The phone rang. My husband, Bob, ran to answer it while I hovered close by. “Uh-uh, okay.” Suddenly, his face lit up. “That’s great. Six o’clock, we’ll be ready for sure. Thanks.”
Setting down the receiver, Bob looked like a kid opening a present. “That was Mark*. He’ll be here at six tomorrow morning. He’s going to take us to meet our three-year-old son, Robert.”
Tears welled up in my eyes. “Oh, Bob, I knew we weren’t going home without our son.”
I sat down on the bed and peered at Delaney, our newly adopted eight-month-old daughter. “We are so blessed to have you! And now you’re going to have a big brother! And then we’ll leave Russia and take you both home to America.”
The following morning as we waited for Mark, my stomach turned.
“Bob, what if Robert doesn’t like us?”
Bob smiled. “What’s not to like?”
“Bob, seriously, he’s already three. What if he can’t accept me as his mother?”
“Oh, Annette, you worry too much. We’ll love him and he’ll grow to love us.”
I forced a smile, feeling my lip quiver.
Bob jumped up and opened the door. Calling over his shoulder, he announced, “Mark’s here. And he wants to leave now.”
I bundled up Delaney. After descending down the stairs, we climbed into our waiting car, setting out for our three-hour journey to meet Robert. My mind whirled with all the what if’s.
Pulling into the orphanage, we stepped out of the car. “You wait here,” Mark said, as he walked into the building. Pacing back and forth outside the door, I resisted the urge to bite my nails. Mark finally walked through the doorway, motioning with his hands. “All the kids are outside. Follow me.” Before long we stood in front of a broken-down, paint-chipped three-foot fence.
Mark nudged my arm. “Look, over there in the corner.”
I stretched my neck.
“He’s in the left back corner, digging in the dirt.”
“Yes, I see him.”
As the orphanage worker spoke to Robert, he lifted his head and looked at us. Standing to his feet, he walked toward us, and through the gate.
I held my hand out and he clasped his around mine. A few minutes later, I lifted him up on a swing. Gently I pushed him, while Bob took pictures. Although, I knew he didn’t understand English, I spoke to him like he did.
That memory of my first meeting, eight years ago with Robert, I will hold dear forever. We’ve seen him through his firsts – his first two-wheeler bike, his first day of school, his first school play, his first ice-skating lesson, and his first hockey game.
Robert has not only accepted us, he has come to love us as well. Robert turns to us when he’s sad, upset, or troubled. And we comfort him, just like the Lord does who so lovingly gave us our precious son – Robert.