‘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

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


I promised a post about the amazing Thanksgiving Feast and I haven't done it yet. Sorry. My heart is just so heavy, I need time to adjust before I can post about it and  do it justice. It was the best Thanksgiving I have ever had, and it's not fair to its' memory to write about it when my heart is so burdened.  No need to try to comfort me with comments, though they are of course always appreciated. it's just that this pain is only something God can heal. And I have no doubt He either will heal me of it, or use it for His greater purpose.

I wish I could tell you all it's great to be home now that I am here, but I would be lying. I am walking around my house like a stranger, asking myself over and over how I ever accumulated so much stuff. Wondering outloud why I was chosen to be so blessed? I don't deserve it. Those 100 children I left behind do. They are blameless. They are exquisitely beautiful creations of God who suffer needlessly in a world that has MORE than enough to share with them. Why?

Why why why why why??? I could fill up a thousand pages with the word 'why' right now.

Why does Polina wake up every morning and dress herself in dirty, hole-ridden stockings and a stained old sweatshirt two sizes too big? Why does Danil sleep on a mattress that  feels like a rock and wake to shouting older boys fighting over who gets to wear the nice pair of socks that day? Why do the older girls find any bit of crayon or soot or anything with color to make up their faces for school? Why must they eat kasha every morning of their lives? Why do they get fruit only when I bring it? Why do so many of them rock themselves to sleep at night like my Nastia still does? Their needs are huge. Their poverty is real. God has blessed our country with so much, and I believe He did so that we may learn to share it with others, not hoard it for ourselves.

The past few months have been a joy of epic proportions, because I was able to witness firsthand what just a few thousand dollars can do to transform the daily life of these kids. A few thousand dollars. I'm sure Paris Hilton spends at least that every day on clothing. I've seen dinners in New York city cost as much. Where are our priorities as a nation? Why can't we get it right?

All I know is I am not even going to waste my time whining about it anymore. The minutes of my life are precious. I will no longer waste them on anything but what He calls me to. And He has called me to care for these 100 children in any way I can. I know I cannot adopt all of them, but I can do much. I can send them cards and letters, I can send them care packages, I can pray for them every night, I can call them, I can improve my Russian for them, I can go without luxuries for them, I can go without new shoes or make-up or clothing for them, I can do what Mother Theresa said " Love Until It Hurts."

Today I called D and Ksusha. They were at school during break. The squeals of delight brought other orphanage kids running, and they all gathered around the phone and talked to me " We miss you!"  and "Come back sooner!" and " tell people about us!" and other things that would make you just cry. I told them all that I loved them and would be back as soon as I was able, and that in the meantime I intended to get people to write them and keep sending things. Natasha asked " Are there other people like you in America?"
Of course there are, I said. " Then why did only you come? When will others come?" I didn't have an answer. I told her I had to think about it.

And I talked to them for 15 minutes while they waited for the non-orphanage kids to eat their lunches. ( The orphanage kids are not fed at school because they do not have the funds to pay for it. So, they just stand in the hallways and wait for the other kids to eat before they can go back to class. They must wait till 3pm when they get home.)

I have grand schemes, wonderful ideas that are percolating in my mind about these children -- ways to help them and ways to make them feel their own worth.  Please spread the word about my endeavor. I cannot do anything without a great deal of help. Therefore, more readers equal more $5 donations equal more help for these kids. I want to create a non-profit, but I need to get Daniel's paperwork done first. Just know I do know that is the next step.

In the meantime, you can help by praying  that our hosting program will be approved, and maybe start thinking about hosting one of these children over the summer. As you know, I have partnered with Project 143 to bring many of them over this summer. We will hopefully be able to post info and photos on the children in March, and hosting will happen in late June or early July. Your prayers for these children  are treasures to me.


  1. Wow girl what a post today. I feel your pain and trust that God will, as the song goes, make a way where there seems to be no way. I will try to communitcate with the children too. Hopefully there will be someone who can translate my letter.

  2. Anonymous7:45 AM

    Good to hear you got back safely albeit not happily. What strikes me when reading your last posts are a couple of things. Russia is a strange and mysterious place given that there are more billionaires in Moscow than any other city in the world while they allot less than a penny a day for their orphans. Our global concerns as a society are very screwed up. Jane Aronson is not only my daughter's peditrician but also my friend. She is a testiment to how one person can surely make a difference. After visiting orphanages all over the globe she knew she had to do something and that is when she came home and started her non profit WWO (World Wide Orphans). This organization has grown and had a positive affect on the lives of so many, She has opened AIDS hospitals, started schools, libraries and camps throughout the world. My point is with a vision and passion one person can move mountains.
    Good luck and with the aid of so many of us you too can make a difference.



  3. They don't eat lunch?!

    THANK-YOU for bringing these children to our collective conscious. THANK-YOU for caring so much.

    Hugs to you. I know that being home must be very hard for you right now.

    I would love to help you help these kids in any small way. Keep us all posted on how we can do that!!!

  4. keri - how much does it cost to feed a child lunch at school for a year- please advise and take care

  5. Of course one of the saddest things, is that I read about your children, but my HEART goes out perhaps even more to the children I left behind - at the Interdom, in Shuya, at #2.

    Four Russian children and four different orphanages that grab my heart.

  6. Hi Keri, I follow your blog we both deal with adoption and RAD kids. I tried to friend you on facebook but I dont think you knew who I was. Nelly Morhain Grimes. I am soo moved by your trip. I would like to help out at what ever I could.

  7. Keri, I mentioned you in my post today and linked.
    I pray that you get back to your new home soon!

  8. You are truly a hero to 100 kids and I admire what you've done for them and for what you've shared with us during the months you were there and the life you're adjusting to now.


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