‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Friday, December 15, 2006

Underwood Memory, Circa 1975

If we leave the path we started on, can we find our way back -- even after thirty years?

My most sacred childhood memories are of writing-- sitting in the backyard under the trees with my dad's old underwood typewriter, from his childhood. I can't remember any more blissful moments than those. Hours spent spinning stories in my mind and then tapping them out, letter by letter, with the summer wind blowing loose strands of my hair across my face. I was usually,no, I was always in my pajamas, and I did not want to be disturbed. I had no need of adventure or friendsip on these days, no need for sustenance of any kind. The ink and words fed me, and I felt alive, awake every second my fingers were touching those keys.

what happened? where am I? When did I diverge?

[Word: Diverge
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): di·verged; di·verg·ing
Etymology: Medieval Latin divergere, from Latin dis- + vergere to incline -- 1 a : to move or extend in different directions from a common point : draw apart b : to become or be different in character or form : differ in opinion 2 : to turn aside from a path or course ]

But I digress.

I want that again. I want that living in the 'pitch that is near madness'. I want the knowing I had back then. I want the deep peace of knowing who I am. How did I have it at nine, ten and not now? I feel words stirring somewhere very deep, almost imperceptibly, like they are cells dividing. I'm waiting for them. I don't know when they will come or what they will say. But I feel expectant. And ready.

I scroll the paper into place and wait.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

So...Why Are We Here Again?

I recently sent out an email message to friends asking what they thought about the whole 'why are we here'question. I got a great quote back from my friend Jason. It's by Kurt Vonnegut:

'To help each other through this thing, whatever it is.'

Boy that says it, doesnt it? That's all I'm actually certain of myself...the helping each other and the 'whatever it is.' I mean, who really knows? There are those of us who feel a certainty about what this is all about but, come on, how can we have any certainty? We can't. We can have faith or hope in something we really want to be true, but there is no way to prove our individual beliefs. So why do so many try to? Why are there wars being fought right now based on differences in belief? I'll never get that. You can try to explain it to me -- many have. But I will never ever comprehend it. Not in this life.

I wish the rest of humanity were content with all the big question marks. Why do there have to be answers? Can't kindness be our religion? Can't gratitude be our hymn? Is there room for self-sacrifice in our dogma? Penance, if you really need that kind of thing, could be a smile: a genuine one. What about a temple of trees and sky....big enough to hold ALL our gods? A shrine of living people, doing good deeds, a sacred text of silence, unwritten, holding only promise and expectation as its commandments. A jihad of blissful, indiscriminate giving. ....

Don't get me wrong, I am a believer: a 'Believer' with a capital 'B' - a believer in a Greater Being who is LOVE, who once walked this earth in human form, a believer in goodness and kindness and souls that live forever and are part of a Oneness we can't always see here. But this is just my point of view, and I certainly can't prove it. I can offer evidence from my own life, but that's it. And I have room for others' points of view. That's what makes this whole experience so fascinating......all of us seeing a different side to the Elephant, no one seeing the whole. I like that.

I wish there were more room for differences. I wish we all reveled in unanswerable questions.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Guten Morgen Deutschland!

So, Anastasia and I are on our first big trip (aside from Russia, that is.) We left home on the afternoon of August 31st, My friend Carley drove us, and Anastasia was surprisingly talkative with her, asking questions about her daughters Kate & Jayne. At Logan, we boarded out flight to Philly, after having to ditch our water bottles and hand cream ( stupid terrorists!). Anastasia threw a little fit for the security people, but I managed to distract her before they booted us from security!

Philly airport is surprisingly large. It took us about forty minutes to walk to terminal A for our flight to Germany. Anastasia does not like walking, so you can imagine the whining. Then, as if the gods were in a mischievous mood, our flight was delayed. And delayed. And, again, delayed.
We ended up in the air at about 8:45pm and had a fitful, uncomfortable ride the whole way. Anastasia was not happy - she hated the food, the people seated behind us, the constant interruptions for food and drinks. She finally nodded off fifteen minutes before we landed.

We landed in Frankfurt at 8am on the 1st (yesterday) and my brother Jim met us in baggage claim. Our plan was to drive straight to the Czech Republic, where my sister-in-law was waiting with Tommy ( my nephew). Jim would stop at a few places along the way for Anastasia to see. First stop was Wurzburg to visit a castle that sits high above the city. At the outdoor cafe there, Anastasia ate her weight is sausages..lol. My brother was great with her and they had alot of fun teasing each other. We then left and drove another four hours, and finally hit the Czech border. Anastasia was excited to get her passport stamped. Finally we arrived in Pilsen where we headed to Jana's dad's house. Tommy was so excited to see us! Soon we'll head to the campground where we'll be staying, in a little log cabin!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Black Cloud

It's been awhile....sorry. But as no one but I really reads this blog, it doesn't really matter.

I'm struggling with depression again. It sucks. I hate it.

I thought I would outgrow it by 40, but no luck. It is like this black mass that comes out of nowhere and disrupts my life. Life is even quite good right now. I have nothing to complain about. Raising a child with RAD takes its toll, yes, but this is not about that. It's deeper. This sadness comes and sits on my heart and I can't breathe. All day I tried to battle it. When I woke feeling lost, I went back to sleep. I slept till noon. Then I tried praying, meditating, but the words in my heart were all dismal and darkening and I could not seem to escape it. I tried going online, reading blogs that make me happy, but it only served to highlight the chasm I feel between my life and the peaceful life that others live. So, I finally did what always helps....I got comfort food and over-ate.

Where is my help? Where is God? I feel locked inside myself. I need air.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


My dad died on Father's Day 2005. I'm thinking of him today. Here is the eulogy I gave for him at the funeral mass:

Hi Dad. I know you’re there, because you’ve told me a thousand times you’d be sitting in the last row at Immaculate, making sure we gave you a good send-off. I hope you approve so far. It’s hard to top you, but we’re trying. Well, Dad, I want to tell all the people here about you. The you I knew. I had forty years with you, so I count myself very lucky….of course, Danny had almost as many, but since age is a sore point for him, we won’t go there. So Dad, sit back and enjoy… and everyone else, listen up.

My dad was a pirate. Not many kids get to be raised by a pirate, so I know it was a very special experience, and it's one that needs to be shared. I loved my dad fiercely, and as you all know, we were a lot alike. My dad loved a good story -- and a good fight-- and so did I. We spent the better part of my adolescence trying to see who could raid whose ship the most…and, of course, who won the right to be captain. Dad, I’m going to swallow my inherited Irish pride here in front of all your friends and confess that, despite my fighting it to the death sometimes, you always managed to keep your crew in their place.

But what a time we had! Growing up with a pirate for a dad means lots of adventures, lots of storytelling, and lots of chances to prove our bravery to the captain. I remember the summer nights we used to spend walking through Greenlawn Cemetary with you, Uncle Jim, Mark and Krissy.

I’ll give you fifty cents if you go up and kiss that gravestone, all by yourself,' you’d say with a grin. Uncle Jim would always double it to a dollar, so we’d fight our fear left and right to get it. I’m proud to say I always took the challenge. I scared myself half to death, but I never let you know that. We spent a lot of time there, which is funny, because now a part of you will be spending a lot of time there. You used to say “I want that spot, right down by the water.”

“But dad, that’s so spongy. They can’t put a coffin there.”

“Sure they can. I’ll just slip out and go swimming every night” you’d insist. I have to admit, I loved imagining that as a child – you swimming with the fishes. It gave me a peace that you would never really die.

Now that you’re on the other side, I guess I can finally tell some of those funny stories without you getting in trouble. Like: remember how you used to have us duck under the seats of the sheriff’s car to drive us on errands? You hated the traffic on North Street, so we’d hide and you’d light up the siren, and we’d laugh all the way there and back. And remember all those times you'd take us out of school to see the best movies on opening day: Star Wars, Jaws, Indiana Jones? You understood that some things were just a little more important than school.

How did you manage to make everything such an adventure? And you never minded the odd dozen extra kids along for the ride. In fact, I can’t remember much of my childhood without Mark or Krissy there, the Huuskonens, Mark Tuttle, or Brim and Craig . Our house was really just a massive pirate ship where the captain always had room for more crew.

And you had no problem forcing your crew into slave labor: weeding the yard, carting boxes in and out of the screen-house and cellar. We hated it, but every one of us can thank you for our tireless work-ethic.

( I wrote more here to sum things up, but I lost the draft, and forget how I ended it!I'll add it if I ever find the ending!)

Anyway, I miss you Dad.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A bit about me, thanks to Nani's Moon

I really love browsing all the unschooling blogs. I'm quite addicted. I feel like they are the grown-ups I'm looking up to, hoping for support and encouragement. I haven't started unschooling yet in the strictest sense. It's a dream right now, but I'm working towards it. Anyway, one of the blogs I love, called Nani's moon, has posted a series of questions for anyone who reads her blog. Here are my answers:

1. Name? FaerieMama..... on blogspot, anyway!

2. Were you named after anyone? No, my Dad wanted an Irish name and picked it, and my mom was fine with it.

3. Are you married? Nope. Never. Not sure if I ever will be...only if I meet a man who loves children as much as I do, and is committed to being a dad to mine!

4. When did you last cry?Last night, watching my grandmother's sister dance with her husband at her 90th birthday.

5. Do you like your handwriting?I used to, but now its not so great because of arthritis...grrrr.

6. What is your favorite lunch? Probably a tuna sandwich with cucumbers and sprouts, on a bagel.

7. Where is your favorite place to eat lunch out? Local place on the beach. You can feed the seagulls your scraps :)

8.Names and ages of kids: Anastasia, adopted May 2005, she's now 13.

9.If you were another person would you be friends with you? If I could ever get a hold of me, yes.

10. Do you have a journal? Piles of them, real and virtual.

11. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Only when I'm in a really good mood.

12. Would you bungee jump? I did once, on New Year's Even 1999...but never ever again .

13. What is your favorite cereal? Not a cereal girl, sorry.

14. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? I don't wear shoes with ties :)

15. Do you think that you are strong? No, I know I am.

16. What is your favorite ice cream? Coffee with reese's peanut butter cups mixed in.

17. Favorite TV Show? Don't watch much, but...anything on BBC suits me.

18. Red or Pink? Neither. How about periwinkle?

19. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? MY A.D.Dness. I wish it didn't affect my life so much.

20..Who do you miss most? My Dad. alot.

21. Do you want everyone you send this to send it back? Sure, though I'm not sending it out.

22. What color pants and shoes are you wearing? black flowy yoga pants and bare feet.

24. What are you listening to right now? My daughter humming to herself while she draws.

25. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Black, since it is all colors.

26. Last person you got an e-mail from?My friend Kim Conzo! It made me happy :)

27. Favorite Drink? Raspberry iced tea.

28. Favorite Sport to Watch? The squirrels trying to empty the birdfeeder.

29. Hair Color? Very dark brown, almost black. Sister Julian called me Ravenhair, which I loved.

30. Eye Color? Brown.

31. Do you wear contacts? Nope. nor glasses.

32. Favorite Food? chocolate.

33. Scary Movies or Happy Endings? Definitely, Happy endings .

34. Last movie you watched? Amelie, for the third time...

35. Favorite Day of the Year: The one where I'm the happiest.

36. Summer or winter? Summer.

37. Hugs or Kisses? Hugs.

38. Favorite dessert? My Grammy's brownies.

39. Furthest you've been from home: Siberia...three times this year...yikes.

OK, after this I lost interest and cut out the rest of the questions.... Nitey Nite!

Saturday, June 10, 2006


I'm listening to thirties music today. I don't know why I love it so much. It reminds me of my Dad and my Nana, and I can picture sitting on the porch in her cottage by the sea whenever I listen. Or sometimes I think about my dad as a kid, huddled in a corner of his cellar on Lafayette Street, listening to his dad's collection of 78s. He said he used to wear gloves and a scarf and sit down there for hours listening to Hoagy Carmichael, Count Basie and Benny Goodman. I don't know why I love those guys so much, but when I hear music from that era it puts me in this really great place: content, buoyant, productive...I get alot of cleaning and laundry done! I can also hear my dad whistling the tunes when he would work in the garden.

I'm heading to a family reunion of sorts in an hour. My Nana's little sister is turning 90. I haven't seen her in twenty years. All these cousins are attending, people I haven't seen in decades as well as people I had only heard my dad talk about over the years: Orlo Ellis, Sister Kathleen, Ruth Hereford.... I'm feeling very pensive about it. It's strange that it's almost a year to the day after my dad died. I wish he were going with me.I'm glad I'll be able to talk with people that loved him. I think my friends and students get tired of hearing me talk about him all the time. Oh, the photo above is of my Nana, Mabel Veronica, taken when she was my age (41). I think she's beautiful.

Friday, June 09, 2006


us, on a windy beach day.

My Girl

Here's my sweet Siberian princess. I guess I finally figured out the photo posting process on blogger. Anyway, I'm new to motherhood, new to so many things lately, and am excited to journal about them. I adopted my daughter a year ago from Siberia in southern Russia. Now I'm on the journey to bring her older sister home.

This photo was taken after she had been home four months. She had already gained fifteen pounds from the 72 pounds she weighed when I first met her. We went apple-picking with friends at a local orchard. It's exciting to get to know my little girl. I still can't believe I'm a mom!

Monday, June 05, 2006

My Daughter, My Hero

Wrote this back in March. Still getting used to blogger. Trouble posting things, hope this works..
The morning I met her.

This week marks a full year since I first met my daughter in the remote Siberian orphanage she called home. I couldn't stop crying today, meditating on this gift God gave me. I wrote this in honor of my daughter, and am sharing it with those of you who either supported my efforts to bring her home, or whom I know will hear the words & understand.

My daughter is at school right now. That might not seem like a miracle to anyone else, but I know what it takes for her to walk in those doors every morning.

My daughter is my hero for so many reasons, and my only sadness is that no one else sees. She should have football stadiums full of cheering, adoring fans. Yes, she is that amazing.

My daughter was physically abused and neglected throughout her infancy. We'll never know the details, but the physical scars remain to remind us both. My daughter was abandoned by the only mother she knew at two and a half years old. By her own birthmother's account she was left outside alone, with her sister, waiting for a mother to return who never did. By this same woman's account, my daughter was later taken in by an abusive neighbor who later tried to kill her. My daughter is my hero, because she fought that day. With her little two-year-old spirit, she fought to live when some sick person placed her in an oven. She fought when 3rd degree burns covered her arms, legs, head and back. The pain must have been unimaginable, but this little soul wanted to live. According to the police reports, a neighbor somehow heard her screams and rescued her just it time. My heart sinks as I type these words.

My daughter is my hero because, after an entire year in a hospital, likely left alone most of the time and likely tied to her crib, she survived and did not choose to die. God knows she could have. God knows it would have been easier than what was even to come. What was the day like when a Department of Education official came and carried her to the car for her three hour journey to the special Care Baby Orphanage in the dark and hopeless coal-mining town she ended up in? What did she see out the window? What thoughts kept her going?

After two years in this place of relative safety, what was it like for her on the day another official came to move her to yet another orphanage - the one for older children, the one without enough food or even shoes to go around? Did she get to say goodbye? Did she have a toy to hug? Was she comforted on the ride? Was she welcomed warmly when she entered the crumbling building that housed one hundred older, lost and silent children just like her? From her recollection there were no hugs, no toys, no comfort. There was only uncertainty and fear. And yet, my daughter faced these things with the courage and resolve of a soldier.

My daughter is my hero because, when she grew older and decided not to take the beatings anymore, she fought back. She fought off the teenage girls who would steal her food and rip her hair out. She fought off the older boys. She fought the bullies who gave her the countless scars that run like miniature riverbeds across her face. She fought the beatings of staff on days she was too sick to go to school, on days the staff could care less, just wanting her out of the way. My daughter is my hero because, she fought and fought at age ten when the staff decided she was not 'compliant' enough and sent her to a mental asylum for six months. Torn from the only close friend she had without even a chance to say goodbye, driven for hours into the Siberian wilderness, my daughter fought while they tied her down and shaved her bald. My daughter fought so much that she got 'big needles stuck in me everyday' that made her 'see things like through snow, blurry.'

My daughter is my hero because even in this hell of inhuman suffering, she chose to keep living. She didn't have to. She knew plenty of people who didn't. She instead, made a friend and created a make-believe world of family with this older girl that became her safety net, her solace. At night, she still wonders out-loud what happened to this sister-friend who stayed behind. We say prayers for her as we fall asleep.

My daughter is my hero because when she was returned once again to the orphanage and the girls began to steal her food again, she came up with a plan. She ran miles through the village with her friend and hid behind the stones in the cemetery, waiting. My daughter was smart - she knew that people would leave food on the graves. She hid until the mourners would leave and she could steal the food and run home, with hunger pains soothed for the day. My daughter is my hero for so many horrific events she made it through in one piece, things I cannot even write here because they are too terrible. But if you look at my daughter long enough, you can glimpse the effect of these atrocities in the way her eyes dart and shake when she feels the slightest bit of fear. You can see them in the wall she has built up around her that we are carefully, slowly, taking down.

My daughter, my hero - how did you feel when you walked into the room filled with self-important officials and stoic orphanage directors and soulless translators, and me? I saw the terror in your eyes, and yet, you did not run. When I smiled at you, you looked at me and tilted your head, puppy-like, and just stared. Were smiles so rare in your world? You grimaced when the official snapped the elastic out of your hair (breaking it) so I could 'get a better look' at its brilliance.

'Look at her hair, look at her hair - she is very healthy.' It made me sick. 'Please, please...let her be.' I pleaded. Why were they so shocked I did not want to 'examine' your teeth or run my fingers through your hair, or have you sit on my lap? Silly American, they thought.

My daughter, you are my hero because, despite all the years of hurts and abuses and terror and silent dark nights, you took a chance on me. You didn't know me. You were told that Americans chop you up and sell your organs. You were teased by the staff that I was a 'fat and stupid American' who would 'never come back for you.' The gifts I gave you that day were stolen from you. Still, the next day you came back, smiling. I watched you run down the stairs as I walked in the door. You took my hand and traced my nervous fingers with yours as we walked into the meeting room. You did not ask what presents I brought. You did not ask for food, though you had skipped both breakfast and lunch in order to sit and watch for me by the window. You just sat by me with that curious, soulful look, trying to make sense of the words that came out of my mouth.

My dear, sweet, beautiful girl. You are the bravest most wonderful soul I have ever met. I want to call it from rooftops and sing it in songs, and beat drums down my street to call out all the complacent people of the world to witness your absolute beauty. God, you are beautiful. And every time a person walks by you, not noticing, I want to grab them and cry 'Look at this girl...look!'

You are my light, Anastasia...truly, truly my reason for being, my all.

It is a year, this week, since I walked into that god-forsaken place and met you. A year. And I am here, dear sweet girl, to tell you I am the luckiest mom in the world. Oh, God yes, the luckiest.

Just before I came to take her home forever.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sisters Reunited!

Greetings Friends and Family! Nastia, my brother and I have just returned to Moscow from Siberia after an entire week with my soon-to-be daughter #2 (and Nastia's sister!)...Anya.

Anya is the sweetest thing. She and her sister were inseperable - literally - the entire time. The first few days in Moscow & Siberia were stressful, because of the tv crew following them everywhere. The girls hated it and did their best to wreak havoc on the cameramen & tv journalists, including blowing into the microphones they had to wear. One poor cameraman was constantly in agony because the the feedback into his earphones!

Nast & Anya also played 'hide & seek' from the camera crew, trying to get a few moments of alone time. That finally came on Tuesday morning when the crew left and we had Anya all to ourselves for four whole days. With Uncle Dan's influence (and open wallet) she had a swift introduction into the world of consumerism. Like Nastia during her first time out of the orphanage, Anya ate anything she could get her hands on. The first day she devoured $20 worth of sausages in one sitting and then wanted to go out for ice cream! (and $20 goes a looong way in Siberia!)

She was very shy at first, but did warm up to us after a few days and was calling me 'Mama Keri' after only a few hours. She is VERY small for 14, and looks more like a younger sister to Nastia when you see her in person. It is hard for her to make eye contact, but we worked on that. She loves her sister fiercely, and they two of them kept Dan and I very busy with their wild antics around the hotel. It will be quite a while before Kemerovo forgets our visit! (For those who have been to Russia, you KNOW how many baboushkas yelled at us for their behavior!) Because of all the media coverage, the girls were 'famous' for awhile, and people would stare, or stop us in the street to say they had watched us on the news. THe girls both found this more iritating than welcoming.

Aside from visiting Anya's orphanage, I was fortunate enough to be invited to visit one of the local baby orphanages in the city. Nothing could prepare you for such an experience. I was able to sneak off from my 'guide' at one point, and wander through some rooms on my own. I was speechless to see rows of cribs with babies rocking themselves, in silence. Children with down syndome, CP, cleft palate, and other special needs were all hidden away in here. I had heard about these 'lying' rooms, but couldnt imagine that they really were as silent as those documentaries has reported.

This is one of 22 orphanages in Kemerovo City alone, and it was home to over 100 children ages 0- 4 years. The doctor who runs the home was very kind & I could see that they were trying to do their best with what they have. But to leave dozens of children alone, tied to their cribs, because of their 'special needs'? I nearly vomited when I stepped into that room.

Later, I was able to spend time with several children in the general population and it really was a blessing even just to be able to make them laugh or smile. One little boy, Cyril, grabbed my finger and would not let go. He just held on and stared at me with huge brown eyes. I have some great photos of him.I was able to bring LOTS of brand new socks & toys for the children here & hope to find a way to send more when I get home.

We also made the 3 1/2 hour trip to Nastia's former orphanage. I am so glad we did. The welcome we received was remarkable. The entire staff swarmed Nastia, tears in their eyes, hugging her and telling her how healthy she looked. They didnt get back to work for at least 45 minutes, while they prodded her with questions about her new life. It was a very good experience for Nastia to return there. She left with an understanding that although they had nothing materially speaking while living there, they were truly loved by these people. The director said over & over that she was 'shocked' we came back.

'No one ever comes back.' she said in Russian.

She said she could not express how grateful she was to see one of her children again. We stayed for the day and visited Nastia's friends, walked up into the village, and even had tea with her favorite caretaker in her tiny cottage. Katya Ivanovna, the caretaker, wept the entire time, until we had her laughing about the flood she was likely to cause in her room. Leaving was difficult, and several kids, once again, begged us to find parents for them.

'There have been no more adoptions here since you and the other three families left.' the director told us. As we drove away, we watched a huddle of teenage girls sobbing behind us, yelling in English 'No forget us.'

There is so much more to tell, but I only have a few more minutes left on this computer. Please forgive any spelling errors...the keyboard is in cyrillic so it is VERY confusing to type. Hope all is well with all of you. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

PS: For those of you who donated socks & gifts, here is where they ended up: 60 pairs of socks,and dozens of beanie babies to the Kemerovo Baby Home #1, 400 prs of socks & about 2 dozen beanie babies to Kemerovo Orphanage #2 (Anya's orphanage), which houses 450 kids. About 50 pr of socks went to Prokopyevsk Children's Home #5 (Nastia's former orphanage), the remainder went to a special rehabilitative orphanage for unadoptable children, many of whom have severe physical or mental disabilities. So, there are literally hundreds of children across Siberia enjoying the fruits of your labour. Thank you!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Shhh...Can You Hear Them?

Sometimes life is so bittersweet, you wonder if you are strong enough to let it in.This morning I feel like that.
I awoke at four in the morning, restless, and whirling the previous day around over and over in my head. I turn to see my sweet little girl sleeping, a needed break from the pain of yesterday. It had been such a dark and unforgiving day for her, and she had spent hours, heartsick, crying in my lap, her little body wound up like a ball of string, as tightly as she could.
And so, at four in the morning, I watched her inbreath and outbreath and thought of all the thousands of times she was sad before she came home to me, and how there was no one, all these years, to wrap her in their arms and hold her. There was no one to kiss her forehead and pretty cheeks. There was no one to breathe in the sweet smell of her breath while she wept inconsolably. This is a pain I cannot articulate for you -- this thinking of my daughter all alone. I can't even go there very often in my thoughts, because I think it will break me.
Why do we live in a world where children, so many children, have no comforters, no solace-bringers, no loving fingers to wipe the tears, no mamas and papas or aunts or grandmas to gather them up in their comforting arms and tell them everything is ok? I wish I had a hundred thousand arms, I wish my lap could hold a hundred million little souls, I wish my voice could sooth the ones who sleep in the sewers beneath Moscow, or in the brothels of Cambodia, or the languid street corners of Haiti, Africa, India.

Every night I send out a message to these children. Every night I tell them someone is thinking of them and loves them. I sing it as sweetly as I can, hoping their hearts will catch it on the wind. I sing until my throat is hoarse. I sing when I want to weep. I hope they hear.
We need to do more. We need to not only wish to do more and hope to do more, but we need to shake off our complacency or fear or indifference or whatever it is that keeps us from actually doing something, and we need to do it.
It's morning now. My girl awakes and there is a mother there, taking her in and loving her every move, her every freckle. Each breath.
My dream is for every child of the world to wake this way. Loved. Delighted in.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Blini, Pelemeni, and Borscht...Oh My!


Nast has an exhibition at her school tomorrow evening. She goes to a charter school, and part of the grading process is to participate in a school-wide exhibition. It's more like organized chaos, but still fun. Nastia is so darn excited about this, it's simply adorable. For the past few months everyone in her class has been studying a particular country and its culture. She chose Russia, of course. So tomorrow she gets to share all she's learned with parents& friends. One of the requirements is to make food item that represents the country you are studying. She has been struggling with what to make. I think it feels like a bigger deal to her because she is Russian and she wants to give her classmates a good impression of her homeland.
So for weeks she has been talking about blini,pelmeni and borscht. We've had cabbage blini and potato pelmini for dinner about ten times this month. Fine with me, I love the stuff. She thought of making borscht or even blini, but she finally settled on making cookies, since that is what most of her classmates are doing.

So, tonight we are baking 'pechenye domachni' which translates into something like 'home crackers'. Lol...sounds soooo appetizing.Lots of sugar, eggs, vanilla. We'll fatten up those 6th graders yet. Here is what they look like:

Today we also received something very special in the mail -- a dvd of her sister in Siberia. It was footage of her being interviewed by the searcher that found her for us. Nast watched the whole thing absolutely transfixed.

'Mama, she have my hair...' she murmured as she watched it.

And then 'Ooh, mama, me think she have my eyes, too!'

Imagining seeing your sister after a decade? Imagine hearing her voice for the first time? It was like God dropped an answer to prayer in her lap. I was as transfixed watching her watch the video, as she was watching her sister.

You could tell alot more about her sister from this dvd than from all the photos we received back in December. First, she is utterly adorable. She has dimples, those signature Siberian eyes (they turn up at the outside corners) and the sweetest most gentle voice. And she plays piano!

We head over to Siberia in late April to meet her for the first time. I don't know how I'll keep it together til then...waiting to see them embrace for the first time in ten years. I just cant wait to see them walking side by side. They have missed so much, being apart. Time to make up for that. Hoping against hope I can adopt her. Please pray.