Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Oprah -- Please answer the children!

During our adoption processes we have unfortunately met with horrible dishonesty, beauracracy, and downright abuse. It has been disturbing and sad to us. But, we have also met the most wonderful people. People who love children and people who will help total strangers. We have met dozens of them along the way and they uplift and inspire us.

I just heard the most wonderful story through a letter my grandma wrote me. I read it last night and it brought tears of joy and also the great wonderment that comes of recognizing another's pure heart and intent of charity.

My grandparents spend their lives travelling around the U.S. in their beautiful little home on wheels. They have made it into the home that grandmas always have - comfy, cozy, smelling of bread or some other goodie you can't wait to try. He keeps busy working on the truck or the home and she keeps busy making the inside cozy and meeting people and befriending them at every little R.V. park they pull into. They both keep very busy picking up odd and sometimes really strenuous jobs at the Parks they stay at. One summer they worked in a restaurant in Utah and most recently they worked raking leaves and selling memberships at a little place in Northern California. (And they aren't Spring Chickens you know!) Somehow, they have time to meet amazing people along the way and within very short amounts of time, they can form lasting friendships.

Apparently, my grandma has made one such friend named Leslie. I don't know anything about her except she is my grandma's friend, she is a kindergarten teacher and as my grandma's friend she has probably been subjected to sitting down with a bagel and a cold drink while my grandparents brag about their grandchildren. Apparently, this included reading portions of this blog to her.

She sounds like an extemely kind hearted person and she took Anastasia's story to heart. Grandma says that she isn't the type of lady to sit on her laurels -she has done many things like raising money for the needy and I think she even got a school built in Africa - wow. Anyway, she wanted to help Anastasia so she printed off some of Anastasia's pictures and took them to school with her. She and her children then wrote a letter to Oprah Winfrey pleading with her to help us get Anastasia. They now keep Anastasia's picture up in their classroom. I am so thrilled to learn of such a wonderful teacher who can inspire the littlest of God's children to care about another. She should be teacher of the year!

Unfortunately, Oprah hasn't written back to them and the children are now worried because it is getting close to the end of the year. I am sure that their positive thoughts and actions are going to go a long way to helping us to get Anastasia, we are so blessed just to know about a teacher and little students like them - what a great example they are!

Leslie, if you are reading this, please pass a message on to your students.

Dear Children,
We have not and will not ever give up the fight to get our daughter home. She is not just our daughter but she is also Max's sister and he misses her so much -- we will keep fighting until we find a way to bring her home. Even if Oprah can't help, that is okay, someone, somewhere will help us get her. It is because of people like you who took the time out to care for a stranger; you are the people who make things change and who make good things happen in the world. We thank you with all of our hearts and I feel certain that even though Oprah hasn't written back to you yet, that if she has read that letter, she is thinking about Anastasia and maybe even praying for her too - so maybe she will be able to help us afterall! Please keep loving and serving strangers and your lives will be blessed and one day you will make a difference that you can see, but for now, you have made a difference you can't see, but one that the Baxter family can feel.
Have a wonderful summer and consider yourselves very lucky to have a teacher like Ms. Leslie!
With much love,
Robert, Holly, Alexander, Max and Dmitry


It has become so difficult to talk about her. It just saddens me so much, yet I want to keep her name and her spirit alive in our house. How else will we keep fighting for her?

Our latest information is that the whole parental termination process halted in January. Unbeknownst to us, the father was arrested again -- for murder this time and thrown into jail. The government won't allow the state to terminate his rights while he is in prison. That is about all the information we have and that was recently supplied by the every vigilant Alex - thank goodness for him.

We have no idea how we will proceed from here. Do we have the right to keep asking for Miracles? We need another one though. We have spoken with some agencies but no one wants to help us - it is just too messy and complicated. We recently got the name of a high powered adoption lawyer who has helped people in similar situations. I have emailed her but haven't heard back yet. If she doesn't help us, we don't know where we will go from here.

The most positive outcome would be that somehow, through a Miracle, the father's rights get terminated. Still, even with this scenario, that would mean at least a year before we can get her: six months waiting for the termination to be contested and six months waiting for her on the Russian database allowing Russian families a fair shot at adopting her.

We are praying and praying and we thank all of you who continue to remember Anastasia and think about her or pray for her. You keep us going...

Poor Robert's Leg May 9th

Robert is in surgery now. He is having the metal plate removed from his leg. It has been bothering him and the screws are working their way loose so the doctor recommended the removal.

He should be out of surgery this afternoon and able to come home tomorrow. We will both be so happy to get all this hospital stuff behind us. The hope is that he will experience much less soreness and stiffness after the metal is out of his leg.

I can't wait for him to be home again!