Nadiia Bagin

sharing my story & inspiring yours

sharing my story & inspiring yours

– Your name is essential. Please, do not let people mispronounce it. Teach everybody how to pronounce your name correctly. Your parents gave you your name for a reason. It meant something to them. It means something to you. It should be meaningful for those around you. Do not give up. Teach us. It is important for your success. Your success is important to us. You are going to be successful! – all of my classmates listen to the words of our dean very attentively, each thinking our own thoughts, remembering our home far, far away, somewhere across the ocean, one or another.

We all are here to succeed. There’s no plan B. No retreat. No turning back. This country gives us a chance, an opportunity. This country is called a land of opportunities. Everybody can succeed here. That is what we all want to believe, and what a relief to hear from our dean that he wants us to succeed. What a blessing to have such support from day one. Back in 1991, in post-Soviet Ukraine, the first words of the computer engineering department’s dean were drastically different: “There is no place for girls in my department.” Nevertheless, I successfully passed my entry test, with no bribes whatsoever, and was determined to succeed. I did succeed, but it was more like against all odds.

In post-Soviet Ukraine, higher education became some kind of an “F” word, and not from the “Future” to be clear, a world of ridicule, a useless word. Highly educated people had to leave their jobs in research & go to the market, selling imported clothes. What a pleasant surprise for me now to discover that my degree is valuable, that my hard work was not in vain, and that here in the US, I am respected for my achievements in education. My education is meaningful here as well as my name. I am no longer Nadya, but Nadiia – with double “i”s & with the emphasis on the first one. I will be very patient & persistent in teaching my new American friends how to pronounce it correctly. It does have a meaning in the beautiful language of my motherland Ukraine: Hope, and I need it very much. All of us need it!

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Nadiia,

    My name is Sandy and I noticed you – well your name actually – on the page for the Henri Nouwen Society’s advent book reading. I haven’t posted there yet but I hope to today (Sat. Dec. 10th)

    Your name caught my eye because last February my husband and I adopted a (not pure-bred but mostly) Russian Blue cat from a shelter, who had the name Nadia, which we kept for her. On looking it up I found that, as you mention, the name means “hope”.

    The Lord has a sense of humor and often happily answers silly little prayers. When our last cat, out of a long period of years of always having more than one cat at a time, died from heart problems I told the Lord that I’d like a solid grey cat this time, but any color would do if the cat was nice. After seeing one cat in person that I’d spotted online and who totally ignored us, I found Nadia online – a lovely dark grey with silver tipped fur. She loved me at first sight (my husband too when she came home). She’s been a joy ever since.

    The even cooler part was when I found out Nadia means “hope”. I’ve been struggling with my spiritual walk for about 5 years; difficulties with trusting God and having hope of heaven. And not only did He send us a grey cat but one already named “Hope” to remind me that He hears even silly little prayers, that He cares about me, and that I can trust Him and have . . . Nadia!

    Congratulations going through all the craziness to get your green card and I hope it goes as smoothly as possible getting your American citizenship. πŸ₯³ πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ πŸ₯³

    I have several different nationalities in my background and they all came here as immigrants – including passengers on the Mayflower on both my Mom’s and Dad’s sides of the family. I even have some “Native” American in my bloodline. We are indeed a country of immigrants. πŸ˜ƒ ❀️

    God bless you, Nadiia!

    Sandy Richardson
    Oh, and my full name is Sandra which is a diminutive of Alexandra, the feminine of Alexander, and means “a defender of men” – or humankind as would be preferred nowadays. πŸ˜‰

    1. Hi Sandy, thank you for sharing your heartwarming story about your new little furry friend πŸ™‚ My name is a Ukrainian version with double “i”s. In Russian, there is a full version of the same name: Nadezhda which means “Hope” while Nadia is a short version of it. God is indeed kind to us even in such details! Looking forward to hearing more from you here or on Henri’s online discussion page πŸ™‚

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