Six years ago, I made my first visit to snow-encrusted Novokuznetsk–an industrial city in Russia’s western Siberia. I had spent the week prior, googling the temps in the area and trying to decide which of my heaviest sweaters would travel best in my suitcase. The Weather Channel promised me I could expect an actual temperature of minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit and wind chills that would plummet it to negative 50.
I would definitely need warm clothes, but soft ones…definitely soft ones. I wouldn’t want to wear wool or any scratchy synthetics for this visit. Cotton would work. That would be soft and comforting.
Bright colors too, red or bright pink or maybe even a contrasting color block pattern of white and black…anything to attract the eye and make it focus.
I carefully chose my softest, brightest, happiest clothing. I folded and rolled them and wedged them in the crevices among the toys, books, photographs, blankets and files filled to bursting with paperwork.
That visit six years ago was the most important visit the Hubs and I had ever made. A visit half a world away where we would finally meet our child. After weeks of looking lovingly at a single photograph, we would finally hold her close…so the clothing she would feel against her baby cheek needed to be soft like a mother would wear.
She would finally see us, and I needed her to focus on the strangers in the room…to look at us and see brightness and happiness and the joyful wonder as we looked back at her.
That first visit to Baby Home #95 in Novokuzknetsk, Russia, was everything I ever imagined meeting my daughter would be. It was cold. It was foreign. It was exhausting. It was happy. It was heartbreaking. It was the visit of a lifetime.
**This post was brought to you today by Five Minute Friday and the word “visit”. I’ve been participating in FMF for about a year and a half, and this is the third time, I’ve opened my email to find a prompt that was made for me. Today is the sixth anniversary of the day the Hubs and I met our daughter during our first of two adoption visits to Russia. I’ve been thinking about it all week, and I’m extremely happy today’s word inspired me to tell you about it. If you’d like to see how fast you can write a blog post, check out Lisa-Jo Baker’s site every Friday. Maybe you’ll find a word meant for you too!
**With today’s post I can also check off the latest Zero to Hero assignment to participate in a blogging challenge.