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Showing posts from February, 2013

On this Day in (the) History of David

Lots of changes these days. David has gone "mobile"...on his stomach for now, but able to move around to all parts of a room and even open/close drawers that are in his reach. He also seems to be experiencing a combination of teething and separation anxiety, which calls for some extra cuddling.

Some special characteristics of this time period:

1) Naptime: only in someone's arms??? Yep, just when I thought we had avoided any potentially hard-to-break habits, David is suddenly very particular about where he sleeps. The moment he is lowered to the mattress, he is wide awake. In the evening he eventually gets tired enough to stay asleep, but during the day it's often 30 minutes or less. I've had to rethink the way I do things. Instead of trying to do everything during naptime, I take those little 5-10 minute spurts when he's fed/cheerful, and wash a dish or two. I don't dare take a shower during naptime lest he wake up in my I bring him into the…

That's IT???

I never thought I would see this prayer answered.

Whenever I visited the Immigration Office, I would timidly ask the Lord that something would change. I knew I couldn't wish away the other foreigners, or expect the building to be renovated. I used to wish so much for an advocate, for someone to look at the conditions and try to make them better.

On Monday I went in to try to apply for permanent residency.

Here's how it works:

-Apply for temporary residency (I did this in 2010)
-Wait 6 months
-Claim temporary residency
-Wait 1 year
-Pass inspection, become eligible for permanent residency
-You now have 1 1/2 years to apply for permanent residency or go back to the beginning

Here's how my 1 1/2 years went: 2012 sped by because of pregnancy/the birth of David/the Estonia episode/etc.

In December, I was at the 3-month mark and got everything ready to apply for permanent residency. 3 months was enough to fix potential problems right?

Well, I knew there there was a pretty tough…

My Teacher Sleeps in School

As a shy child, I often found it very awkward to see teachers outside of school! In the grocery store, downtown, etc. Even in the hallway! I remember a teacher in elementary school bringing me my Valentines and a stack of library books when I got sick. So thoughtful! But my TEACHER at my HOUSE? Worlds collide!

Did you ever find it hard to imagine that your teachers had real lives? Families and pets, dishes to wash and laundry to fold? Wasn't it hard to picture them in normal clothes? There is a cute picture book by Leatie Weiss that covers this topic very well; I definitely recommend it. :)

In college, the lines were more blurred and we could be friendlier with professors, even visiting their houses and meeting their families. The issue was temporarily forgotten...

But whenever I think about Russian bureaucracy I find myself wondering about the lives of the inspectors. I have friends who have worked at McDonald's, in the local grocery store, etc....but who are these governmen…

Brainstorming for Lent

Just musing on some ideas for observing Lent...

We still have the Jesse Tree up and it makes a nice decoration, but we can't very well leave it up all year! A new season is beginning....

Lent has a different feeling to it than Advent. Advent always feels joyful even in its moments of poignancy and expectancy. But can we really wait for the Resurrection with the same cheerfulness, though it ultimately becomes a victory celebration?

I'm not sure how to react to some of the ideas I've found. A "Crown of Thorns" maze for Sunday school? Crucifixion coloring sheets? I do think there are many meaningful ways to observe Lent with children, and they don't necessarily have to be somber.

But it's somewhat unsettling how many of these activities are described as "cute." And I realize as I'm writing that I've been avoiding the words "decorate" and "celebrate."

I like the idea of doing something like a Jesse Tree that will focus o…


Okay, let's talk about the orphans.

I was just looking at this article. I think it does a good job of summing up some common misconceptions. I would agree, based on conversations, that Russians often don't understand the motives of Americans when it comes to adoption. And I'm in an interesting position when it comes to this topic. I live in a country whose children are being taken and raised in the country I grew up in. Imagine that you work in an orphanage and the children are adopted by foreigners from a country that supposedly has really good living conditions, but you've never been there yourself. Once the children are adopted, you never hear from them again. What would you think?

But then I did something I regret. In looking for some information to prove Americans right (not sure why), I came across a forum where Russians were discussing why Americans adopt Russian kids, or foreigners in general. Yep, there were some pretty crazy theories about hidden motives and su…

Advocacy à la D.Bonhoeffer

"Only he who cries out for the Jews may sing Gregorian chants." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

For a while now I've been slowly reading through the Eric Metaxas biography* of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I recently saw someone mention having devoured it very quickly, which I suppose I might have done if it were a work of fiction. But there is much food for thought here.

I began to wonder if his kind of advocacy has a present-day equivalent. That is, I wonder if his approach would be applicable today.
As far as he was concerned, to dare to sing to God when his chosen people were being beaten and murdered meant that one must also speak out against their suffering. If one was unwilling to do this, God was not interested in one's worship.(Metaxas, pp.280-281) I guess I have two questions here. The first is whom we would name as the "chosen people" today. Would we still point to the Jews, or could the Persecuted Church or even the orphans fall into this category?

My second questio…