Leaving Emmaline Behind

We have less than 24 hours left in this country. My eyes are set on home, my mind is switching back to house chores, meal plans, and routines.  Before we leave this land and my hands are full of life (probably too full to blog regularly for a while) I need to write one more post for one more child.


Emmaline was in Angelina’s group.  If you look at her Reece’s Rainbow picture, the blurry girl sitting in the wheelchair beside her is actually our Angelina.

Emmaline and Jasmine are the two remaining girls eligible for adoption in Angelina’s group.  I’ve already told you about Jasmine and I had thought that I would advocate for her until she had a family and then begin advocating for Emmaline because I do best when I focus my attention on one story at a time.  Our last day at Angelina’s orphanage changed my mind on that front.

All the girls flocked around Angelina to give her hugs and wish her well.  Every one was smiling and pleased as punch, Angelina’s parents had brought cookies for snack time so it was a good day!

Emmaline was sitting on the edge of the crowd, watching it all and taking everything in.  She is a quiet girl, but I get the feeling not a lot escapes her soft eyes.  She was the last one to swing her wheelchair around to Angelina.  Unlike the other girls, she did not give a quick hug, instead she took Angelina’s hands, looked in her eyes and gave an eloquent goodbye toast in her intentional way.  She wished Angelina all the best, she was so glad parents have come for her, she will be missed.

Angelina was ablaze with joy and beamed at Emmaline.  Emmaline tried to return the smile but her face faltered as she turned away and a small, quavering sob slipped out.  Oh I still hear that soft sound today, it spoke volumes about this little girl who acts older than her age.  Instinctively I reached down for her, her arms immediately encircled my neck and the torrent of sobs broke through the damn. “mammamaa, oh moiya maamaaa. i want a maamaa. i want my own maammaa.”

“She will not stop crying if you stay” One of the nannies, not unkindly, told me.  “She will cry as long as you are here.”

We had a train to catch and a newly adopted daughter to nurture, I knew I could not hold Emmaline forever and I was not the mama she was begging for.  With a heavy heart I gave her one last hug and whispered in her ear “I will try to find your mama.”

Three hours later, while we were on the train, Angelina piped up “I think she has stopped crying.” It was unusual to see Angelina, a true orphanage survivalist whose sole focus is herself, think of anyone else especially when that person was not right in front of her.  I looked out the window at passing sunflower fields in full bloom lifting their carefree faces to the warming sun and thought no, Emmaline is still crying.  She may have staunchly wiped the tears off her face with the end of her sleeve (no mama is there to wipe them off for her) but her heart is still crying out for her own mama and papa.

Unlike the other children at her orphanage who only know the world around them, I think Emmaline is a dreamer who thinks of all the possibilities life could hold if she had a family.  Her imagination has given her wings to soar away from her body which tied to a wheelchair, but at night when she is untied and left in bed those tears born of hope and despair mingle together and soak her pillow.  She wipes those tears away with the edge of her sheet because no one is there to wipe them away for her.

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Maybe you are her mama or papa.  I pray you are.  Emmaline is eligible for a $10,000 grant through Reece’s Rainbow which covers a huge part of the costs for adoption from this country.

If you wish you could help her but can’t fly across oceans to bring her home, please help in other ways:

  1. Pray for her continued health and safety.
  2. Pray her family finds her soon.
  3. Share her story.  Many people shared Mandy’s story and helped make a difference in her life, the same can happen with Emmaline.

13 comments on “Leaving Emmaline Behind

  1. Sent you an e-mail not quite two weeks ago. (I hope you received it!) I know how busy your life is now and how much even busier it’s about to become. The first three months will be the craziest (just like when you give birth to a baby) but at some point shortly after that, you’ll look at all your beautiful children and smile and life will feel “normal”! (Well, do our lives ever feel “normal”? Maybe a better explanation would be that it will feel familiar, that it’s really _your_ life!)
    May God grant you safe and uneventful travel home (and dare I ask Him to make it fun even? Of course! Please, God, make it fun!), and may God also find families for darling Jasmine and thoughtful Emmaline. (Could we be that family? Does He want us to be parents of six girls? Four are crazy fun. Could we up that game by 50%? Please pray for me that I can find a good way to bring this up to my husband!)

  2. Does she have a family yet? I’m so drawn to this story and this little girl. I’ve never considered adoption, but this really has my heart seeking God for answers.

    • Randi, The timing of your message is incredible. Emmailine had a family coming, but yesterday she was relisted. She does not have a family yet. Perhaps it is you! If you want to know more about how the process goes, feel free to send me an email at hats4home@gmail.com.

  3. I just checked on her status and it says “Travelling Now” to her new families. She must have still had a wait! This post popped up on my feed after a share from last year at this time. I was afraid to check, but so happy to see that it looks so positive!

  4. […] Dear Emmaline, the girl who clung to my hand on our last day at the orphanage and cried that she wanted a mama, now has a mom, dad, and siblings!  She is HOME and well!!!  Her mom is sharing pictures of various Ukrainian foods she has been making at home and I’m torn between asking for the recipe or inviting myself over! […]

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