The Official Writing Challenge
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You did a masterful job with the POV on this. I was completely empathizing with little Lera. Beautiful.
This is a very moving story, and some of the details you put in there really touch the heart, like the soft lady noticing Lera's tooth. Good job.
You have successfully portrayed the terrific gloom and sadness associated with eastern bloc state run orphanages. I still remember such a story I read in the Reader's Digest that was equally heartbreaking.
Stories like this one are heartbreaking. I'm glad you left the note about the hopeful future of these orphans. Written well, touching.
I loved this story, full of pain and pathos. I loved the details of the 'pretty lady', the lonely leaf, the anonymous 'white dress woman'. I also struggled though with Lera's age. If she is cutting a new tooth she must be young, but then how does she remember her mother leaving her? I was so glad Lera and Misha were brought up in a more nurturing environment, but it makes my heart bleed for the hundreds of thousands abandoned and orphaned children who never get that chance. You did such an excellent job of portraying their plight.
This story is so sad, yet beautiful. Your descriptions brought the scene to life.

I'm not sure the POV worked for me. I, too, wondered about the age of the child. I found myself losing some of the intensity of the story because of my confusion.

I love the detail you include, and the emotions brought out in this snapshot of the orphanage. Nice job with the topic.
This was such a sad piece. The white dress lady sounds almost hard-hearted, she's seen so many orphans I guess. The couple seem warm and loving.
I wonder what small children think about.
Very touching story. While it is true the age of the child was hard to pinpoint, what I did notice you did very well, was telling the story from a child's perspective. I liked how you used descriptive words based on the senses as a child would; the smells, the touch the feelings shown her....
This really tugged at my heart. I loved the "new tooth" thoughts in this. Great work!
Very touching! And sad. I could feel the baby's emotions within me. It was very real. But sad.
May God be a father and mother to all of the abandoned children all over the world.
We love them!
Nice POV you took here. I'm glad it had a happy ending.
Awesome story beautifully told. I have such a lump in my throat, as a mother I wonder how another mother can abandon their children.
Thank God for a happy ending for those two children.
Oh boy, this is too sad. I can tell you've been around grand babies lately:) It is surely showing in your writing! Good job!