‘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, December 10, 2010

Still Struggling

yes, the disparity is that great.
I'm making a brave effort. The bravest, in fact. I wake up about 4:30am still and spend a good few hours praying, reading scripture, saying the rosary, and just listening to God. I knew re-entry would be hard and I'd need to lean on God even more heavily than I had been. But even with all this time devoted to prayer, there is still a part of my heart deeply grieving over what I left behind and what I arrived to.

I had to go food shopping again today. I had put it off for days because I knew it would trigger some sadness. It is just so difficult to see so much abundance when you've seen the way others must live every single day of their lives.The injustice of it is simply impossible for me to wrap my mind around. And on top of  that,  it's Christmas....

I'm doing all I can during Advent to make Christmas about 'Christmas' and not presents and shopping-mania and 'things', but it is everywhere you look. My daughter, of course, embraces the materialism of our current times with two hands. After a life of such poverty, she is still grappling with wanting everything she sees. We are in two different worlds right now, me and my daughter. I try to share true Christmas with her, but its best to share it with my actions, not my words.

We haven't bought a tree yet. As maudlin as it sounds, I keep thinking of what that $50 will do for Orphanage #5 and I can't bring myself to buy one. I'm sure I'll cave as we get closer, but right now it feels like an offense, or even a betrayal, to buy one. I just can't do it.

And speaking of betrayal, I'm hurting for another reason, too. I can't post the details because it wouldn't be fair to this friend, despite the way she chose to treat me, but suffice it to say that a person I held as a very dear friend has done something pretty horrible to me, with full knowledge of my situation. Not only did she take money from me that was not hers to take, she did so when I was away and unable to do anything about it. She did far more than just this, but the hurt stems from the fact that I trusted this person like family. And she took advantage. And I'm grieving like someone has died today. I will never understand her actions. I will miss her friendship dearly, but I guess it was a one-sided friendship to begin with if she felt she could take advantage of me like this. Just praying for the pain to go away.

On a good note, I am slowly working through my paperwork for D. I've hit a few snags already, but I am not letting them get the better of me. He deserves to be home as soon as possible, so that means I have no time to be frustrated. I just need to hand it to God and move forward. And small blessings -- I dreamt of D last night and he was here, and the whole dream was just my cuddling and mothering him and him laughing and so happy. I wait for that day...


  1. Feel free to come to our yard and chop down a scraggly white pine Charlie Brown style tree- the price is right!

  2. So sorry for the pain you are going through.
    Do you have an Adoration chapel in your town? Go to Jesus. He will heal you. Give it to Him.

    Stay close to the Sacraments. During hard times, this always helps me. Through anything.

    You will always go away stronger.

  3. I'm so sorry that someone has violated your trust... that is the worst feeling.

    In regards to a tree - one Christmas in college, I gathered (ok, stole) tree branches laying on the ground at a supermarket tree lot. I tied them together and stuck them in a bottle. Then I made tiny doves and stars out of white paper, along with with a tiny paper chain. It was one of the cutest trees ever!

    There are tons of blogs full free crafty ideas for the holidays... perhaps keeping fingers busy will stave off some of the "gimmmees"?

  4. I am sorry about your supposed friend. Hang in there with your reentry it will get better. My advice on the tree is put it up for Nastia. Having lost a child and knowing how hard it is out up that tree and get in the spirit you need to do it for the child you do have here who wants to celebrate. I leave tomorrow to go pick up my daughter from St Pete. Hopefully I will return on the 23rd. As I slept last night I kept wondering about Anya. How is she doing since you left? Good luck with Daniel's dossier.

  5. oh my goodness I am SO excited to find your blog and have spent the last few evenings reading over your posts from Russia.

    I spent 10 days in Ukraine last year in orphanages and have stayed committed to helping orphans in Eastern Europe from my home here Cambridgeshire, England. I have collected loads of clothing, toys and toiletries but have failed to find a good way to get them sent over. I was so excited to see on your blog that care packages from the USA had reached Russia safe and sound. I'd love to send some clothing over to the orphanage you support. Please tell me how, and if there's anything not to send, any weight restrictions etc. I would love to help in any way I can.

  6. I meant to leave my email address sezi_k(at)yahoo com (changed a bit so I don't get spammed)

  7. Follow Jamie's advice and hang in there girl.

  8. On the tree issue, here is a neat solution. Buy a live tree and plant it when you are done. You should be able to get or order an ever green including the root ball. The Christmas tree represents life and remembering this year seems to me something important to you. In future years you (Nastia and Daniel) can together decorate the tree when it's outside. As far as gifts, there's nothing wrong with an austere Christmas. Sometimes, it's what the soul requires. A suggestion on Christmas morning is to go to a hospital or shelter with friends with someone wearing that Santa suit you bought in Russia and sing to them.

  9. (((husgs))) So sorry about your friend's betrayal. 'Hope you and Nastia can find a way to celebrate the Christmas season that feels right for both of you. 'Lots of good suggestions by others. Take care.
    Maria (Canada)

  10. Hugs to you. I'm sending you my thoughts that you will find the strength to get through this.

  11. This made me think of you:



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