Current Child Count

  • HOGAR DE AMOR I: 11 babies
  • HOGAR DE AMOR II: 6 boys
  • HOGAR DE AMOR III: 8 girls

Friday, September 4, 2009

more Russia memories....

Heather at St. Basil's, Red Square, Moscow


Ten years ago today, our family got back from Russia and adopting my new sister Emma.

However, we left part of our hearts behind.

With each passing day we realized how much. Like, we could never-just-return-to-our-normal-lives-and-forget-Russia much.

Emma in our home was a daily reminder to us of the other children we had left behind, who had not been adopted. All we could talk about was how to return and help them.

Amazingly, God worked and just a couple months later I was back in Russia with Buckners, a friend, and a team of people delivering shoes [only those didn't arrive on time] and supplies to about 8 other children's homes in the Kostroma region. Due to team constraints, I didn't get back to Emma's Baby Home that trip.

But yes, on the next 7 trips!! In each of those my sister Heather was with me, and sometimes other family members (including Emma).



passing out baby dolls to her "cousins" as we called them, in the Baby Home


The absolute highlight of those trips was being able to walk up and knock on the Baby Home door and ask "What do you need?" with our new Russian skills.

And of course to check on the babies!!


twins! (girl and boy)


Once Heather and I took out a staff member from the Baby Home to chose a new outfit for every child for summer, because their donated clothing was worn out.

Heather and I got our first experience of third world country supply issues. Remember going from store to store buying them out of diapers or other baby things we needed? People looked at us so funny returning on buses with our arms loaded with diapers and formula.


I attached quickly to this little boy, and him to me, and here I had just been crying before leaving him. He had extra fingers and extra toes... (The Russian family we were staying with loaned me this coat - which there is a necessity, not an extravagance.)




Eventually our church sponsored Volzhskiy (school aged children) and Heather would give some mini-violin lessons when we visited.



My Mom and me with some kids at Volzhskiy


And now for the point of this post. =) I didn't intend to post all these pictures but once I started it was hard to stop. Who knows when I'll have a good excuse to blog about Russia again!

I've always cherished this picture, with all the memories and significance it holds for me:



Friend/translator Ira, Baby Home Director, me, sister Heather in the Baby Home director's office, Kostroma Russia
date on back of picture says June 30, 2000


We had just been rained on terribly while out buying fresh produce (a treat because of the expense).

It was special before as a reminder of Dr. Valentina Andreevna's willingness to trust us and let us visit. But once I became director of my own Baby Home, well....... I just wonder if someone had told me then that I would be in her shoes one day, overseeing the care and financing of dozens of babies and young children, what I would have said?! It's such an honor, and yet huge responsibility.

But if she can do it since she was a young woman like me, for so many years, with so many children, and so little funding, I can do it! The picture is on my desk here at my Baby Home office in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to remind me of friends in Russia and the great joy I had in working alongside them as they do the best they can in extremely challenging circumstances.

Between two worlds...

My Mom and Emma, giving a gift to Dr. Andreevna on her visit back in 2002

1 comment:

gloria said...

Jennifer,

I enjoyed the photos of Russia. Beautiful.

Looks like God really used those expierences you had there as a "spring board" for what He has you doing for him in bolivia! Oh He is so good!!! :)

I wanted to let you know that I downloaded the sponsorship paperwork, and am very exicted to see how our family can help!

The blog you stopped at is my "ministry" outreach blog to the Mormon people. ( I am a former mormon set free in Christ in 07') My family blog is :
http://www.homesteadblogger.com/inallthingsgivethanks/

You will see lots of photos of my adopted kiddos there and normal family stuff. :)


We are praying for you & those children in Bolivia!!

God bless,
gloria