What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Vanessa

I'm a mom of 6 kids, 2 biological, and four adopted from Russia. I love to cook and exercise, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I came from a large, loud family of 7 kids, and now I have my own large, loud family. Since our marriage 19+ years ago, my husband, Dave and I have added 6 kids to our family. Our oldest son came quickly, after being married just one year. After mucking it through the rest of our undergrad education (me-psychology, Dave-electrical & computer engineering), we headed to NYC for law school. When our oldest was 6.5 years, it was finally time to add to our family. We adopted a 3-yr old girl and 11-month boy from Russia, where Dave had previously been a missionary. What followed was a crash course in extreme parenting. Both kids turned out to have Fetal Aclohol Spectrum Disorder. Our daughter also had numerous learning, language, and attachment disorders. It was rough, but we survived, and- SURPRISE-8 months after adopting we were expecting! Our youngest boy was born, increasing our family from 1 to 4 kids in just under 1.5 years. Before we could get too comfortable, we felt that need to go back to Russia. As our youngest was turning 2, we were back adopting 2 more kids: an 8-yr old boy and 7-yr old girl. We were scared, but confident we were doing the right thing. Kids don't come out of orphanages without scars, but the most important purpose in my life is to help them grow from where they were/are to be wise, healthy and loving people. I keep sane by running. I've done 11 marathons so far, and hope to do more. I also play the piano and sing when I find the time.

Why I am a Mormon

A few years ago, our family went through a really rough time. It felt like doing the right thing only made life so much harder, and we could be happier if we stopped trying. I asked myself many times if God really loved us, and why, if He loved us, it was so hard to follow Him. In the end, it came down to a few questions: Do I really want the gospel to be true? Do I want to try and follow Christ? Is it worth it? As I asked these questions, I thought about my kids. I thought most of all about my daughter, her Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, her learning disabilities, and her struggles with trust and love. I thought about the rough hand dealt to her in this life, and the wounds from abuse and neglect that I will never be able to fully heal for her. If there was no Christ, she could never be healed, physically or emotionally. I don't want this life to be all there ever is for her. Through her Savior, I want her to find peace, and someday I want to be able to know her without the impediments she currently has. This is the hope spoken of in the New Testament: the expectation, even conviction, that there is a beautiful life after this one, that tears of sorrow will become tears of gratitude and joy as we are made whole, physically and spiritually, by Christ. And that we will, reunited with our families, have peace and joy.

How I live my faith

Living my faith is not necessarily something I give specific, conscious thought to; It is just a natural part of who I want to be. Because I love and trust Jesus Christ, I want to be patient with my kids, I want to feel empathy for those who suffer, and I want to feel the peace and love of a close, personal relationship with my Heavenly Father.