Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Journey To Francine.

Today was going to be my last visit with Francine. My last visit before I set off across country to try to find Bobby and the children at 50. 

We were ushered into the entrance hall of orphanage 16 and asked to wait. We could hear singing coming through the door at the end of the hall. 'Come, come', a lady beckoned us to peep into the large room where the children were doing music. We peeked through the open door...immediately spotted by a child who leaped up shouting, 'Francine's mama!'

A caregiver stomped over to the door and shut it in our faces with an extremely disgruntled look. Can't say I blamed her, but I did wish we could have explained we had been invited to peep! Feeling like naughty schoolgirls we returned to the hallway and continued to wait, taking pictures of empty spaces. 

Pictures of closed doors.

Pictures of the stairs we were so desperate to climb, stairs to the children's rooms, stairs out of bounds!


I looked at Lora, I could tell we both wanted the same thing, we really wanted to be taking pictures of children....visiting every room, spending time with them all and especially time cuddling our own special girl we were so desperate to see again.

We utilised the little mirror on the wall for a 'together shot' now a tradition!

And then the door at the end of the hall opened and little children were ushered past by a stern lady who obviously was not impressed by our presence. I wondered just how much our faces must upset the other children, how much we disturbed the routine of their day. The presence of a new Mama in the house, whispering hope to all the others about the lives they waited for. In some ways I could understand the resentfulness of the staff here.

I kept my camera low on my lap just clicking the shutter button hoping the children were in shot! I wanted to be able to search out any familiar faces later, but the caregivers are scary, I didn't want to get shouted at for taking pictures! They were already annoyed!

I couldn't see any familiar Reece's Rainbow kiddies but the little boy grinning near the back of the line stole my heart! Grinning and so excited to see us, he was brave enough to defy his caregiver, breaking the regimented line for a final run back down the stairs and a peek around the wall and more smiles!

And then just like that they were all gone.

We continued to wait and as I sat there my mind wandered through my journey to Francine. What a journey! I had fallen in love with her face, that smile so full of character, a little girl in a photograph who captured my heart. I had fallen in love with her picture and sobbed tears at her impending fate of transfer to an institution. I had prayed daily and fundraised with everything in me.

I had experienced new pictures reducing me to a sobbing mess at her beauty! Contact lenses falling onto my keyboard, washed away in tears as my beautiful Tilly climbed into my lap to cuddle me better. From the very start of this journey I had wanted this child to find a Mama so hard, it physically hurt.

Fundraising had seen the jigsaw puzzle fundraiser taking over our days and Poppy loosing her heart to the journey as well.

A Summer of car-booting and ebaying, emptying lofts and mess everywhere saw Francine's fund rising.

Miracles along the way had also shown me that heaven was watching! 

Read here about the awesome give-away camera win that made the $1000 miracle happen!

Slowly funds had moved from $0 to $5000 and then that incredible day, Francine's face on the 'My Family Found Me' page! Heaven applauded as God's bigger picture began to come into focus as a family needing exactly an extra $5000 committed to being her family!

And then a blogworld friendship began, 'Flight Platform Living' became best friends with 'My Camo Kids' as I cried over pictures of Francine's new family! They looked awesome. My heart was literally bursting with happiness.

Oh how to describe my feelings when I watched Francine meet her new mama and papa for the first time!
I don't have words adequate to tell of those moments of wonder! I think one of my comments at the time said, 'I felt Heaven itself sweep into my home...I could actually hear angels singing', yep, that about sums it up!

And then a blog world friendship became real! An invitation to travel on the second trip with Francine's new Mama! I was going to get to meet the little girl in the picture! This couldn't be happening! This sort of thing never happened!! This was going to be worth conquering a fear of flying for!

And then we met, the warrior and the army wife, miles from home, united by one child in a picture who had captured both of our hearts! Strangers becoming friends, brought together by love. We laughed, we celebrated, we cried, we had a blast and mostly we sat in awe watching awe of her amazing spirit and the stars in her eyes. That little girl in the picture turned out to be all we both knew she would be and so much more!

Becoming Francine's warrior turned out to be one of the most awesome things I have ever done. Each step in the journey amazing and heaven-filled! This journey has been an honour to make and I will be FOREVER THANKFUL for it and for every other person that supported the steps along the way.

Francine, thank you for your soul, your giggle, your toothless grin, your hugs, your laughter, the cute way you eat apples, the excitement in your soul, the way you played in the snow and swung from our arms, your dancing around the garden, your excitable voice coming towards us down the hallway and for just being the amazing you that you are.

AND LORA...what can I say, how can I ever say thank you enough or put into words my gratitude for our  friendship! What you have done for Francine will remain one of the most wonderful things I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. Meeting you both was so wonderful, I simply adore you little bird and your new daughter.

Lora, you were the person I had been praying for.
You were the person I never gave up hope of finding.
You were the person with the heart big enough to leap in faith.
You were the answer to my prayers.
You were Francine's Mama!

You became Francine's forever family and in return gained yourself your very own forever family in the UK!

And as for you sweet Francine... I held you, I kissed you, I watched your Mama find you!
 You my darling child have been my dream come true!

This warrior will love you always.


  1. Such a beautiful story, such beautiful souls. God has a wonderful purpose for sweet Francine!!

  2. That little miracle has touched more lives than she'll ever know. Great post as always my friend. God is so incredibly awesome!


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