According to my Outlook Calendar, two years ago today I was meeting with retailers in the Central Michigan area, planning some promotions on Chocolate Milk. Exciting times.
Far, far away, in St. Petersburg, Russia, a young woman went into labor on the street. It was a rainy, 60 degree day at the start of fall – not too unlike the weather we’re having here today. She walked into Maternity Hospital #17 without identification. No passport was provided, only a name, and likely a false one at that. She was 18. She was alone and she was probably scared. There were no parents called, no friends to help her through the delivery. She was by herself, about to give birth.
Who was this girl? That remains a good question. We’ll call her Miss “D”. All signs point to the fact that she was a transplant to St. Petersburg, the 2nd largest Russian city. A city known for it’s beautiful sights and opulent Cathedrals. And tourism. With all of this comes jobs – and people that want them. Along the way, there was a man, or a boy perhaps. Likely a Russian. NOTHING is known about him. Zilch, zip, nada. There are many scenarios that could have played out here, but I like to think of the happier ones. Maybe she found love on the streets of St. Petersburg. It’s a gorgeous, romantic city, so who could blame her?
But at 18, and possibly homeless in a country over-run with poverty, what was a girl to do?
In this beautiful city, on this cool, rainy day, an equally beautiful boy was born. And so began the life of the little boy that we now know as Alexander Thomas Repp. Quietly, without permission, Miss “D” slipped out of the hospital. A few months later, the Ministry of Education would petition the court to remove her from the original birth certificate. Without this step, Alex would never be. He would have remained an orphan until he was somewhere between 16 and 17 and then he would have been put on the streets. And I wouldn’t have known THIS smile.
A lot of things in the world aligned to bring little Alex home to Michigan. I am thankful for each step along this path. I’ll probably never find her, but if I could, I’d like to hug Miss “D”. I’d like to let her know that Alex is good. He’s better than good. He’s the sweetest little snuggle boy I’ve ever met. I have a better chance, though, of tracking down the staff that went to court for him. And I may do just that. Someone should know how much their actions are appreciated.