MIR Executive Director Masha Oshkina traveled to the US with a disabled orphan for the hosting program. Here are her comments:

We thought Andrey wouldn’t make it to the States. It almost seemed like nobody would. The newly made regulations about orphans travelling abroad gave a good excuse to the municipal boards to say no to the hosting program this Christmas, but two orphanage directors really saw it as a chance their disabled children couldn’t miss, so we were getting fifteen through the border December, 13.

I didn’t know I was going to get stuck in Munich with Andrey. The flight to Chicago got cancelled and his host family was waiting for us in Denver.. Andrey didn’t know about delay too, so he kept running up and down the moving escalator, showing me tricks and not saving his energy for the many hours of wondering in the airports of Germany. We shared the yogurt with muesli and fruit and I didn’t have a joy of feeding someone from the spoon in a long time. He liked the whip cream on my latte and would make sure I got to try all the fruit in his bowl.

I should have known that the arrangements that a smart UA manager makes in Munich actually require a transit visa to get to Frankfurt. Well, Andrey had fun playing with my cell while border guards around us were getting him a transit visa.

I had no clue chewy teddy bear candy helps when ears hurt at airplane take off and land. I also didn’t know you need to do splits to pick something from the ground if your hands are not operating.

He wanted spaghetti at a Sheraton restaurant Luthgansa magic fairy ended up putting us. They usually don’t put passengers there for free with food coupons. But here we are enjoying our date among business men and dressy ladies. Andrey makes sure his plate is clean and loves to smile at the waiters every time they pass by. He wants to make the bed before we leave the hotel room because things need to be kept in the right order. Just as his care-giver taught him.

Andrey calls me every day first thing in the morning to report me on how much he loves going to the swiming pool and how the two dogs in the family are lovely and why the other boy in the family is sent to his room. He rememebers everyone by name. He still wants that pass from the Sheraton hotel room with his name on it. He said he’ll be back to that room once he is rich and famous. I won’t doubt it, seing how passoinately he follows things through.

I haven’t seen God at work so clearly in a long time. I want my heart to rememebr that as it makes my Christmas time real and meaningful. I wish the same to you!