‘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

Friday, October 15, 2010

Worst 48 hours of my life

Only have 5 minutes to post. The hotel concierge at the Sokos is letting me use her computer. The Russian Consulate Helsinki puts the NYC one to shame. It was a day of utter awfulness. I have never cried for so long, so hard and so deeply in my life. (Those of you who know me know what that means.) I can´t type the whole awful story right now, but it involved me vomiting from stress and grief at the consulate. It also involved being told I was stuck here for 10 days. It also involved hearing that my two girls left their accommodations in St Petersburg after a terrible altercation with their host, and a night wandering St Pete and me not knowing if they were safe.

I will never ever trust the Russian Consulates ANYWHERE ever again. I am sick from crying all night...headed to the Consulate to stand outdoors in freezing temps & in the rain for 2 hours before they open. Every Russian Consulate I have ever been to treats their people like animals. I will never understand it.It makes me sick.

PLEASE pray that I will find a way back to St Pete very fast and will see my girls before nightfall. Please pray for my peace of mind as I think I have lost it. Must go.

UPDATE: It is 1:30pm and I am at an internet cafe in downtown Helsinki called Mbar. I got the visa...no thanks to the Consulate, but to MONEY talking...

I am taking the 3:30pm train to Saint Petersburg, It's a nine hour trip because of the long stops at both borders. I get into St Pete at a few minutes before 11pm...plus the time change.

The girls returned to the apartment, which I credit to prayer, as I laid prostrate on the hotel floor and begged God to give the girls the humility to return there. I don´t want to discredit Alex´s mom, because she is a wonderful woman, but she suffers from Alzheimer's very obviously, and Nastia did not understand her behavior. So when she was saying horrible things to Nastia about being an orphan, Nastia took it to heart. I was not there to explain that she has no control over what she is saying. Poor Nastia, Alex´s mother found the one thing that would outrage Nastia...an anti-miracle of sorts.

My friend Brian, God Bless Him, called Anya´s number incessantly until he reached her. I then got to speak to Nastia after a night of horrible worry. Brian held his phone up to his cllphone so we could talk. GTG as my internet time is up.... more from St Pete.... Prayers ALWAYS welcome...


  1. Anonymous12:17 AM

    My prayers are with you! My heart goes out to you!

  2. I was really hoping this would be a better experience than NYC. I hope the next 48 hours brings joy instead of pain. I will pray specifically for the girls' safety until I know you are with them again (after which I know they'll be safe). Hopefully you've found beauty in Helsinki even if you could find none at the Russian Consulate.

  3. I'm speechless for what you are having to go through -- but finding the words of prayer to get you through this and reunited with your girls.

    Many blessings to you,

  4. Anonymous3:51 AM

    Praying for you!

  5. I don't have the words to say how sorry I am to know you have had to experience this pain. All of us will be praying for your girl's safety and for you my friend. God bless you.

  6. I am not a prayer kind of person but I'm saying them for you. Hang in there!

  7. Anonymous6:19 AM

    Oh Keri.. how horrible! I am so sorry the past few days were hell on earth!!!! It is over now, you will be reunited soon... deep breaths :) I am so thankful for Brian as well!

  8. Keri, I thank God that you got your 3-month visa and that part of the puzzle is behind you. And I thank God that your girls returned. I am so sorry that happened.

    My prayers are with all of you. Hang in there!

  9. i'm so relieved to know they returned. i told nastia that she was probably misinterpreting alex's mom's bluntness and russian-ness.

    she said the cutest thing "Chris, she's not all the way crazy, she is PART-TIME crazy."

    Part time crazy is my new favorite thing.

    I wanted to her to go back (you know your mom would want you to) or go to one of the youth hostels (i told her to have them call ME and i would pay for it over the phone).

    so relieved this is almost over and you are soon to be with them. i have been sick to my stomach for 24 hours...

  10. So the message of this is: If you need a passport, save the tears and pass the vodka? UGH... how corrupt.

    So glad the girls made it back safely. How awful for poor Nastia to hear those words. Our neighbor is sufferening from althiemers, or Oldtimers, I'm really not sure which, but she can get down right MEAN.... most of the time, as adults, we handle it fine, but there have been days where she has really gotten under my skin and hurt my feelings...and I'm an adult. I can't imagine Nastia's buttons being pushed like that in such a precarious situation. :(


  11. I didn't see this post until after you'd posted the update, but you guys are still in my prayers!

    Hugs and prayers,
    Mary in TX

  12. Oh wow! So glad that things are working out.

  13. Good, Heavens, Keri! I'm so glad for the update, or I'd be so upset I don't think I could go on with my work.

    I think money is supposed to talk at those places; that's why we had such great adoption coordinators in Russia. A retroactive THANK YOU to Irina, Andrei and Vladimir who "know their way around"! I am oblivious enough that I would STILL have been crying on the floor, because I'd never have thought of money.

  14. My prayers are with you, as always. This too, shall pass. God loves you. Pray without ceasing.

  15. Glad they are safe - know that so many prayers are being given for you all, for strength, hope and peace.

  16. I'm so sorry for all the heartache you have had to endure. Glad you were able to speak to the girls and they are safe. Praying for safe travel and a happy reunion!

  17. I'm sorry, but from every thing I know from my handful of Russian friends, money is really the only way to get things done in Russia . . . with a very few exceptions.

    Glad to hear that the girls came back . . and that you are heading back to them!

  18. OMG - what a nightmare. happy to hear that you received the visa and i am praying you get to the girls quickly and are set at peace. take care

  19. I wish I could help you and your girls! I would!

  20. Please know that that there are prayer warrior moms out here lifting up you, Nastia and Anya. No matter how crazy life gets or how WRONG governmental agents treat you, know that the Lord our God is TOTALLY in command and He hears your cries (and the cries of us here). Blessings!

  21. Our prayers and big hugs are being sent your way for you and your girls!! I hope all things are better tomorrow!! Stay strong like a Momma Bear!!

  22. You poor thing. You are so brave...so, so brave.
    Will pray for you and your girls.
    Will pray for peace.

  23. OMG Keri...I hope by the time I am posting this comment the girls are safe with you again...

  24. Oh, Keri, I am so sorry for what you are going through. Praying for you ALL!

    When you are able to be back on the computer, please consider visiting this blog for an amazing and beautiful post about the suffering in adoption that brings parents closer to Christ--it seems near your own heart, and hopefully will encourage and strengthen you:
    A Song Almost Heard

    And if you want a beautiful song to listen to, please pull up Tracy Chapman youtube video "remember the tinman."

    love, blessed

  25. I am so glad that it worked out.

  26. Can you reach out to "Kate" in St. P? Maybe she knows someone, maybe she can help. She's certainly on your side. Prayers & Peace to you all.

  27. Happy to hear everyone is safe. I'm sure if you had a handful of unmarked crisp 100 dollar bills things would go so much smoother. (sorry for the sarcasm) That's the Russian way. Expecting customer service from the Russian government is like trying to make donkey's fly. Stay safe, stay low, and hang in there.

    God Bless,

    The Murray's


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