Paul and I arrived safely in Ukraine, ready to complete the adoption process for Katya that we had started nearly 9 months previously.
A few days later, we were allowed to see Katya--for Paul it was his first time. For me, it was a return to the child I had known for many long months was meant to be a part of our family.
Katya was swinging when we were lead to her. I was shocked--and not in a good way--when I glimpsed her. Pale, scrawny, and clearly shut down compared to when I had last seen her, my heart sank to my toes. I can not tell you how badly my heart sank.
Katya sat there swinging, emotionally and mentally in her own little world. Listless and really uncaring about these weird people talking to her. There was no recognition on her little face of me, in spite of the intense connection that I had felt and seen on the medical missions trip to her orphanage.
And then, when I reached out Katya, took her thin little hand, and began to massage it gently the way I had on that trip, her body suddenly stiffened. Katya's eyes became alert and piercing--she stared hard at me, then suddenly her hand was yanked away from my hands and her head whipped away from me. Her whole entire body posture and behavior radiated anger.
My heart leaped with joy and amusement! YES! My sweet Katya was still inside! She remembered me, and she was TICKED that I had taken so long to come back to her! Yes! There was hope for her!
Time has proven my gut-instinct assessment of Katya to be right. Katya's spark of life was tamped down, but not dead.