‘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, November 25, 2010

Making Russian National News....Again:)

This weekend Channel One Russia will run a feature news story on our time in Siberia. This will actually mark the 6th time we have appeared on the national news here...wish our story garnered as much attention in the US! As much as I loathe being on tv, it serves a great purpose, so I've always said yes, thus far. This time, I am hoping that adoption will be the focus and the need for Russian people to embrace the concept and idea of adoption the way Americans have.  The producer is of the same mind, I'm so lucky. Also, I don't mind being on tv over here, because Russian media people are incredibly kind and true to their word. If you tell them 'do not say this on camera' or 'please, could you mention the following?' -- they do! At least that has been my experience every time.

Today was the first day of filming, and it took place at the school. They filmed us rehearsing, an encore performance of the scenes, interviewed most of the students, the school staff, and me. It was a great day, and so wonderful to see the kids so excited to be on television. After the crew left, I stayed and was the guest of honor at a Thanksgiving Day Debate where the senior class students debated the pros and cons of celebrating the day. They knew their stuff!  They discussed the treatment of Native Americans by early Europeans, the value of the holiday in general, and many other finer points -- all in English! I was very impressed. Then I was asked to speak about the meaning of Thanksgiving for Americans. Can't tell you how meaningful this was for me, as Thanksgiving is also my Dad's birthday, and it was his favorite holiday, and he even wrote a book focusing on the first Thanksgiving!

The hardest part of the day was watching some of the students cry about my upcoming departure. It was very hard to keep it together, but I had promised myself I would not cry until I said goodbye to them for good - at the orphanage.

Did I mention 5 of them are coming with us to the orphanage? I'm so excited! And Channel One will be there filming all day. This afternoon they spent the day at the Ministry of Education discussing the hosting program we are starting in Prokopyevsk with Project 143. I believe all this attention will only help our endeavor.

Well, I need to go pack. We are bringing quite an array of things tomorrow, some of which I need to wrap very carefully tonight! Here's a partial list of what we are bringing on this final visit, thanks to the incredible generosity of many friends and blog readers:

  • Toilet paper for every single child. (The orphanage budget does not allow for TP, so we bought tons of it as a surprise!)
  • A Christmas tree
  • Lots of Christmas decorations
  • 400 photos to give out to all the kids and staff ( photos I have taken over the past several months)
  •  MANY Duplo blocks for the younger group
  • 5 more dolls
  • a computer camera ( for Skype)
  • 2 dvd players
  • a television for a group that does not have one.
  • several photo albums
  • 20 more inspiring movies (including Elf!)
  • a few last books to add to the 150  already bought for them.
  • Enough art supplies for every child
  • Some American treats to share after our big Feast -- m&ms, skittles, American cookies
  • TURKEY!!!!
My deepest and most humble thanks to every single one of you here, and on facebook, who contributed. For anyone who thinks a $5 donation does not make a difference...I beg to differ. With over 100 people contributing only $5, it was enough to cover the purchase of a tv and dvd player!

I promise to take hundreds of photos tomorrow and Saturday. Please keep us in your prayers, as these kids get to have the first Thanksgiving Feast of their lives, and are given a chance to meditate on the good things in their lives.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!


  1. Wonderful news and a great picture too. Did my box arrive yet? I hope so.

  2. Anonymous9:54 AM

    Happy Thanksgiving. You, your family, and all the children are in our prayers today. I am so thankful that the world has people like you!

  3. How you must gladden the Heart of God! You gladden mine!

    We'll all have to start saving now to send you back - at least by this time next year!


    If my little contribution bought them TP, I'm so glad - but be sure to teach them to use the little containers, not the toilet! Or your name will be anathema!

    When I was in Russia last time I watched a very pro-older child adoption program on TV. I suppose the media is trying to lead the country into a more enlightened frame of mind.

  4. My children and I are very happy that you are able to give these children the best Thanksgiving ever!! We are Thankful for you Keri!! Without you, this blessing would not happen. God bless you Keri and we hope you have a Great Thanksgiving!! ;-)

  5. Thanks everyone! and Odie, not yet...but no worries. If it doesnt arrive before I leave, my friend Svetlana is going to bring it to the orphanage herself:)

  6. Happy, happy Thanksgiving to you and to the children!!

  7. You are a wonder! Your goodness shines through and I'm certain your endeavors will be realized!

  8. this made my day!
    happy birthday to your dad -- you do him proud by doing for the children. i am sad i never got to meet him but i feel like i know him, through you.

    be blessed during the remainder of your trip.

  9. Happy Thanksgiving, Keri! Enjoy every minute of this day that is so special to you! Sending hugs from California!


  10. Sending you a huge hug from California! Happy Thanksgiving, one you will NEVER forget! I'm sure you Dad is watching you feeling oh so proud!

    Love, Donna

  11. What a wonderful gift you are giving them all. This year Thanksgiving has a special meaning for us. It's our 8th GOTCHA day for DS. Where does the time go? I hope and pray that all you are doing touches many many hearts, and the children will find their forever families.

  12. Anonymous8:09 PM

    This is sooo amazing! Svetlana is going to have two more packages to deliver soon, for we have nor mailed them yet, i told all my friends about you and my backpack is almost overflowing with presents for the orphans! you would not belive how geneous these 12 and 13 yar ols can be!!! socks, balls, toys, toilet paper, pens, notebooks, they tried to give books, but i told them that they might not be able to read them, because they are in english, can some of them read english? i sooo want to help as much as i can, keep on being awesome and inspiring!!!!!!!

  13. Keri, I hope the children have a wonderful feast! Will someone at the orphanage be notifying you as packages arrive? I'd love to know when mine get there.

  14. I will tell you I think it is a REAL BLESSING TV1 has been so kind to you. I can't say that was our experience.

    -Continuing to pray for you from the midwest!


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