‘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

Hey! Yes, You! READ THIS.

So many lessons being learned, it is hard to keep track of them all. It reminds me of being back in college -- but minus the good friends and beautiful surroundings. I guess this is more like spiritual bootcamp for me.

As painful and difficult as this journey is, I so wish that everyone in the world could have such an experience. Life-changing just doesn't seem to come close to describing it. Soul- changing, I guess, is more like it. It feels like every unimportant and inconsequential thing in my brain and heart is being burned away. Before I came this time, of course I had a heart for these kids and their suffering. But I still was thoughtless about my connection to it. The mindless dollars I spent on that extra cup of Starbucks coffee or that special brand of shampoo -- those dollars mean something here. I thought i knew that before, but now I see it in action and my heart breaks for all the wasted money that goes out into the world from our pockets for things that do not matter. People matter. Their suffering matters. 

And we have the power to alleviate it.

I don't care if you are a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist, or a Whirling Dervish -- all our religions call us to relieve the suffering of others. No, they don't call -- they demand! And if your religion didnt demand it, your heart should! How can we possibly not do it? My guess:  ignorance. If people could just see these kids, and feel their pain, most would do something. And that is why I am here I think. God is using my weakness (my outspoken-ness and anger) to get the word out. He knows, if nothing else, I  know how to rage and rant and He knows that I don't shut up when I'm angry.

Guess what? I'm angry. I'm angry that the world doesn't stop in it's tracks for these kids. I'm angry that so many people sit on the fence. So many good people! I have friends right now whom I know read my blog and have not responded or sent a dime, and yet I know they are good people. What makes them stay silent? What makes them so numb as to not respond to this travesty?

I truly believe in my heart of hearts that one day we will stand before something, someone greater than ourselves who will ask that same question of us. Why? I told you about them.  Why did you not help them?  I want to stand ready with an answer. I want to say that I spent everything I had helping these children.

Here they are -- beautiful souls like your own children -- and they are stuck in this place. They have nothing but what you send them. They have no one but the revolving caretakers who do their best to love them. Don't be a voyeur. What an ugly word that is. Instead, move. Move your indifference, move your complacency, move move move your body and mind and heart to do something. The reward is beyond your wildest imaginings.


  1. Yeah . . . I get furious when people say, "I'd be happy to adopt if I had $45,000 sitting in the bank." Umm, get off your rear and get moving. When we set out to adopt from Russia we had precisely less than $3,000 sitting the bank. We were POOR by American standards, driving two old ratty vehicles with thousands and thousands of miles on them, and living with two children in a 14 by 70 trailer. God called us to a specific child with special needs that no one else wanted. She has blessed our home for the last 5 years, and we are now in pursuit of another 5 year old that no one else seems to want either in a neighboring country. Also special needs. We are a bit better off now than we were then--but still poor by American standards. That's OK--we are fundraising, pinching pennies till they scream and determined to give another child a home and love! As long as we can get approved to adopt, there's room for one more . . .--and once we no longer can be approved, we'll help in other ways!

  2. Amen, Hope Anne! Money is an excuse. I was only making $30,000 a year as a single mom when I adopted Nastia. I saved for years and worked extra teaching jobs to pay for my adoption. But also, not everone can adopt...but there is sO MUCH ELSE you can do to support these kids!!!

    I dont have a PENNY to my name for Daniel's adoption, but I'm not worried one bit. You and I both know, if you say YES to a child god calls you to, He will provide ways for the money to come. Its amazing to watch. I look forward to seeing how God helps me to raise the funds I need for Daniel!

  3. I applaud you both for answering God's call to adopt - you have been blessed with not only that call but clearly with the right skills for the children you have been led to adopt.

    We are called in different ways to minister to these children and to answer other human suffering throughout the world and our neighborhoods and families. Some people do seem to not even try to hear what they are called to do, it's true. But do remember that you cannot tell what God has called others to do. Maybe what they are called to do is not in the realm visible to you or me. Maybe what they are capable of now is deep prayer, or carrying the example you are setting to a closer, more in-front-of-their-eyes need, in their own lives or in their community.

    There's one friend I have who doesn't have much in the way of financial resources, but I've been stymied that in his family they can't seem to scrape together $25 to donate to these kids. But while I was busily judging, I realized I have no idea of what invisible effect they may be having; I have no idea what personal struggles they may be contending with in their own family. Maybe something is happening inside of some people reading this blog that is a beginning for them...maybe the next time the church has a service day they will participate; maybe the next time they see a donation jar of one sort or another they will find some change...maybe next time they will take a step toward effecting joy that they would not have thought of taking before.

    I'm not called to adopt right now. I listened this morning and knew I was not, though part of sort of wishes I were. It would not be what that child needs, and it would not be what my own troubled child needs.

    There's an even bigger picture here, I think. You're seeing the suffering of these kids and it's breaking your heart, I know - and you know there are so many more of them out there, too. But you also know suffering and pain and fear and loneliness are all over this planet. One thing I was led to do recently was write to a former professor of ours who is in a rehabilitation hospital - not a quick note typed up on the computer, not just a signed card, but I sat down and hand-wrote a real, old-fashioned letter. Because I was led to do it in that way for this person's pain. I may have been more open to listening to that need and responding to it by the living examples of selflessness I see in others.

    Like you :-)

    So, you see, people here might indeed be making changes in the lives of those who are in need, whether great or small. While it's a wonderful thought to empty out that entire orphanage through this particular network, I also enjoy the image of a sometimes creeping, sometimes swiftly moving spreading outward of care and good works...imagine a map, with every reader of this blog a pinpoint of light on it. You can imagine a river of light flowing to Siberia, but can you also imagine that light radiating outward, maybe slowly or in little rivulets, from each and every pinpoint on the map? And maybe one pinpoint of light trickles a little ways away from themselves and so strikes another life that it becomes it's own pinpoint, and starts radiating..and so, little by little, we fill the world with light.

    I have no idea if that made sense! XOXOXOXO

  4. Leigh, it does make sense...but I am writing to a very specific group of people. I couldnt sleep all night bc I was feeling " called" to write this. Didnt want to, but was urged to. I KNOW how many people reading this blog are doing AMAZING AMAZING things...here and elsewhere. I know we each have our unique calling, but I ALSO know there are TOO MANY who have been called who are either afriaid or lazy about responding.Today I was asked to talk to them, and I did :)

    I certainly am not expecting evdryone to adopt, or everyone to help these particular 100 children.


    I know there are some who have been asked to help and CAN help and HAVENT. I even know MANY who wrote me ages ago saying " I am sending a donation!" and didnt. I know how easy it is to be lulled into inactivity. I'm an American too, after all. The ease of our life is a two -edged sword. I'm glad for the reminder of how easy we have it.

  5. I find your blog to be an amazing journey of an amazing person. As we sit here in our empty hotel room in Vladivostok,Russia waiting to pickup our little girl, your blog brings me to tears. We understand the plight and the calling of orphans. We applaud your effort. We live in Connecticut, so are like neighbors! Keep your journey alive and the rest will fall into place. Much love....

    Randy and Maggie

  6. Hi Keri,
    Thanks for the kick in the butt! I made a donation just now. Please use your discretion as to a need you feel was overlooked. Thank you for your time in Russian.

  7. YOu are on an amazing journey. I hope so much that we can adopt again. Please keep it up! It will make a difference! Unfortunately Klaire has only sold 1 book, but that is 10.00 that she can send your way for them! Good thoughts your way!


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