Mommy and Daddy Came to Get Me

My name is Hannah McAdow. Iíll be two on Easter Sunday. Most mommies and daddies take their baby girls home just a few days after they are born. My mommy and daddy had to come a long way to get me, so it took a lot longer for me to come home.

Before you feel sorry for me, let me tell you that the Russian orphanage where I waited was clean and cheerful. Still, the nice ladies that took care of me were caring for 140 children, so it was not like having your own mommy and daddy.

You should hear my daddy tell the story about coming after me. You wouldnít believe it, unless you knew that my daddy is a preacher. Preachers are not in the habit of lying, you know.

After waiting since April, the phone call came on December 21. Nine daddies would bring the mommies with them to the orphanage to go before the Russian judge to see if the children could go home with them. Daddy said that while the United States requires lots of paper work, the Russian government asks for even more.

My daddy told about Senator Inhofe who helped my daddy get the visas even though time had run out. I never heard of a Senator in Russia, but the word must mean "a good friend" because Daddy and the Senator prayed together in Washington before Daddy left. The delays in getting Russian clearance meant that Daddy and Mommy flew east to Moscow, while the other eight couples traveled west to Russia.

My orphanage in Blagoveshchensk, just across the Amur River from China, is six time zones east of Moscow. While Mommy and Daddy were trying so hard to reach me, I was waiting patiently. Since there were so many children at the orphanage with needs, I knew what it meant to be patience.

My daddy talks a lot about Jesus helping him on the long journey. If what he says is true, without Jesusí help, I might still be waiting. Daddy and Mommy, flying from Moscow, arrived at the same time in Blagoveshchensk as the eight couples who came the other way around the world.

I sat on the lap of the nice Russian lady from the orphanage who was seated on the floor. My new mommy sat on the floor beside me. After such a long wait, I wanted to be sure this was my mommy, so I was cautious. I could see that she was slim and pretty. Most of the Russian ladies are stocky, which is handy for them, because our winter snow-cover lasts well into April. Mommy was patient. She held out her arms, but she didnít rush me.

When I finally let her touch me, her soft long fingers caressed my hair. It felt good. She touched my face gently with a toy, so I smiled at her. She was so nice that I decided she probably was my mommy, and I went into her extended arms. She held me close and squeezed me gently. I put my arm around her shoulder and held on. Next, she rubbed my arm with a single finger so tenderly that it tingled. She rocked me while holding me close.

Mommy shifted me in her arms, so she could look into my face. She put the back of her fingers on my cheek with the softest touch I had ever felt. As Mommy got braver, she gently squeezed my nose with a giggle. She kept going back to the hug because it felt so good for both of us. My mommy even rubbed my back while holding me close.

Big people donít know that little people donít think in Russian or English; we think in thoughts. The thought I had at this moment was that this must surely be my mommy, and that the kind man pointing the video camera at us must be my daddy. After a few days, I was feeling very comfortable with Mommy and a little later with Daddy. On the last day in Russia, as Daddy filmed Mommy and me cuddling on the bed, he said, "Hannah is blossoming."

That word sounded like what the flowers in the pots in the orphanage would do when nurtured by water and the sun. Maybe Daddy means that I am blooming like a flower blossom. If so, it is because Jesus helped Daddy and Mommy nurture me.

Hannahís thoughts recorded by John C. Westervelt

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