I just love this picture! Vera is convinced that she is a boy, and so I treasure any pictures of her girlish beauty and sweetness. She is my little czarina, adopted from the Russian Far East.
When Vera was 5 years old, we had the unspeakable privilege of flying three-fourths of the way around the world to scoop her up and bring her into her adoring family. We would not trade her gorgeous smile, stubborn ways, and infectious antics for anything. She is the sparkle in our family!
Vera is the Russia word for faith. Vera is not a name I would have chosen for my daughter, but I love its meaning. Vera is short for Veronika--true representation of God. Her life is a beautiful picture--representation--of God's grace and mercy. She was a seemingly hopeless case, a child with Down Syndrome living in a poor orphanage in a poor city in the middle of nowhere, destined for a hellacious mental institution. But God had a different trajectory in mind and we praise Him for that.
Now for the real Vera, covered in mud after an afternoon of playing in the sprinkler.