Please go get a measuring tape.

August 17th, 2011

Have you ever had the courage to look at the children listed on the Reece’s Rainbow website?

Those faces you see in the pictures?  They are not two-dimensional paper beings.  They are real, living, breathing, flesh-and-blood people.

Reece’s Rainbow is not a catalog.  The reason the children’s pictures are on that site is not because they need someone to coo over their pictures, or go browsing for the cutest one.  Children’s pictures make it on to Reece’s Rainbow because they need life.

Just the fact that they are there is proof that God has intercepted Satan for their lives.

Now they are waiting for parents who will say “Yes,” to God, no matter what.  They are waiting for life.

I am here, I am seeing the children, they are real people.

I held them in my own arms, kissed them, wept over them, tried the best I could to pour love into them, could hardly give them back up, and walk away.

There are seventeen little children with Down syndrome in this orphanage.

This morning I was allowed to hold five of them besides my own tiny one, and to have pictures taken with them.  These pictures are already with their parents.  They are children who are being adopted, and I wanted to give their mamas the priceless gift of seeing them held in loving arms, the gift that Sasha Bliss gave me months ago.

Three of them are little boys being adopted by one set of parents.  All three unspeakably precious, all three in great need of coming home.

But oh!  My heart will cry out to God day and night until He hears and answers on behalf of one of these little boys, by far the most frail of the three.

We think from Sasha Bliss’s photos that he is usually in the room with Katerina, up in the furthest corner of the building.  But our attorney had to tell his parents that right now he is ill, and in the infirmary.  When I was taken to see him, my heart groaned to see him laboring to breathe, eyes drooping, lying in something I cannot call a crib, made of a thin, hard plastic mat and metal bars, hard and comfortless.  Yes, from the Soviet era.  No fabric on it anywhere.  I wept.  I stayed as long as I could.  How could I possibly lay this sick, malnourished, utterly helpless child back down in that cage alone and walk away??

Please, friends, intercede for him!  And for our attorney as she looks into the possibilities for helping him.  His parents are months and months away from bringing him home.  But God loves to show His power, so we are asking Him to protect this child’s life with His mighty hand!

His cage was next to another one that I had to pass on my way back out.  A child I recognized from Sasha Bliss’s photos, a child who is not with Down syndrome, as our attorney would say.  His nose was running and caked and left uncleaned.  I looked into his eyes, and reached out my hand to touch his as I passed by to follow our attorney’s brother into the corridor.  He immediately gripped my hand so firmly that I was jerked backward.  His eyes pled with me to stay, to pick him up.  My eyes pled with him to understand that I could not!  Oh the pain of having to say this to that child!  Of course he will not understand!  To him, I am just another person who doesn’t care enough to pick him up and love him!

There were two more children on our list.

Two little girls whose pictures hang on our refrigerator.  Our family has prayed for families for both these children.

One is on a floor for healthy children.  She came to me without hesitation and melted into me like butter!  I met her in a newly-painted room with colorful therapy equipment.  I cried into her hair, this child for whom we had prayed, and whispered to her that her mama and daddy love her very much and can hardly wait to bring her home.  I rejoiced that I could give her mama her measurements, a report of her good condition and good disposition, and several pictures.

This sweet one will be a daughter in a family, instead of ending up in an adult mental institution.  Thank You, Father!!

The other little girl exists a few feet away from Katerina’s bed, back in the farthest room on the very top floor of this massive building.  She has been so damaged by long-term physical, emotional, and nutritional neglect, that if you saw her face, her form, and her behavior, and smelled her fetid odor, you would wonder whether she was human.

Please take your measuring tape.

Mark three inches.

Loop it around to make a circle.

That is the circumference of her upper arm.  It is really true; I measured it myself, today, with the measuring tape from Laura’s sewing basket.

She is almost eleven years old.

She has been listed on Reece’s Rainbow for a long time.  But she is not the sort of child most parents are looking for.  There is nothing about this child to make her desirable to any but the most pure, loving, and compassionate heart.  She is so damaged by being so sinned-against for so long, that one cannot see the real person that is inside her except with eyes of faith.

I want you to know that when I began to write this post, I was going to ask you to pray that God would send her a family who would love her back to life and personhood.

Then by mid-afternoon, I was going to write that there were now two families interested in adopting her.

Tonight, as I Skyped with Joe, I told him her story, sent him her pictures, and told him it would take a miracle for God to provide a family for her after they learned about her needs.

Minutes later, we received an email telling us that she now has a family committed to adopt her.

And friends…!  My heart is singing…!

…there are now four more families interested in adopting an older child with Down syndrome in poor condition from this orphanage!

Please pray for seven more families, to show this director what kind of God He is!  To show her that these children have value in His eyes!

Nothing, nothing stops God when He decides to act!  Thank You, Father of the fatherless!!


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36 Responses to “Please go get a measuring tape.”

  1. Kristin says:

    Wow!  What a mighty God we serve!  I love the stories where it’s obvious that God moved because there’s just no other way it would’ve happened otherwise.  Praying with you for seven more families :)

  2. Jaime says:

    Are you able to post the Reece’s Rainbow names of the children to which you refer in your post? 

  3. sabrina says:

    What an amazing testimony of our Father’s loving heart and his omnipotent power.
    I sit here in awe and in tears.

  4. Jen Dawn says:

    Praying, praying, praying and thank God for every step forward!!!  Your journey is incredible– praying, praying, praying and praising, praising, praising!!!

  5. Coleen says:

    Amazing!!  Oh how I wish we could be one of those seven families….but I know that could never work out.  I will pray that all of those precious children find a home! 

  6. Erin says:


  7. Mary Stolz says:

    I just cut a piece of ribbon 3 inches long, made a circle of it, and hung it on the fridge with the photos of our two angels waiting for us. This will represent all of the children where you are, waiting for their families to claim them. This will remind us to pray for them as we pray for Christopher and Deyan. God bless you on this difficult journey!
    Mary Stolz 

  8. Thank you for sharing what you are seeing! I have seen it all over FB shared by people who don’t usually share orphan/adoption posts like this and I know hearts are being moved and minds are being changed. I am so glad to hear that the little one you saw has a family coming for her. And, you’ve reminded me today, when I needed to hear it again, that God IS good :)

  9. Hello, I’ve been following along on your journey to bring home Katerina and though I can’t adopt I am a strong advocate for saving those precious lambs lives.  God is moving mountains. I have prayed, I have fasted, I have begged for mercy on their behalf. I hear change is brewing and that is good. I just want to save them all. God bless you. Kitty

  10. Marilyn Osborn says:

    The LORD IS WORKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Praise His NAME!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Gail says:

    Oh my goodness!  That is amazing news!  Praise the Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Carissa says:

    Your daughter and Liliana have touched me so deeply.  I cannot understand why this happens except to show us God’s glory as these precious little ones are loved to life through His people.
    I keep comparing little Lilana to my girls.  I have 4 girls, Tatumn is 11, Autumn is 7, Matalie is 3, and Raimie is 4 months old.  Raimie was born early and only weighed 5 pounds at birth.  Her feet were SO TINY that I asked the nurse to measure her foot when they measured her length.  Her tiny little preemie foot was only 3″ long.  Smaller than a daisy.  How I marveled at her perfect petite piggies!  Now, to imagine a child my Tatumn’s age, My Matalie’s physical size and lighter than my 4 month old preemie daughter’s weight…I cannot wrap my head around this.  I want to wrap my arms around her and love her to life.  I am SO happy that there is a mama coming for her!

  13. Stephanie Lynch says:

    Praise the Lord.  I hear the power of the Holy Spirit as you write your posts.  They are strong and I am praying that your infilling of the Holy Spirit will continue to flood the rooms of this place; a place where satan has had rule over the lives of God’s children.  No more satan, I say NO MORE!  I pray that as you walk through every hall and through every door that LIGHT will continue to shine into the darkness.  That with every touch that you can give these little ones, that it will be a healing touch…one that will give them the desire to live until their families come and get them.  I know that your strength comes from God, and it is apparent that you are strong with Him…He is sustaining you and although, you are so broken on the inside…I see strength and power from Him.

    I cannot wait to hear more about Liliana having a family…and more to come I pray.

    Thank you for keeping us posted on what God is doing.

    Stephanie Lynch 

  14. Heather says:

    Thank you so much for your updates. It is so important for us to know what is really going on. I have been praying for the 11 year old girl you measured her 3 inch arm. Thank you so much for the news that there are good people that want her. I will continue to pray that she can hang on to know the love of a mother and father. God have mercy on all the orphans. May they know the love of Christ. Bless their caretakers and that they too can know the love of Christ.

  15. Yes!! And He is still moving! Let’s pray for 70, 700, 7000 families to step forward for these children and more! He longs to do it!

  16. Hamish Mac Fergus says:

    Tears run down my cheeks as I know that they do our loving God.  He sees all. feels all and knows all.  Thank you for your tireless and loving work with these little lambs of God.  All Blessings.

  17. Ruth Ann Dennis says:

    OH MY, I am praying daily that you get that precious baby home as soon as possible. I have been reading  your journey from the beginning. God Bless you and your family.

  18. Cory says:

    Oh, I am sobbing here. I think I know of the child you speak about. I have seen her picture. Praise God she has a family. I pray that she can be brought home swiftly. I am praying for all the littles there.

  19. Christine says:

    Thank you for the work you are doing, so God can work through you. This really touched my heart to keep praying for families for the cildren. Be blessed!

  20. Ever so humbly praising God. (((HUGS)))

  21. Cindy says:

    I put the word out in prayer meeting last night, may God continue to bring families but also Christian reform of the orphanages, provisions for health and nutrition to sustain these little lives that they might have the opportunity to grow.

  22. Amy says:

    What blessed news!  Thank you, Jesus!  Praying for 7 more with you!

  23. Sandie Griffitts says:

    Just measured the top of my skinny 10yo son’s arm, it is 8 inches.  The top of my big-for-his-age 11, almost 12yo son’s arm is 10 inches.  Just thought I would post this as a comparison for those who may not have a child that age:)
    My family is glued to your blog Susanna.  We are in awe of our wonderful God!

  24. Stephanie Blanchard says:

    I’ve seen your blog posts posted ALL.OVER.FACEBOOK!  I’ve shared it along with other MOMYS and I know that among my friends people are hearing a story like they’ve never heard before.  Praise God that the story is getting out.  He couldn’t have chosen a better author than you, my dear sweet friend.  :)

  25. I am praying for seven more families to step up and commit to these children. Oh, my heart breaks for them. Thank you for sharing their stories. Oh, how I wish we could adopt more. We’ve adopted three children, two have disabilities. We have six children, one of our bio kids has severe disabilities and I just don’t have the energy or strength to parent anymore kids. I feel horrible about this> BUT, it isn’t about me. It is about God. God loves each of these children. He sees each of these children. Oh Lord, please bring families for each of them. And help Dear Toni to have the strength, courage, stamina, finances and joy to continue to serve you. 

  26. Brianna says:

    Susanna and Joe,

    I found your blog the other day through a link on Julia’s blog – Micah Six Eight .  I just want you to know I’ve been incredibly blessed through your blog.  The Lord has used you to show me the selfishness in my heart, and to show me more of how unconditional His love is for me.

    I can hardly believe the things you are writing about – the condition of the children in the orphanage.  How, oh how can it be???  How my heart grieves, but how very much must our Jesus’ heart be broken over these little children.  

    Thank you so much for sharing.  I am praying for you! 

    Brianna D. 

  27. Faith says:

    Suanna, I am praying for Katie and Liliana and all those precious gifts from God.  May God grant you many blessings and answers to your prayers. Grammi Faith

  28. Susan says:

    Bless you for shedding God’s light upon the children who are waiting in this place.

    Adeye has begun a fundraiser for the little girl about whom you are writing – as of 3:30 EDT on Aug. 18, over $5,000 has been raised for her. More is expected. Please let the wonderful family who has committed to her know this – many thanks.
    Fervent  prayers are being offered for you, Katie, and all the other waiting children in this place…

    Susan in Ky
    Cousin to 2 from U.     

  29. Kimberly Zimmerman says:

    Susan –
    I’m hoping you’ll check back and see this comment is directed to you and NOT Susanna!  I’m a part of an orphan care ministry and we’re always looking for fundraising events that are successful!  Helping to bring as many orphans home as possible.  I don’t know what the fundraiser event that you’re refering to is BUT….. I’d love to know if it’s something that could be replicated and as successful??  If it’s not something you want to be replicated, I respect that.  However, if it’s something you wouldn’t mind sharing, would you kindly e-mail me?
    Thanks!  But even more thanks To “Adeye” who has been so incredibly proactive in helping an orphan get home!!  God’s blessings!

  30. Sara Grimshaw says:

    I just found your blog today and am overwhelmed by your service to Our Father.  Thank you and your family for having such a loving heart for the unloved.  God Bless you and I will be praying for your safe return.

  31. Libby says:

    Praising Him and praying for you and that each child in that orphanage knows His love. 

  32. Susan says:

    I just now saw Kimberley’s request. How wonderful if more advocates could join together to help children like Katie and Liliana!

    Kimberley, Adeye is not affiliated with any organization that I know of – her two youngest daughters were adopted with the help of Reece’s Rainbow, which lists many, many children with special needs who need “forever families” – so far, more than 500 children have come home through RR’s efforts. Many in the RR community are very concerned about Liliana and others like her, having just learned about conditions at the orphanage, thanks to Susanna’s blog. Adeye and her family are part of that community. She is doing great work just now, and I hope you’ll take a look at her blog. It would be great if  your group can work together with other individuals and organizations who are trying to make a difference. Thanks for writing.

  33. Susan says:

    Oops, make that “Kimberly”, not “Kimberley”! Sorry for the error, Kim.

  34. Thom says:

    I had imagined that we might be heroes – but you are a true hero.  Thank you you for obeying the Lord and for praying and acting for these helpless ones who have no other voice.

  35. Heather McFarland says:

    The Lord moved in the hearts of mere men and in less than 24 hours the funds were raised to bring Liliana home.  Praise be to Jesus.  May this be just the beginning of the awakening.  Too many of us have been sleeping…

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