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Showing posts from September, 2012

Making plans

Soon after writing the previous post, my husband and I sat down and looked at dates and realized we couldn't get him a visa to Finland as planned. Most Russians we had asked had told us it was much easier than getting into Estonia (people get a Finnish visa and use it to enter Estonia). Come to find out, a Finnish visa takes nearly a MONTH to process.

Bottom line, I still have to leave Russia with the baby on Sept. 30th, but Andrei can't go with us. We can't extend David's Russian visa, nor can we expedite a visa for Andrei to enter a neighboring country.

I have missionary friends living in Tallinn (Estonia) currently, and the wife is traveling back to Tallinn from Russia on the exact date we need to leave, so we can even get a ride with her, and her family has graciously offered to help out me and David.

Other friends offered us their flat to stay in as a family, should Andrei make it into Estonia.

After making a new round of phone calls and inquiries after ruling ou…


I feel a bit apprehensive about the approaching Bureaucracy Season. I have to keep telling myself that the God who got me through it before will be with me and sustain me.

Two years ago, I was battling sickness as I turned in my residency papers just in the nick of time.

One year ago, I stood in line while in the throes of morning sickness, nibbling on my crackers and hoping for a miracle.

This year, I have an infant, himself holding tourist status. I don't know how I'm going to work out standing in line for my own documents in-between feeding and caring for him. And then next year, I'll be doing it with a toddler. Each year the mountains seem too high, but now I have my little David to remind me of how a man of God defeated Goliath. I have to believe it will happen for us, too.

You can read about my journey with Russian bureaucracy in the posts mentioned below.

-The adventures began about when I started this blog back in 2007. We were required to leave the country every fe…

Post-Soviet Pediatrics

I find the cultural differences in approaches to medicine so fascinating! The "common cold" argument attracts a lot of discussion, but there are other aspects, like sterilization, that are very interesting to compare. I read a book about Soviet medicine that I reviewed awhile back and it explained a LOT. Let me know if you can recommend any other sources on this topic, because I just find it interesting in general!

Meanwhile, I had a taste of culture shock taking our son to the Russian pediatrician for the first time! Here are my quick American observations: 1) They want to fix everything. 2) They don't give you a choice. 3) You have to go to see specialists for things that a general practitioner in the U.S. would take care of. 4) Private clinics like to milk all the money they can get out of you!

We went to a clinic that a friend had recommended; in fact, she even gave us a ride!

When we went through all the Russian rituals of taking off our outer clothing and putting …

Your thoughts?

So the deal with blogging is that most of my computer time nowadays happens one-handed. While I compose interesting emails and updates in my mind, they're just not getting written. I've been trying to schedule in five minutes of writing time each day just for sanity and creativity's sake, but most posts are longer than five minutes' worth anyway. "Maybe tomorrow" is my current motto.

In the meantime, feel free to post here links to any reading material or even audio content that you think I'd enjoy checking out. If you're a mother, is there anything in particular you do/did while nursing? Or was it all about the baby?

-sermon audio?
-Bible commentary?
-language learning?
-books on Kindle?

I like missionary and "mommy" blogs, but I try not to get into a comparing myself rut, so I aim to keep a good balance. Just anything uplifting that you'd like to share, I'm open to! (Ugh, just butchered the English language)

A little bit of green

Our apartment complex is fairly typical, but there's a bonus: we have some green space!

Normally a plot of land doesn't stay empty for long and in other courtyards you might see a preschool, grocery store, playground, or at least another dumpster or parking lot! I don't remember what the story is, but whatever was supposed to be built here didn't get built.

There aren't any benches, but I've come to regard that as a good thing, as they attract loiterers; smokers and the like. That means less noise as well as less trash. Here it's just people going to work or school, or simply taking a leisurely walk. The long, paved sidewalks allow for bikes, rollerblades, and strollers. While dogs bring their own messes, it's fun to see them frolicking on the grass.

Beyond the next building, there's a playground, teeming with kids and their parents and grandparents; a mother snapping at her daughter (tired after a long day?). Maybe I'll have to take my turn th…

Bureaucracy Season

It’s that time of year! Actually, I will have to start thinking about my documents in October, but September is the time for David’s documents.
He is currently registered in St. Petersburg as an American tourist. Yep, it’s true. We get until the end of the month to figure out something more permanent (preferably dual citizenship) and then I will have to exit with him into another country and get a new visa for him.
My heart hurts for families who have to be separated for short or long periods of time because of citizenship issues. What if I chose Russian citizenship in order to be in Russia with my husband without threat of deportation? Then I’d need a visa to go back and visit my parents!
I have to admit that I have a little bit of a double standard in my head. I don't like having to wait in line and go through the same processes as all those other foreigners (who came here for silly reasons like making money to support their families). And my marriage is a real marriage, so sh…

The Summer of David

My husband and I were reflecting on the summer, or rather, I was probably worrying about something and he was trying to get me to see the other side.

There was soooo much I didn't get done. Printing wedding photos (from last year)? Getting together with friends? Taking the baby with us to the park on a picnic? Introducing my husband to more of my favorite hometown people and places? Blogging???

"This was the summer of David," my husband said. It wasn't the summer for any of those other things. I had to take care of my health, then we had to travel to the NICU, then we had to (try to) resolve breastfeeding issues, while tackling medical insurance details and obtaining all the papers that David would need to travel to another country at 7 weeks of life.

There was essentially one thing I could get done each day-one phone call, one form, one e-mail. Other than that, each break consisted of taking care of the basic tasks I needed for survival: This is the break when I ea…