‘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

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Husband Shopping, Ukrainian Style

Believe it or not, there is a Russian Orthodox Church in my hometown. Look to the right -- I have photographic proof.

Anyway, in my 45 years of living here, I have never ever set foot inside this church. But it's a local landmark, and it's used in directions quite a bit:

'Go down past the Russian church and take a left.'

Anyway, it is close to where I work in the summer, so Dasha has seen it quite a bit, and every time she sees it she asks if we can visit. This past Sunday we did.

The inside of this church is exquisite enough to warrant a visit by everyone in Salem. It's gorgeous. The service was long for Dasha, but almost exactly like the service I had attended in Siberia. Liturgical, moving choral music in Russian, incense, lots of babushkas praying in their head scarves. Very moving.

Dasha really wanted to attend,  because she wanted to go someplace where everyone would be speaking Russian. I don't blame her: after just a week in Siberia on my first trip, I nearly tackled an American family when I overheard them speaking English in a coffee shop. I was desperate for my mother tongue. Those of you who are well-travelled can commiserate.

So, after the service, we were led downstairs to the coffee hour. There was a toy corner and Dasha hid herself there for a bit. One of the pastors started introducing me to families. One woman, 'Elena' from Ukraine, was particularly kind. She came and sat with me in the toy corner and filled me in on her obvious love for her church. The conversation came around to Dasha.

Elena: "So, you are adopting her? That is wonderful."

Me: "No, I can't . I would just love to, but Ukraine no longer allows single parent adoption."

Elena: : "But look at her, she adores you. She obviously belongs with you."

Me. "I know, and we love her very very much, but there is just no getting around this law unless I get married." I laughed, so she would get that this was not an option.

Elena whips out her cellphone and starts dialing. "I know the perfect man for you...hello, Sergey? Yes, there is an American woman here who needs a husband..."

And before you know it she is handing me the phone to speak to  Sergey.

Elena: "Go on, talk to him. He's short, so your age won't bother him. He's had trouble meeting women..."

Before you start laughing...hear this: I ended up with no less than FIVE phone numbers of Ukrainian men being shoved in my pocket before coffee hour was over.  I kid you not.

And Dasha heard everything,  as it was in Russian. And boy did she have the biggest smile on her face.

 As we left the church, she was walking cheerfully back to the car holding my hand.

"See, Mama? I told you God would find me a papa! Now we have FIVE!"

When we got home, Nastia met us at the door and started interrogating me.

She asked me who Sergey was.

"What??" I asked incredulously.

" Some guy Sergey keeps calling our house asking to meet you as soon as possible. I told him you were at church." she said angrily.

Ahh, the Russians and Ukrainians do not mince words or actions. If I let them, they'd have me married by the end of the week:)

Note: Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.


  1. Good Lord! Obviously, I have been going about the whole dating thing the wrong way... if only there was a Russian Orthodox church here!

  2. he's short, so your age won't bother him.
    best. line. ever.

  3. Sorry, is it wrong that I'm laughing outloud at your post? :) I found your blog from Diana's and just had to delurk.
    My heart goes out to you and your girls.

  4. Right on! Why not give it a try? If the American way isn't working, maybe the Eastern European way will. :-) Can't wait to hear how your dates go. :-)

  5. Alexandra3:19 PM

    OMG! Is it bad that I think you should see go for it?!? LOL!

    (and p.s. I've been trying to "follow" your blog now for 2 days and it won't let me create an account!"

  6. Anonymous3:29 PM

    You know, if God wanted to send you a husband, He might very well do that while you're visiting a church! I think you should meet them! Heck, if nothing else, don't you think your girls' lives could benefit from having some kind Ukrainian/American uncles/friends of the family?

    And what does it say about this man's heart if he's interested even knowing what all you have on your plate right now? MAKE. THAT. CALL. TODAY!!!

    Rosemary Clark

  7. What do you have to lose?

  8. Anonymous4:16 PM

    I feel it, Keri. I work with 10 Orthodox Georgians and all they talk about is getting married and having kids. That having caused a freak-out, they're amazing with children... so maybe that's the up side. :) Whatever's right will come along.

  9. Cary Elizabeth6:37 PM

    Yay Keri! God works in mysterious ways!

  10. LITERALLY laughing out loud and so is my 12 year old daughter!! Alexandra: I'm thinking the same thing!
    Christine: you're right! best line i've ever heard!
    God works in mysterious ways!

  11. I am seriously UN-opposed to you going for it! Maybe by the time Dasha comes home for Xmas it could be forver!!!! And sergey seems like he's for it too! Good Luck!

  12. Yes, yes!!! Go for it! They probably want a way to become an American citizen - but hey! Why not? A true marriage of convenience! I put myself full-tilt into finding a wife for a friend named Vasily! Ukrainian, too, he was such a sweetie! Sorry - we were eventually successful, or I'd send him your way.

    Anyway; did you see "Green Card" - it could be quite romantic!

  13. I agree with the others- Not much to lose, and maybe God has a sense of humour!

  14. So funny.

    Looking forward to hearing how your first date went. :-)

  15. I say, go out on all the dates. Who knows what will happen!

  16. Oh my was I laughing at this post! Maybe you can get some free meals out of this!


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