Bringing justice to victory: Q & A

January 3rd, 2012

“…the work of the Lord cannot be done by the listless or the slothful.”  ~quote from a book of Christian history, and jotted in my mom’s handwriting in the front of a book I inherited from her.


Q:  I watched the [Dark Side of Serbian Mental Institutions] video you linked to under “the beginning of Katerina’s story” and wondered if your Katie is the little 9-year-old named Katerina who has Down syndrome shown in the film.

A:  Thank you for asking.  I think this may have been a source of confusion for some folks.

The answer is no.  The Katerina you see on that Youtube video is from Serbia, and would be older than nine years by now, since that footage was released in 2008.

Our Katie is from Bulgaria, and her birth name was Veronika.

We named her “Katerina Hope.”  “Katerina” for that nine year old Serbian princess who broke our hearts for what these vulnerable little ones are suffering.  “Hope” because that is what we’ve placed in God for all the children we knew our girl would leave behind her when she came home.


Q:  What is being done for the children in [Katie’s former orphanage] now?  Are they in the hospital?  

A:  Our Bulgarian attorney will not be able to obtain further information until she visits the orphanage again.  This won’t take place until the next adoptive family gets there for their first visit.  I am part of an active private yahoo group that was formed just for moms who have adopted (just me in this category, so far) or are adopting children from this orphanage.  Because of this I’m able to stay in close touch with their adoption processes and any other pertinent breaking news.  Several of them are hoping to take their first trip this month or next, and several of them also use our attorney.  So she, our Bulgarian adoption attorney, should be going back to the orphanage several times within the next month or so, and we hope to hear reports on the children and orphanage then.  (I hope this isn’t too confusing!)

We don’t expect to hear that the children have been moved to the hospital, although an appeal has been sent from Dr. Friedman to Dr. L, the Head of Pediatrics at the hospital where Katie was well cared for after she quit eating.  We hope that Dr. L, or possibly someone else, is able to help ensure that the children in the worst shape, like Katie, receive appropriate medical supervision during the critical time after they begin to receive better nutrition.


Q:  I am wondering if there are still more from her floor who need homes?

A:  Yes!



We have been receiving increasingly large numbers of emails in the past few months, with questions, encouragement, advice, stories.  Some of you have brought me to tears by telling me of how passionately you desire to adopt a child with special needs.  Some of you have told me you are yearning to adopt a child in very poor shape, like Katie was.  This moving of hearts is one of the clearest proofs to us that God is still working miracles.

Knowing our God, we have full hope in Him that He will complete what He has begun.  That He will continue to break hearts and fill them with a desire to love these sinned-against children back to life and health as their own sons and daughters.  And we cannot wait to witness the end of the story as we have been privileged to witness its beginning!


Q:  How many other children are still waiting in her condition?

A:  I have inquired, and have not been able to obtain the exact number.  The total is under forty, though.

Currently, all the children who have been listed on Reece’s Rainbow from that specific orphanage already have families committed to them.

But there are more children coming!

Another adoptive mom who is the first to know when children from this orphanage are listed on Reece’s Rainbow has mercy on me and emails me as soon as a new child is listed!  And Lord willing, I will shout it from the rooftops each time!

You don’t have to wait to hear it from me!  To check for newly-listed children from Katie’s orphanage on Reece’s Rainbow, type #11 into the search bar at the top right-hand corner on the front page of Reece’s Rainbow.

We are pinning our hopes on the power of God to move the hearts of just the right families to snatch them up quickly, and to deliver them to their families safely and quickly.  International adoption?  Quickly?  It would take a miracle, but what else have we been watching God do??


Q:   Besides prayer, in what way can we help the children who are currently in Katie’s [former condition]?  Do the orphanages need financial help?  What can we do to help these poor children have a better life while they are waiting to be adopted?

A:  First, and I cannot stress this strongly enough, what the children need most is loving families of their own.  So as the rest of the children with special needs are listed for adoption one by one in the coming months, you can be ready to give financially to bring them home!

You can contribute to the Baba Programme, which can make such a difference in the lives of the children, like Katie, who have received a good one.  We are convinced that the dear woman who was Katie’s baba saved her from completely giving up!

There are exciting efforts afoot to get better training to the babas as well as better nutrition and sufficient supplies of diapers for the children.  God is right now opening various doors to some of the adoptive moms in the group, as they have been using their adoption waiting times to diligently seek out means to help the children!

For more information on how you can help, please email Stephanie Carpenter at


Dare I say it?


I love these precious little ones with all my heart, and I will say it, with tears!

Please consider being one of the families who will snatch them up as their chains fall off.


Q:  What is a baba?

A:  A baba is a local woman who is paid a small sum to spend one-on-one time with the child or children who are assigned to her.  In a very weak economy, such as exists in Bulgaria, this small sum can be a big help to an older woman.  Most of the babas are kindly but ignorant, and not well-trained.


Q: Do you ever foresee a team headed up to go to Katie’s former orphanage to minister to the children and workers on a short-term missions trip?

A:  There are already small numbers of volunteers from the United Kingdom who go in as teams on occasion.  I met a team of ten when I was there in August, and they were very nice young women.  Until I hear of a better option, I would encourage anyone who was seriously interested in volunteering to contact that organisation about the possibilities.  If I could choose to be anywhere in the world doing anything I wanted to, other than staying right here with my family, I would be in Katie’s former orphanage, taking care of the most needy children until their daddies and mamas come to get them.


Q:  Was Katie ever in a home?  Has she been in the same orphanage?

A:  Yes, she spent her whole life in that same orphanage.  She was placed in the orphanage in the town in which she was born, and entered that orphanage directly from the hospital after she was born.  The former director of her former orphanage was there since the Soviet era, which ended in 1989, so Katie and all the other children were under her supervision all their lives.


Q:  What should we specifically be praying for??

A:  This is a spiritual battle, and the best weapon we have is prayer!  The unprintable enemy hates adoption, hates godly, loving families, hates it when anyone values human life, and tries every way he can to delay and destroy what is good.  He’ll take anything he can get.  Joe and I experienced this intensely during our adoption process in ways we still have not told anyone.

Some months ago, I was shocked to learn that there are groups who believe that it’s more important for children to remain in their birth culture than to be adopted into loving families.  Guess who’s behind that thinking!?  It does not come from God!  I stumbled across one of their websites, which derisively mocked blogs like ours.  Did you know that some people actively work to halt international adoptions?  They were successful in Guatemala.

Please pray fervently…

~First, that the unprintable enemy would be bound, and be unable to touch the children, their families, or their adoption processes.

~That God would preserve the lives of the children as they begin to receive better nutrition.

~For our adoption attorney, who struggles with recurrent health issues, and on whom so much responsibility rests.

~For the MOJ to move the rest of the children’s files through quickly, including one little sweetie named “Kami” who desperately needs her loving home, but whose adoption process is being held up due to her file being lost.  I would love to see what happens when an army of Christians prays that all the children are home by the end of this year!

~For loving families to be eagerly waiting for every child as he or she is listed!  For God to move mountains before them as only He can!


Thank you, friends, for willingly taking this burden on.  Thank you for giving.  Thank you for persisting in prayer for the children.  God is working through your obedience.


Christian!  Do not seek repose;
Cast your dreams of ease away.
You are in the midst of foes;
“Watch and pray.”

Watch, as if on that alone
Hung the issue of the day.
Pray that vic’try shall be won!
“Watch and pray.” 


 “…a bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out, until HE brings justice to victory!”




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15 Responses to “Bringing justice to victory: Q & A”

  1. I’m very excited about all that God is exposing.  I am also very excited to hear that there are so many families taking action.
    When you talk about the spiritual battle we are in I can’t help but picture the last scene from The Chronicles of Narnia( the first movie).  Victory will come for those who battle on God’s side.  He is always victorious and so are we when we follow Him into battle. 


  2. Joleigh says:

    You’re trying to kill me, aren’t you?  You know dehydration is dangerous!  (Bawling my eyes out… could have a little something to do with reading this on the heels of Santorum’s speech in Iowa referencing children with disabilities and the value and dignity of EVERY life being what motivates him…)  Let us chat a bit more via email when you have a few minutes.  :)  Good things are coming to Bulgaria — I truly feel that God is going to honor the courage of the Bulgarian people during WWII by blessing their children.  “Until every orphanage is empty…” :)  Also… I really need to go watch me some Narnia after that first comment above. ;)

  3. Holly says:

    An inspriring blog!  For the first time since having my son and discovering Reeces Rainbow, I feel like a huge wave is coming to clean out the disorder and neglect.   Things are changing!!!   It is an exciting time and I’m overjoyed to be “fighting” on the right side.  

  4. Holly says:

    And your daughters are so beautiful!  Each and every one of them.

  5. Kristina and Family of 4! says:

    Praying for all those precious children…..
    God bless

  6. sabrina says:

    What a beautiful picture of the four girls. 2 blonde girls and 2 brunette girls. Precious.

    Praying for all the children. I didn’t realize there were so many left.

    I can relate to what you write about spiritual warfare in regard to adoption. Our family is both stepping out in faith (with small baby steps) and waiting on the Lord…excited to see what He brings this year. 

  7. Jill S. says:

    I am praying daily and earnestly for God to send families for those children remaining on the top floor of the orphanage. Like you, I believe He is intending to finish what He has started there. I will now start praying for speed, as well. Speed in getting the children registered for adoption in Bulgaria, speed as they pray over adopting a child from there, speed in the process of adoption, both here and there. I have seen, in Shelly B’s adoption of Teagan and Kelten, that God is working speedily and I pray He will continue to do so as a testament to His might and sovereignty in the world. May His Name be glorified through this heartrending situation!

  8. Robyn O. says:

    Katie looks amazing!!!  Your family’s loving care is transforming her.  God Bless you!!!!

  9. Katie says:

    Oh my goodness.  The Guatemala video.  There are no words.  

    Seriously.  Speechless.

    I know people say that all the time (all the while talking) but I seriously don’t know what to say here – what you’re reading is random filler jabber and nothing more.  

    I had no idea.

    Sure, international adoption isn’t perfect.  Sure, there are issues and considerations, and like anything else, it can be done right or wrong.  But since when do we scrap programs that are overall doing AMAZINGLY good work because of the corruption of a few individuals or institutions?  No – we hold those individuals and institutions accountable for their actions and thus IMPROVE the already thriving program.  Shutting it down like this accomplishes nothing!  

    Listen to that man.  One sentence stuck hard in my mind.  “The children have dignity.”  

    What on earth kind of dignity is it to spend all your days in a crib with no one to love or to love you, in a pool of your own excrement, being sustained on something that can hardly be called food?  Oh yes, sure, the children have dignity – about as much dignity as the inmates of a concentration camp.

    This makes me absolutely furious.  I knew there were opponents to international adoption out there, I even conceded that they occasionally made a good point (and that it is important to recognize those points and work to improve areas of concern)… I knew there were nasty, negative people from reading their comments on blogs and following links… but UNICEF?!  People, organizations, groups, movements, on a global scale, who think this is okay?!  Are they blind?!  I can’t come to any other conclusion, it’s simply incomprehensible.  I hear their concerns about trafficking and problems, but do they really think this is the answer?  REALLY?  Can they honestly look at the situation of the orphaned children in Guatemala now, versus a few years ago, and say “Yes, this is better for them”?  If they can do that, they are lying to themselves and the world.  

    Ugh.  This whole thing reeks of injustice and selfishness.  To me it is akin to a teacher punishing the entire class for the actions of one student – only this time, very LIVES are at stake.  Children’s LIVES.

    I know I’m preaching to the choir here.  I just can’t… gosh.  I can’t even wrap my head around this.  I pray that other countries do not follow in these footsteps.  I pray that the efforts of all of us to help these children, to love and lift them up, will prevail over the evils of this world.  Susanna, you’re fighting the good fight – and thanks to you, so am I – so are so many others.  

  10. Praying hard here!  We are currently ineligible to adopt internationally but feel a stirring.  I totally thought we’d be changing our homestudy from domestic to international by now… but a job change/career change for Brandon has postponed that for now. 

  11. As much as my heart longs to be able to take many of these precious children home, we are also not eligible right now.  I am praying that either I can be an advocate by praying and spreading awareness; or one day, if in His plan, I can be a participant and adopt a child.  However I can be used in His Kingdom, that is my heart’s desire.

    Thank you, Susanna, for stirring our hearts and minds with your blog.



  12. Jill S. says:

    I was looking at the verses of A Mighty Fortress is our God and this particular verse made me think of your post.

    And though this world, with devils filled,
    should threaten to undo us,
    we will not fear, for God hath willed
    his truth to triumph through us. 
    The Prince of Darkness grim,
    we tremble not for him;
    his rage we can endure,
    for lo, his doom is sure;
    one little word shall fell him.

    I can hardly wait until the Word returns to fell him.

  13. GAMZu says:

    Verity looks so much like her sister that is holding her! I never noticed it before.

  14. Renee Henson says:

    I read all the time but do not comment much but your blog is wonderful and I pray for you guys daily and all the little ones yet to find their forever families! I just wanted to say how awesome Katie is starting to look so plump and precious! She and Verity seem like they are going to be the best of friend.

    God bless you for adding precious Katie to your family. Your a hero and inspiration to us all 

  15. Sandi, bbcooker says:

    “…the work of the Lord cannot be done by the listless or the slothful.”  ~quote from a book of Christian history, and jotted in my mom’s handwriting in the front of a book I inherited from her.
    Thanks for this quote!

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