In one of the border skirmishes that the Russians had with the Ukrainians, little six-year old Anna‘s parents were killed and she was placed in an orphanage.

Americans often visited the Ukraine to find children to adopt.  On this one occasion, a group of American couples were at the orphanage talking to the children, hoping to discover at least one child that would appeal to them, one they could adopt and love and take home to America.

Anna was never chosen when the Americans came.  Perhaps it was partly her unkempt appearance.  Perhaps it was partly the smudges on her face from making mud pies, pies just like her mother used to make, only hermother’s were real ones.  Perhaps it was the fact that she was withdrawn and rarely talked.  She didn’t rush to the Americans like the other children did, hoping to be chosen.  She simply sat on a little chair in the corner, holding the only possession she had from her home, a small rag doll that was as unkempt as she was.

The American parents strolled through the orphanage, studying each child.  The children smiled and tried to look their best, hoping to be chosen.  The parents walked past Anna, hardly noticing her.  In her withdrawn, silent, unkempt appearance, she did not appeal to them.

However, one woman did notice Anna. The woman was a single parent, having lost her husband and young daughter two years earlier in a tragic accident.  As a single parent, she thought she had little chance to adopt a child from the orphanage, but she traveled to the Ukraine anyway, her heart full of hope.

The woman had brought a rag doll she made for her little girl but didn’t have a chance to give it to her.  She brought it to give to a child in the orphanage.  She chose to give it to Anna.  She handed it to Anna and smiled.  Anna looked up and smiled back but said nothing.

Soon all the parents gathered in the main room to talk with the orphanage director.  They wanted to ask questions about the children before making a final choice.

In the middle of the discussions, the parents suddenly stopped talking and listened to a sound coming from the other room.  It was a beautiful sound that they had not heard when strolling through the orphanage.

“Who is doing that beautiful singing?”one of the parents asked.

”Oh, that’s Anna,” the director said.  “She talks very little, but she often sings to her rag doll.” 

“What an amazing voice,” another parent said. “So angelic.”

Still another parent said, “I can’t believe that little girl can sing like that.”

The parents moved to the other room and stood near Anna and listened.  They looked at each other and marveled at Anna’s beautiful singing.”

The parents were so impressed with Anna that they all wanted to choose her. They now looked past the unkempt appearance and the smudges and saw a little girl with an amazing talent. They each wanted to take her home and love her and nurture her extraordinary talent.

The director went to Anna and said, “Anna, these parents all want you.  But I want you to choose which parents you would like to have as your own.”

The parents all stood straight, smiled, and hoped to be chosen.  Anna looked through the crowd and focused on the small woman who had given her the doll.

“I choose her,” Anna said.



  1. Wow Dad, I genuinely appreciate how your posts hold multiple meanings, and I believe you might have known this one would surely wiggle its way into my heart! My interpretation left me brimming with inspiration to share gifts with others, even those intangible ones that may not come wrapped in a box. Love you forever and a day, and thank you for taking the time to sing the song in your heart.


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