Tuesday, June 3, 2008

God Moments

These pop up in our lives so often, but we don't always know they're God moments until later. We are always amazed when we recognize them, and I thought I would share some that we have recognized so far in this process.

When we visited Irina in May, we gave her a Teddy Bear to keep. I wanted to find something more original than a bear -- like an elephant, or a dog, or a monkey or something -- however, there wasn't 2 of any of the original ones. I wanted 2 so that if the orphanage doesn't allow her to take the bear with her, we can give her an identical one. I was short on time and didn't want to spend alot of money, so it was a standard bear. As it turns out, Irina's favorite toy is a Teddy Bear! She taught us that the Russian word for Teddy Bear is "Mishka," although she says "Meeka." In addition, when we bought this house 6 years ago, we decorated what is now her room with Teddy Bears and other stuffed animals. As we were showing her pictures of her new room she pointed to the picture and said, "MEEKA!" with so much excitement. It was meant to be.

I was gathering some residual documents together after we returned from Russia, and one of them was the property tax bill. I didn't think too much about that because we always keep those in our file. We were in a time crunch where I had to mail these documents that day so they could go to Russia with another family who was traveling a few days later. I had all the documents notarized, apostilled, copied, and ready to go when I remembered that bill. I went to the file, and for 2007 I saw 3 bills instead of 2 for every other year (one for each car). I looked more closely and saw that the third was our real estate tax for our house. We never get that bill because our mortgage company pays it out of our escrow. However, I remembered that last fall there was a mix-up and the mortgage company didn't pay it so we got the bill. It all got resolved as it should have, and we just put that paper in our file. As I sat there, I wondered, "Why would Russia care about our cars? I wonder if this real estate one is what they need?" I emailed Olga with our agency, and she said that we needed to send the real estate tax bill. The bill that we've never received in 12 years of owning a home except for last fall. Now, even if we didn't have the bill we could have gotten a copy or a statment from somewhere, but I would not have been able to mail it that day. As I read Olga's email and the realization sank in, the hair stood on the back of my neck, and I said a prayer of thanks.

We were showing Irina her new photo album, which has pictures of her new parents, brothers, pets, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, the house, her room, etc. We went through each picture naming each person. As we went through it again, she stopped on Alex's page and said, "Alec." She didn't do that with anyone else. Each time we went through it, she would stop and say, "Alec." Since Alex is also from Russia, and since he will be her main playmate, it was pretty eerie. Derek often wants to be left alone, so Alex is very excited to have a little sister.

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