annoy her younger siblings just because she loves them. She is horrible with names; she doesn’t hesitate to find a way to have her way. This little girl is the most beautiful center of childhood. At the river one day, she ran up to her little sister and grabbed her float only saying, “Thank you Christine, I’m sure you don’t need it!” Time after time, she would be the one showing off the frogs she had caught, and time after time she and Timothy would be the ones to try to light them on fire, then regret their decision, only to do it again later. She was fascinated with camera’s, I’m still not sure how many times she had to be told that Alana’s camera was too heavy and to expensive for her to use.
Mixed into Veria’s love and dominating attitude about life, is a little girl who loves with all of her heart. She is the little girl who gives the best hugs. She even gives fantastic Valentines. All of us were sitting up in our room, when suddenly there is a knock on the door and Veria’s little head peaked in. She went straight to Katey and started talking about how the valentine she had in her had was for Rachel, and giving Katey a hug when Katey “Oh no, over there is Rachel!” A “woops!” came out of Veria’s mouth before she jumped over to give the valentine to Rachel. Hugs and a thank you later, Veria disappeared out the door, only to reappear two minutes later with a valentine for Katey!
I fell in love with this little girl. She just took the bull by the horns and always won. She would talk away to me in Russian like I knew the language, then if I didn’t understand her, she would just talk louder and start dragging me places. She was always taking pictures, always smiling. Veria is a little girl who is secure in the fact she was chosen. That would be because Veria is adopted. Veria is wanted, loved and free because of the love of her family and God.
On July 15, 2010 just two days after I told Veria’s homeland goodbye, I got a phone call. Vera and her family were on the way to see her grandmother and they were in a car wreck. Veria went home to be with Jesus.
Tears are still streaming down my face. I just don’t know how to answer the questions that are pouring through my heart and mind. God why could this possibly be part of your plan? Why Veria, couldn’t you use something else? Please God don’t tell me this will be the reason that some will turn away from you? Please tell me this is the miracle we asked for so all the students at camp could come to know you? Can you tell me why this precious family had to be hurt? Can you please tell me why?
August 23, 2010
I still don't have the answers. I don't think I ever will. This summer has been a struggle. I've asked more questions of God and been extremely faithless. But God has remained faithful. All I know today is this family has been given more grace than imaginable. They have been given life again. I know they still have questions. I know they still hurt, but God in His goodness is giving hope. Even if I can't find answers, at least I do have hope.