Monday, August 2, 2010

Lots of confusion and an uncertain future

A week before Nastia was to leave she and I sat down at the computer and she opened up to me. Usually, we would go on google translate and ask her questions and she would give us simple answers, but she finally got to a point that she trusted us, and wanted to share more. We sat there for an hour and a half typing back and forth. In the end...Nastia told me that she goes home every weekend and lives with her grandfather, mother and brothers, but lives in the orphanage during the week. She said she has a 16 year old brother that lives with her mom's sister, as well. This was all very shocking to us! What was even more shocking is that she said she did not want to come live in America. We were not expecting this at all! We brought her here to find a family, but to find out that she loves her grandfather and brothers (not her mother, so much), that she spends time with them, and that she does not want to leave them was disheartening to say the least. And at the same time, we were so happy that she has someone there who still loves her. I definitely have mixed emotions.
Some people will say, "But she would be so much better off here!" Well, in some respects that is true. But is it fair to take her away from her family, even if she only gets to see them on the weekends, or even periodically? She loves them! Again, mixed emotions.
The truth is...when Nastia goes to orphan court the judge will ask her if she wants the Lewis family to adopt her. And, as of right now, her answer is, "No." The day she was leaving us we sat down at the computer again and I asked her again if she would like to live in America someday. She sat there with tears flowing down her face. She wouldn't answer. I put my hands on her cheeks and made her look at me and told her that I needed her to be honest with me and tell me what she wants. She, again, said that she wanted to live in Latvia, but she wants to come back and see us.
I was told that she is probably making up the story about spending time with her family, because "that is what orphans do to make their lives look better than they really are." In fact, her orphanage was contacted and they said she does spend time with her family, and she is close to her grandfather and brothers.
I talked to a chaperon from her orphanage and she said to give Nastia a week to get back into her normal routine at the orphanage and then to have the Lewis family ask their adoption agency to contact the orphanage director and ask her if she wants to be adopted by them. If she says no, they will wait a month and ask her again. She may get back to Latvia and miss the family life she had here. She may get back and her grandfather may tell her that she needs to go to America. Or, maybe her grandfather won't want to let her go. (?) Or, she may decide that she misses America, but she still wants to stay in Latvia, so she can be close to her family. We really have no idea!
The Lewis family has started their own blog, so you can follow their journey here:

No matter what happens...we love her! And we know that God loves her even more!


  1. Is it possible to have contact with her once she is back at the orphanage? Is this something that you or the Lewis family could do w/her?

  2. Hi Kerry, read the blog and just wanted to share that we had a very similar experience last winter. The boys we hosted spent days before leaving begging not to go back and to please allow them to stay. They shared before they left that their mother visits about once a month, though they have been in care for 11 years. They wanted their mothers blessing (the 11 year old had said more than once he would bring her with him to America and the older brother would say something very stern in Russian when he would say that)..she first gave her blessing, however she then wanted to know how often we could send them to visit..we didn't feel like we could make any promises, so she took her blessing away...It was hard, we love those boys..however we knew that it was God that was truely in control..and while some people have thought the mother to be selfish, I won't even venture to judge as I have not stood in their place and have no right to, there are just too many missing pieces that I don't know and must not be important for me to see...What I did see is God giving us a life changing opportunity to love two boys he loves so much...and for that we were forever changed!! We also know trust that God put the desire to adopt on our hearts, so we trust Him knowing that He will show us who that will be..and that THAT child(ren) will have wished for a family and will not be torn between two families that love them. Thanks for sharing about Anastasija!

  3. Kerry--

    I think it is wonderful that Anastasija has a family in Latvia and a family in the US that both love and want her. She must be a very special little girl. And while I think she will probably have better opportunities in the US, that doesn't necessarily mean she will have a better life. It doesn't sound like she is facing the path most orphan girl would face when turning sixteen and leaving the orphanage.

    You and your family did what you felt called to do -- open your hearts and homes to a beautiful little girl. You gave her five weeks of absolute love. You had a wonderful experience and probably will repeat it with another child. That new child may need a home.

    -- Karen


Leave a happy thought!