When we were first adopting Sof we were given references of people who had recently traveled to our same region. We were able to contact them to get information on travel, stay, and generally what to expect. One of those names was Sally. Sally lives in the Chicago area, and is Momma to 4 boys by birth and one Russian princess. When I first spoke with her she said a good place to start was her blog where she fully documented their experience. When I went to check it out I found I had already been following it! We’ve corresponded through email, our blogs, and Instagram since then. Once I traveled, we found out our princesses are from the same orphanage!
It’s customary on your second trip to Russia to leave a disposable camera with the orphanage. They will then take pictures of your child and return the camera to you on your third trip. Unfortunately, when we had our second trip our translator was in the hospital with pneumonia. We didn’t have a translator on any of our visits, and no one at the orphanage spoke English. Consequently, they would not take our camera because we couldn’t explain what we wanted.
Sof and Ava are just two months apart in age, but Ava came home a year before Sof. When Sally saw Sof’s picture, she looked back at the ones she had from the orphanage and found several with Sof in them!
I have 12 pictures of Sof before age 2 1/2. Six of them came from Sally. What a priceless gift!
Amazingly, while we were on vacation, Sally happened to be driving right through our area on the way to a sporting event for one of her boys. We made a plan for lunch, ironically on my 40th bday, and it became my best gift!
When prepping Sof for the meeting I showed her the pictures above. I explained to her that she lived with Ava in Russia in her baby home. Some good discussion about that followed, and I was able to see her wheels turning trying to understand her story. She now calls Ava her “baby friend”.
The girls are really two peas in a pod. If we lived next door they would best buddies! We exchanged some gifts, took some pictures, and headed to lunch.
At lunch the girls played happily with our iPhones, while Sally and I chatted like old friends. Later I found the results of their quiet time on my phone. Two little divas!
They know how to pose, and how to use a camera!
They spent the whole day holding hands and hugging. It was the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time. New friends, yet something so familiar about them.
They were each other’s first siblings. As they get older, what a blessing to have that one person in the world who’s story is like yours. They are two lucky girls. They’ve been given a life of love, opportunity to rise to their potential, and let’s be honest-indulgence! We are two lucky families given the privilege to raise these beautiful girls. What a miracle to find each other in this big, yet so small, world! I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Sally as a friend, and I can’t wait to watch these two grow!