I thought this past holiday season that I would get a bunch of letters from Russia. I have been waiting forever for some new information to keep me motivated about my family search. But that Christmas wish never came true so I keep waiting and waiting for the flood of mail that supposedly is coming my way.
During the night when I wake up for a random reason, I check my e-mail, hoping that some office in Ukraine or Russia has some news for me. I check my e-mail probably too many times every day. I have three e-mail accounts because my darn Verizon account has problems with foreign messages. I send some messages through my Hotmail account that has zero problems with foreign languages and other messages from my mail.ru account. With having a mail.ru account, I had been hoping I would have better luck with getting responses from Russian archives.
Then when I know the offices are closed in Russia and Ukraine, I impatiently wait for the postal mail to arrive. Most days I catch the delivery person before he or she gets a chance to put the mail in the box. The postal employees must think I am crazy. I am an impatient person as you can tell.
Waiting for letters from Russia is painful. Sometimes, it takes a month for my letters to arrive and then another two or three months for responses to arrive in my mailbox. Not all Russian archives have e-mail, but those who have e-mail sometimes do not answer my messages. Other Russian offices have e-mail but they send their responses by postal mail, making the process very annoying to me.
To keep my sanity, I have created two lists- one for things I am waiting on and another for things I can work on. These lists keep me focused and positive. I know several things are on their way early this year.
My to-do list reminds me that there is still plenty of information and relatives to find. I have made major accomplishments in the past two years. I want to find every scrap of information available. With so many relatives dead, I have to depend on archives and other written material to fill in my family’s stories.
When my lists cannot keep me occupied in my boredom, I write in my journal. My mother recommended that I keep a journal to document my successes and frustrations. Hopefully, my two sons will read my journal and realize the work it took to find family information and relatives. I have restrained myself from all the swearing I would like to do in my journal that my sons will one day read. My sons will probably wonder why I bothered to spend so much time and money on my family search when it frustrated me so much.
In the end, I know I am making great friendships with my cousins abroad and will have some great places and relatives to visit in Russia and Ukraine when I am older.