‘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

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Last Call

So, for us the countdown begins. Only 29 more days here, and part of me is actually grieving that. I won't be grieving the loss of cigarette smoke or near-death experiences crossing the road or rivers of spit on the sidewalk. I won't be grieving the lack of smiles or  a diet of canned food or my two tv channels.

What I will be grieving however, is time spent with and access to the children of Detsky Dom #5.

I know I'm not their mom, but my heart feels sick when I think of leaving them -- so sick that this morning I can't stop crying for some reason. I've dreamt of going home all these weeks, and now, as I soon put two months under my belt, part of me doesn't want to go.

Last night I had a terrible dream. I was in a city, like this one, and I was walking the streets with Eva Longoria of Desperate Housewives  (don't know why). As we walked, I saw men grabbing children from parents, tossing them over their shoulder and running through the crowds, with the children screaming in terror with their faces towards me. Pudgy sweet faced toddlers, lithe and athletic teenagers -- all ages and sizes. I stood horrified as I realized that I could do nothing. There were dozens of these men and one of me. Eva saw my horror and said " Oh yeah, this has been a problem here for ages.... but we can't find anyone to do anything about it. They're too scared."

I woke up. I wept.

I know the dream is about the orphans here. My biggest fear is the number of them that will end up in the sex trade or prostitution, and in my dream I knew that was where they were headed. Right now, 'awake me' realizes that that is where many of these real children will be headed someday too, and I just want to die, the pain is so great.

Two friends wrote this week and thought they'd remind me that  "You can't save all of them". What a terrible thing to say. Is that supposed to make a person feel better? Does telling me that put your own guilt at ease? As long as I am alive I will act as if I CAN save all of them. Isn't that what God does? Can you imagine a God who says to Himself " Well, I can't save all of them.."

So, if you want to help me put a dent in their pain while I am here,  I invite you. I know I've likely turned alot of people off with my periodic reminders that there is a  donation button on my blog. I don't care. I honestly don't care if I am bad-mouthed or mocked for being so pushy. If I reach ONE person reading this who decides to:

1.Consider adoption when they never had before.
2. Send gifts or donations when they never have before
3. Commit to praying for these kids daily, when they never have before.

....then it is worth bugging the rest of you.

So, to explain the title of this post. I only have the next three weeks to visit the kids, and then I must start packing to go home. My DREAM is to make that last trip there close to Thanksgiving, and have a wrapped Christmas gift and card for EVERY SINGLE CHILD AND CARETAKER THERE.  The gift itself doesn't really matter so much...it's the fact that someone will have cared enough to give them one and took time enough to write them their own card.

If you wish to make a donation or can even share or repost this blog to others, I would be grateful beyond words. Nastia and I are going to buy the wrapping paper today in anticipation of an outpouring of donations. We only need $5 to buy a gift. And maybe 50 cents, if that, for a card. There is even enough time for you to send your own cards to me at my address that I can then pass on to the kids. You even have time to ship little gifts to me yourself (priority mail) and I will still have enough time to share them on my last visit there.

Sorry if I'm not too coherent in this post. I'm typing through tears, and am currently very aware of the brief time I have left here. Forgive the syntactical and spelling errors, too. I meant well.

Thank you for passing this word on. If each person reading this shares it with ONE person who can donate $5, I'll be good to go.

God bless you all. And may your hearts, too, break with the things that break His.


  1. Email me your address and I will get you some stuff in the mail. I know how you feel because i felt the same way back in 1970 when I had to leave Viet Nam and the orphanage I loved as well.
    odie_langley@yahoo.com or odie@qualityofficeequipmentinc.com
    God bless you for all you do.

  2. Hopefully u have received our donation...its the least we can do. You are a wonderful person and we look forward to continued readings of your journey. And yes.....you CAN change the world.

    Much love
    Randy and Maggie

  3. Sent a little donation for this worth project! Bless you for the idea and the work - I'd love to see pictures of the wrap-fest (I dunno why, but I love seeing presents being wrapped up!)

    **** You don't have to post this comment/you can delete the below from it if you want: ****

    Keri, I know your heart is breaking for these kids, but when someone says "you can't save them all" they are just trying to assuage your anguish, even if it's misguided or not really the best choice of words. They are trying to offer you something to help you in this intention, even if it doesn't help. I know that if I wrote to you with the best of *intentions* and then read on your blog that I'd said a terrible thing to you and was berated for it, I'd feel hurt. I see your point, but I immediately panicked and thought "was *I* one of the people who said that, or something like it? did I???" and that's not a positive, ya know? There is still a part of me that is worrying over what I've said in the past and if any of it was stupid or insensitive. I don't want to worry about that; I want to keep learning by your example and trust that even if I say something that wasn't well thought through that you'll still love me, too, and would rather educate me than assume I'm insensitive :-)

  4. I was serious about helping and I wanted you to know that I also put your site on my facebook and asked all my friends to go to your site and help as well. Hope it helps.

  5. Oh how sad, and your dream was very vivid. When you described it, I knew exactly what you were going to type as the meaning. It is so very much to bear.

    But do you remember the story of the Missionary Amy Carmichael? She was burdened for the children who were in the sex trade and were temple prostitutes in India.
    She grew up in America and was angry that she had not been born with blue eyes. God gave her brown eyes!
    Later, those brown eyes did her a huge favor, as she worked hard in India, ALONE to rescue children from temple prostitution. She lived there her entire life. Her story is a story of God having his hand on her all the way to the color of her eyes, and using a simple woman, to do His work.

    How about the Story of Glady's Aylred? She was turned down by the missionary board because she had not "talents"....
    She raised her own money and left poor and went to China! She wound up being of the most famous missionaries in China, ever. She was responsible for stopping the binding of feet of young girls in the province she lived in, and also founded a large orphanage and adopted many children.
    She was alone.

    But really neither were Alone. The Lord was with them. You just need a longer stay visa and a heavy coat!

  6. Keri, I just made a donation that should cover several gifts. Bless you for all you do for these children and their caretakers. I'm working on a box to ship out within a week. I have some nice gently worn jeans, lots of earrings and some other jewelry. I'll get out to Target hopefully tonight to get socks, some more jewelry, and other small items from your latest wish list. Is there some way I can find out that my box arrived, perhaps someone who can email me? Praying for you and the orphans. Mary

  7. Keri, I want to donate. Is the "Bring Anya Home" link being shared for orphanage donations? Let me know! xo

    p.s. I can't believe only 29 more days!!!!

  8. Anonymous8:20 AM

    I just sent a donation. If you would could you use half of it towards presents and maybe 1/2 towards some sort of food festivities for staff and kids.

    You are our messenger to the kids that are left behind.

    Much thanks

    Ann Nickinson

  9. I will paypal you some money, but thought I could mail you some cards- what is your address?

  10. God bless you all. And Leigh, point taken. you are right. I would feel bad if I read that too. Just my pain talking.
    So, here are the answers to the above questions:

    Odie - God bless you. I'll email you tonight before bed. Our personal address is:

    Keri and Nastia Cahill
    2 Vessenya Street
    650000 Kemerovo

    Christie...I hear you and THANK you for your confidence in me...( in HIM!)

    Mary, I'll ask if they can email you. THey just got internet, but none of them speaks or rights english and they keyboard is in Russian too, so I"m wondering how they will email..hmmm... But if you tell me Exactly what was in the box, I'll email the Director and ask her to let me know when THAT box arrives!

    Alexandra, if you add a note with your paypal donation saying it is for the orphanage, I will use it for that:)

    Ann.. I LOVE your idea! I'm thinkking of planning A big early Christmas party ( THanksgiving party??) before I leave I'll be SURE to use half for food! Hmmm...maybe I should offer to help plan a typical American THanksgiving!!!

  11. OOOPS! Hoonew, my addres is above...and THANK YOU!

  12. I am going to donate money for gifts for kids or caretakers from each person in my family. (There are 6 of us - I'll go to your paypal.) I'd love to be able to write cards or notes personally and mail them to you. If you have time, and access to this info., would you be willing to email me a list of 6 names/ages of the recipients so that we can personalize the cards? Does it matter if it's in English? I can't imagine Nastia would be able or have time to translate them all...I might be able to get a friend here to help me. Let me know what you think.

  13. Hi Keri --

    I will send another donation this morning via PayPal, and it will be for the orphanage. I'm hoping you can purchase 5 gifts and use the additional $ toward food for a celebration -- great idea. Keep doing the best you can. You will be a light in these children's memories forever.

    Jo Ann Silva

  14. I *think* I put a note on the donation, but regardless - you use it as you see fit. I donated in response to this post but I know you have many needs. If others' response takes care of the orphanage, use my donation as you see fit. My donations are *always* for your discretional use, Keri. Every need you have or perceive over there is a legitimate use of anything I have to offer.

  15. Hi Keri,
    I donated what I could, but wish it was so much more. My heart breaks for those children. They are so lucky to have you for their voice. I will donate more as soon as I possibly can.

  16. Keri, I sent enough for 10 gifts! Could you please make sure that one of the gifts goes to the girl who is teased because she is "Roma?" That would mean a lot to me.

    Thank you so much! Send pictures if you can and I'm so sorry that you had that terrible dream. On a silver lining note, that dream has definitely prompted many people to stretch themselves and do SOMETHING. (i.e. ME).


  17. Hi Keri-
    I donated money through PayPal. You can use it where it is needed the most! We would like to send cards too. Can you give us ideas on what kind of cards you would like for the kids.

    We are in the process of adopting two older kids (siblings - 10 and 14) from Estonia. You are an inspiration to all of us!! God Bless You, Nastasia, Daniel and Anya and all the children in the orphanages!!
    Best Wishes,
    (mom to Brett, Michael, and soon to A and O)

  18. Thank you for this news. I'll spread the word and, hopefully, a few people will take you up on this. I am shipping a box today on my lunch break. It's about 10 pounds. I'm not sure it will get there before you leave. I'm shipping it directly to the orphanage. Will look tonight for your address there and send some cards, too!

  19. Keri, if we send you signed cards, can we also include some used-but-nice kids clothes in one of those boxes where you pay the flat rate, for under 4 lbs? Are there any particular clothes that are particularly needed? Or things that are not needed? What is the youngest age at the orphanage? How fast does the 4lb box get there, and what is your final deadline? You have inspired me in many ways.

  20. Hi Keri, I just made a small donation--please use it however you think is best.

  21. HI Keri- You don't know me but I also made a very small donation to the orphanage fund. I would LOVE to help (more) the orphanage though and thought perhaps I could organize a gently used clothing drive here in Marblehead. I know so many parents who used to donate clothing to the Magic Hat Thrift Shop but cannot do so now b/c of liability laws. Can the orphanage accept gently used items? Where could I ship them to?
    Regards & prayers,
    Beth Coate

  22. Hi Keri, I've been reading your blog for awhile now, and would like to donate some gently used items to the orphanage (Barbie dolls, clothes, small stuffed animals), if that's ok? Everything is thoroughly cleaned and in very good condition. It's only a small parcel, but I would really like to help. Can I send it to you at the address you mentioned above?

  23. Beth and Lalie, Hi:)

    Beth -Yes, gently used clothing is ALWAYS welcome. Warmer clothing is best. You can ship directly to the orphanage. If you send me your email, i'd send you their direct address...or you can join the Facebook group called " I support the 100 children of Orphanage #5".

    Lalie-- Yes, they LOVE barbies!!! and stuffed animals too. Its probably best if you send it directly to the orphanage, because if there is any delay in shiping and it comes to my address, I may not get it.

    All the info you need can be found in the facebook group, if you are on facebook.

    THank you both!

  24. ooops! missed some questions!

    Hoonew, they can use clothing of aLL sizes from 2T upwards. Actually, even baby clothes are fine bc they share them with young mothers in the village.

    You can send items directly to the orphanage. Cards can come to me if they are sent priority. THey will get here in 14 days. Its too expesnive to ship a box priority, so its best to just ship it to the orphanage directly. It;ll takr 4-6 weeks to arrive. More like 6 weeks now that the holiday season is approaching!

  25. Made a donation to help bring them happy holidays! Brought the cause to the attention of a friend of mine, who did the same :)


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