‘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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sometimes We Don't Get Answers...

This is one of those times.

(Some of what appears below is from a post I wrote two years ago, because it speaks so perfectly to what I feel right now.) 

I received terrible news this morning and I will not be leaving Friday for Russia. The DOE is refusing to move forward with my adoption. A long story that I just don't have the energy to discuss this moment, but I will in the days to come. Tonight I've reached the point of not crying anymore. What's the point? It serves no purpose to cry and scream and shake my fists at God. If I'm learning anything in this life, it's humility. 

I have lots of New Agey-type friends. I used to lean that way myself. People who swear we are gods in our own right and that tapping into that power, or connecting to 'All That Is' is as easy as turning on a light switch. People who tell me that just envisioning the outcome I want will bring it into being. Know what I've never found? I've never ever found someone who has been to Hell and back who believes those things. The people I've met in life who have experienced the worst of humanity (like the Holocaust survivor I know, or the young friend who watched her entire family murdered in front of her in Rwanda, or the 13 year old girl I teach who was raped, tortured and beaten by her father for years, and who, when she finally got the courage to tell, was forced by this father to eat her own dog) - these people, these miraculous beings who looked Evil in the face and lived to tell about it -- these people, whether Jew or Christian or Muslim or something all their own, accept and understand their own limitations and reach upwards to a God who promises to love them and be with them, even when they feel it not. Each of these people I mentioned found that we do not have any real power of our own accord. Nothing, apart from Him. If we did, those horrible things would not have happened, because we would never allow them in our lives. 

But terrible things happen every day, by happenstance or by intention, and we are often powerless to do anything to stop it. Children lose parents, parents lose children, people are murdered, and falsely imprisoned, and abandoned, and, and, and. You get the picture. This is the world we live in, and it has not changed much in tens of thousands of years.

I have not survived a holocaust. I cannot fathom what it would be like to see my family murdered before me, but in my own relative circumstances, I have been living my own little version of hell. And I am here to tell you that platitudes and positive thinking cannot clear a heart of darkness. A little darkness? Sure. But a great big, unfathomably deep and all penetrating darkness that seems to pummel us in relentless waves? No. 'Happy thoughts' are not going to fix that kind of thing. It takes something greater than ourselves. Ask the wounded among us; they will tell you.

And so, in this never ending journey of pain and suffering with Daniel and Anya, I have only two choices. I can trust in all the other instances that God has proven His love (and there are sooo many) and wait for His answer to come or I can give up, turn my back on Daniel and Anya, and walk away.

I'm sure you know which one I choose.

 I cannot even pretend to understand why Daniel and Anya have to suffer so much in this life and why I continuously am put in the position to not be able to help them. And yes, I am also fully aware that I have gotten the lion's share of bad luck in recent days.  I do not know why, but I do know this: God (Love) is ever and always pushing us towards a greater good ( if we allow it). I may not see the point of the suffering, but I don't have to. My job is to persevere. My job is to put one foot in front of the other, even when I'd rather just lay down and give up. Its not easy. In fact, some days its downright impossible. But the impossible is nothing to God.

 So what if it's not happening in my time frame? Who am I to question? 'Be still, and know that I Am.' Sage advice all those thousands of years ago, and still sage advice today.

I do not know when or even IF Daniel and Anya will come home to me. I do not know when or IF their suffering will end. But I know this: God loves them, and if He loves them, He will not forsake them. And that is why I have hope in the face of so much uncertainty and suffering. 

I believe in a God -- a Power Unimaginably Beautiful and Deeply Caring -- that formed and sustains this world with LOVE.


So, while some around me tell me what I should be doing and thinking and feeling, I'll be banking on LOVE.

LOVE sits with Daniel when he cries himself to sleep wondering why I have abandoned him when I promised I'd come. LOVE embraces Anya when she is hungry or lonely or missing us, her family. LOVE knows them and loves them and keeps them. That is all I know, and all I need to know.


  1. speechless. I'm so sorry...

  2. You are not alone in wondering why you are in the position of wanting to help Daniel and Anya and not being able to. It's baffling to me that all of us here are thwarted constantly in this clear GOOD. It makes no sense to us. It's heartbreaking. And no prayers, no donations, no goodwill seems to be of any good in making it happen. These things must still do good, somehow, but it's hard to see. I am so past the point of screaming "why??? this is so obvious, so simple!" and yes, I can say you can only turn to humility and trust. There is no other way. Because we are not failures. We did not fail to intervene in every way we could think of.

    I stand by you, with you, in love - and pain - and trust. I will read this long novel until its end.

  3. Keri,

    I think that you are precious and absolutely right. I don't know why it is so hard, but I am trusting God along with you for the lives of Daniel and Anya. God is absolutely big and loving enough. Knowing that doesn't make me any less sorry for the situation from your perspective, though, and I'm praying for you and for your heart. I still think you are remarkable and I'm honored to know you.


  4. Beautifully expressed.

  5. Oh, Keri. I am so sorry for all that you are facing, and for the suffering of those you love. Please let us know how your readers can help Anya and Daniel- and you.

  6. Anonymous9:18 PM

    Oh Keri... I just got back from Eucharistic Adoration at the chapel in my church where I said a rosary for you in the true presence of Christ. I humbly asked him to move mountains and part oceans to make Daniel's adoption possible... I also stared at my favorite saying which is on a plaque on the wall in the chapel, "Be still and know that I am God!" I pray that God will continue to give you the hope and peace that you need... Debby_in_MA

  7. Jules9:21 PM

    Continuing to pray for you.

  8. Anonymous9:47 PM

    :( Keri.. I am so so so sorry! I was sad when I read your FB statuses... I don't understand why people like you have to go through this... First off, Anya and Daniel should be home and it is crazy that they aren't. Second, you are the most caring person I have ever "met" and at the same time, you are also the one with the worst luck! It's just "No fair" !!! I believe that one day you and Daniel will be under the same roof. I just wonder where the roof will be located.. :0)

    1. Anonymous10:41 PM

      Oh, and I wanted to add that Anya will be under that roof as well (and Nastia!) !

  9. Oh I am so very sorry to read this! I will keep you all in my prayers. I hope and pray you can be together one day. (((Hugs)))
    Maria xxxo

  10. Heart4Russia10:30 PM

    I'm so glad I am not the only one who sees the darkness in this world and knows it cannot all be wished away. O, that it were that easy! But you have inspired me for years with your words, and this post is no different. Regardless of what the world says, or your brothers say, or anyone else who doesn't seem to "get" you, you are by far one of the most selfless, loving, and faithful people I have ever met. You walked me through that trauma I experienced back on '08 when you barely knew me, and you never asked for even a thanks in return, you just did what Christ calls us to do...you were present for me, even when it was ugly and difficult. Even when my own family had abandoned me. You are a gift to this world, Keri, and I've no doubt God hears you and loves you beyond measure.What a road you walk, what an example you set. God bless you.

  11. your pearl is growing...

  12. I'm deeply, terribly sorry for you. How I wish it was all so different and not like this!

  13. More {{hugs}} and more prayers.

  14. I am crying so hard as I type this. But it is not even for Daniel or Anya or your loss today--it is for joy that you have Truth to sustain you in these terrible hard things today. We have never met, and I doubt we will ever meet in real life, but I can still say without hesitation that I love you, dear soul. Your heart is so beautiful. I completely understand that not many people--Christian, New Age, Atheist, whatever--will understand how you can trust a God who allows such pain, who seems to be forgetting His promises to "bind the brokenhearted" and "bring release for the captive" and provide for the widow and orphan. But we cannot know what God knows, and I do believe he means all those things, and he means it when he ways "I work all things to the good of those who love me, and who call upon my name." Somehow, in a way none of us can fathom, what is happening today is fulfilling those promises. Somehow, this is for the greater good. But I am still praying for your children!!!!

  15. Anonymous8:10 AM

    You amaze me. You are what is right with this world.


What do you have to say? Leave a comment!