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Our sister, muskateer and Sawmill Girl Elena, is a very unique person. We've never met a kid with so much bravery as she has shown us, our families and all the fine residents of Sawmill. Her beautiful smile will touch your heart and soul when she smiles at you. We've never once heard her complain about anything. She faces each day with a beautiful smile on her face and has a warm weclome for anyone she meets, friends or strangers.  We love our Elena and will all say to you that all of our DNA would match if it was tested. Our Elena is our hero and we guard her with our lives.

Snoopy (Emilia) Speaks:
When I first met our Elena her smile was the first thing I noticed about her. I remember smiling back at her and her smile lite up like the sun was covering my face. We became very close friends when we lived in Moscow and spent many fun hours together. I had just relocated to Moscow with my auntie because of the passing of my precious mum. It seemed neither of us had a close friend, me because I had just arrived in Moscow a few days earlier, and our Elena because of a serious speech handicap. 

Our Elena has touched my life in so many ways that I could not begin to tell you about them. She has given to me a love that could only come from the depths of her beautiful, loving and caring soul. There is no way I could possibly thank her for the many exciting and fun times we've shared together since we first met. There ia no way I could ever thank her enough for the beautiful friendship she has given to me since our first meeting.

She has such a beautiful and dry humor about her that usually keep us to laughing anytime we're with her
and sometimes we tell to her to hush, or we'll throw you in the cold water fish pond on Sawmill Farm and cool you off. But you know what, the beauty of all that now is she can open her mouth and out come her words and we understand her now and she doesn't have to write ona  pad to us.

As I read her Story it brought back to me many precious memories when we lived in Moscow and when we first reloacted here to Sawmill.  I would smile, I would laugh, and I would also cry because I was there with her duing some very difficult times for her.  Our Elena would just stick her chin out a little further and just keep going like nothing was wrong with her.

My Elena, thank you for being my friend, thank  you for all the courage you have shown to me to over come some difficultes in my life also. Thank you for sharing your faith in our God in Heaven with me. Thank you for the courage you have shown to all of us and mastered and over come your speach handicap. Most all my Elena, Thank you for just being yourself.
Love You I Do! Snoopy

Anuta Speaks:
I met our Elena in Moscow in an underground passage way that goes under the wide Moscow streets because of the terrible traffic on the Moscow streets. Peeple walk through these passage ways from one corner to another. There are also small shops in these passage ways and sometimes musicians will perform there to receive donations.

My parents and I had returned to Moscow for a few days after a trip visiting my grand parents in Stary Oskol before we were to fly back home to Sawmill. We were standing listening to some musicians perfom classical music. I looked to my right and saw a pretty blue eyed blonde girl with a smile on her face listening to the music also.  I asked for her name. She pointed to her mouth and shook her head no. She then took out a pad and wrote her name for me.  I then realized she had a speech problem and could not talk. I said hi Elena my name is Aunta. I spoke in English and she gave me a funny look. I laughed, apologized and then spoke to her in Russian. She smiled again and shook her head that she understood.

I finally convienced her to have lunch with us at McDonalds. My mum asked her if we could walk her home after eating and told Elena it's important for us that we meet your family. That walk to her home with mum and me holding her hands and then meeting her family was undoubtly meant to be for all of us.
We soon disccovered that our mums were really good friends and had played in the same ochestra together when my mum lived in Moscow.

If you've read our Elena's story then you know everything that happend after we all had a meet and greet in her home and know now that she and her family now live here in Sawmill with us.

I don't think I've ever met anyone as sweet and courageous as our sister Elena. Her smile is the sunshine in our lives, her heart and soul are the foundations that make her the beautiful and wonderful person she is to anyone and everyone that knows her.

When I read our sister Elena's story I did the same as our sis Snoopy. I smiled, I laughed, I cried because I also know the courage she has shown to all of us when she was learning to talk. I've watched her grow from a very shy and introverted person to a very intelligent and successful person at everything she does
and has plans to do in her future. Our sis Elena is now very outgoing, loaded with fun and laughter and now her smile is even more brighter.

My sis Elena, thank you for just being yourself and nothing more. Thank you for the sunshine in my life your smiles gives me when I'm having a bad day. Thank you for the courage and integrity you have given to us. You have taught me many things about real life that I would never have known without your love and friendship to all of us. Thank you our sis Elena for all the good you try to give to anyone and everyone you meet. Thank you my Elena for being a real sister to me in heart and soul.
Love You I Do! Anuta

Beth Speaks:
I was in my bed asleep one night and my phone rang. It was that Anuta calling me on her cell phone from Moscow. She laughed and said uh oh Beth I forgot about the 8 hour time difference. She begin to tell me about these two girls she had met in Moscow. One of the girls had a serious speech problem and could not hardly speak a word. She also told me her mum and my mum knew her mum from their music careers.

Anuta told me her name was Elena and we need to try and do something to help her. She told me Elena was spending the night with her in their hotel room that night and asked me to meet them in Skype in a few hours so she could meet me.  I told her no problem and I would open my Skype and wait to hear from them.

I was sitting at my desk and heard Anuta coming online in Skype. We opened our web cams and there sat this girl Elena next to Anuta with a pretty smile on her face. She looked a little shocked to see me in real person here in America and her in Moscow. I waved and smiled back at them. Our Elena smiled and waved at me.  Anuta spoke to me in English and told me some things. She also told me to speak in Russian so our Elena could understand the conversation. She told me our Elena would write to me on her keyboard and for me to acknowlege that I understood what she was saying to me.

That was one of the most heart breaking things I think I've ever done before watching our Elena peck slowly away trying to converse with me. It was also one of the most rewarding things I've ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Anuta told me in English they were going to extend their time in Moscow for at least a week maybe more before returning back home to Sawmill.

As time moved on for us I met the other girl named Emilia who we now call Snoopy here in Sawmill. They both soon had new laptops. We would all meet in Skype and have ourselves a blast talking with each other in Skype for hours. No matter how long it took our Elena to write to us on her keyboard we all let her take all the time she needed. It seemed the four of us were bonding in a friendship that I can't possibly explain to anyone.

Many wonderful things happened for the four of us over the months to come. Soon the decisions were made by Anuta's parents.  They were going to adopt our Snoopy and her auntie would also relocate here to Sawmill . Our parents working together also relocated our Elena and her family here to Sawmill with us. No way were our Elena and our Snoopy going to be seperated. Them being seperated was not up for discussion. It just wasn't going to happen and we didn't let it happen.

As I read our sis Elena's story so many things touched my heart. I also smiled, laughed and cried as I read her story.

Our sis Elena. Thank you for sharing your beautiful smile we all love and see every day. Thank you for teaching me many things about life as someone with a handicap and how I need to deal with any handicap person I meet. Thank you for the many fun filled hours we shared together in Skype and on our cell phones when you were living in Moscow. Thank you for the courage you showed to us when you were learning to talk. Thank you for your prayers you always share with us. I think the most important thank you I say to you is, Thank You for just being yourself in any given situation at any given time and Thank You for making me a better person.
Love You I Do!  Beth