October 24, 2010

The tale of two mothers.....

On October 22, 2010, I had the honor of meeting the woman that chose to give my daughter life.  Molly's biological mother, Viktoria, agreed to meet us for dinner.  I thought about it all day and what to expect but nothing could prepare me for this meeting.  I trusted God that He had it totally under control and of course, He did - every bit! 

Unfortunately, I had been sick most of the day.  Mom had a stomach bug that she graciously passed on to me.  However, she knew how much it hurt, so she was very willing to forego her trip to the mall to take care of me.  I was very grateful for her nursing care! I was very worried that I would be too sick to meet Viktoria but I was praying that God would make me well enough to go that evening. 

When we got to our meeting place (McDonald's by the train station), we were the first to arrive.  Denis went outside to see if he could find them and Craig and I were alone.  We both were nervous and excited at the same time.  We had no idea what to expect and we never thought we would be at this place.  We remember about 7 years ago when we made the decision to adopt internationally so that we would never have to come in contact with a birthmother.  Boy, have our thoughts and feelings changed about that whole concept.  Here we were, waiting for the birthmother that we never thought we'd ever get to meet. 

She walked inside and since I have seen photos of her, I recognized her immediately.  She definitely looked younger in person than in pictures. She carried her precious 1 year old daughter, Irina, in her arms.  Her new husband, Viktor and oldest daughter, Tanya, were behind her.  Viktoria was beautiful in her own way - I don't know if its her outside beauty or the fact that I recognize her as Molly's "first" mommy.  We left McDonald's and walked across the street to a Ukrainian restaurant.  On the way over, Viktoria said that the rest of the children (Dima, Nastiya, and Yana) were home and wanted so badly to come meet me.  They were upset that they didn't get to come but it was late and too much to bring so many children into town.  They live in a very small, poor village about 30 minutes by bus.  Tanya said on our way over to the restaurant that she felt like she was in a dream.  She said that she never thought this day would ever come in her life - to meet the woman that adopted her sister.  A little background on Tanya...
When Denis found Viktoria in 2004, Tanya was the one that answered the door.  When Denis said why he was there and it was in the interest of a child of Viktoria's that was adopted, Tanya started crying.  We later found out that Tanya had been told that Molly died at birth.  We aren't sure why they chose to lie to her but it has hurt her tremendously and you can see it in her eyes.  She is still very hurt and saddened but I was so happy that she came that night.

I brought a photo album of Molly's pictures throughout the past 6 years to Viktoria.  She thumbed through them and then gave us her phone so that we could scroll photos of her children.  There was one photo of Yana, Molly's sister, that jumped out at us - she look IDENTICAL to Molly.  We had to glance a second time to make sure Molly had not made a secret visit to Ukraine.  It was amazing to see the resemblance in Molly and all of her siblings.  If Viktoria were blonde and smaller, Molly would look much like her.  They have the same cheek bones and lips.  It was pretty cool to look into the face of the woman who gave birth to my child. 

Zhenya (Tanya's boyfriend) and Viktor (Viktoria's husband) got up to get something to eat.  At that time, we thought it was best to talk to Viktoria.  We told her how thankful we were to her and that she chose the most selfless act of any mother - to place her child up for adoption.  We told her that we knew it had to have been the most difficult decision she would ever make but that we were happy with the gift that she chose to give us.  We told her that Molly is very aware of her family in Ukraine and that she will always be told of her life here and that I hoped one day she would come meet her.  She began to cry as did Tanya, and then of course, me.  We cried over a child that two mothers love and hold deeply in their hearts.  Viktoria and I share a bond that can never been broken.  We both love Molly Luba with all of heart and we both desire the best for her life.  Viktoria knew 7 1/2 years ago that she could not provide for the child she was carrying in her womb and she knew she would have to make a very hard decision but in that decision, she knew her child would receive life.  She thanked us for providing for Molly and was so happy to hear how she had grown up the last 6 years.  I can't imagine the thoughts or emotions running through her body and mind.  I am not even going to begin to try to understand the heartache she must face on a daily basis of not having a child, she bore, beneath her wings.  But, I do understand the ache for a child and the feeling when an empty lap is filled with the child you desperately long and pray for.  And, I am grateful for Viktoria and the life that she has given me!

We left the meeting with lots of hugs and promises to keep in touch.  We are so blessed to have Denis in Dnepropetrovsk and his willingness to go see her on a regular basis.  We will most definitely continue to keep in touch and one day, when Molly is ready and she so chooses, we will bring her back to meet her "life mommy!" 

We are now back in Zhytomyr.  We spent a lovely evening with Alla's mother and of course, she fed us a wonderful meal!  We saw the girls and tomorrow we will go again and spend our last day at the orphanage.  On Tuesday, we will pick up the court decree and the girls will leave with us - FOREVER!  Its hard to believe that they only have 2 more nights in the orphanage.  Craig will also travel to the border of Hungary and Ukraine to get Tanya's new birth certificate.  He is not so happy as its a very long train ride but it has to be done.  Hopefully, we will get all the documents needed by Thursday and head to Kiev that evening.  If all goes well, maybe we will be home by next Tuesday.  Praying for a smooth week!

Blessings to all of you!
The Hills




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