‘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

Thursday, August 26, 2010

One Roadblock After Another

Tomorrow, very early, Nastia and I are catching the first flight to New York City in order to be at the Russian consulate when it opens. Why? Because once again, government bureaucracy and roadblocks are getting in the way of these sisters being together. I don't know how much more I can take of this. The weight on my heart is easily the size of this boulder. I can't breathe.

A few days ago I was sending in our passports to the visa agency that secures the Russian travel visas for us. I happened to mention in passing that this would be the first time Nastia would be flying to Russia on her US passport.  "She was not born in Russia, was she?" The woman asked concernedly.

Yes, why?

"Russia will not issue her a travel visa on a US passport unless she renounces her Russian Citizenship."

What do you mean? She is a US citizen with a valid passport!

"Russian law does not recognize her as an American. She must fly on only her Russian passport.

" But it is expired!"

" Well, she must get a new one. It takes at least three months. I'm sorry."

So, my American daughter is being denied a travel visa by her birth country. Just like her sister was denied a travel visa by our country. Why, in all these years, did no one tell me she could not fly on her US passport? Why is this not mentioned on the Russian Consulate website or any US Consulate website? Why must our governments, both of them, make things so impossible?

The Consulate will not answer my calls or emails. No? Well, then I will fly down there and park myself in the Consulate itself until someone helps me. There must be someone with a heart somewhere in that building. I am devastated that our trip is, once again, put on hold. Anya is beyond devastated. I worry for her well-being.

So, I ask for your prayers. I ask that someone at that embassy sees past the rules and forms and have-to's and must-not's and sees this mother simply trying to give these sisters what they want most in the world -- each other. I pray that someone there finds a loophole to either allow her to travel on her expired Russian passport next week, or allows a travel visa in her US one. I pray that I don't lose my temper. I pray that I remain calm and focused, and that I come home on that late flight tomorrow night with the knowledge that Nastia will be travelling with me.

Please pray. I don't know how much more of these roadblocks I can take. I really don't.

MIDNIGHT UPDATE: I just had to move the trip to Monday. Long story. NO way around it, but I am now thinking it is a blessing in disguise. We can now return to the Consulate the following day if required. ( Which I heard we might.) Prayers still needed, welcomed and appreciated!


  1. My sweet friend...


  2. What would it take for Nastia to renounce her Russian citizenship? Is this even a feasible alternative?

  3. Can the governor of Kemerovo contact the Russian consulate and intercede on Nastia's behalf to expedite her passport renewal??? There MUST be a way to expedite it. Sending prayers your way....

  4. Mary, I would never let her renounce it, and she doesnt ever want to anyway. but even if she did, it is a loooong complicated process and she had to fly there to do it...so she'd need a new passport even for that.

    matroyshka...good thinking. I know I cant reach him, but maybe if I bring some of the news reports about his intervening in January, it might help. Who knows. Anyway, I'm bringing pretty much everything but the kitchen sink...

  5. Anonymous9:34 PM

    I am so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  6. Praying some more .... may God be with you tomorrow.

  7. Praying for a break in the bureaucracy.
    I think that had Dante known about modern bureaucracy,he would have added another level to Hell.

  8. Praying for mountains to be moved tomorrow. Praying you can stay calm and focused so you can navigate those waters tomorrow; let Him guide you. He is bigger then any complications these two governments can throw at you.

  9. update: had to move trip to Monday. Long story, but I'm thinking it may be a blessnig in disguise...

  10. Praying, praying, praying.

    Proverbs 3:5-6 :-) I'm partial to the KJV version.

  11. Everything is blessing. (Hard though it is to believe.)

    I'm so sorry it never came up, because I knew this. So, so sorry.....

  12. My Prayers are always with you... and my faith in God tells me that the sisters would surely get a chance to meet... you take care.. and i will wait for the good news :)


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