During this probationary period, she's lived with a family of beet farmers,
learned to make borscht, and has been studying both Russian and Ukrainian.
She has also been at an intense emotional crossroads. She's trying to
decide if she wants to continue with the 2+ year commitment, or come home.
There are many different factors (both logical and emotional) that are
weighing heavily on her.
Once in awhile she's able to take her little laptop to an internet cafe and
e-mail us. In one of my responses I did all I could to send as much love
and support through the digital aether. I feel that message has some value,
and so am archiving it below.
I realize that I cannot hope to truly understand the situation you're in
Realizing this, I see that the best I can do is to love you, trust in your
excellent judgement, and support you in whatever manner I can. I'm
confident that you will make whatever decision is best.
I have a tremendous regard for you, [sister's name]. You are intelligent,
compassionate, courageous, and possessing of a deep sincerity. I recommend
that you use your quiet evening time to reflect on what is in your heart. I
trust in you.
You're feelings are valid. If you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, disappointed,
or otherwise that your current experience is not living up to your hopes and
expectations - that is ok.
Look, despite all the poorly inculturated pseudo-judeo-christian malarky
that the great American Midwest has fed you all your life, the following are
important to keep in mind:
- Women are not inferior to men
- Women need not sacrifice themselves emotionally for others benefit to
somehow prove they are "good".
- [sister]'s feelings are IMPORTANT (to far more than just [sister])
- [sister]'s happiness is IMPORTANT (to far more than just [sister])
- More universally: no one person is more important than any other one
- You do not have to have all the answers of your life at this very
- Nor do you need to have all the answers of your life even 5 years from
- An unhappy [sister] in the world makes the world a worse place - the
universe PREFERS a happy [sister]
- There are a great many people in this world who love [sister] supremely
- we will help you do anything
- You are intelligent.
- You are compassionate.
- You tend to be far more selfless than is required.
- It can be just as courageous to publicly change one's mind as it is to
stick to one's guns
- Everyone knows this (#13), and should you sincerely choose to come home
people will continue to hold you in good esteem.
I love you more than you know,