Some items from last week, a few from right now, and some plans...
1) David had an eye infection last week. I guess it might have been plain old pink-eye. We used some drops and it got better before we made it to the doctor. But what's weird is that a few days later my friend mentioned that both of her kids had had it, too. David hadn't been in contact with anyone all week, and it's actually school vacation time right now. However, it WAS really windy outside, with lots of debris flying around. I wonder if that is making people get more eye infections? I've been avoiding wearing contacts until it calms down a little.
2) On transplants: a family I know here in St. Petersburg recently went through a test of faith...their baby girl got quite sick, and it was determined that she needed a new liver. And time was of the essence, and it was going to be expensive, and they didn't want to have it done in Russia. So there was a whirlwind of fundraising and travel plans, a connection made with a hospital in Belgium, etc. The father was a match and donated 1/3 of his liver to his daughter, and she took to it well. Now that I'm writing, it sounds like nothing, but seeing it all unfold and the money coming in and all the prayers being answered was quite emotional. Meanwhile, a girl I know in the U.S. (who had lost her own father) saw a notice and ended up being tested and donating part of her liver to a complete stranger! Again...I'm not doing the story justice, but great to hear about good outcomes and people's selfless acts!
3) The neighbor kids: I think of myself as liking children, but it seems that since having my own, I have a little bit of tunnel vision. Or maybe just distracted all the time and not as able to pay attention to other people. Sometimes I can't resist, though. The other day I was going down in the elevator by myself and two sisters from another floor got on, too (it's summer vacation now). So cute! The older girl was clearly in charge and marched off holding the younger by the hand. The younger girl kept stealing a peek at me and I smiled at her, even though Russians don't always smile at children they don't know. There is also a family with a boy around D's age and then a baby girl (I think). I've seen them at the playground but haven't introduced myself. I feel sort of in awe of the mothers wrangling a toddler and a baby in the carriage at the same time. It's like they're on a completely different mothering plane. Sometimes I think that having kids the same age isn't really grounds enough for friendship, but getting to know at least a few families around here would be good. And getting to know the neighbors is sort-of a goal.
Unfortunately, there are some complicated family situations in our building, too. On a few occasions we have heard a woman a few floors up screaming and banging things around. The worst part is that a child's cries are added to the mix. Turns out she is an alcoholic and the husband keeps the child away from her during these rampages. Just so sad...you can't hide it when you live in an apartment building. I wonder if that child will end up in an orphanage. :(
4) Speaking of orphans....sometimes I think about how I don't think about them. If something comes up, I am reminded, but it's not the same as when it was constantly on my mind. I think about if that's okay or not. Should I try harder to keep them close? Is there some way to integrate it into what I'm doing now? Is it okay to have a break for a while? I think in the end I just have to wait for God to be the one to initiate. I could probably be doing more to try to hear Him, but I also think that it's not something to be forced. Ministry is hard enough even when you DO know what you want to do. Meanwhile, a couple in my church are planning to become foster parents, and they're getting pretty close! That's exciting news.
5) Speaking of church, we're moving! A new meeting place opened up just off of Nevskii Prospect, right in the center of town. We haven't met in the downtown area for several years. Though we were looking for a bigger space, I don't think we had anything specific in mind. I think it's going to be a really neat location, and I certainly don't have many other excuses for strolling down Nevskii once a week. There are some inconvenient aspects, like an evening meeting time. But we'll see how it goes. In general I like change, and I'm always up for trying something new!
That turned out longer than I thought for just a few random pieces of news. :)