Friday, February 24, 2012

My mood in moving

We just moved. When I first heard about it, I wasn't too happy about it. Because I had not seen the house before we moved, and because I had spent the beginning of my adolescent years in the old apartment (4 1/2 years) I wasn't sure I'd ever find a place to rival the old one. This despite the fact that the old place looked terrible. I learned Russian in that apartment. I went from 8 to 13 in that apartment. I learned how to take care of myself there. I got to where I could go around the city by myself whileliving there. I had many things happen to me in that apartment. I became a Christian in that apartment and was baptized while living there. My bedroom there had tons of flowers on the wallpaper, and I hated it. But it was the only home I have good memory of. I miss my view out the window, because I could see everybody go by on the sidewalk.

I was scared before we moved to the new place. I was afraid my room color would be ugly and that I would never feel at home. Once I saw the place, I was more excited, because it's really nice here.
What excited me the most was having a huge room all to myself. And now the place is getting to feel like home, event though I miss my old apartment.

Life here is more luxurious, bigger space, and lots more people around. But even though there are more people, we don't notice them and so it doesn't bother us like it did in the old place.
Back then it was really frustrating having people always underfoot, and I had to always tiptoe around them, and it was always very awkward.
The downside is I don't know anybody around here, but that will change. The good side is that I still can tutor my little neighbor, since we did not move far away. I just have to leave much earlier.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

England retreat.

After a month long trip to France, our family returned to base camp in St. Pete and began to wind down, except that we didn't. Just as soon we arrived and unpacked, Mom and I began packing again. The reason for this was that within two (2) days of our return to headquarters, the mother and the daughter of the house needed to rush off to London for a four-day girls retreat for the CRM (our mission organization) girls. Talk about confusion!

After a wonderful (and we don't say that about every airport!) six-hour layover in the unbelievably gorgeous and luxurious airport in Stockholm, mom and I boarded the plane to London. As we flew over London, mom and I had the awesome luck to see ALL the sights from the plane, such as Big Ben, the Tower of London, the London Eye, and Parliament. We felt we could go home right then and there.
At passport control, our passport man happened to speak Russian and surprised us after reading our visas. The Tube ride to our destination was pretty slow the whole way, but what caught my attention was that wherever I went, I understood what was being spoken around me (unlike France) and I could read signs at a glance. I heard English everywhere! Upon arriving at the Tube/ train station, Mom and I went up the escalator and found our CRM friends. Finally after a long trip, we had arrived and were ready for the few days filled with fun and spiritual groups.

As part of out time together, we prophesied over each other and bonded into best buds. We talked about being a missionary kid, the ups and downs of that life, and how all MK's can relate to each other. Together we saw Big Ben from a double decker bus, went to Trafalgar Square, and saw the Royal Mews. I came away from the retreat feeling safe in God and have a a bunch of good friends.

Friday, June 17, 2011


A few Saturdays ago, our dvor (courtyard) had a big get-together for cleaning up. At 11:00 everybody gathered outside and started picking up trash and rocks. The kids were equipped with gloves and rakes and were sent to clean up around the buildings. Gradually, more and more of the residents came outside and started clearing away brush. This went on for about an hour and a half. Then they started grilling meat. While the kids ran around and played, the adults sat and talked. Once the children were served, out came the beer, and Daddy took a few sips, and I helped him. The sense of togetherness which we rarely have broke the ice between our family and the dvor. Everybody started accepting us.

The men proceeded start a game of throwing sticks, a game no one really understood, a game where they all had to throw stick and achieve a goal which no one really knew. The kids set up a cheering booth in used tires, each cheering for his own dad. With seven screaming children, including me, you can imagine the uproar. Daddy's blog about all this is here.

After that, all the grown-ups proceeded back to the table to drink more, and the kids went off to do whatever they pleased. There was absolutely no supervision for the kids - not an unnatural thing. What was awful was the fact that the kids were exposed to the grown-ups getting drunk right in front of them. They learn it's OK to drink. God showed us how much were there was needed, that drinking is not necessary, that children don't have to be like their parents.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Yuri's return

Many of you may have noticed that in the last "Prayers and Praises" of my dad's, he put a note that we had lost contact with Yuri. Well, we had lost contact with him from about the end of October, and in February we miraculously received word.

In order to understand how this all happened we need to go back to the school I'm attending. Because almost all the kids there have the Russian version of Facebook, I wanted Russian Facebook (Vkontake). When I singed in, I had the idea that we could find Yuri through Vkontake. My first try failed. Nothing seemed to work. However on our second try a miracle happened. When I open the window to Vkontake it opens to this groups page and from there I work my way to my page. This time, however, When I opened the window and saw some group's page, I saw to my absolute shock "Members," and there it showed three members, and among them I saw "Voronin Yuri." Me and dad clicked on him and sure enough it was HIM! Immediately I sent a friend request. The next day I saw to my utter joy that he had added me. Thank you God!! I dashed off a message to him telling him that we loved him no matter what he did and that he was always welcome in our family. To please come on Thursday as normal and if not call.

Next day he writes back saying he will call. Then a few days later he calls in the middle of a Skype with our grandparents in Georgia as we are talking to them about that we had "found" him. Dad's phone being right next to the computer, I pick it up and see "Yuri" on it. I scream and jump up and run to dad, yelling that Yuri was calling! (Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for letting me act like a crazy person as that happed.) Well he came on Thursday and has been coming ever since. Thank you God!! His now sitting in the other room talking with dad as I write. Thank you God for that!!

Please pray that he will stay with us.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My schedule for the week

This is my schedule for the week:

Monday: At a killing 7:00 in the morning I wake up/am awakened and stumble out to the breakfast table. After breakfast I go/am sent to do chores (make my bed, brush teeth, and tidy my room.) Mom, Kerith, Simon, and I gather in the living room for devotions. Simon goes to piano, and K and I study Greek and Latin. The day continues with rotations like this, and after lunch the boys and I go outside for half an hour. Once we come in, we continue school until late afternoon. At 5:00 I tutor a four-year-old boy named Andrusha until 6:00. After dinner we do homework.

Tuesday: Again I drag myself out of bed and eat breakfast as my brothers run out the door to school. Note: I DO have bed-head so maybe that is why the boys are running out the door faster than necessary. After breakfast I do my chores and join mom on her couch for devotions. At 10:00 she teaches her online class, and I work until 11:30 when mom finishes with her class. I have a break till lunch. I continue school until 4:00, and then I have a on-line class-- science (no I'm not the teacher). The runs until 5:30 when our family has dinner. Then homework.

Wednesday: The very same as Tuesday, but at 4:00 I have English online.

Thursday: I go to Russian school with the boys and do school work from there. Around 3:30 I come home and go straight to tutoring Andrusha.

Friday: The same a Monday, but at the end of the day we clean up for Saturday and have piano lessons. Sometimes I go to youth group, which missionary kids attend.


(This is to emphasize the nothing I do on Saturday.)

Sunday. We go to church in the evening or have home church. Other than that, I might do homework or something else.

Friday, December 3, 2010


In the beginning of November I was hired as an English teacher for our neighbors' 4-year old son.
The father came to Dad and asked him we would be willing to teach his son English. He negotiated with Mom and Dad that I would teach twice a week an hour a day (I am getting paid.) Mondays and Thursday from 5 to 6. The first time there I was warmly received... by the Dad. The son (Andrusha) was what you'd call, um, not the best behaved. After the first several time his, uh, disobedience smoothed out. What was hard was that the Dad is not worried about Andrusha's behavior, including when that kid "runs away" claiming he is no longer "friends with anybody!" Dad just lets him and tells me not to worry about it. The father, however, is very friendly and gracious, and almost every time he gives me tea or something like that. And when I trek the ever-so-long-10-second walk he always stands at the door and watches me to insure safety.

In the apartment is just us three all the time, --he (dad), me and Andrusha -- except when the father left to go to the store once, and it was just us two. Andrusha is slowly starting to except me and listens to what I say. Please pray that I will be successful and that I can teach not just English, but the faith to the family.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Adoptive moms meet non-adopted orphans

Last Tuesday night the director the Harbor, Melinda, brought 2 women, Lisa and Carla, from Minnesota to talk with 4 Harbor graduates. Among the Harbor graduates was our very own Yuri and 3 other girls -- Ira, Natasha, and Nastya. Lisa and Carla each had adopted a child from Russia and raised them along with their own biological children. The adopted children have very rebellious attitudes and are displaying violent behaviors that are often found in Russian adoptives. Lisa and Carla had asked to meet with the Harbor graduates to ask a few questions about their growing up in the orphanages in the hopes understanding why their children are acting this way. The women also lead a support group for other adoptive families in MN who are experiencing negative outcomes from the adoptions, most from Russia. 

Seeing that I helped translate some things, I participated in the discussion to a small extent. What was nice was that Lisa and Carla had a list of questions with them so they would go around the circle asking questions. Some questions were: What was your daily routine at the orphanage? Did you feel loved? How did they (in the orphanage) think of you? What were yours dreams when you lived in the orphanage? (Yuri reported that his dream was to watch TV all night long.) 

The atmosphere was very open, and the graduates talked freely. One of the graduates (Nastya) told us that she had always been the girl to be put in contests the one who the director "liked". Why? She was the sugar daddy. The girl who gave the orphanage a good face. The girl who they show of but never let her get adopted. No these people (the orphanages people) don't really care for the kids. They just see them as the way to get money. Now maybe some do , but as a whole they don't. And the kids know this.The caretakers were mean and gave no freedom and told the kids in their face "You are a failure. You won't be anything." Those people were wrong! These kids are amazing, smart and are making a way in the world.  They are far from failures. Some kids believed them. Nastya told us that see knew that the caretakers were wrong and she would lead her room to punish the caretaker when ever the caretakers would do some thing mean.Such as pouring clothes detergent in the hall way.When the caretaker came he or she would get dumped with water so that he or she would slip in the hallway.they could not punish the kid cause they didn't know who did it.  Now this was no "naughty kids at the orphanage " this was for a reason and they knew it. They told us that they were cold at night and were always hungry. One girl said she was told that the cook was stealing food. She didn't believe them till she was 15 when she worked in the kitchen and saw it with her own eyes. They said that the kids would make fun of the cook when they saw him leave with big bag of food(the cook was fat). One the girl said that the director and the caretaker would say "Your mom is is a bad woman!" At 15 she was told that her mom was long dead.  The kids who did get adopted would spit in their face and say "I don't care. Hearing things that I all ready knew from the mouths of the kids them selfs was painful. You can understand why these kids (the adopted ones)would be violent.Probably cause their angry. I know I would be. I would angry, suspicious, and hurt. Pleases pray for Lisa and Carla and their kids and also for the orphans (in the orphanages and out)