Archive for the ‘Yana’ Category

Lost In Translation

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

I’ve sat down so many times over the past six months to try and write a called Lost in Translation. This is the picture that I start with. Sweet Yana. Perhaps it’s the wrong picture though. Because as soon as I change her beautiful face into a file link I just sit here. Perhaps the best thing to do is to just trust my hands.

Over the past few months I’ve been working on learning another language.
In college I read a wonderful book called Train Go Sorry about a woman who lives her life on the border between the hearing and deaf world, fitting in to neither one 100%. She’s fascinated by the deaf community but is not welcome because she is hearing. It did not matter that she has family members who were deaf, that she had grown up playing with children at the deaf school where her father worked. It didn’t matter that she knew sign language extensively; their world is one of silence unpenetrable and carefully caged in self imposed solace.

I think language is like that. It holds us apart. But the fantastic things that can happen when barriers break down and connects are made. When words make sense. When the strangeness of the letters becomes familiarity. The wonder of the letters and formations of sounds come together, it’s like a dance where you see the general sway and hear the tune. You can enjoy the music, even though you know that your ears are not quite tuned yet to hear the voice inflections, so it is with language.

It takes a lot of bravery to pick up a book that’s written in a foreigners tongue and promise yourself that someday you’ll read it.

почему ты здесь?

Because of a little girl named Yana. She captured my spirit and held on tight without knowing it. When I saw her picture it was like I really believed she was to be my daughter. What’s life if you can’t feel something crazy like that? I hope everyone does, at some point in there life. She something or someone and say, that person will mean a lot to me one day. Even if it never happens, you’re different. Yana’s photo came into my life in 2012. In 2013 Russia closed it’s doors to Russian to American adoption.
I really did think that this was like an over night thing. Like it was a halt on adoptions to US families. Not so. It’s 2018 now, and Russia holds a solid ban on adoption to the USA.

My knowledge of Yana did not die there. March 2014 a friend of mine who spend time in Yana’s orphanage and had sent me numerous baby photos sent me more that she was able to receive from the director of the Baby House were Yana had lived. The photos were of Yana now a toddler walking hand in hand with two other children. A nothing photo pictured her with a smiling young woman near a climbing structure. My sweet girl had been adopted by a Russian family!! What a tremendous blessing to see that she was among the lucky few to see the outside of institution walls.

God never gave me a child through adoption, as I’d hoped he would. I have felt sad over that, absolutely. But it’s not about me. The story of Yana is a wonderful one. God had a plan for her. He saw her and knew what she needed and brought the perfect family. I’m sure that she’s doing well, and being cared for by loving people. How pleased I was to hear that she’d been adopted by a family who already had children so that she could have siblings to grow up with!

And that’s it, the beginning of my interest in the Russian language and culture.

We moved into this neighborhood in 2009, only months after coming home from our two years living on the East Coast. The neighbor who lived directly behind us asked if I’d like her to teach me some Russian, just for fun. Of course I said yes!! We dove right in to learning as we drank tea and watched our little kids play on the floor.

Time has a way of folding together. Memories close and the pages that make up the chapters of our lives become sticky and torn with the experiences in life, and that’s just how it is, true as much with language as with anything else.

My first words in Привет(hi), Спасибо(thankyou), пожалуйста(please), пока(bye), and хорошо(good, or ok)

So, I guess while my initial interest in Russian came from an orphan in a beautiful foreign slavic nation, I’m now at a point in my life when my kids are grown up a little and I have a sliver of time to try and learn this intriguing language. I’ll never truly be a part of it, as the girl in Train Go Sorry, I can admire and learn everything I wish, if only from behind the space of true immersion of living inside the culture.

One of my favorite words in вы and Ты. Both words make the sound, and mean “You” but one indicates familiarity, and a status in a relation from acquaintance to friend.

I think that to learn another language is to open a window into another world. It requires intention, and can be a struggle but the view may be pretty amazing if you take the time to apply a bit of tenacity and determination the reward can be tremendous. Even if the reward is just to be able to pick up a children’s book in a foreign language and read a story written for small children. Doesn’t это look so similar to “it is”? это всего лишь небольшая часть …It is just a small part, but I smile that I’m understanding the sounds a bit more.

I’m so often lost in translation, aren’t I? In my daily life making notes of what I need to do. Orange chicken and rice for dinner, or ham and mashed potatoes?

Interpreting what’s really behind what my children are asking for or sad about requires translation, as nothing is quite as it seems. Why not mix in with that wanting to learn an actual foreign language. I’m game.

I choose русский. If you ask me why, you’ll get a really long answer like this. My answer changes based on who I’m talking to perhaps, but this is the reason and story that I’m putting forward today. What’s here is Life According to Laura, my story.

Hot Diggity!

Monday, July 8th, 2013

122(ND, 2013)

I thought you were gone,

You were entirely unaccessable, dear friend for what seemed a better part of forever creating a deep blah in my bits of whatever it is that I do all day. I felt so empty without you, space in cyberspace that has been with me for 8 years and two months, it was like those years just fell out of my life…more or less!

I still have the terrific people or actually some of them in my life yet as I did when I started out. Since I lost you I stopped taking pictures every day and logging moments that ought to be written about. My son is 7 this month, let this be the month that I begin writing every day again. Diederick was born in the metaphorical pages of oraeley. I’ve gotten sloppy over the past year as my mind is covered in stacks of laundry and piles of dishes, crumbs on the floor and smudges on the walls from busy little hands.

The big news since I last cracked into oraeley dot com is that Marnie the beautiful girl from Eastern Europe who I fell in love with over Christmas through Reece’s Rainbow

has been claimed for adoption by a wonderful family on the West Coast, not more than a days drive from where Darren and I now live. Click here for a link to their introduction and donate button (10% of all donations go to Voice of Hope fund).

My prayers for this girl could not been more clearly spoken to than they are now with this development. She is to be adopted into a family that already has two young ladies with Down Syndrom, coming home too with a little boy from the same country.

Yana still rests in a orphanage in Russia, a country that has closed it’s doors to outgoing USA adoptions. My heart is broken for this, and her life and being is always on my mind every second of the day. Thanks be, she has been in a handful of news casts in Russia which I’ve been blessed to see. She’s growing up beautifully and is living in such a lovely place, but sadly it is a baby home which she will age out of. My petition of the Lord is that she would be seen by a Russian family who would find it in their hearts to bring this beautiful young lady into their home and raise her as their daughter. This is said to be unlikely, as traditionally families want children who are by their cultural standards perfect. I’m linking here my favorite video article with Yana in it, I’ve watched this more times than I can even tell you. Click here

No new babies in our house, though we do talk about bringing foster care into our family dynamics (I’ve taken all the required classes, we filled out all the paperwork, and I’ve gone in to do my finger printing. I’m waiting on Darren writing his autobiography! We’re nervous about the Home Study, this house very lived in!).

My sister in Oregon welcomed with her husband a new baby girl who I will have the privilege of meeting next month. Aubrey is 1 month old. 1010751_10152918427400577_106386260_n


Glad to be back!!!!

Prepare yourself for plenty of photo filled posts! I’m back, baby.

Plenty more coming from the Harr house. :)

PS: It was actually just 3 months since I was last able to long in, but still just the idea that the writings of 1,254 posts could blow away was rough.

Young Yana

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

This little girl is something so special to me.

Out of the millions of orphans in the world it’s this one-year-old from Russia that has captured my heart so deeply. I was sent four pictures of the little doll when I signed on to be her Guardian Angel through Reece’s Rainbow. There’s a new picture of my Yana available, directly through the Russian government’s public adoption service website where all available children are listed both for domestic and international adoption. Click here and tell me you don’t feel limited. Hitting the translate button offered by my web browser I see that the text around Yana say,

“St. Petersburg

Brothers and no sisters

Possible forms of the device:
adoption, guardianship, foster family

She was born in May 2011

Gray eyes

Light brown hair

The character is calm”

That’s my beautiful girl.

I just look at this picture again and again, of Yana’s little body in those soft jammies, her hand up and a near smile in her baby eyes. I imagine how she’d feel to pick up and draw close.

I have four other baby pictures of this sweet little girl.

She’s one among so so many who has been left by her parents for reasons including being born with Down Syndrome.
On Reeses’s Rainbow, the non-for-profit organization where I first saw Yana’s picture (seen in my last blog entry) there is a In Loving Memory selection at the bottom of the drop down subtitles under the “About Us” of RR. There are 33 images of beautiful children spanning Eastern Europe who have died during the short time that they were held up for adoption–taken home to be with Jesus before they found their way into the arms of loving Mom and Dad here on Earth.

Consider being aprayer warrior, or guardian angel on Reece’s Rainbow. Raise money, advocate through bringing awareness of children with special challenges. God has a plan for each of His children–not one should slip unseen into and out of this world, He sees them. Do you?

For the first time ever, I’m trying my hand at fund raising. So far it’s just a shaky beginning–I try to think that every penny counts. And it does, but 35,000 to $40,000 to bring Yana home? That’s a lot of money. So far there is $623.50 Join my auction, if you’d so desire! Write a comment and I’ll let you know how to enter something, and how to view what is up for auction. :-)

Yana is in Russia. Adoption from Russia, one of the most restrictive districts for Eastern Europe. No one has made an obligation to bring her home. Precious time is passing by that Yana should be spending in loving care, with appropriate physical therapy and whatever else she would require to thrive.

What’s my hopefully joyful conclusion to this post?

I’m just praying for this baby that God would direct someone out there to become her parent through the gift of adoption.

“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven…In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” Matthew 18