His yoke is easy: Q & A

October 6th, 2011

Question:  Have you heard any news lately about sweet Katie?

Answer:  Do any of you remember me explaining to the baba that Katie will have to become accustomed to being out of bed and being moved, because we’ll be taking her home?  We heard from her baba this week via our missionary friend.  Doesn’t this sound like a report to make a mother’s heart sing??

“[The baba] said the weather has been really nice and she’s been taking Katie outside for walks a lot.  The other child she takes care of is sick so she’s been spending extra time with Katie.  She’s been spoon feeding her too.  She said that Katie is doing well and smiling a lot.  :)”


Question:  What donations do you hope to take to the orphanage?


~Diaper rash ointment


~Bibs that are large, absorbent, and do not allow moisture to soak through

~Cloth burp cloths and sturdy baby washcloths

~Onesies and undershirts

~Non-bulky long-sleeve shirts


~Thick socks with good elastic

~Toys that attach to the insides of the cribs

~Other small items such as hats and mittens


Question:  From one mom to another, I am wondering if you felt that bonded feeling toward Katie when you were actually there with her?

Answer:  Yes.  


Question:  Will Katie grow and catch up with other children her age once she joins your family? Is it likely that she’ll learn to walk?

Answer:  Literally no one but God knows how Katie will respond to love and care.  None of the doctors is even willing to venture a guess.   Her doctor at CHOPADOPT has told us that they have never worked with an adopted child in this extreme a condition, and described her prognosis as “guarded.”  So we’ll be watching along with everyone else as she shows us what she can do with loving care and proper nutrition.  And the help of God.


Question:  I was wondering if you will be able to have in-home therapy for Katie like you do for Verity?  Or will you have to take her to therapy because of her age?

Answer:  Because of her needs, the therapists will come to our home.


Question:  Another question, which seems ridiculous to ask, is what about homeschooling?  Since she is really nine, will you have to report to the district?

Answer:  Yes, we will have to report for Katie as we do for our other school-aged children under Pennsylvania law.


Question:   How are you and your children handling all this extra stress and excitement?  Do your extended family members support you?  Do you have practical day-to-day help from church, neighbors, friends?

Answer:  For most of our family, there hasn’t been any drastic change.  I would venture to say that we’ve had more immediate pressure on the family from Daniel working for several weeks than from anything related to our adoption.  Most of the excitement lies underneath the surface of life as I train, correct, encourage, rebuke, and instruct children…

…go ahead and double the batch (because one recipe only makes five dozen)…look at these little boys working so hard and having self-control–I am so proud of you…the therapist just left, so if you start practicing right now, you’ll still be able to fit your two hours in before you leave for work…that is a very little hurt; dry up your tears and say “I’ll be okay!”…would you like to wrap more birthday gifts today after lunch?…do you see which way this “2” is marching?  try again to make your “2” march in the right direction…time to get the supper in the crockpot; the recipe is on the side of the fridge…that is good obeying!  look at that obeying boy!…are you sure the laundry machines are all running?  do you think it will all be finished before the birthday party tonight?…awww, what a kind brother to share your toy!  that is loving him more than yourself!…yes, I plan to give haircuts this weekend…if you put it away where it belongs every time, it will always be there waiting for you when you need it…no, I cannot come to the phone right now…that is an “L.”  “L” says “l” like “lap”–see, “L” looks like a “L-l-l-lap to sit on!…please don’t come into the room talking, or you will be sure to interrupt…good job!  you read that word all by yourself!  you can read!…could you write baby bath and baking powder on the grocery list?…please talk one at a time so that I can hear what you are saying…that’s right–good job taking turns…yes, you may change to short sleeves, because I didn’t put your winter clothes in your bins yet…are you working hard or hardly working?…wow, you finished before the timer went off!  You were being diligent!…Verity, put the lid ON, ON…take the lid OFF, OFF…YES!…oh, everyone, did you hear what Verity just said!  She said “OFF!”  Yay, Verity!  Big girl to say, “OFF!”

[Is it any wonder I can be tired of hearing my own voice by the end of a day!]

So yes, I have been preparing for our trip, answering a plethora of emails, helping with the online auction, and so on.  But as a whole, we’re moving along with our usual routine, making sure the basics are accomplished, with some extras thrown in.  We have made many adjustments as a family over these past fifteen months since Verity was born.  Some of the strategies worked so well they have become part of our family’s way of life.

Of course, everything does not always flow smoothly.  We become aware of problem areas and try out solutions.  Sometimes we cause logistical problems ourselves by trying to fit too much in, or by miscommunicating.  We have inter-personal conflicts to work out, apologies to make.  All part of the rich complexity of life in close relationship with people.

Underneath it all, we older ones are aware that a time of greater pressure is imminent.  I will be separated from the family for a couple of weeks at the minimum.  We will have more adjustments to make after Katie and I come home from the hospital, most likely for an extended period of time.

But we know that we are not doing this work alone.  We are trusting in the Lord, and know that He will always send the help He knows we need, both in strength and patience and grace, as well as in physical provision.  Just this week, a neighbor friend brought over many quarts of savory canned meat that she had processed from a forty-pound case of turkey thighs.  What a blessing!  God decided He wanted us to have it, although I couldn’t manage to can it myself this year!

And when our circumstances become very hard, we will accept that from His hand too, as His good and necessary provision for us.

But right now, I have such a strong sense of God’s hand working to cause every detail to neatly converge on the upcoming big day.

He has built our confidence in Him throughout the big, impossible challenges of the past months.  Well, He has been helping me apply that confidence in Him to the many small organizational details as well.   I don’t have to stress or obsess in order to get things done or be ready when the time comes.  We can continue to work steadily, and know that God will undertake for us with the perfect timing of this trip, and all that follows.  Just as He always has done.

And now I think I will take a chocolate cake-scented nap before the little boys wake up again, and we celebrate another birthday.

<contented sigh> 




Share it!

14 Responses to “His yoke is easy: Q & A”

  1. Rachel says:

    Just FYI – our son’s orphanage in the same country was thrilled at our offer for cloth diapers. We brought a few on the first trip to check and will bring a box of them on our second trip.

  2. Susanna says:

    Ah, this is very interesting to hear, Rachel! Our attorney told me they would never consider using cloth, and I didn’t question it further! Hmmmmm…

  3. Coleen says:


    If you find out that they would use cloth diapers, let me know. I can definitely help. :0) I have new ones that have been in my clearance section
    too long! I also have a bunch of used that I don’t need if they would accept them.

  4. Susanna says:

    Thank you, Coleen, I will try to find out! :)

  5. Tami Swaim says:

    Just a thought on the cloth diapers.  They don’t have dryers and the climate is often not forgiving to line drying (I know because I’ve lived it)…well I’m guessing the the temperature and weather conditions are similar to Poland.  We’d have to dry a pair of jeans on a radiator in the winter months which are an extra 1 to 2 months than here.  I do know that the cloth diapers I have require double time in the dyer in order to dry out thoroughly.  Also, the kind of laundry powder that they use in Eastern Europe probably would not rinse out well.  All in all I think the cloth diapers would get really stinky and end up a problem. 

  6. Tami Swaim says:

    I just read Rachel’s post so it seems I’m wrong.  However, I would check if they are just as thrilled a couple months later.  The concept seems terrific but without a descent laundering regime I don’t see it working out well.  But for sure Rachel is the authority here.  I’d definitely go by her experience!

  7. Carol says:

    Love the update on Katie!! And I love the glimpse into your day-to-day life. Sounds quite a bit like ours, just even more full of good things. :)

  8. Beth says:

     I am so glad Katie is getting outside regularly. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for all of you.
    I wanted to ask a question. I just began homeschooling this year. I am looking at creating a very peaceful environment what is the classical music you use?

  9. Lorena says:

    Thanks for the update – I love the Q & A format.  Also had to chuckle at the description (transcription?!) of your running “monologue”.  Some of it sounds sooooo familiar (and I too get tired of hearing my own voice!) and some of it gave me some new ideas for fine-tuning some parenting around here.  Thanks as always for sharing your life with us!

  10. Lorena says:

    p.s. if you end up needing cloth diapers I have some good quality used that are not needed here.

  11. Susanna says:

    Lorena, THANK YOU for your offer. I am attempting to get an answer on that from Katie’s baba via our missionary friend!

  12. Rebecca says:

    You’ve mentioned that the orphanage does not take good care of the children’s teeth.  Do you know if Katie still has her baby teeth or whether her permanent teeth have come in?

  13. Susanna says:

    Beth, this question is an excellent one, and really deserves so much more than I can give it!

    Just very briefly, I would recommend instrumental music from the mid-Baroque period to the Classical period. So much music from this era is readily available, such as Vivaldi, Telemann, JS Bach, the other Bachs, Handel, Gluck, Haydn, and Mozart. It tends to be organized/organizing music in comparison with more modern or new age-based music. For soothing, I’d stay away from brass, organ and vocal music, and look for single-instrument or other comparatively simple music such as harp, flute, violin or piano sonatas from the eras I mentioned. Piano or string trios and quartets would be a good choice. Concertos can also be good for that puspose. I don’t prefer harpsichord, and go for piano instead. Bach is hands-down my personal favorite composer. In addition to the combinations I mentioned, I love Bach’s Goldberg variations, esp. the first recordings made by Glenn Gould. His French and English suites would also be good choices for what you want to do. We have used his cello suites as lullaby music for our last five babies, but it would also be a great choice for background “studying time” music. Please let me know if this gives you a good place to start, or if you need more info. Again, great question, and happy listening!

  14. Beth says:

    Thanks Susanna I will look for those on Amazon and itunes if I still need help I will come back to ask. I love reading here (I don’t remember how I found you) I have a middle school boy so I love when you write about your older boys. I hope that with the music, and lots of love, I can create a calm, nurturing, safe place for him. Thanks again

RSS feed for comments on this post. And trackBack URL.

Leave a Reply