‘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

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Day of Epic Ups and Downs

I'll start with the good news.We all need to hear as much good news as we can these days. So: new home study for D completed! First thing this morning I was able to send the home study to my adoption attorney for her approval. I am incredibly grateful to the Social Worker and Home Study Agency I am working with. They truly kept their word on completing it by the end of October, and I'm grateful for their honesty and openness through this process. So, my home study for D is now in the hands of my attorney! Once she decides it will 'make the cut' in Russia, I will get a copy and submit it with my new 1600A!

Then, as I was celebrating to myself over the home study, my friend Lisa contacted me and asked if I would be godmother to her to BEYOND-ADORABLE little sweeties from EE, who come home soon! I won't post any identifying info, as they are not home yet, but I will say that they are two Angels with Down Syndrome from Reece's Rainbow, and they are just about the most beautiful girls I have ever seen...not kidding! There is a sweetness about them that makes my heart leap and I've been praying for them since I first learned of them. Lisa was originally adopting from Kemerovo, like me, but due to the adoption 'climate' there, it could not be. Please continue to pray for her little Yana who remains institutionalized there.

The sad part of the day involved Anya. We haven't been able to reach her on Skype for a few days and I was getting that mother's intuition that she was not well. (Strangely, every time I feel that intuition, it is ALWAYS spot on with Anya.) so I logged onto Russian Facebook (vkontakte) to see if I could find her online that way. After about an hour she signed on and we were able to chat via instant message for over an hour. And I was right, she was not doing well.

This coming week marks Anya reaching her third month in hospital. Her regular trauma surgeon is on vacation now, and she is having problems with the new doctor. She says he REALLY, really hurts her when he turns the screws in her leg, and doesn't seem to care at all that she is in pain. She gets daily shots in her butt (for the pain), but she said it is getting really hard to take them now, because every spot is bruised and hurts. But what seemed to be bothering her most is that this new doctor says she will be released soon, and Anya does not know how she will manage. She will be able to say at her cousin's house, but I have been there. It is not sanitary and she will still have open wounds. On top of that, she cannot walk, and the house is absolutely not wheelchair accessible. She will have to be carried in and out of the house. Last of all, the house is one very small room for three people. She will have to share a VERY tiny space with NO bathroom.

 She kept trying to comfort me, telling me not to worry, but once she was more tired and her defenses were down, she asked, 'Mama, what am I going to do? I can't walk, I can't do anything.'

I've contacted the TV journalist who did the national story on us last fall, and she is going to do her best to talk to the hospital and find out if they will please reconsider releasing a letter about Anya so I can attempt to apply for the medical visa. Playing the broken record again: Will you pray (hard!) that this journalist will make some headway with them, and that I finally can apply to bring Anya home for medical treatment? All I need is a stupid letter from the surgeon!

Well, that is my up and down day. I still have 145 students to cast in three different productions of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' tonight for this final school job, and print out 145 scripts before 8am Monday. And did I mention my mom is visiting from Florida, and of course that Halloween is Monday? Full plate!

If you are in a similar state of overwhelm or 'full plate syndrome', just do what I do: Remember Luke 1:37:

'For nothing is impossible with God.'


  1. I don't understand why she isn't on an IV for pain... at least it would help the bruising and stop daily shots. I'm so sorry...

  2. I am crying, and praying along with you. Happy for the good news about the paperwork but I feel so badly for Anya. Hoping for another miracle...

  3. Rooting for you, Keri, and praying each day that THIS will be the day I log on to read THE good news!

  4. Yes you have a full plate. I don't know how you do it. So much sadness and heartache in this world. My prayers are with you.

  5. I hadn't understood what the problem was. WHY won't the doctor release a letter? Might there be another one who would? (Like the substitute you mention?) I have had situations where even the doctor who was physically not that gentle, had some other things going for him. Could they go above him to the head of the hospital?

    I suppose such a letter would seem disloyal to their facility. Maybe if the point pushed was no the lack of medical care, but the lack of follow-up suppoert? Sounds like some manipulation (or even gift-giving?) might be in order.

    Could anyone you know there possibly try and recruit another family/couple/woman in better circumstances who might, out of charity, host Anya while she recuperates? I have a good friend in Moscow who would probably do that (though she lives on the 4th floor with no elevator, so that is not a "go", even if Anya could get there.)

    Are there any Christian missionaries/pastors around there who might help? Find a church community member to help? My experience has been that Christians in Russia take the command to love others a bit more radically than we do here.

    From what I've heard of medical care in Russia, it seems surprising they'd just release her. A friend of mine had a son who broke his leg, and he had a week in a sanitorium for PT when the cast came off! And, as I understand it medical care is available for all. My orphans certainly got THAT (maybe too much) if nothing else. Could Anya misunderstand that she would just be transferring to another rehab facility, perhaps?

    And, even as I write all this I am darned sure that you are quite as capable of brainstorming as I am. Part of the theater skill-set.

    Money - how I wish I had some! We finally got a psychiatist and therapist for Anastasia.....sadly they have the temerity charge (!), and I'm just wondering how we will manage. Literally thinking of things to sell. Otherwise, I'd send something your way. But, even with the ramp and all - the cousin's house seems a pretty iffy environment in every way.

  6. When we were in Apatity, the "hotel" was a sanitorium. We were told it's where people recovered from illness and injury. It was equipped with an indoor pool for physical therapy and the meals they served were considered healthful in aiding in recovery. I know there were rooms on the first floor. Apatity is a 3 hour drive into the mountains from Murmansk. It doesn't sound as if she can get moved right away and I am astonished she would be released so soon. I pray for her release to the States so she can have a full recovery in a loving environment.

  7. Congratulations on getting the home study for D completed! I'm praying for you and both your girls. You are my inspiration, Kerri.

  8. Kerri, Just wanted to check in... (I'm an '89 Gordon grad :-) I keep up with your blogs (...usually have to catch up on several at a time), for the last several years, but have only 'commented' once. ...Delighted to hear of Nastia's great school efforts & experiences. <3 You & Anya & Nastia & D, and your health & job &, &... are often in my prayers... And... thank you for sharing of yourself with all of us!

  9. Praying for Anya!! God can work his plan despite what looks to be impossible to us. Praying that God would raise up others in Russia to advocate for her as well as for the funds to bring her home!


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