A few months ago Yanisa has turned six, according to her documents.  She is a foundling, so nobody really knows when her Birthday really is.  This thought helps her live through that day as if it was any other ordinary day, with no presents, no cake, just a few extra smiles and well-wishes from the caretakers.

Yanisa is genuinely loved by everyone around her, readily sharing what little toys the orphanage has and following all orders of the caretakers.  The caretakers believe Yanisa is happy because she never objects and gets along well with other kids, but an outsider meeting Yanisa for the first time might see so much fear, such willingness to please, to be accepted and loved.  Whatever it is, it isn’t happiness.

When asked about New Year’s present, Yanisa automatically touches her shaved head, she knows she can’t ask for long hair.  Nothing, anything…  well, maybe a new dress – the one city girls wear.  Nobody knows whether Yanisa truly likes the traditional robe, but she wears it willingly to please her caretakers, because in it she looks just like a local girl and can forget about her Russian heritage that is looked down upon in the little provincial town the orphanage is at.

When a caretaker steps out of the room, Yanisa finally admits she’d like to wear a new dress, at least once!  The next day she’d have to give it up to someone else at the orphanage as all the clothes is shared, but to wear something crisp and nice-smelling, won’t it be something!  She may even pretend to have long hair – they would be blond – or sandy, maybe – that could be a memory to treasure for months.

A new dress would not make up for everything Yanisa is missing in her life, but maybe for one night her eyes would sparkle with joy and self-assurance.

Yanisa’s sweet smile caught someone’s generous eyes and thanks to a generous donation, our coordinator was able to buy for Yanisa not only a warm and beautiful dress, but also a toy tiara. The night her orphanage was celebrating the New 2007 Year, Yanisa turned into a true princess and our coordinator even saw her shy laugh.

Although Yanisa’a wish has come true, we are still seeking sponsors for her to send their love and care on a regular basis so that Yanisa would know she is not alone in the world.

Thanks to a generous contribution, Yanisa received a new skirt, a shirt and a plush dog, and could once again be a “hostess” to a group party.  Her caretakers said she never asked for any presents, so they were quite surprised when our coordinator called one last time to confirm her visit and asked what would Yanisa like and Yanisa finally asked for “a plush dog, but please find one tiny enough to fit under my pillow.”

Watching this special girl come out of her shell thanks to care and generosity of families so far away is miraculous, and we ask you to keep the miracle going for Yanisa.

In April 2008, Yanisa was adopted by a wonderful American family.  Yanisa loves her new home, her new family, and absolutely adores family dogs!  Her broad smile tells it all.  We once again thank everyone who participated in Yanisa’s life and sponsored her; without your thoughts and acts of kindness it would be a lot harder for Yanisa to keep her faith in the world.