The best laid plans

You know, the prospect of selling over $3600 in candy, making said candy and sending nearly $3000 to RUSSIA is enough to put anyone over the edge. ?Mother Teresa once said, “God won’t give me more than I can handle. ?I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.” ?I reflect on those words daily at this time of year. ?You could say that I bring this upon myself, but I beg to differ. ?I had a plan with life. ?I was going to get married, have some babies and live happily ever after. ?I didn’t choose to be infertile thus laying out a whole contorted life of adopting from Russia and the “afterlife” that entailed. ?Would I have been content with the happily ever after? ?Probably not.

In any case, things rarely work out the way I intend them to.

The purpose of Sweet Hope is to give children who have nothing something. ?Ultimately, I would like to see them get the therapy they need and a loving home. ?That will take many years to realize and if there is one thing in this life I’ve learned, it is to be patient.

Yesterday morning I received an email from my friend, Galina. ?I had emailed her the day before to give her a heads up on the money situation and confirm the “send to” information. ?I was very disturbed by what she had to say. ?After receiving my email, she called Dr. Tatiana at Khabarovsk Baby Home #2. ?The gist of the email was that Dr. Tatiana did not want the money we were going to send. ?Or rather, she did not want to be beholden to the Slavyanka Women’s Society for the funds. ?Basically, Tatiana said, “give the money to children who need it more.” ?She turned down 3 grand. ?Evidently, because the Baby Home is located in an urban area there are always people who give large sums of money. ?Those people do not ask for a report of how the money is spent. ?Slavyanka (and I) demand that we know how the money is spent. ?I was floored. ?How does an orphanage turn down $3000? ?$3000? ?Hell, I could use 3 grand.

Galina, in her grace, was so apologetic about the whole situation. ?Her solution was that the Slavyanka Women’s Society would find a suitable orphanage to receive your gifts, with my permission.

I waited with anticipation all day to hear an answer from her. ?At 5:00 last evening I received this email from her…

Lisa, hi. I spoke with the director ” Children’s orphanage ” in village Mirnyi.
I very much pity(regret), that you did not see as they were delighted. This very poor establishment and suddenly on a head such money gift has felled. I am glad very much for them. To this village it is necessary to go more than hour. They are ready to execute all conditions Slawyanka under the control. As well as last time I shall organize, TV and journalists of the newspapers.
On Friday, the director will arrive to Khabarovsk and we speak all details of reception of money. Yesterday Slawyanka has organized an elective conference and I was elected by the Chairman Slawyanka. All women asked to pass you, that they are glad to see you as ours guest in Khabarovsk. Welcome.
With love, Galina

I will warn you that Galina writes her emails in Russian and then sends them through a translator. ?That is why they take a little while to decipher. ?The basic translation is that the money will go to the orphanage in the village of Mirny, Russia. ?It is a very poor orphanage and the director is overjoyed to receive the money. ?He (or she) will travel to Khabarovsk this Friday to meet with Galina to discuss how this money should be spent. ?I have asked Galina a bunch of questions about this orphanage since I am not familiar with it. ?As soon as I know something I will pass it on. ?What I will say is that I fully trust the ladies of Slavyanka. ?I have met many of them and I have a very long history with Galina. ?There are people in Russia who will try and dupe Americans out of money. ?Galina is not one of them.

So my roller-coaster day… it ended on a high note.

8 Comment

  1. Maggie says: Reply

    Sorry to hear it fell through with the original children’s home. I’m not terribly surprised, though. When I was trying to adopt Vlad, his orphanage director wanted big sums of money from the families that hosted kids. When she learned that, at the time of adoption, we would make orphanage contributions she was furious. That’s when she started lying to the kids (telling them we’d harvest their organs and so forth) and trying to move them all into patronat homes. I can’t know for sure, but I think she wanted the money right then and with no official strings attached.

    In any case, thank you for posting this and for finding a children’s home that’s glad for the funds and happy to report how it’s spent. Also, I don’t know if it’s you or Galina insisting on TV/newspaper coverage but I think that’s such a good thing. There needs to be more positive press about American families who have adopted from Russia. I don’t read the Russian newspapers anymore, but goodness knows they used to be filled with negative adoption stories. (Stories, which, were sadly true, of course. But you remember how the Russian newspapers kept recycling the same stories as if they were fresh, new cases. I think they reported the Hilt story 100 times as if it were a new case.)

  2. Plan B sounds wonderful! I love how Galina describes their happiness.

    We communicate with my Katya’s Russian godfather by email and he writes in Russian and translates. It is interesting at times to decipher! I am always very careful with my words and sentence structure when I write back so that it will translate well. But, I bet I give him a few chuckles too.

    It sounds like they are inviting YOU to Russia. Are you ever going to be able to go and make the documentary you had wanted to do?

  3. Kim Hartman says: Reply

    I just want to say that I’m proud to cyber know you, you are an angel to these orphans and I’m happy to be part of this.

    I’m also very glad your day ended on a high note.

  4. Ahhh orphanage corruption at its blatantest. We will take your cash but um, you want a report, nah keep your money. Sad, very sad.

    I hope the second orphanage can use the money and do some good with it. Your hard work is worth it Elle, really it is.

  5. Nat says: Reply

    Sounds like typical Russian adoption stuff…lots of highs and lows, but works out in the end better than you could ever have possibly imagined.

  6. Lee says: Reply

    It seems that God once again redirected plans to where help is needed the most. A door has opened to a new avenue for giving. Good work sis, I am
    proud of you!

  7. joel413 says: Reply

    What this sounds like to me, (the increase in sales, the highs and lows of where the money will go, etc.) is the beginnings of an established, well run and influential NPO. And I for one look forward to teh future of that organization and being as involved with it as possible.

  8. mom says: Reply

    Efforts such as yours are heroic! It angers me that there is so much corruption in this world, especially when it concerns children. Desperately in need for basics that all of us take for granted… foolishly refused! Yay… for Galina for foraging on to gift this money that you have worked hard for! Dare I say how proud I am of YOU!!!

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