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I call it a Father’s Love Story, but I was not her father and she was not my daughter.

Oksana wanted to be my daughter. In her heart, she wanted to belong to someone. She wanted a family experience. She never knew her father, and she had been taken away from her drug using … mother when she was 4 or 5 years old. Her life as she knew it was at the orphanage.

She began to make a connection with me when she was about 15. When I responded to her with acceptance and kindness, her heart responded. She began to dream the impossible dream. Could she have a father of her own, could it be true? I gave her and a number of other children my address. I asked them if they would write to me. (I had been told earlier that the children didn’t have the mentality to write a letter, being an orphanage for special children.)

Oksana was the only one who did write to me. It was clear to my translator that she did actually write the letter. So, I read the letter with great interest. She wrote to me about her dreams. She opened her heart and told me that she wanted me to be her father.

This writing relationship continued for the next four years. When I would visit Marganets I would spend some time with her, talking and learning more about her. The plan was that when she was 18 she could decide her future legally. She continued her education through the tenth grade, and then moved to the youth hostel to participate in trade school to learn to be a master plasterer.

By the time that she graduated, she had fallen in love with a classmate and decided that she wanted something different. She was an adult, in her eyes, and didn’t need a father any more.

Without actually being a father, I experienced many of the feelings and frustrations of what being a father must be. I felt the love, the need, the joy, and the sorrow. It was a difficult experience for me, but I learned many things. We have lost touch and doubt that I will ever see her again. One thing that she asked me to give to her was a Bible. I did, and I must believe that God is watching over her and will guide her to Himself.

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