‘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, May 27, 2013

Patience and Faith, and the Current State of Things

I struggle to write these days, still. It seems so unimportant with all that is going on in the outer world, and in my own life. I struggle with feeling inadequate as a writer at these times; it feels like the writing serves no purpose, though I know on some level that is not true. 

I also struggle with whom I'm writing to. Sometimes I know I am writing to a specific group of people - fellow adoptive families, longtime readers. Other times I know I am just writing into the void, the quiet - hoping someone is listening. And then there are times like this when I am writing just to figure things out. We all know that writing is often therapeutic. And just like with therapy - sometimes just the act of writing brings clarity to situations that are confounding us.

Life has been so confusing for so long that I'm now functioning as if this state of being is just my 'normal.' I have had so many extreme ups and downs these last eight years - with Anya, Daniel, and even M - that I think something in me has simply acclimated to the chaos. Does that make sense?

Two weeks ago I had received the horrible news that my adoption of M was off. The story I was told was that a Latvian Family was adopting her. I wish I could share all the details, because it is a really tremendous story, but I can't. But I can tell you that after a week of deep grieving, I received yet another email stating that there had been a mistake and it was back on. I wondered in that moment if God wasn't trying to teach me about detachment. I struggle with knowing why these things happen over and over again. I really want to know the lesson behind it all, but I must be really naive, because I just can't figure it out.

The good news is that there is good news - my adoption is back on track, and I am doing my best to just put one foot in front of the other and keep the faith. It doesn't mitigate the pain and guilt I feel about Daniel's lost adoption, but it at least keeps my mind occupied with more positive things.  And Anya's pregnancy takes up a great deal of my thoughts and actions, too. And that is a good thing.

Nastia and I hope to go to Russia next week. I say 'hope' because we had planned to go this week, but the agency I always use to get my visa called to warn me that the Russian Consulate is being 'very stingy' with travel visas for Americans as of late. (Hmmm... I wonder why, Mr. Putin...) They advised me not to buy my airline tickets yet, because there was an actual possibility the consulate wouldn't grant me a visa at all. Can you believe that? I've been to Russia 9 times these past 8 years and I've never been told this before. I refuse to get rattled by it, because there is honestly nothing I can do. Once again, patience and faith is all I can rest on.

We are going because the trip is overdue -- Anya is not doing well, and is desperate to see us (and we, her). Yes, it would make more sense for me to go alone, but Nastia is beside herself with longing  for her sister and says she would rather risk failing school than miss out on seeing Anya. She is twenty now, so what is my recourse? We go and hope for the best.

So, Nastia and I are at least being as proactive as possible: all our bags are packed. Completely packed. We have one giant bag for Anya and the baby's things, another for orphanage kids and Daniel, and then our things are all going in backpacks. We've opted to bring just two changes of clothing for the whole trip so that all our baggage allotments can go to needed items for Anya and the orphanage. 

My plan for the trip is to cater to Anya as much as possible, find an apartment for her, pay her medical bills and get everything she needs for the baby. I'll also travel for two days to Prokopyevsk and see Daniel for the first time in two years, and meet with many of the kids from the orphanage. I'll likely make my 'home base' at the home of one of the caretakers that I trust, as the new Director at the orphanage has not proven to be very trustworthy. There is a caretaker whom I have known for 8 years and who loves Nastia and was her primary caretaker. She has been an amazing steward of any money I give her and puts the children first. I plan to arrange with her, and Nadezhda (the former director) to help me help the children. I may not be allowed to visit the orphanage itself, but Nastia can. But most importantly, Daniel can visit me at the caretaker's house, or Nadezhda's, if needed. And both women have offered to help me help him in any way they can. 

I will also be meeting with five of the girls I have kept in touch with who aged out of the orphanage last year.  A few friends have been faithful about sending them small funds of money each month, and that has made the difference between eating and not eating for three of them. I hope to meet with them, and others, to see how I can further help them.

Well, that's about it for now. I'll post more when I learn my travel dates. Hopefully by June 7th, so I can stay there for a full ten days. On June 27th, M comes back (God willing) for hosting, and my summer Shakespeare program begins.  Keep us in your prayers. God bless.


  1. Keri, I don't often comment but I do read all of your posts. I appreciate them as they remind me to pray for so many known and unknown people. I can't always help physically or financially, but the reminders to pray for this particular circle of people is so important to me.

  2. Longtime reader here, just wanted to comment and say I'm listening.

    Also in terms of not knowing the lesson, I hear you 100%. Not the same of course but I have a couple huge life changing situations that are part of my daily life and I struggled for a long time wanting, needing, dying to understand why. I still get that way sometimes. But I've just had to accept there's a reason for all of this, and while I don't know what it is and realistically I may never know in this lifetime I choose to hold onto the idea that there is a bigger reason. And I am counting on figuring it all out when my time on earth is done and I get to heaven, it'll be like oooooooooh THAT'S why! I choose to see it as a lesson in patience and faith.

    Excited and hopeful your trip to see Anya is soon and a great visit :)

  3. I hope your visa and travel plans go as you desire. Cannot believe the ongoing ups and downs. You are proving yourself unbelievably resilient. Resilience is one good coming out of this- most of the rest of us would have crumbled and slunk away- me in particular. And, as Robyn says, we may learn the other reasons later- much later.

    You will never be writing without your interested readers following- I hope your next posts will be full of joy.

  4. Heart4Russia10:15 PM

    What Hoonew said. Your resilience is commendable. And, as a longtime reader I want to say I come here again and again because you inspire me with your strength, patience and commitment to others. When you commit to something or someone, you really see it through. That inspires me and makes me want to do better myself. Thank you for writing even when you might not feel like it. I know I'm not the only one who checks your blog for new posts at least a few times a week!


What do you have to say? Leave a comment!