The Lord continues to bless me with encouragement when he knows I need it the most. A few months ago I went searching online to see if I could find our little man’s orphanage. I want to know where it is, to look it up on google maps, to see pictures, to imagine him there. But between having little idea about where to start and having to translate all those sites from Russian to English on google translate, I didn’t get very far. I looked through hundreds of orphanage pictures, hoping I recognize something in the background from the photos we have of out little guy… hoping I’d maybe even have some sort of motherly sense to just know which “baby house,” as they say in Russia, was his. But I did not.
Through the miracle of the internet and what I’d say is God’s gracious guiding, I found it. A woman I connected with on a private adoption-related forum (hi M!) found my etsy shop. She bought a t-shirt and sent me a link to the website of her son’s orphanage, asking if perhaps our son was there too. I clicked on to the site and saw that it was one I had visited before. I wasn’t sure it would lead to anything, but still- I cut and paste every piece of wording into google translate and kept clicking around, hoping and hoping until…
Until I suddenly saw his sweet face and soft smile looking back at me. I inhaled sharply and tears prickled at my eyes. It was one of the pictures we already have of him, but just to know…. to know where he is… to see the faces of his peers, his playmates, his friends… this is a gift I treasure deeply tonight.
There is only one picture of his orphanage on the website and I’ve memorized it already. The white walls, the gray floor, the pine table and chairs, the colorful toys, the old fashioned play-pen like my parents would have played in. The room it sterile, but bright- filled with sunlight from large windows- and clean. It gives my mother’s heart some peace. A treasure, that picture. A gift for my soul.
On the site, the children in the baby house are “listed” with a picture and short description. The words used to describe our sweet son echo the descriptions his nannies have given us through our agency: quiet, gentle, tender, sweet. Our precious, precious, baby boy. Oh God how I long to cup his face in my hands, to stroke his head and push back his hair, to whisper, “My love. My baby. My son.” Do that for him today, I pray. Warm his heart until it glows with my love, from miles and miles away.
Today, for this gift, I am thankful. For a peek into his world. For a gaze into the eyes of the children with whom he spends every day. For a connection with another mama whose son waits with mine.
Until I carry him in my arms, I treasure these gifts in my heart. I carry him in my heart, today.
Jillian Burden is an expectant mama; she and her husband are expecting their first child by way of a Russian adoption. While her belly might not be expanding, her heart and her faith sure are growing! You can read about this soul stretching journey to parenthood on her blog.