‘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, June 01, 2013

Getting Ready for Russia

We miss this sweet face <3 td="">
Though I haven't received word on my travel visa yet, I know it should come any day now. My gut tells me 'soon' because I felt that inexplicable need to clean my entire house tonight, in preparation for leaving. Our bags are packed and it's just a matter of purchasing the airline tickets the second the visa arrives. I stand at the ready:)

A few people have emailed me or messaged me on facebook asking if I planned to  bring donations to the orphanage this trip. I do have one whole giant bag full of items, but my plan this time is to leave them with one of the caretakers I trust, and she can dole things out to kids as needed. I've known her (Katya) for 8 years, and she has proven to be kind, trustworthy and one who always puts the kids first. I just don't trust the new Director, and Nadezhda (the old director) lives to far from the orphanage. Katya's cottage is within sight of it.

Since I can't plan on helping the kids at the orphanage directly, I am focusing on the girls who 'graduated' the orphanage last year. About 7 of them are leading honest lives and trying their best to make something of themselves. Those are the ones I want to help: Ksusha N, Nastia K, Natasha Ch, Nastia K (red head), and three who just 'graduated' this week - Tanya B, Vika Sh, and Angelina S. I'll post photos of them below.

Although I am no longer very vocal about asking for monetary donations (my brother's 'shaming' me for it last year still hurts if I'm honest) - I am happy to accept funds from those of you who actually feel prompted or inspired to help. I am not comfortable giving the girls much, but I thought I could take them shopping as a group for essentials - underwear, toiletries, food staples, etc. You can use the link at right if you feel inspired, but please do not feel obligated in any way. As per past trips, I will blog in detail what comes in and where that money goes, how it is spent. I know I am a very careful steward of every penny that comes in, and anyone who knows me well knows that. However, to be safe,  I'll remind my readers that I have no direct access to the fund. It is managed by an accountant friend who has to cut me a check from it. I'll be doing that later this week. she'll record what the money is for, and I'll blog all the details here from Russia.

If I'm honest, this trip feels very bittersweet. Seeing Anya will be WONDERFUL, but going back to the orphanage and seeing Daniel and all those amazing kids, knowing I no longer have a direct way to support them - that hurts. I'm hopeful I can convince Katya Ivanovna to accept packages for the kids in th future. We'll see.

In other news, My USCIS approval for Daniela just arrived! Sadly, I'll have to get it apostilled when I return from Russia...but it does mean I'm one step closer!

I'll post when I buy our tickets.  Keep us in your prayers.

Ksusha Novikova, Nastia Krasilova, Natasha Chernova, Spring 2013

Angelina and the other Nastia

Tanya B,  just 'graduated' from the orphanage.

UPDATE 6/4/13: Visa arrived at 1pm! Tickets bought at 4pm! We're on our way!


  1. It's good to see some familiar faces. You sound as ready as a person can be!

  2. I think your brother probably means well, but is so confused! If you were standing out on the street corner with a sign asking for donations for YOURSELF, when you actually had all you needed to live on - just wanted some gambling or drinking money, or whatever....that would be shameful. Asking for money for OTHERS - and, furthermore, someone truly in need - that is kindness and love. Look at all the religious orders that ask for money to use for their charitable work! You are just the same.

    It is not even as though you were simply asking for help for Anya (presupposing, she's considered "FAMILY") - you are asking for help true orphans.

    You are in the right, dear friend!


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