Safe and Sound

"I remember tears streaming down your face When I said, I'll never let you go When all those shadows almost killed your light. I remember you said, Don't leave me here alone. But all that's dead and gone and passed tonight. Just close your eyes The sun is going down You'll be alright No one can hurt you now Come morning light You and I'll be safe and sound"
-Taylor Swift

Monday, November 11, 2013

Missions and Musings

     It has been almost two months since I've written here. To be frank, I have entirely forgotten about this thing. I need to learn and remember to take this off the shelf, dust it, off, pick up the pen and see what comes out. I often surprise myself with how advanced my writing has become, being only fifteen. My mind has been overwhelmed with school work, human interactions, and production of a better me. I can say that the only thing of the three I mentioned that has improved was human interactions, but not by a long run.
     I say that I've been focusing on school work, when in reality I've been focused on doodling on the margins of my school work. Each piece of homework is not met head on with a new idea of a picture of a starfish playing the flute, a ballerina on her toes, or a smile shared between friends. I am imaginative, creative, and easily bored if I become used to something. I need change to stimulate me, if not, I will fall behind because I feel that I've already met the challenge, and there is no point in continuing to do something that I've already done. That is a reason why I am not doing bad in school, but I am not up to the standard I once was. Repetition annoys me, and I will not get anything done under the circumstances.
     Last year, I told myself and others that I was a sponge that no one could squeeze out. The same is still partially true, yet you can get some small, minuscule drops of water out of me. I will absorb anything that is thrown at me, from ideas to formulas, which is why I test so well. I suppose this is the way that my human interactions have improved, slightly. I've begun to let more of myself show, and it scares the living daylights out of me. But it's for a mission.
     In March, I committed myself to Project Senegal. This is a project that has stemmed off of the nonprofit that was founded in part by trip to Russia in 2011. When we got back, my mother and I started a non profit, and called it Spark540. People who live in and around Salem might have heard of it. It's a leadership organization for high school students, focused around the United Nation's Eight Millennium Development Goals, and for the 2013/2014 year, we have decided to focus on the second goal. Education for all. A group of six teenagers of different interests and talents will be flying to the Dakar region of Senegal on December 26th, 2013. Because of my interest and talent in linguistics, I will be in charge of teaching a begginers english class at two schools, La Fontaine school, and N'doukh Thiarokh school (no one can pronounce it, so we've dubbed it "the village school"), with students ages 12-13. The Fontaine school is a private school, in need of help and reparation, as well as the Village School, but that one is public. Remember in 2011, when I was twelve, how quickly I picked up on the Russian Language? This is what I hope to do with Wolof (the native tongue of Senegal) and French. I have been studying french for four years, so this will be less of a daunting task for me.
     I am asking for your help. I need to reach o fundraising goal of approximately $3.400(U.S.D.) by Christmas. I know I can do it, because I raised $1,500 in sock puppets, and donations from you guys, and I am still offering my sincere thanks to all who contributed, both materially and spiritually. If you are looking to donate, please get in contact with me, and do not use the pay pal link on my blog, unless you want your money to go into the fund of providing Z with a safe "graduation" from the orphanage. Contact me at
     Again, thank you all for reading this, and your time to help me succeed in what I want to do in my time on this kind earth.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Made To Be Broken, Time Lapses, and A Promise.

     Last month, I started high school. It's a whole new world for people like me. I'm a VERY shy person, for the most part. When theres more than one person that I don't know around, I feel like breaking down into tears. This is more recent than anything else, but it's true. I suppose that I'm afraid of social interaction. It's not that I just don't like it, I'm actually scared of it.
     Coming from a 14 year old, that does sound a bit strange. If I know that there's a situation in which I am going to have to be social, I'll stay up extremely late in the night, worrying about what I'm going to say, how I'm going to say it, what if it doesn't sound right? I'll get extremely nervous about it, and end up stressing out a lot, and completely crashing after said event.
     This started to happen when I came back from Russia last June. I don't know what caused it, but I've become quieter and more introverted. I'd rather stay in and read a book than go anywhere. I suppose you could say that I've been broken. Something snapped. It's terrifying. Look at my first post, and then some of the more recent ones. January 2011, I was a bubbly, giggly child. Now what am I? A cynical teenager? No. That's not what I'm trying to be, I want to be happy and outgoing again, but that doesn't seem very realistic in the near future.
     Also, the song Iris, by the Goo Goo Dolls, reminds me so much of my sister, who I haven't spoken to in over a year. The lyrics are as follows:
"And I'd give up forever to touch you
'Cause I know that you feel me somehowYou're the closest to heaven that I'll ever beAnd I don't want to go home right now
And I don't want the world to see me'Cause I don't think that they'd understandWhen everything's made to be brokenI just want you to know who I am
And you can't fight the tears that ain't comingOr the moment of truth in your liesWhen everything feels like the moviesYeah you bleed just to know you're alive
And I don't want the world to see me'Cause I don't think that they'd understandWhen everything's made to be brokenI just want you to know who I am
And I don't want the world to see me'Cause I don't think that they'd understandWhen everything's made to be brokenI just want you to know who I am
And I don't want the world to see me'Cause I don't think that they'd understandWhen everything's made to be brokenI just want you to know who I amI just want you to know who I amI just want you to know who I amI just want you to know who I am" 
You can listen to it here.
    It reminds me of her so much, and causes me to be incredibly sad. I remember her tears, her voice, the sweet scent of her short black hair, her big brown eyes. It takes everything in me not to obsess over the fact that she is not here yet. It's one of those things that's right there, but you have to try to ignore. I don't want to ignore her, but its for the best.     Anyways, sorry I haven't been posting regularly, I'm going to try to work on that,-Bridget.

     One year later:Hi, I'm Bridget, I'm 15, and a sophomore in High School. Things have gotten better, I talk to people, though still get nervous around big groups of people I don't know. I'm also still afraid to ask people for things, I'd rather just not get said thing done. I've continued to get "good" grades (mostly B's with a few A's) and am taking AP Environmental Science this year. My locker is orange, with magnets and a picture of my sister inside.     It constantly kills me that she likely will never be my sister, she likely will never nee me again, and I the same. It kills me that the last memory I have of her is her looking behind her shoulder with tears in her eyes when I was leaving. Looking to make sure I was real, and maybe for the chance that I would just stay forever. I wish I could have stayed forever, but I had a life at home that I needed to tend to. I was 12, and couldn't just make the decision to stay. Legally, I could have stayed for three months, but I had school, two other members of my family, friends, and commitments that I couldn't just abandon to stay 6,000 miles away with no notice.     I wish that Putin didn't close adoptions to the U.S., but there's nothing I can do about that. What am I supposed to do? March over to the Kremlin and yell at Putin? I'm a 15 year old girl, he'd laugh in my face. Plus, many other people are stuck in the same was we are. I am and will be eternally grateful that Z didn't know we had plans to adopt her. For the other children, who had hope of a home in America, and knew that they would come home, and to have that ripped away from them, is a thought I cannot even fathom. I am absolutely crushed by the fact that she's growing older and will likely never come home, I am guaranteed a home until I am at least 18, and likely after that. I will continue to get an education at least until the year 2016, and though I am a little chilly right now, I can just turn the heat on. She (and all the others) are in Siberia, one of the coldest places on earth. They're guaranteed education until they are 16, and "age out" (more like get kicked out), and have it SO much worse than I do.      Anyways, the promise; It's not a promise to you. It's a promise to Z. Dear Z, know that I will never stop thinking about you, know that I care about you, and if Russia ever opens up adoptions, I will get right back to begging and nagging to get you home, but right now,  everything is out of my control. I will love you forever, don't forget that.-Bridget

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Marking A Year

One week from today, May 22, marks one year since the plane took off from Logan International Airport headed eastward to London. From London, the plane went farther east to Moscow. We landed in Moscow on May 23, 2011 and stayed for 3 days. May 26 we left the capitol for Kemerovo. We landed in Kemerovo at 5 am on May 27.
     I still remember the drive to the gasteenitsa vividly.  The long road leading out of the airport, twisting through the worn out streets of south-central Siberia. The streets were devoid of life, besides us, as it was only 5 in the morning. Halfway through it, I fell asleep, and woke up to the soft murmur of voices coming from around me. The front steps I had originally tried to go up were pink, and they were the wrong set of stairs. The next set were grey with a trash barrel next to them. You had to ring a doorbell to be let into the building. The grumpy key lady had to come open the door for you, amd stay there until we were done unloading the van of our 7 duffel bags, five backpacks and two suitcases. Our room was the last room on the left, and there were things sticking out of the walls with flower pots on top of them, some form of Russian art, I guess. I passed out on the one bed about 30 seconds after we arrived. I woke up at 2. I could have slept longer, but Anya had made an appearance with her friend Ira (EE-rah). We finally got to do some exploring of the city later that night. the amusment park down the street, the "mall", my favorite restaurant in the entire world, Chocoladnitsa, the River Tomb (Tom), and all the other wonders.
     Since I've returned home from the dismal place seldom on a map, the sadness has been overwhelming, knowing that there are people living in this place of coal dust and desperation. Knowing that it's been almost a year since I've seen my sister, and Anya and all of the others.
    A year since I've seen my sister. Has she grown? Has the mop of hair on her head become longer? These are all things that I do not know. Imagine your sister, brother, cousin living over 6000 miles away, and you not seeing them for the first 8 years of their life, and seeing them twice a whole year ago. Then multiply it by 10 and then you STILL wont get what it feels like. I can post countless picturees of me, my friends, my family, from the past year, having fun, being sad, happy and everything in between. But what about her? Her friends, family? I can almost guarantee none of that has been documented.
     There's also the sense of guilt that comes with things, such as drinking water. Most Americans don't think about it when they turn the tap on and get a glass of water. I do. I took a sip of water from the orphanage, and then realized my mistake when I got home. Giardia. Parasites. Most of the kids at the DD have them, because there is NO clean drinking water. I'm still careful with water here, scared to drink it, almost. I can't drink it if it tastes a little off, for fear of a repeat. There's guilt in everything, opening a textbook at school, putting my glasses on my face, getting changed for gym, playing my clarinet, walking the hill-less route from school to my house, in the nice weather. Things that a normal kid wouldn't think twice about, I cherish. Most kids in 8th grade hate getting changed for gym, its a pain and pointless. While I hate it, I love it at the same time. I HAVE something to change into. Some kids don't.
     On another note: Since it's been a whole year since Russia, I'm going to get back into learning the language. I speak it well enough to get by, and not order 5 coffees (love you mum!) accidentally. But I'm nowhere near fluent. My sentences are somewhere along the lines of "I be listen music. Me like horse." instead of "I am listening to music. I like horses"
     And finally, I will leave you with a question: Who are the waiting ones? Us, the family she will belong to eventually, or her, a lost orphan girl?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Safe and Sound

 This song is one I recommend to anyone with a child waiting. No matter if it's your sibling, son, daughter, grandchild, niece or nephew. The lyrics mean so much. It's one of the only country songs I like, because of the words, and the haunting melody.
     It's like it is talking to the child that is being left alone. "Come morning light, you and I will be safe and sound"
     Now is the time of dark. Night, if you will. The awaiting what is to come. You cannot see in the dark. It's covering all of your vision. What is to come next? Certainly not predictable. Even if you know the course you are walking, if you have adopted before, how do you know exactly which way you are turned in?

     Most people think of the child who is being adopted, the waiting, anxiety of what is to come. It is true. Don't get me wrong. I didn't even think of the family who is bringing the child home, the parents, siblings, until recently. The family who is waiting, in the dark. We wait and wonder what is happening to our poor little baby. I live every moment scared of what might happen to her. Is she okay? Does she have enough to eat, to not be hungry? Is there anyone looking out for her if she gets hurt? I want the daylight to come, the sun to rise, to be able to leave this dark room, move on to one filled with sunlight and joy. To have the worry lifted, to have her safe and sound, in our arms.
     Though when she comes home, I know it will not all be light. There will still be dark. I've learned about these things. I am in no way fully prepared, or even part way prepared for the rages, the trauma, the incredible amount of attention she will need. I get it. It will be hard. I need to prepare, and I might not ever get to that point. I promise to love her unconditionally, as I already do. There will still be shadows of her past lurking, making it dark at times. It will make it dark at many, many, MANY times. In no way, shape or form am I going to be 100% braced for this. It's a bumpy ride.
Another perspective, from a new view, from an adoptive parent (my mother dearest):

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Cracks in Our Foundation

     Kate Nash song, Foundations. I recommend it to anyone who likes either:
          a. British Accents
          b. Indie pop (I have no idea what genre she sings, but this is what both and google told me)
          c. Sassy love songs

     Anyway! About Z. There's HUGE, monumental even, cracks in her foundation. Our [educated] guess is that she has been at the orphanage since she was 6 years old. Z is 8 now. At the orphanage for 2 years. How old is her brother Vanya? Two years old. She was put there soon after her brother was born. Imagine that, you're 6 years old, love your parents, and are looking forward to your new brother coming. When he is born, you are over joyed. But then, your parents put you in an orphanage. When asked about your brother, you STILL say that you love him. This might not be the whole story, but is what we got out of her. If your brother was one of the causes for you to be put in an orphanage, would you still love him? I know I would dislike my brother even more than I do now. When asked "Do you love him", Z responded: "Yes, very much"
     She's such a strong girl. So much hurt packed inside her little body and mind. I simply cannot express how much she needs a home. We have not even STARTED the adoption process. We have completely committed to her, but money locks us up, and is screaming in our face "I'M GONNA STOP YOU IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE!" As the Fab Four said, "Money can't buy me love" It's true. You cannot "buy" love. We've fallen in love, and that part was free. Getting the love home costs twenty thousand dollars. Fair? No. Real?  Yes. Please help us bring her home...I love her, our entire family loves her, and wants nothing more than to have her here. The moment when I can say, "Welcome home, baby girl" I'll know this has all paid off. I hate asking for money. I really do. I'm not good at it either. So far, we've raised approximately $1,900. That's about 1/10 of what we need in total. Please help!
Here are the APPROXIMATE costs of each part of the adoption, as far as I know right now.

  • $2,000 to secure the attorney
  • $2,000 for the home study
  • $1,000 for the post-placement reports (must be paid WITH the home study)
  • $11,000 in 3 payments over the course of the process ($3,670 x 3) to attorney for various tasks
  • $3,000 First visit airfare & vital expense for one parent
  • $6,000 Second visit/courtdate "Gotcha Day" for both parents
  • $1,200 One way airfare for a special girl to come HOME

     We are trying to take this one step at a time.  Right now we are working on raising enough for the first 3 items ($5,000)
     A large thank you goes out to all people who have given donations. From $3.16 to $350, all are appreciated.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


This Thursday at the orphanage where so many live,
Good fortune took hold, with so much to give.
Bringing turkey and cakes and pies to fill
Hungry tummies of orphans, all at a will.
"Yummy Yum Yum!"
"No more chum!"
"Real food today! Hooray! Hooray!"

It's true! On Thursday (2 am our time), at Detsky Dom number 5, they celebrated Russian Christmas (Jan. 7) with a feast provided by caring people world-wide. Such a treat for them! As I said on my last post, their food is, well, a LOT less than getting a celebration that huge, I can't even describe how grateful they must be!

     On another note, I recently saw a video of my sister. I can't imagine all the sad bottled up inside her little 8 year old body. We were "interviewing" her. How old are you Z? What is your favorite color? You know, stuff like that. At one point, we asked if she had any siblings. Affirmative. "Brother or sister?" "Brother." The look on her face then could kill a horse, just so sad and confused. "What is his name?" "Vanya"... "How old is he?" "Dva" (two). "Oh, does he live here too?" "No"...Could he be at the baby home? "Where does he live, Z?" "Home"....I almost died right then. She leaned over onto my lap and closed her eyes. Then a whole slew of girls came in, they found us...Z sat up and looked as happy as ever, and there was no mention of it again.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Detskiy Dom № 5

I miss it so much. I want to be back there so much.
     As you drive up the long, winding road to Visotky Village, you see the bright red roof of the orphanage. You close your eyes, and count to 30, now you hear the giggles of kids, "Amerakanka! Eta Briiid-zheeht! Oo ni yest padarek?"
     You open your eyes and see Toma, swinging on the broken swing, whistling into the wind. Galya running up to you "Briiid-zhyeht!!!! Ya skachayoo po tebya!!!!". You pick her up and carry her piggy-back inside, where you are ushered to a small room, to be welcomed. All the kids are waiting outside the door. As you hear the director go on about something, in a language that you do not know, all you want to do is go and see the kids.
     Z is nowhere to be seen, all the orphans run off with "kitty" to get their presents, while Nastia and I are going to the bathroom. Z begins to walk past us, and then latches onto me from behind. "Prri-zha" (She can't say my name correctly, so, Prizha will do!).

     Now, that was only the first 10 mnutes....But, I will describe to orphanage:
When you walk in, the floor boards are creaky and wet. At lunch, I didn't dare ask what was in my soup...little did I know that it was cow heart. In the bathroom, no toilet paper. BOOK PAGES! On the walls are faded drawings done by the children. When you go upstairs, there are four bedrooms, each with easily 25 kids. They are packed in there like sardines. The beds are not even twin sized beds! Think back to summer camp when you were a kid, how little the beds were. They sleep on those every night. The ground level windows have bars on them. And these kids live here every day of the year.
     What will they get for Christmas? Likely a piece of fruit, and if they're extra lucky, a piece of candy. While kids in America are dreaming of getting a Wii, or a new TV, clothes, books, games, electronics, money. While my sestra is dreaming of a family, or nutritious food.
     On one of my favorite blogs, Last Mom, her daughter was in sunday school and was asked, what are you thankful for. This girl is from the U.S. foster care system, as haD been sience age 4 and was adopted at age 10. One girl says I'm thankful for my dog, a boy says, I'm thankful for my Nintendo. "Princess" said she was thankful for a BED. A BED.
     I almost fell out of my chair with the realization that kids EVEN HERE don't have a safe place to sleep tonight. Or if they do, it's on a cold, hard, floor.
     I will repeat, again and again, please help me bring one little girl home, to be safe, warm, dry, toilet-paper-enabled, loved, cared for and adored.
It costs about $20,000. Think. Twenty-thoudand-dollars. Let that sink in.
And it's me, a thirteen year old girl, trying to raise it....little help here?

"Oh, honey pie, you are making me wont you please come home."
-The Beatles