Nina starts her job matching Spanish parents with Russian orphans with naive optimism. With each new case Nina takes on, the darker aspects of the industry stun her into numbness. She works long hours, wades through bureaucracy, and is traumatized by how little she can really do to help orphaned children and childless parents find the happiness and stability they’re seeking. How can she bear to keep trying? At each difficult turn something breathtaking stops Nina in her tracks: snow blossoming like white orchids against the night sky, the shapes out the car window changing contrast like a photograph in developing solution, a stand of birch trees charging into the road to have a look at who’s driving through their forest with Moscow license plates. Nina feels the world, and it rewards her with moments of wonder.
Elevated by this subtle redemption, Nina matures, recognizing at last that her greatest weakness is also her unexpected strength. And isn’t that true of us all?
- Gabriella Page-Fort, Editor