This is my beautiful grandmother Valentina (Getsch) Konola who came here to the U.S. from Russia in 1933. This was taken in Russa. In this photo she is pregnant with her son who was born in Moscow, June 1932. His name is Walter (Konola) Buranen and he is my father. He was just 14 months old when she traveled to the U.S. They were coming to be reunited with Walter (Konola) Buranen Senior, her husband and his father. However after a bitter divorce in 1937, Walter Senior took the young boy and moved to another state and changed their names from Konola to Buranen. We suspect he changed the name so that Valentina could never find them. My father, now 86, searched his entire life for his mother. Fortunately last year, we found her American family. After the divorce, she remarried and had 2 other children. Valentina passed away in 2009 at the age of 96. Her children and grandchildren tell us she never stopped searching for our father, Walter. From what they tell us she enjoyed celebrating Holidays, especially Christmas. What's ironic about that is my father Walter remembers as a young teen around age 13, stopping to marvel at houses as they were decorated with lights at Christmas. And he would look through the windows to watch families celebrate. See, after his father Walter Senior took him from Valentina, he abandoned our Father. My father grew up alone most of his life and never knew what it was like to celebrate Christmas with family until he met my mother and had one of us own. We learned that Valentina enjoyed painting. And in another odd twist of fate, one of my Father's favorite past times is painting. They also tell us Valentina was funny and talented and liked to dress well and that she carried herself like a princess. They had a nickname for her, Tsarina Valentina. My father wishes he could have known his mother like her US family did. Before he passes away, we are doing our best to find out more about her Russian family so that he knows as much about her as possible. But finding information on her Russian roots has proven difficult. We don't even know if we are spelling her Russian last name properly. Getsch is how my Father remembers it being pronounced. To anyone who can help us in this endeavor, our hearts would be filled with gratitude and appreciation.