‘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

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Sometimes, There Isn't A Happy Ending

I've been avoiding this blog. Haven't even stopped by to look at my blog-feed lately. I've been quite down, and it's hard to think of writing when you're in the dark. Who wants to read someone else's whining and groaning? But today it's getting the better of me and I know there are a few souls out there who are in a better space right now and can offer my heart some words of wisdom.

I positively hate that money can hold us back from being able to do what's important sometimes. I've gotten pretty good a living a very frugal life, and I like it that way...most of the time. But sometimes, I get really jealous of those with better means. I really do. Like right now -- Anya is sad and wanting me with her. I had told her we'd be there in February, and then March..and now it's April. She feels like once again, someone has promised something but not delivered. I hate that this time it's me, and that money so often holds me back these days. I told her I would send her $100 this coming Friday, but she doesn't even want me to. 'I just want you, Mama.' Could my heart possibly break anymore than it has? Yes, it seems it can.

Katya and Anya, in the shed she often sleeps in.

For the last two months she's been relatively stable and it's taken a mountain of guilt and worry off my shoulders. I was able to breathe again, and for the first time in six years, I was feeling like maybe she'd be ok. Maybe that three months of us living over there healed something in her. Maybe my failure to bring her home was not the biggest failure of my life...maybe she'd actually be ok. But it's just not so. And I feel like such a broken record when I write about Anya. I feel like I am turning people off, because, well, it has been six years of non-stop familial agony laid bare. But I have to unburden my heart tonight.

I'm so sad, so very very sad. I want to know why God hasn't answered my prayers. I want to know why six years of sacrifice, ceaseless prayers, endless pounding on political doors, non-stop letter-writing, weeping for hours on end, giving up countless personal dreams and dreams for my at-home daughter....why are these not enough? I believe in a God for whom nothing is impossible, so I wonder what I have done or failed to do that He hasn't brought Anya home to us? is it His will that she remain alone, homeless, poverty-stricken..separated from her sister and a mom that loves her?

I've had hundreds of people tell me over the years that I just 'need to trust', 'be faithful', or 'don't give up hope!'. I know these people mean nothing but good, but these things repeated over and over do nothing to comfort me or heal my or Anya's heart. Some days, like today, it becomes nearly unbearable.

sisters belong together.

The other night I had a rare night out with two of my favorite students. It was doubly wonderful because we were going to see my favorite play, and we were seeing it at my alma mater. It was a rare night out for me, and I enjoyed almost every minute of it. But not all of it.

In six years I have been unable to truly, completely and unbashedly enjoy anything, because I have Anya fixed in the center of my heart, and when I enjoy anything, I cannot help but remember that she isn't here. Then the guilt sets in. The other night, seeing The Winter's Tale, had me weeping in the dark of the theatre because the play is so hopeful, and I had a rush of joy infuse me, and I imagined that the statue of Hermione come to life was me, embracing Anya. For those few minutes of mother and daughter reunited on stage, I felt almost certain I would experience such a perfect and permanent reuniting with Anya. But no. Experience speaks otherwise.

Nastia has been missing her sister alot lately. She calls her nightly but doesnt always get through. This week she tried four nights in a row, and then curled up in my arms defeatedly at 4am that last night, and cried. 'She's just not answering, mom. but I need her to...'

So today, Nastia tried again and reached her, but the joy was short-lived. 'Mom, she sounds so sad.' Nastia whispered while holding the phone. And she was right, she did. We tried everything to coax out of her what was wrong, but I knew in my heart what it was anyway. The pain of separation doesn't go away.

'I just want you here, Mama. Don't send anymore money. Just come.'

At the orphanage, D is faring better because the Director is able to comfort him and reassure him. When he comes to her thinking I have changed my mind about adopting, she explains to him very carefully about the paperwork. But for Anya, there is no comforting presence to reassure her. She is still a child drifting from house to house, friend to friend, waiting for the ground to stop shaking beneath her. And here I am, thousands of miles away trying to fix things with my bootless prayers and band-aid phone calls. I want to give up, not on Anya, but on all the pain. I didnt sign up for this -- a story without a happy ending.

Stories are supposed to have happy endings, especially the ones about orphans with lifetimes of abuse and neglect. This story doesn't even have an ending at all. It's just one long whimpering cry to the universe that echos into infinity. No resolution. No comfort.

No end.


  1. Love. All I can offer is love.

  2. I wrote a long thing and then deleted it...2 Cor 6:4-10. I'll email you later...but in the meantime know that I am with you in the struggle to live my life with joy and sorrow side-by-side. (((HUGS))) and prayers, my friend. Call or email any time.

  3. Anonymous8:19 PM

    My heart is with you Keri. I know that it's not enough, but I'm hoping that it's something. I too always wonder why God doesn't say, "yes" to some prayers that seem so obvious to me that He would.


  4. Big hugs Keri. Love ya.

  5. My heart groans without words for your situation. : (

    God must be planning something bigger, better, even if we never know what it is until we see the Big Picture from heaven. But that is absolutely no consolation for your pain and weariness.

    He is Good. He is Love. He has called you to Love, which you are doing. He has called you to sacrifice for Love, which you are doing. Yes, keep seeking Him, and inquiring of Him. Maybe He will give you the desires of your heart. Or maybe He will give you insight, or peace.

    I'll be praying for all of the above.

    love from afar,

  6. Do you think it's possible that your struggle to bring Anya home was to lead you D? Would you have been traveling to the orphanage as much if you had both your girls home? Hold on to your hope and push through--you'll get where you need to be when it's time.

  7. (((hugs))) albiet "virtual", and prayers.

    'Glad to see you blog is back!

    Maria (Canada)

  8. I have no words that could even being to touch what you are going thru. Please know I check often to see how you are doing, and you & all your children are in my prayers.

  9. Pray to St. Jude!
    Maria (Canada)

    O most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus -- People honor and invoke you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, for I am so helpless and alone. Please help to bring me visible and speedy assistance. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (state your request) and that I may praise God with you always. I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

  11. I've never posted here, though I've been an occasional reader for awhile now. I came from facebook, through Christine G. I know this was posted awhile ago, but some words are better late than never.
    "Some things you do for money, and some you do for fun, but the things you do for LOVE will come back to you one by one" -The Mountain Goats
    In all the reading of your blog and following the situation going on with Anya, I know one thing for certain and that's that you have an amazing capacity for love. These things that you're doing, the hard times you go through, they are not in vain. <3


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