A week before Nastia was to leave she and I sat down at the computer and she opened up to me. Usually, we would go on google translate and ask her questions and she would give us simple answers, but she finally got to a point that she trusted us, and wanted to share more. We sat there for an hour and a half typing back and forth. In the end...Nastia told me that she goes home every weekend and lives with her grandfather, mother and brothers, but lives in the orphanage during the week. She said she has a 16 year old brother that lives with her mom's sister, as well. This was all very shocking to us! What was even more shocking is that she said she did not want to come live in America. We were not expecting this at all! We brought her here to find a family, but to find out that she loves her grandfather and brothers (not her mother, so much), that she spends time with them, and that she does not want to leave them was disheartening to say the least. And at the same time, we were so happy that she has someone there who still loves her. I definitely have mixed emotions.
Some people will say, "But she would be so much better off here!" Well, in some respects that is true. But is it fair to take her away from her family, even if she only gets to see them on the weekends, or even periodically? She loves them! Again, mixed emotions.
The truth is...when Nastia goes to orphan court the judge will ask her if she wants the Lewis family to adopt her. And, as of right now, her answer is, "No." The day she was leaving us we sat down at the computer again and I asked her again if she would like to live in America someday. She sat there with tears flowing down her face. She wouldn't answer. I put my hands on her cheeks and made her look at me and told her that I needed her to be honest with me and tell me what she wants. She, again, said that she wanted to live in Latvia, but she wants to come back and see us.
I was told that she is probably making up the story about spending time with her family, because "that is what orphans do to make their lives look better than they really are." In fact, her orphanage was contacted and they said she does spend time with her family, and she is close to her grandfather and brothers.
I talked to a chaperon from her orphanage and she said to give Nastia a week to get back into her normal routine at the orphanage and then to have the Lewis family ask their adoption agency to contact the orphanage director and ask her if she wants to be adopted by them. If she says no, they will wait a month and ask her again. She may get back to Latvia and miss the family life she had here. She may get back and her grandfather may tell her that she needs to go to America. Or, maybe her grandfather won't want to let her go. (?) Or, she may decide that she misses America, but she still wants to stay in Latvia, so she can be close to her family. We really have no idea!
The Lewis family has started their own blog, so you can follow their journey here: http://ourjourneywithnastia.blogspot.com.
No matter what happens...we love her! And we know that God loves her even more!
5 months ago