Summer 2005 Prologue

What follows is Simone’s message to our family and friends sent just before we left Brooklyn.

This is the beginning of our email travel log. We take off this evening for Paris then on to Moscow and Yaroslavl and end in Nice at a conference for Emergency Medicine where Steve will be presenting a paper.

When we started the process of looking for Masha’s birth family there were two main obstacles.

I speak no Russian and the Cyrillic alphabet seemed a mystery to me.

I only had Masha’s family name and the village they lived in.

What I came to find out is that for the past 13 years I have had enough of Masha’s birth family’s address to get in touch with them. I wanted to kick myself since I wasted so much time asking for help since I thought I needed an exact address.

Masha’s birth family names are Olga, Alexander and Katya is Masha’s younger biological sister. Earlier this year Masha had sent Olga, Alexander and Katya a short note through a Russian interpreter   asking if we could come and visit them this summer. They replied yes and then it was my turn to write and nail down the details. I have been anxiously waiting to get a response . . . and on Sunday finally a translated letter arrived through email from our go-between interpreter.

Nlt002_f Dear Masha and your family!

Please accept our gratitude for your letter. Having read your letter we understood that we hadn’t known half of what had happened to Masha. Thank you very much indeed for being with Masha at her hardest moments taking upon yourselves so much responsibility and providing care for Masha.

Masha, you have loving parents who have done the impossible for you. We will look forward to meeting you in Yaroslavl. Katya sends her photos to you.

Nph002 Your character is very much like Katya’s.

With best wishes,
The Kalinkins


So we’re off to Paris for a few days before flying on to Moscow and our Russian adventure. Perhaps I’ll see some of you at the end of the trip in Nice. Please keep reading as I’ll start blogging after we arrive in France. There will be much more later.