‘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, October 24, 2011

Hanging In There

Me, on this chilly October morning, in my messy office. (Someone dared me to post a current photo..so here it is!)

I feel bad I've had nothing very interesting to share lately. My life was far more interesting this time last year, when we were living in Russia. Now I only get glimpses of her (Russia) when I Skype with Anya every week.

Since a few of you have emailed me asking for an update, I'll indulge you. Wish it were more exciting, but I remain hopeful:

Anya is still in hospital and dealing with the weekly turning of the screws in her leg. She says its very painful, but she handles it much better than I would! We talk on Skype about every other day. I try daily, but don't always get through. Anya is a trooper. I stand more in awe of her resilience and courage every single day. I adore her and miss her and cannot wait till life affords me the chance to go back and see her again. I miss her so much!

Nastia is doing really well in school. She is in all special ed classes, except for art and theatre, but she is really thriving. Art is her favorite class. She has been undergoing lots of testing this fall and finally has a tentative diagnosis of Non-verbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). I'm currently reading all I can about it and looking forward helping Nastia learn about it as well. She is so relieved to have proof she is not 'stupid' as she has called herself for so long. Having the diagnosis and understanding what it means has really boosted her self-esteem.

I continue on my journey to adopt D. I fight guilt and anxiety about it every day. He should be here now, and every day away from him feels like a terrible punishment. I'm lucky in that I can call him and send letters via email a few times a month, but I can't help feeling that every day he is not here means more pain for him. I've just about completed my NEW home study and can't WAIT to reapply for my 1600A and get things moving. If you are a praying person reading this, it would mean the world to me if you would pray for D's peace of mind. He is very sad and feeling hopeless, and thinks he will never see me again. I can't convince him otherwise. I want him to feel peace.

Finally, I'm struggling still with my work. I'm self-employed and many of my school jobs have dried up in this hurting economy. If things don't get better in the next six months, I may consider moving to Florida, closer to my family. There are far more teaching jobs there. I may need to look at starting a new career in the public school system if things continue on this down-hill slide.

Well, that's about it from here. Plugging away on paperwork, and praying for my kids every day. I'll post again when I have anything of interest to share!


  1. Somehow I'm comforted that the treatment Anya is getting sounds so much like the treatment of a girl I tutored who also had a complicated fracture. Otherwise, it would sound like some off-the-wall torture!

    I am most anxious tht you get D home. If I were rich, I know what I'd do.

  2. I have been thinking of you all a lot lately! Saying a prayer for you, D, Anya and Nastia for strength, courage and peace.

  3. I got so excited seeing you had an update, Keri! It doesn't matter if you don't think there is much to post. Will pray as you have requested.

  4. Geoff has NVLD. I kind of suspected that may be what Nastia had, but wasn't ever sure how much was her history and how much was an actual diagnosis.

    Congrats on teasing out a diagnosis. I love kids with NVLD. not just geoff.

  5. So good to see an update! I'd love to find some time for a casual hangout, nothing special, just being in each others' presence, reading good books and having tea :-)

    XOXOXO and praying!

  6. Hi Keri,
    I am glad you posted because I have been sensing my son has something more going on than traditional ADD. I read you post and found a site with typical characteristics and now it has me thinking. Is it your understanding that a child would exhibit all of these things or just about all of these things. I pretty much see everything with the exception of poor co-ordination. His is quite balanced and he excels in ballet. He is in the 4th grade and we are sensing an immature behavior and "not getting it" that he should be outgrowing but isn't. He completely folds under pressure where good behavior results in a reward. For example, each week they get a conduct grade. (5) E's in a (9) week grading period earns the privilege to attend a big party. He earned 2 and when it got down to the last 3 weeks, he needed all 3. He deliberately got written up even though he got extra changes to get through the week. He persisted with the bad behavior until the party option was gone then went to school the next day a perfect angel. He wants to control everything and everyone though it is completely impossible to do so. The other issue is that he won't open up to ANYONE as to what is going on. Either he doesn't know, can't verbalize it or he does know and is aware it will result in some major changes on his part. As always, thanks for your insight! I am going to see if I can get him seeing the school psychologist again. Whatever is going on he can't overcome it on his own.

  7. Janice, I would ask for neuro-developmental testing. if your insurance doesn't cover it, your school system is required to pay for it. Nastia doesn't exhibit every symptom either, but the ones she does are very marked. I had no idea what was going on all these years either. It was hard to tell bc of her PTSD and RAD symptoms AND the fact that she is an ESL learner. After 6 years it was evident that more was going on. Let me know when you get the testing done!

  8. Hi dear Keri,

    You should check out Kris Wood Reid's blog (http://bestillandknowkw.blogspot.com/)in which she talks very openly about their daughter's NVLD. She is an amazing, thoughtful writer--it's good for the soul to read her words. She, Mike, and their three kids are doing really important work in Uganda.


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