And let our joys be known!

October 26th, 2011

Pre-post-script:  Within twenty-four hours of publishing the post below…

…a family who will be traveling through our area asked what we still need that they could drop off for us!

…the Boroughs family invited our family for Thanksgiving dinner, and offered to drive me back to CHOP afterward so that Joe and the children could head directly home.  We are excited to meet this beautiful adoptive family of twelve!

…another family in the T21 club offered to welcome our children into their home, and we will take them up on it if Katie’s hospital stay ends up being prolonged!

…the friend who bought the travel system for Katie bought a special feeding chair for Katie!

…a friend wrote to tell me a tale about her son and some specialized formula.  He is tube fed, and the company that supplies his formula sent his family a large shipment of the wrong kind of extremely expensive supplement.  And they will not take it back.  You guessed it…

…in the words of my friend…

“Are you seeing where I’m going with this???  Did God work through the supplier and [my son] to provide the perfect formula powder to add to breast milk for Katie, that otherwise no family could afford to pay cash money for???”


Let those refuse to sing who never knew our God:
But children of the heav’nly King may speak their joys abroad!


Joys!  Both small and great!  Flowing in almost faster than I can find time to list them here!

I must keep holding back the tears as I write it all down for you here, provision after provision.  The list is overwhelming.  How absolutely blessed we are to be the children of such a King!

The huge outpouring of love Katie has received from all of you is so incredibly overwhelming.  How many hundreds of you have invested in the life of this child in some way?  Friends, I cannot find appropriate words to express our gratitude to the Lord for you.

To make our gratitude all the more keen, we live with the constant awareness of the mercy and power of God in allowing our family to be this close to bringing Katie home.  We still cannot divulge all the details of all the miracles that God wrought to bring this adoption about, but I can say this.  Our family sits squarely outside the cultural box in several significant areas, some obvious, some not.  We were far from being shoo-ins.

You may not have known that we are the first family in our position to get through this process.  In many ways, we feel like we’ve been taking this journey at the front of an icebreaker ship.  Somewhat battered by the process!   But hopeful that God may possibly have used us to help pave the way for other families in our particular position.  And in awe before Him as we have seen Him do what we were told could not be done.  

As we look ahead to what He is calling us to do, we are also awed as we realize what Dr. Friedman stated recently~

“I am continuing to research all I can on medical management of a child that is as malnourished as Katie. I have reached out to many colleagues both here and elsewhere and have gotten some helpful advice, although I must tell you that NO ONE I’ve spoken with has had a child as severely affected as Katie. (We may end up being the new experts!)”  

How could we know that about our daughter, and have complete calm in our spirits?  That, friends, is another provision of God, and no mistake.

Dr. Friedman is going way above and beyond the call of duty for Katie and for us.  We could not possibly be more impressed with how comprehensively she is thinking through every aspect of this case.  She is even letting us know of various ways we can keep costs down.  Amazing.

Adam Boroughs, the nurse who has volunteered to help transport Katie home, has also put considerable thought into his preparations to care for Katie, in collaboration with Dr. Friedman.

In addition, he has decided to go to her country several days before our flight back to the States, to offer any assistance that is needed.  He is planning to arrive no later than Wednesday of that week!  Learning that Katie will have this experienced medical support earlier in our week with her was an enormous relief.  It also makes us wonder what we may face.  What does God know, that caused Him to send this provision?

Another adoptive mom covered the cost of shipping those two loveys to Katie’s baba.  This was not a small sum!

God has provided wonderfully for us through the Bliss family, missionaries in Katie’s country.  Sasha has been able and willing to be the conduit by which I communicate with Katie’s baba.  She and her husband David are also willingly opening their home to us for the few days before we pick up Katie, in spite of being in a tough financial spot.

When we received our tentative travel itinerary, we discovered that airfare went down a good bit from the last quotes we were given.

We were given a check for a significant amount from our church, to be used wherever it is most needed!

Our new church friends keep asking us what they can do to help.

A brother from our church fellowship offered to work part-time for Joe as he is able so that our family does not have as much lost income!

Several people have offered to come to visit us in the hospital.  Those of you who know me in real life will understand how much this means to me!

A local adopting mom and former nurse offered to stay with Katie if she ends up being hospitalized for a long period of time, to give me an opportunity to go home if I need to at some point.

And then last night, a different adoptive mom offered to organize meals and other help!  “Consider it done, my friend,” she wrote.

She also asked what clothing or other items we still need for Katie.

Remember that an anonymous family bought an airline-approved travel system that suits Katie’s needs?  And then sent a sum of money to open an account to help with the extra expenses we know will come along with our new daughter?  With a promise to send a monthly sum to add to it?

Well, several others have also added to this fund or pledged a monthly gift.  We are hoping to put some sort of gadget on the sidebar that will show the amount in that account, if Joseph finds that such a gadget is to be had.  We want you to see how God has been providing!  As of right now, there is over $950 in Katie’s account!  What a blessing!  This will help us buy items such as a feeding chair and other adaptive equipment and developmental helps for her, as we learn what her needs are.

A couple of friends have asked for Katie’s measurements so that they can knit booties or longies for her, to help her hold her body heat in while we work on plumping her up!

God provided an opportunity for us to purchase enough used cloth diapers to double our stash (which will double their lifespan), at a relatively low cost.  And another friend is refurbishing them as her gift to Katie.

Another T21 mom who knew we were interested in using Therapeutic Listening for Katie has offered to pay for the headphones and player she will need!

Another adoptive family has offered to mail us their back-up feeding pump, to keep as long as we may need it for Katie after she is released from the hospital.

A mom recently lost her baby who had been born with a severe disability.  In the midst of her grieving, she thought of Katie, and wrote to offer us the mama’s milk she had pumped and frozen for her own precious child.

A friend who has two children with special needs is sending feeding tube supplies tucked around a pair of handknit cashmere socks for Katie’s baba.

The same friend has offered to send bags for the feeding pump, and help to get other feeding supplies we will need for Katie.

And her family set a jar out where they would all remember it, and began adding their loose change to it.  Or so the story goes.  We’re not sure how big that jar was, if over $200 of spare change could fit in it?

A friend periodically stops by with clothing that is useful for our children or for the orphanage.

This time her daughter also gave us a large bag of deer bologna to help with quick meals!

Her daughter is also busily making many small hats to send with us to the little children in Katie’s former orphanage.

Someone else shipped us a box of beautiful donations for the orphanage.  We now have many orphanage donations with enough on the way to fill up their allotted luggage space!

Speaking of luggage, God has even prompted two local friends to loan us their luggage for this trip, so that we would have suitcases with wheels and handles this time!  He truly thinks of everything!

A surprise box came in the mail with little gifts for our family and three cute little handmade dresses.  One for Katie, one for Verity, and one for the next adoption fundraiser auction!  Speaking of…

God is giving me so much joy by providing this way to help some of the other families who are adopting from this specific orphanage.  Months ago, we learned about this idea, and thought that it would be a fun way to raise funds for other adoptive families.  Then God sent two others to spur me on, and we were amazed at the enthusiastic response!  Several of you have already promised donations for the next one!

This week, in God’s perfect timing, I received an offer from another adoptive mom to take over the next auction for me, since we will still be in the middle of things with Katie.  She jumped right in and set to work!  This has had the immediate practical effect of relieving my mind considerably!  The first auction was a lot of work and a lot of fun, and I am so grateful to be able to hand the next one to someone so competent!

Also in the practical here and now, He has been helping me with what has been a heavy load of added responsibilities.  Am I surprised to see Him strengthening me, multiplying my efforts and filling in the gaps?  No.  We have put our hope in the Lord.  He’s given His word that He would provide what we need.  He is providing what we need!  Praise Him!

So if we had to leave for Katie’s country today, we would not be ready.  But there’s no doubt in our minds that all will be ready fifteen days from now, the day that we leave for Katie’s country.

We can see the Master’s hand directing this like a conductor directs an orchestra, pulling in the gifts of so many, some from here, some from there, leaving no detail behind, making something far more beautiful than we ever could have foreseen.


He who calls you is faithful, He will surely do it.





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19 Responses to “And let our joys be known!”

  1. Mamadala says:

    What wonders!  I try to think of words to express what my heart feels but  all I have is God is great!  Such a simple truth but it covers the beauty and magnitude of all that is unfolding in your lives.  Continued love and blessings to you all.  Thank you for sharing your journey and your faith.  

  2. LeeAnn says:

    I second what Mamadala said. Tears of joy stream down my face when I read your updates. God is so good…ALL the time!

  3. Kim says:

    First of all~~The look the two of you are mimicking, in the picture above, makes me think that baby came from your womb~~
    Secondly, this undid me. What a gift!~~” A mom recently lost her baby who had been born with a severe disability.  In the midst of her grieving, she thought of Katie, and wrote to offer us the mama’s milk she had pumped and frozen for her own precious child.” 

  4. Missy says:

    Your family, that sits outside the cultural box, (I like the way you put that) has been blessed. And those of us who have helped in any small way have been blessed by the opportunity to give and care and have our hearts opened. 

  5. Kendra says:

    Beautiful absolutely beautiful. God’s family is BIG. Praising Him with you!

  6. Kendra says:

    And, yes I agree with Kim above.  That undid me too…I re read it. What a sacrificial gift on so many levels in such a time of grief. How beautiful!

  7. Kristina and Family of 4! says:

    God is GOOD!!!

  8. cindy says:

    To God be the Glory!!!!!!

  9. Amy Rainey says:

    Blessings so abundant.  So many hearts willing to respond…  How amazing it is to see God’s hand at work.  You lost me at “former” orphanage.

  10. Heather says:


  11. Shanna says:

    thank you for sharing your blessings with us, God is good!

  12. Anna T says:

    YEA!!  I’m continuing to pray for you as you get ready to bring Katie home : ) !!  Thank you for keeping our offer in the (very) back of your mind!!  Jacob will be two on November 13th and I LOVE that Katerina’s “gotcha” date will be November 14th!!

  13. susan Wiker says:

    Susanna as I read this latest blog I am thinking of you precious mother.  Your parents were pioneers in the homeschooling movement in Lancaster County and beyond.  You and Joe are forging a path for others to adopt these precious children of God.  Jer. 31:9  …I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble…  God is going before you, holding you up, and your rear guard.  Blessings as you walk in this way.

  14. cindy says:

    This is a neat and probably VERY true connection Susan W. made.  I’m just on the edge of my seat as I read this.  AMAZING

  15. Susanna says:

    The children are hoping, Anna!!

  16. Susanna says:

    Susan, thank you, I agree; that IS a neat connection.

    (Did you know that this Sunday marks 17 years since Mom went home to be with the Lord?)

  17. Anna T says:

    : )  we are too!

  18. Beth in Atlanta says:

    Question:  I have seen taggie blankets mentioned on another blog.    I assume the ‘taggie-ness’ is therapeutic in some way?   What is the idea behind them?

    So excited for you and your family!

  19. Susanna says:

    I think it’s more for comfort/pleasant sensory input, Beth, but I’m not positive about that! Someone noticed that often the tag is a child’s favorite part of a stuffed toy or blanket. I’ll ask Shelly if there’s more to it than that!

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