She sat on an enormous teddy bear gazing into the room. Not a hint of a smile on her beautiful little face. In her three short years on earth, she had seen more than any man should.
She was barely two years old, when she stood on a balcony chilled to the bones in the icy Russian winter. She was half naked, barefoot, frostbitten, alone. The woman who had given birth to her was much too busy running after her next fix. The neighbors found her just in the nick of time.
She spent a month in the hospital fighting for her life. Pneumonia. Frostbite. When she finally recovered, she was brought to the orphanage. And now she sat on the enormous, white teddy bear, waiting for...her mom.
And then she came, her mom, the woman who had loved her before ever meeting her. The mom who had gone to great lengths to find her. Their eyes locked, hesitant, concerned. Mom gave her a stuffed rabbit, a doll and other gifts. The little girl looked on, serious, poker faced. It's cold.
Then mom blew into one of those party favors that make noise.
The little girl's eyes lit up. There it was. Finally a smile! A party favor had warmed her leery soul. Now they could spend all of three days together before mom would have to leave back to England.
The Russian bureaucracy demanded more paperwork. More forms had to be filled, more 'i's' dotted, more hoops jumped through. Mom had no intentions of giving up. Her daughter was far away, but she was determined to bring her home.
Three months later, mom returned to the Russian orphanage where her daughter was. This time she brought her two sons and her mother. At first the little girl was silent, but soon got swept up in the frenzy around her. Her visitors disarmed her. The boys hugged her and played with her, and held her attention. She was wanted and loved like never before.
The orphanage staff, a group of older ladies couldn't help but smile. If all went well, this little girl would leave them soon for a wonderful family. When the visit was over, the little girl went back to her desolate room where her cot stood among others. Once again, mom had hoped to take her home, but the Russian authorities...
What must the little girl think? Her mom wondered She had come for her twice, and still the little girl was alone. How does her young mind process these visits followed by the stark reality of life in the orphanage? What must she think? Her mom wondered.
Another three month delay. More paperwork for mom and, an appearance in front of a Russian judge. Mom was self-confidence and persuasive. Then came the final verdict.
The little girl looked at her mom. Not a smile to be found. But mom is smiling from ear to ear. She brought the staff parting gifts and they were all smiles as well. The little girl hesitated. She changed into the new clothes her mom had brought. The orphanage couldn't spare the precious few dresses in which they showed off the little girls. Mom slipped boots onto her daughter's feet, her tiny feet that were frostbitten a year earlier. Mom only had eyes for her little girl as she combed her hair and threw a warm coat over her shoulders. The winter ice thawed...just a little.
She took her daughter by the hand. Before they left this place for good, the ladies on the staff cried out, "she can clean and fold clothes for you! She's very neat and will wash the dishes too!" They meant well with those parting words, but mom wasn't listening. Her little girl was just that...a little girl.
And off they went, mother and daughter, leaving behind memories of their struggle. A little girl beamed as she kissed her mom. A mother lovingly protected her daughter. All is well that ends well for this little girl. Her new family is blessed to have her, and she is blessed to have them. Life is full of twists and turns, and sometimes it makes right, what started out so wrong.