Home Again

2016-04-04 16.10.13

We’ve just arrived safe and sound in Russia. Our trip over was uneventful and we had no problems at passport control when we entered the country. As you can see, though, our suitcases exploded when we got home! Now we need to bring order to what was an orderly apartment when we walked in.

We’ll take it easy over the next few days as we settle in and get over jet lag (note the look on Olga’s face and Val’s body language). I’ll go to Estonia on Monday to pick up my car and meet with folks there. Two weeks from today Valerie Bryson will arrive to stay with us; she’ll be interning with Stoneworks in Russia, Belarus and Moldova.

We are very thankful for warm send-off our Sunday school class gave us and the prayers of the church during the service on Sunday. God has set us among good people.

Valerie is home!

Some of you may not know, but Olga and I have been pursuing guardianship of a little girl named Valerie.

Valerie is the 3 year old daughter of Oksana, the orphan who lived with us a few years ago. Oksana is now in prison, and her daughter was placed in an orphanage earlier this year.

Today we finished the process of becoming guardians. We picked her up a few hours ago. I took the picture above of Olga and Valerie walking down the sidewalk to our flat in St. Pete.

I can promise that you’re going to see a lot of pictures of Valerie in the future! I’ll try to post more tomorrow.

Right now she is sleeping soundly in her new bed. It’s great to have her home.

Where is home?

The following was written by a friend (Kim) whose daughter (Katherine) suffered a severe brain injury.  Kim is traveling back and forth from her home in Georgia and her daughter’s home in California —

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One thing I’ve learned for sure living in Tinseltown is that all that glitters ain’t gold.

The “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

I used to be envious of those people with multiple addresses you’d read about in Town and Country. “Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Astorbutt of New York, Palm Beach, and Nantucket announce the engagement of their daughter Abigail to Mr. Gregory Q. Gottrocks, IV, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Q. Gottrocks, III of Washington, D.C., Martha’s Vineyard, and Paris, France.”

Or movie stars you’d read about in People: “Brangelina (or whoever) just purchased a $22.5 million villa on the Cote d’Azur.  They also have residences in Beverly Hills, New York, and a 2,500 acre spread in Wyoming…”

Well, Mrs. F. Brooks Arnold of Athens, Georgia, Los Angeles, and Pomona, California thinks they might be crazy.

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As is usually the case, the reality is far removed from the illusion. The vagabond life is not as carefree as it seems.  You can’t just call Mayflower and have the movers show up each time a change in locale is necessitated.  Personal belongings are strewn across the country. In this constant state of flux, just getting dressed in the morning poses a challenge.

Throwing on a pair of pants in Athens, I realize that the only belt that works with them is still in Pomona.  The shoes with the right heel height are in LA. In LA, I get dressed for church on a cold day, and go to grab my coat before running out the door.  No coat in that closet.  God only knows where the lipliner that matches that shade of lipstick is hiding.  Probably in a purse in the pile on the closet floor in Georgia.  And forget keeping up with little things like glasses and phone chargers and checkbooks. Continue reading