Help of the helpless

February 6th, 2012

Katie is learning to drink thickened liquids from an open cup.

[Note:  I promise that despite how it may appear, I’m not giving her swamp ooze.  Just pear puree thinned with green smoothie.]







She is precious beyond words.

The thick callouses on her wrists have nearly disappeared.  Did I ever tell you about the callouses?  They had formed on each wrist, where she chewed vigorously when she was upset.

The orphanage poison is eradicated from her body.  She is sweet inside and out, from head to toe.  Yes, even her morning breath is now sweet.

And every time I look at her small face, every time I lift her helpless body, labor to teach her what she should have learned a whole childhood ago, care for her needs, hear her cry in the night, gather her in my arms and watch delight cross her face, every time I lay her head on my chest and sing to her, every time I fill her up with hugs and kisses, I remember the person our Katie used to be.

How can I forget?

I can never forget.

Our Katerina is safe now, but I cannot go back and erase the pain of her history.  Nearly ten years of hurt.  I can never forget that when she was six years old, before she received her baba, she weighed seven pounds.  I can never forget that they thought she would not survive, and that a baba would be like hospice care, to give her some comfort before she died.  I can never forget that the volunteers were startled every time they came back to the orphanage and saw that she was still alive.

And every time I look at my precious new daughter, I see in her all the faces of the little ones she left behind her.  Tears for them lie just under the surface, and groans continually rise from my heart on their behalf.  Oh…LORD…please…

I can never forget that there are other little ones in the world who are far too tiny, and have been waiting far too long.

Waiting…waiting…waiting in Ukraine like tiny Kori waited for the first seven years of her life.  Kori’s mother Anna was an encouragement to me when I was in the PICU with Katie.  When Anna went to get Kori, she weighed sixteen pounds.  Like Katie, she wore a size one diaper and size twelve month clothing.  When I hear Anna tell Kori’s story, I hear in her words the cry that is in my own heart for the children left behind. “How long, O LORD, how long?”

Waiting…waiting…waiting in Russia like Nathan or Ekaterina.  Please, O LORD, send them families with courage not to make excuses, courage borne of pure love and faith in You, our great miracle-working God.

Tomorrow, three more of the children from Katie’s former orphanage will meet their new daddy or mommy.  KeithAnnie, and Lina.  Do you remember them?  They are safe, even if they don’t know that they have a hope and a future.

But I can never forget the others, the ones who don’t yet have families to love them.

How could I ever forget them?

I cannot.

They are the children Bulgarians would never adopt.  The children who will never be able to articulate why they need a family.  The children deemed so undesirable and unadoptable that the social services never bothered to list them with the MOJ.  This week, beginning in just a few hours now, our attorney will be right there at the orphanage with three adoptive parents.  They are constantly on my mind and I am fervently praying that God will use them to level more mountains.

Because when I look at my daughter’s face, I also see the power of God.

How can I forget what He has done for her?

I can never forget.

O LORD!  Help of the helpless!  Show Your mercy through Your mighty power!   How I pray that You will finish the good work that You have begun, bring the little ones out of this warehouse, and settle them in nurturing families!  Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering our prayers.  Amen.  





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13 Responses to “Help of the helpless”

  1. Rita in Spain says:

    Susanna, first off, thank you for continuing to update us on Katie…..LOVE IT and the pics….it is amazing to think how she was and like you, everytime I check your blog , I can not get out of my head HOW she was when she came home, her condition…….. and what a snugglebug-cutie pie she is now…ALL that was inside her waiting for someone  to love her…to save her…to meet her basic needs ATLEAST..
    I am so glad you found each other. HUGS!

  2. JessicaD says:

    That is the most beautiful swamp ooze ever. ;)  
    My heart just aches to bring one of those children home. 

  3. Beth says:

    I am having trouble finding children that are available for adoption in Bulgaria. My husband is at an age where he does not qualify in many countries. Thanks for any help with looking for available children. I have looked on RR.

  4. Valerie says:

    I hope we never forget what Katie went thru. I hope we never forget what the others are still going thru.  I hope that there never comes a time that I don’t cry when I see Katie’s face. She’s moved my life too much to just ‘look at her’ w/out feeling God’s PASSION in me. I thank you, as always.

  5. Amy Rainey says:

    My heart aches for so many still waiting.  God, bring families into these children’s lives to provide their ransom!

  6. Hi! We met a LONG time ago on the Down syndrome board on Babycenter. We had our babies just a few months apart. I wanted to tell you that I’ve been watching you from afar and have been so amazed at the work you are doing. You are helping to bring home orphans just by telling your story. I’m amazed at Katie’s progress and I believe it gives hope to those who think the situation is hopeless. Thank you for what you do. For your inspiration, for your faith. You are truly remarkable.

  7. Valerie says:

    …and now I have a taste for some Naked green goodness (YUM!)

  8. Marilyn Osborn says:

    loved this post….love you…(((Hug))))

  9. Holly says:

    That final picture looks like a “YUMMMMM”.  She is so beautiful!

    I should no longer be shocked by the state of these children, but still, I am.  It shocks me and it sickens me.  I am praying for those about to be rescued and those still waiting.

  10. Brenda Lamey says:

    Awesome job, Katie!  Smoothies are great and we loved pureeing all of Nelson’s baby food this last year.  I miss doing it! 

  11. Rachel M says:

    I am undone..thank You Lord for breaking my heart, please give us courage. Precious Katie, I love you

  12. Anna (Kori's mama) says:

    I am so excited to see her drink something from a cup!!! And she looks GREAT!!!! I love seeing her thrive in your care. 

    Would you mind emailing me some time, and only if you get a chance? I know you are very busy. I need some advice on homeschooling and Kori. I am torn between sending her to Special Education or keeping her at home. Since Kori and Katie are developmentally much like babies…if we homeschool them…what do we DO??? Do we just teach them the usual “baby” stuff that is developmentally appropriate? I am at such a loss here and I want to do what is best. 

  13. Kristen says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story.  It has served to ground me back to the heart of God so many times.  

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