‘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

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Life is Beautiful

Ksusha and Nastya K on their visit to Kemerovo City
It's 3:30am right now.  My brain still can't seem to sync with US time yet, so I'm ever-so-slowly working my way back to it. This is the first day I've managed to sleep past midnight!

In just a few hours I'll be heading to Logan Airport. I'm headed to JFK for all of two hours on the ground. Why? To pick up Daniela, of course:) I know I haven't posted much about her arrival, but I'm still feeling scared on jinxing anything. Knowing how quickly roads can be blocked in Russia, I fear the same thing in Latvia, but I am doing my best to have faith.

I'm cautiously excited about her visit. This time it will be 5 weeks instead of 3, so that's a blessing! My best guess is that my court dates in Latvia will be in September. Still have a few small hurdles to jump. Daniela tells me it will be on her birthday :)

Although I'm back in the States 5 days now, my heart is honestly still in Kemerovo. I've dreamt of Anya and/or Daniel every night since I've been home. I miss them. Now when I feel that ache I don't allow myself to be sad, but I channel that love into prayer for them. Last night I managed to pray the rosary over and over for Daniel and then the entire orphanage for over an hour. We haven't been able to reach Anya since we've been home and that is always scary for me. More so now, with baby Sasha on her way soon. Nastia plans to empty her savings account and fly back over by herself on August 16th. She has managed to save about $2,000 over the past 6 years. She's very proud of that. And this week she is going out to apply for her first 'real world' job. She wants to be able to send Anya money every month like I do. I"m so proud of her.

In other news --I've received no less than three 'thank you's from Nastya K and Ksusha this week. They are still revelling in the two days they got to spend in the big city. It was such an amazing day! As you know I had planned to take a larger group of the girls shopping in Prokopyevsk, but that didn't work out, so instead I gave money to my intermediary  to give to the other girls, and then I paid for Nastya and Ksusha to take the bus up to Kemerovo. They stayed with us overnight, which was so much fun. I listened to all three girls (my Nastia included) giggle for hours. When we woke up, we hit the ground running : first a big breakfast, then shopping for clothes and shoes, a well-earned lunch, then shopping for books.

Ksusha had a hard time spending money. She had never been shopping before, according to Nastya. It took half the day to convince her to spend some of the money. It finally took my Nastia strong-arming her to do it..lol! She actually yelled at Ksusha ( I know that sounds harsh, but it worked) and finally Ksusha could see that we weren't going to let up. She bought two adorable shirts, and I bought her some socks and undergarments since she was too embarrassed to. Her favorite part of the whole day was the book store. We spent well over an hour in it. Ksusha found one book she wanted and clutched it to her chest the entire time. I told her after 20 minutes that we would not leave the bookstore till she chose at least FOUR more books. I told her she needed enough to keep her busy till my next visit!

Nastya K had an easier time and bought a dress, shoes, socks and little hair clips. She thanked me very sincerely every time. They were so proud to carry those bags! After shopping, we stopped for milkshakes at my favorite cafe, Chokoladnitsa. I ordered them a chocolate fondue with lots of fruit. It felt so wonderful to treat them!

Just replaying those two days in my head is a gift. I keep thanking God, and YOU generous peeps who donated, for the chance to treat them. I can't get over the fact that it happened. I was sure, with my luck there, they'd be prevented from coming. So glad I was wrong! They had the most memorable day. And my intermediary will be treating 5 others girls to a similar experience in Prokopyevsk in August:) I didn't get to take as many photos of K & N as I'd hoped, but here are some!

Weary Travellers just arrived after a four hour bus ride, eating mushroom soup!

First order of business - they wanted a photo by the 'famous' fountain. This was at 11:45 at night!
Notice its still twilight?
Anya talks to the girls about how awful it is to be pregnant..lol.
Nastya enjoying a strawberry shake
Ksusha enjoying the same!


  1. What a treat, what a delight, to be able to have that day with them.

  2. You have no idea how happy this makes me! Actually, I think you DO have an idea...... blessings!

  3. Really enjoying reading about your "forced shopping" experience with the girls. And excited about your hosting, which by now has started. Although you don't want to take anything for granted, this is going to be so much EASIER in Latvia.

  4. My heart leapt when you showed pics of Ksusha on fb, and I was hoping you would give more of the story! She is the girl who stole my heart way back when, and we sent her a love package on your previous trip. Oh, I hope all the best for her!

  5. Anonymous3:02 PM

    Great post! I love the photos and the time you spent with the girls in Kemerovo!

    Your Nastia is really an amazing person! I wish her all the luck!
    Have a great time with Daniela and all the best with your journey to her.


  6. Anonymous7:53 PM

    So glad you were able to treat the older girls. I'll be that knowing that you and others care about them makes a world of difference. Debby_in_MA


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