‘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

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Update On A Great Many Things

First, GREAT news: Laura and Conor were found safe in Newark NJ. A 48 hour adventure for them, but a terrifying nightmare for their parents. So very grateful they are home safe now.

Second, I've heard heard your cries for an update...lol. So sorry I've been remiss. I've been focusing on the mundane : house cleaning, doctor appts, Christmas Card writing, sending packages to Russia, and cleaning up the yard for winter!

Anya is doing ok. Not great, but ok. I've been sending money regularly via Western Union. I send it to her distant cousin, whom she is staying with right now. she says the hard part for Anya right now is that she cannot go outside at all, even if they could find people to carry her out. Why? Because it is below freezing and she still has that giant bags on her leg with screws going into her bones. If she goes out, it freezes her flesh! I don't even want to think about that! I'm getting her medicals translated, but the police will not let her leave the country for now anyway, because she is due in court to testify against the man who shot her. Although they have not set a date yet, Anya hopes it will be in the next few months.

My Homestudy for D is DONE! It should arrive in the mail any day now. A few dossier items have expired so I need to update them, but as soon as I get my USCIS 1600A approval I can go deliver my dossier!!!!

Nastia made the honor role her first quarter and has been doing really well, except for last week. She is butting heads with her English teacher and it caused her to run away from school last week which caused a big mess. We are working through it slowly. She seems to be processing some old traumas lately. Trying to be as gentle and supportive as possible, but it is hard when you have a hormonal and traumatized teen living in very close quarters with you, always looking for a fight! God give me patience...

I have gone nearly two months without any flare-ups or significant arthritis pain. That's a new record for me! I hope I'm not jinxing it. I can only guess that it is due to me vigilance about eating more organic food ( about 80 % now) and also trying to eat several servings of green veggies every day - broccoli, asparagus, roasted brussel sprouts, green beans, snap peas, spinach, and the like. I have some with every single meal. also cutting out gluten as much as possible. switched permanently to rice pasta and only sour-dough bread (has the lowest amount of gluten for regular breads.) Have lost 10 pounds in the process, so that's a nice side effect!

Probably the best news of all as of late is that my friend Lisa had a successful day in court yesterday in Siberia. She is coming how with TWO beautiful toddlers in the coming weeks, and guess who's the godmother!

Here are the gorgeous 'twins' (not really twins, but born only a few months apart, so pseudo-twins!)

Isabella Daria Smith!
Phoebe Anastasia Smith!
I cried all morning when I heard the news that they made it through court. Lisa has fought a long hard battle to adopt this time around, and I have watched the terrible pain she has endured. To know she is now the mom to these wonderful girls makes me feel like I could explode with joy.

All of us who have experienced the dark and difficult side of adoption cannot help but celebrate each child coming home as if they are our own. We know how hard-won this victory is. And each victory fuels us on our own journey.

Welcome to your family, Phoebe and Bella! Can't wait to hold you!!!


  1. Praying for the found teens and their families for reconciliation, praying for Anya's recovery and process to come HOME.
    Praying for your continued progress in all areas! Hugs from far away!

  2. Hi Keri,
    I don't comment on your blog much, mostly becuae you don't know me, but I do read it regularly. I really enjoy it, I'm glad you gave us an update. I really support your passion for the orphans, I have one adopted daughter, home a year from Asia. She was almost 6 years old when she came home. She has been a challenge, but we are finally begining to see a light in the way far off, very far off, distance. Can't wait to see more pictures of you in Siberia - hopefully soon.


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