‘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

Monday, August 02, 2010

I Do NOT Understand This World

I'd be lying if I didn't admit to being a mess today. I try to keep my thoughts of Dasha at arm's length  for the moment, because when I do allow myself to think of her, I truly cannot stop crying. I know I'm not alone. Hundreds of other host parents are going through the same thing right now. but most of them have the advantage of knowing they are adopting their host child - - I don't.

But I'm committed to trusting God on this one. He's giving me great comfort today, and also a sense of peace - as if maybe she's going to end up with us after all? I don't know how that is possible, but that is my greatest wish. I hope it is true, because Nastia is inconsolable. She wept and wept yesterday after we got home from the airport. That might seem expected, but its not. For a child with RAD, this is a HUGE breakthrough.  I have never seen my daughter cry about missing anyone except me. This is new territory for her.

"Mom, I miss her too much. It hurts! I don't like it! I feel empty!" this came from my daughter who for the first three years home could not articulate a feeling. If she felt, she raged. She threw things and hurt herself or me. She is only now learning how to give voice to her feelings. But this time with Dasha has propelled her forward like nothing else. She has truly grown emotionally in ways I have never seen before. Love heals.

So, yesterday I comforted a grieving teenager for many hours. She eventually fell asleep in my arms. She had bad dreams about her orphanage, and woke up many times in the night. (We still co-sleep more often than not.) This morning I had to go have dental work done, and when I came home hours later with a 'droopy face', she broke down in tears. Again, unlike her.

"You don't look like you! I'm scared!" and again she fell in my arms crying. I knew this wasn't about me. And sure enough, after a few minutes, she was crying deeper and telling me, " I want to see Dasha. Please, mom, I want my sister back..."

Some of you reading this might think I am an idiot for hosting in the first place - why put my daughter and myself through such pain? But I disagree wholeheartedly with you.

  I disagree 146 million times over

We all need to climb out of out self-imposed stupors, our damned American comfort zone, and DO something. Yes, it hurts. It hurts to care. It hurts to suffer for someone else. It is painful and uncomfortable, and also...

 The most worthy thing we can possibly do while on this earth.

Your house will pass away, your clothes, your annual vacations to Disney world and the Caribbean, your designer bags, your hair extensions, your nights out drinking with your buddies, your primetime tv hours, your hairdressing appts, your shopping sprees, your wrinkle creams and your manicures. All of this stupid, stupid stupid stuff just eats away at the most important part of you!  It kills you.

I don't know about you, but I want to be alive in the fullest sense while I am allotted my time here. I want to always  push past my comfort zone and past my fears and worries, and DO something. That's all we really have. We have our minds, our hearts and our willingness to make a difference. There are over 146 million children in the world who wait this very minute you are reading this for someone to get out of their comfy chair, turn off the tv and computer and find them.

This world makes me sick. I don't get it. I don't get how people can buy their fancy cars and eat at fancy restaurants and buy those giant houses and buy those designer clothes...all the while knowing there are others in need in the world  RIGHT NOW. I am grateful that I believe in something greater. I am grateful that those things hold no appeal for me at all. I am humbled and grateful that at the end of my life, I will feel spent. Can you imagine a greater feeling on your deathbed?  I can't.

Here's a little photo reminder of what is TRULY important in this world. Put down your iphone, your ipod, your gameboys, your mall shopping lists, your wads of unspent cash burning in your wallets. Go find someone who needs you. And give THEM what you have. 


  1. Anonymous12:51 PM

    Well, put. Well, put. You have a beautiful heart and soul, never change that!! ♥

  2. Anonymous1:38 PM

    I overheard someone telling someone else that they were planning to buy a particular house in the neighborhood that they wanted to live in and they were planning to tear it down so they could have the lot to build on. The house they were planning to tear down was in pretty good shape; it just wasn't as large and new as they wanted. That seems to me to be truly obscene.

    My immediate thought was "how many peoples' fees for adoption could you pay for with that?"

    Eloquently put, Keri. You are inspiring.

    Rosemary Clark

  3. THANK YOU! I have been pacing my house today with these very feelings! I have friends calling me asking me to do things with them "now that Alina is gone"!! What?! And the talk of vacations and splurges is making me cringe. We more than likely will not be able to adopt because of stupid money.
    Your blog has really helped me through all this. Please don't hold back! ;)

  4. I just wish you'd been able to host a Latvian or Russian child who you could adopt. Meanhile, I'll hope that Ukraine changes its law. It really makes no sense. Or - can't you call those Russian guys? I'm with Dasha - come on!!!

  5. OMG, after reading your posts i really have a heavy Heart... I am a big fan of your posts and yes ofcourse yours too... Living with so much of pain is really a big deal; im learning from you. I write porms, check out my latest poem on Life on my blog - blog.aparana.com.. you story was my inspiration for this poem... :) I would love to share your blog with everyone i know, and they will love you too... You are a great mother.. :)

  6. yes, Keri. yes. praying for Dasha's swift return home,and for people to open hearts and wallets to FIGHT FOR the children of the world!

  7. AMEN, sister! AMEN! May God bless ALL of you with peace and comfort.


  8. You are wonderful. Peace.

  9. This is one of the best posts I've read yet on the need for adoption and adoption reform; yet I am so very sorry that it comes from your pain. The world is too much with us, I'm afraid.

    Really, I know everyone is kidding about the Russian guys, but you need to rent "Green Card" and give it some thought. Really. Get that girl back, woman!

  10. Very well said!!

    I just began reading your blog a month or so ago and my heart hurts for you! Such a wonderful thing you did for that precious little girl.

  11. Anonymous1:31 PM

    You knew, however, that Ukrainian adoption was not a possibility for you. The unfortunate thing here is that a young girl was shown a world that is not possible for her. And, while I don't know the details of the hosting process, I would venture to guess that there were participating couples who could have had a chance to host AND pursue the adoption of Dasha. Whether in jest or not I find your including Dasha in the conversation about "husband shopping" to be grossly inappropriate. I suggest for you and your daughter that you move on.

  12. I am struck. With the needs of this world, the paths that we are given, the faith by which we choose 'the next thing.'

    Keri's blog and comments journal a very real sense of "showing a young girl a world that is not possible for her." Even here in America, young girls who are given this message need a Keri in their life to challenge that limit to sources and acceptance.

    Many thanks to Keri and her suppporting viewers!

  13. I just found your blog by googling "russian adoption blogs'...wow. I thank God for pointing me in the direction of you. Your heart for the orphan children in Siberia seems equal to my heart for the orphan children in Kaliningrad! And not too many people "get" that. Thank you for these words, for this reminder that I needed to hear today. It's not about me, or my family, or my comfort, and I've known it all along. It's about the love of Christ for the soul of an orphan. And THAT is why I go...




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