‘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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Coming Clean About Anya

I'm getting so many private emails and messages about Anya, I can't answer them all. I'm so grateful for the concern, but I just can't stomach talking about it too much, and I certainly can't get to all the emails, so I'll fill you in here -- to a degree.

No, Anya does not live with us anymore. Anya left a week and a half ago and never came back. I can't discuss the details, but I will say that all was fine here and it has mostly to do with her complete lack of self-worth and inability to accept the love we have for her.

I did track her down after a few days and tried to convince her to come back, but there is no convincing a scared, stubborn, naive, depressed 19 year old. She was not hearing it. I received a few terrifying emails about her plan to kill herself and, believe me, I did everything in my power to help her. But in the end, I realized that right now I need to let go. Anya needs more time to adjust to these abrupt changes in her life.It is terrifying her.  Having a sister and mom love you from afar is one thing. Having them send you money and call you is not too scary. But to live with them and have them care about you? That's too much.

I get it.

The hard thing is trying to help Nastia get it. She has been a lost soul in the apartment since Anya left. Her grief is palpable. And as a mom, it is horrible to watch and know there is not much I can do to recieve it. We talk and cry and pray. That's all we can do for now.

Anya has ignored our calls and emails. She has blocked me from Russian facebook. She is, for all intents and purposes, in hiding. She's also making some terrible choices and there is nothing I can do but look on in horror and be here when she decides to return.

Anyway, I'm letting you all know so that the pressure is off from me to respond to family, friends and caring strangers about Anya's current well-being. There is none. There is 'ill-being". And there is me asking you to hold her up in light and send a blanket of love to protect her. Consider yourselves informed and have understanding about my inability to say much more about it right now.


  1. I'm so sorry. I pray you have more time and more resources. I know you have enough love.

  2. I'm not even sure what to say. It is so hard to understand how something that felt so right - and still feels so right can suddenly blow up in our faces and leave our lives in such seeming shambles. It is a feeling that cuts to the core - and unfortunately, is also one I'm very familiar with.

    Yet perhaps this is the answer you've been seeking for so long. Perhaps God needed you to understand why His answer has been "not yet" for so very long. Just keep turning her back over to Him and know that he judges the heart as well as the actions. I know that's only trite comfort when you're in the middle of things and you're saying "but what about this...and this...and this?" Let all of that go. Just trust and know that none of his reasons are in vain and that He has a perfect plan for each of us - you, Anya, Nastia, Dasha, and Daniel included. They might not be what we want or what we expect, but they are perfect according to HIS wisdom.

    Hugs! Wish I could be there to help take away some of the pain. Don't ever forget, though, that there is One who can.

  3. Sending you three big blankets of love.
    Big hugs from CA,

  4. No doubt Anya is all of those things as you said: scared, stubborn, naive & depressed. Who of us on the outside could even begin to imagine how she feels and how she would react to such an outpouring of love and positive attention let alone try to predict what her next action will be? Her independence and freedom to do as she pleases within her zone of comfort is being tested while her future remains in limbo. Certainly it contains unlimited love and support, but it presently offers no guarantee of a desperately needed change of scenery. Like all teenagers, she wants, no, DEMANDS, to have the opportunity to independently handle all of the things that she's been exposed to as well as all of those that she has not and only dreams about. At the moment - in her mind - she can control only the former.

    Your ability to loosen up the reigns right now will ultimately help you break the aspect of her independence that presently leads her to make poor choices.

    The light shining upon her will keep her path safe and free from any additional obstacles. The blanket of love, just enough to envelope her in warmth yet not so much as to smother her fragile independence.

  5. As the saying goes here in NC "I feel your pain" and we certainly will be praying for all of you.

  6. There are no words to provide comfort. But just know I care and am praying for you and your children's hearts. ((((((hugs))))))))

  7. Brian said so many wise words. You are in midst of mystery. I believe you are trusting God's leading, and I believe that out of Love and obedience must come GOOD. But will that good look the way we expect it to? I am just blown away at your loving heart, and all you are doing for every child you meet - when there are so many people who, in your situation, would be angry, bitter and giving in to cynicism. What a blessing you are.

  8. That is so difficult! I mean, I feel as if at least YOU can get it from the perspective of an adult who is well-educated regarding R.A.D. I can't imagine the grief that Nastia is feeling. I'm sure that Anya is terrified to allow herself to love you because she knows that you'll have to leave again. It must be so scary for her to let those walls down!! I wish I had more that I could say to "make it better" for you both.

    Just continue to love one another and hope that love will find a way. I will send MY love and will pray that the sum of everyone's caring will help to chip away at those walls!

    Alexandra Barrett

  9. You are doing all you can to be there for Anya. She has to find the strength within herself to trust. Trust in you, in Nastia, in God, in life. You are doing what God has called you to do. Be strong for both your daughters and know that we are praying for all of you right now!

  10. Hugs to you and Nastia. . . having parented a child who had "mild" RAD issues, and knowing what we went through with her until she began to trust and love . . . I can only imagine how much more scary it would be to a teen who has been through so much more for so much longer than our kiddoe had been through in the first 5 years of her life. But what we went through, and watching her cycles gives me some understanding . . .

    Hugs again.

  11. I am so sorry and I'll be praying that all will be well.

    I'm glad you've recognized there is only so much you can do and are not forcing the matter as so many people would do. Please allow God's peace to carry you through this difficult time, ok? He can make the "meantime" of any situation into something almost as good as the answered prayer over on the other side. He's incredible that way. Blessings, Debra (and thanks so much for your kind comments at my blogs.)

  12. Anonymous7:28 AM

    I'm sorry I missed this when it originally posted, but all I can add to Debra's post is "Amen, amen, and AMEN!"

    I'm sending grace & peace to you prayer, thru God's personalized attention to detail for your life.

    Much love, Keri

  13. My prayers and love are with you, Nastia, Anya, Daniel, all the children at the orphanage, and Dasha. I cannot think of a single thing more you should have tried, not a single thing. It's time to truly leave it up to God while you try to help Nastia come to some kind of peace about it, and I pray that Anya will come back around.

    There has to be some secret corner of her heart deep inside that knows that she is loved, that you have gone all the way there to be with her, even if she is unable to accept that love. It still will have to count for something for her, sometime, to have known that love even for a while.

    I know you know this, but it bears repeating: you truly cannot save them all yourself. You've done an amazing and wonderful job of parenting Nastia, helped her through such overwhelming obstacles and adversities, and she does have such a loving and kind heart. I full well expect you'll grow your family some more, and you'll provide a home and be a parent to at least one more child.

    And I'll continue to pray for Anya.

  14. Praying for Anya.....and for you too.


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