Brava Natasha – You Have Inspired Us from the Second We Saw You

October 13, 2020

Our daughter Natasha just celebrated her 33rd birthday. With each passing year, our family pauses to revisit the special events surrounding her arrival. It was on that muggy day in 1994 when this 6-year-old first set foot on American soil, leaving behind memories of her ramshackle orphanage nestled in the Caucasus mountains of Russia, wedged between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.  

My courageous wife made the journey alone while I stayed home to look after our son, who was in elementary school at the time. I’m pleased to report that Natasha has earned a college degree, landed a secure job in state government, and is preparing for holy matrimony and, hopefully, motherhood. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t toss this one in: she knows more than passable Greek and identifies more with her acquired culture than she does with her own Russian roots. (Okay, so I’m biased.)  

What I’ve gleaned here are a few of the reflections I wrote in her birthday card. Reciting my words brought laughter and tears. Once all the tears were dabbed away, she made me promise that I would make the effort to share it with readers of the National Herald. Your wish is my command: 

Our Dearest Natasha, 

When we look around and hear sad tales of adult children and the struggles they are encountering, it’s hard – really hard – not to draw comparisons with you, daughter. While so many other millennials are searching mightily to find a meaningful trajectory so they can soar, you, it seems, instinctively knew what you wanted in your life and when you wanted it. For that and a galaxy of other reasons, we are so deeply blessed.  

From the moment we laid eyes on you on the concourse at Dulles Airport, a frail, undernourished gift from God, I’ve never known you to shy away from any challenge. That includes stopping long enough after your long and grueling Aeroflot flight to fill out an application to work as a junior – really junior – baggage handler! Did it really matter that you were all of six? Based on your sheer willpower, there’s no question that you would have mastered that introductory job.  

 How can we forget about your time in the U.S. Army? I can only imagine what it was like being roused from a sound sleep at 5:30 AM by a shrill voice in the barrack commanding you to “wake up wake up wake up!” This was the prelude to a daily five-mile fun run through the sizzling South Carolina backwoods.  

Natasha, you may not realize this, but you, sweetheart, are a daily inspiration to your unemployed, overfed, ready-to-strangle-each-other-in-this-pandemic parents. When describing your greatest attributes, allow me to shamelessly borrow a line from the ad campaign for Infinity: Simple. Easy. Awesome.   

See you at (in-person but most likely virtual) Divine Liturgy. Like everything else, we’ll get through this as a family. 

With all my love, 



Cyprus and the European Parliament weren’t ready for Fidias Panayiotou, who had no qualifications to run for a seat in the 720-member body, which made him more qualified than most of the people in there.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


1 of 2 Abducted Louisiana Children is Found Dead in Mississippi after Their Mother is Killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said.

Licensing your intellectual property rights (IP) to a third-party as an additional source of revenue through the commercial exploitation of your IP or for expansion purposes can be an effective strategy to grow your business and extend your reach.

Cyprus and the European Parliament weren’t ready for Fidias Panayiotou, who had no qualifications to run for a seat in the 720-member body, which made him more qualified than most of the people in there.

To the Editor: Greeks are well aware that U.

Joseph Kenworthy was a British member of parliament who disliked and distrusted prime minister David Lloyd George’s Near East foreign policy and support of the Greeks.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.