This Blog is meant to journal the combined experiences of the persons involved in the Sasha Project. Its objective is to strengthen the ties between families, students (several of us teach), friends, and the growing number of persons who want to be part of the JOY which this Sasha Journey is spreading.

In 2004, I (Tina) traveled to Russia to assist with the adoption of my two nephews. Alexander (Sasha) was our interpreter, driver, and so much more. I have kept in touch with him and it has been my dream to let him experience first-hand the typical U.S. life (versus merely his impressions from American TV, movies and music). My initially modest idea blossomed to include eleven other adoptive families who also want to host Sasha and thank him for helping to make their dreams come true.

It will be fun as well as educational for all of us to share Sasha's observations and impressions of his daily travels as this Journey unfolds. There is an intricately choreographed daily itinerary which will take us to visit the Space Shuttle, Golden Gate bridge, Route 66, a Home Depot and other American icons through Sasha's eyes. The flight to L.A. is scheduled to leave Moscow on Saturday, June 15th to begin his six week visit.
It seems incredible, but the interviewing U.S. Immigrations officer denied Sasha a Tourist visa. He did not see the value in Sasha's trip or understand the desire for the adopting families and children to reunite with Sasha. The officer decided that Sasha was too poor to be allowed even a brief visit to the U.S.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

Below is the flyer I FAXED to the US Moscow Embassy:

FATHER’s DAY -- the day Sasha was to have arrived at LAX. 
How appropriate that would have been since Sasha assisted so many American men fulfill their dreams of becoming fathers.

There were many adopted Russian children who were anxious to meet the man who helped them become American citizens.  But alas, the U.S. Consulate will not allow Sasha to visit the children. The children are heartbroken and wondering WHY has this been forbidden?

Sasha is not wealthy enough to meet the visitation criteria.  Sasha does not own sufficient property or have significant savings.  (Note:  All of his expenses while in this country were to be paid by the numerous hosting families).

Sasha’s “wealth” is in the unselfish assistance he provided to American families. His “riches” are the fulfillment of people’s dreams. His “treasures” are the dozens and dozens of Russian children he helped place into loving homes versus having them continue to live in orphanages and government facilities.  Those assets can not be shown on a bank statement.

Sasha has lived to create bridges between our two countries and has served as an ambassador of goodwill.  The U.S. Consulate should be honoring this man versus rejecting him!

There are readers in 8 countries who have been following Sasha's Journey to this point.  It is a shame that in just a few moments, one man had the power to shut down this worthwhile program.  He destroyed summer hosting and travel plans of the 12 adopting families, meetings scheduled with educators and researchers, visitation plans of dozens of other good citizens, interview plans of media persons, and the joy which was being shared by readers internationally. 

Where is the logic or value in such a decision?

Tina Shelton


  1. I didn't get to write the letter to the embassy as I had planned (due to an urgent situation) but if Sasha or anyone else can get me the name of the cold-hearted person who refused his visa I'll write a strong letter directly to that inconsiderate imbecile.

    Happy Father's Day anyway to Doc, Sasha, and the dads of all the kids Sasha helped, although today would have been THE perfect day for him to arrive.

  2. It's a rude awakening to realize that we live in a country in which one person can exercise arbitrary power over others, and it's so unfortunate that such an individual happens to be an employee of the US Embassy in Moscow. His actions seem so mechanical, unable to respond to human concerns.


Thanks for being part of this Adventure.