‘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

Monday, December 13, 2010

Finding It Difficult

 I haven't wanted to write at all since we've come home. Even these words , I am pushing out onto virtual paper because really, I don't want to write. It's easier to keep everything in and not think about all that has me sad, especially during this Advent season. But today I took the time to catch up on the blogs I read, and several women were sharing the sadness they are experiencing right now -- one from a failed adoption, another from a foster child being reunified with her birth family, another with her two beloved children still trapped in an orphanage -- all moms grieving like me.

Last night Nastia cried in my arms until she fell asleep. She is so sad about her sister, and worries that she'll never see her again. ON top of that, she worries that when D finally comes home to us ( God-willing), that he will 'steal' me away from her. It is also just dawning on her that  being eighteen changes things for her in many ways. She hates change.

And I so I held her and comforted her, and the whole while I was thinking how can I possibly comfort her when I am so sad myself? Guess that's just the grace of motherhood at work -- sometimes we have to give despite our own emptiness. And it's not that I am without hope. I do have hope, but it's just that the weight of so many sorrows just gets heavy sometimes and I need to "feel' it before I can move beyond it. This is one of those times.

My heart is grieving about Anya. The sense of failure in my inability to bring her home is really sinking in this week. I try to put her suicide threats out of my mind, but they come to the surface sometimes and I get really scared. I feel like such a failure to her. Even being there for her in person for three months did not accomplish what I had hoped. she needs a mom -- not money or a job or an apartment -- but a mom. I had paid for a month's extra rent on our apartment so she could remain there, but she only lasted two days before being kicked out. Now she is homeless again, and moving from couch to couch, and I look at our couch and think, 'Why in God's name can't she be HERE?' I can't even ponder it anymore. It hurts my brain.

And D --I speak to him every other day and he is so scared I am not coming back. And he is getting a little bullied by the older boys. I left him with a photo album filled with photos of us, our home, our town, family, friends, etc. I found out yesterday that most of the photos have been stolen by the older boys, and he is too afraid to ask for them back. So he asked if I could send him a second album, identical to the first. He asks if I could just come for New Year's Day, and I try to explain to him how expensive that is and how I need to use every penny for his adoption. But he is just a little boy. He wants his mom, and he doesn't understand what the hold up is.

And Dasha...I am sooo grateful she was able to host again, and is arriving tonight. But I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that today is particularly hard. Nastia cried for an hour about it. I just tried to pray and hand the pain over to God. At least with Dasha, I know that she is safe and happy and will be for a lifetime, I believe. but right now Anya and D do not have that. D waits in an orphanage, and Anya waits on the streets. It's just not fair.

So, forgive me. I'll go back to my jolly self in a few days, but today I just need to allow the sadness to just be.

I know I'm not alone. I know that millions of people grieve a hundred thousand different losses at any given moment. As sad as that is to ponder, there is a comfort in it too. We are all in this together. And, I believe, there is a very real happy ending waiting for us after all the pain. It's just a long wait.


  1. Hang in there, Keri. I know you're doing absolutely everything you can and I have total faith that things will work out for you. You're an inspiration and countless people love you. Please remember that during this difficult time.

  2. Keri, big hugs. Your feelings are valid and all I can suggest is that you lay them at the Lord's feet and trust that He will get you all through. Thinking of you.

  3. Yep, hang in there Keri and I feel that everything will work out. Just takes time. Even though impatience kicks in too often.

  4. My heart is heavy for you in all these difficult stories. To think that the very children who enjoyed your gift of company, Christmas gifts and a Thanksgiving dinner now make Daniel uneasy is very disheartening.

    Thankfully children are resilient. I can understand his fear. I can understand that for him, a week is like a month. I remember time stood still for me as a child and I had a happy upbringing. In the end you'll see each other again.

    Are they going to count your first trip to to Russia therefore only requiring you to go 2 more times for the adoption? Just keep retelling all the happy stories. The best one is that you went to Russia in the first place. He has to stay focused on that and his school work. Tell him all else can be replaced and that no child can take away the fact that you'll be back, that he just has to believe.

    For Nastia, love isn't finite, but rather it grows as people come into our lives. It never gets divided among those we love. We just get more.

  5. Of course the other kids are somewhat envious of Daniel. How could that not be the case? Sergei got harassed a bit when he was waiting for us to come and get him, but he's told me that, even at only ten years old, he was able to put it all together and realize that HE WAS GETTING OUT; that there was an end in sight.

    Regarding the photos... a friend went to get her daughter from the orphanage, and walking through the dorm she saw HER photo pinned above a child's bed - NOT her child's bed. Her new daughter told her that kids had asked for the photos because they wanted to pretend they were photos of THEIR family.

  6. Oh, Annie has a great point that leads to an interesting idea--could families who are interested "adopt" a child, promising to support them in prayer and cards and the occassional gift, just like a "Compassion" child would? I wonder how the kids would understand that, to know that there was someone specific out there who could not adopt them but who cared about them--with a photo of this person/family to hang above their beds who was truly "theirs" in a sense? Please let me know if you think this is a good idea--I can think of a few families who might be interested in doing this, if you thought it was a good thing. : )

    I type this after reading your wonderful update, with all the answers and encouragement God delivered for you. but anya. . . Oh, that one hurts. all the others seem to have good things on the horizon. . . you poor mama.


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