March 23rd, 2007
Dashca was crying when Yana walked into the room. She had just woken from her nap and was unhappy to find out that the little stuffed dog doll she went to sleep with was taken away. So focused on her misfortune, the words Yana spoke did not immediately register. “Why are you crying today Dascha, don’t you know Mama and Papa are here.” Dascha stopped crying mid-gasp. Yana had come before. Many times, in fact since Mama and Papa had first come. But never for the reason Dascha wanted.
Dascha received the letters. And the pictures. She looked after her brother as Mama and Papa asked. She was a good girl and didn’t understand why she had to wait so long to go home. But the significance of what Yana said became clear. Finally, they had come; they had come to take her home.
She ran to her brother. “They are here. We are going home soon.” she said to him. Nikolai looked up at her and smiled. Dascha took her brother by the hand and they walked together to the music room.
As she entered the room, she saw them kneeling on the mats with arms outstretched reaching for her and her brother. Her first thought was that they looked like Mama and Papa. But she remembered being taken to the music room by Yana two months ago. And there were two other people there. They were nice people, but they were not Mama and Papa. They were friends of Mama and Papa and they were there for other children. She had to be brave that day. She took the pictures and waved to Mama and Papa in the pictures as she was asked. But that night she cried when she slept.
Today was different. These two people really looked like them. She smiled tentatively. They looked like Mama and Papa from the pictures. Her brother walked behind her. He walked a little funny, but not as funny as he did before he was moved into her group. But he too sensed today might be a special day.
With each step, Dascha became more and more sure that it was really them. Today was different. They had finally come. Finally she walked into Mama’s arms. Mama hugged her and told Dascha that she loved her. Then there was Papa. She climbed into his arms. She watched her brother, who like her wasn’t sure at first. But then he looked at Mama and started laughing. He ran into her arms.
And as she was held by Papa and watched her brother held by Mama, she finally let herself believe her greatest hope. That she was loved and missed, and that day truly will come when she will finally be home.