Hi everybody! It’s me, Katie!
Guess what I did last weekend…?
I went with Mama to the big city for three days!
She was asked to tell my story to some really nice people who love Jesus, love people, and love life.
You can probably guess that Mama didn’t like to say goodbye to everyone else in our family, especially the little ones. But we all decided that it will be worth it if helps even one more child to get adopted like I did!
We hoped and prayed that when some of the life-loving people heard my story, maybe some of them would help give life to other real little children who have been put out for the trash. Being for life means a whole lot more than not wanting people to kill their unborn babies.
We want as many people to hear my story as possible, because I left lots of children behind me, and now we know for a fact what heals hurt children.
Do you know the real reason I am growing and learning?
Do you know why I can pick up toys and drop them into a basket, clap two toys together, pass toys back and forth from one of my hands to the other, and lean toward a baby doll, smilingly pat it, and say, “Baba,” instead of immediately pushing toys away, hitting myself on the head with them, or throwing them on the floor?
Do you know why I’m understanding more and more spoken language? Do you know why I’m trying hard to imitate more and more speech sounds?
Do you know why I can stand up for a long time while holding on with just my hands?
Do you know why I prefer my mama to everyone else now, and don’t go up to other people and pat them and call them “Mama” any more?
Do you know why I can…well…I want you to watch these videos and see for yourself what I did to make my mama burst into tears last week!
It’s not some magical hidden knowledge about special needs, or a designer lifestyle, or extra-ordinary saintliness, or a gargantuan income. It’s because my family accepts and values and loves me unconditionally and is willing to work hard and sacrifice for me. That’s all.
It makes us sad when people who are over-qualified to adopt say they couldn’t do what our family is doing. We know it’s a misconception that’s keeping more children from loving families. Yes, they could do what my family is doing if they have willing hearts and love their child like my family loves me.
My mama used to be shy to speak boldly about this, but not any more. She hears too many qualified people saying that it takes something they don’t have to adopt a child with special needs, and concluding that they just aren’t called to it. She hears them say that it wouldn’t be fair to a child they would adopt. When the truth is that the love and home and family they have to offer is light-years above anything any child will ever find in any orphanage anywhere in the world. Please believe me, because I know it first-hand.
The love of my family is why my sad, empty eyes now sparkle, my body is growing bigger and stronger, and my heart is healing.
This is me without my family.
This is me being loved by my family!
This is Lina without her family. She was on the top floor of Pleven, right in the same room with me.
This is Lina being loved by her family!
This is Ana without her family.
This is Ana being loved by her family!
So that’s why Daddy rented a car, put emergency funds into Mama’s wallet, kissed Mama and me goodbye, and took on the household while we were gone.
I didn’t mind the traveling, and Mama made sure I could always hear her voice while I rode in the back seat and couldn’t see her face. She sang and talked to me a lot. Every time we stopped at a traffic light, Mama reached her hand back to me so I could hold on to it.
Once we were finally settled in our hotel, we had a blast!
We got to meet a good friend who recently brought home her own little girl with special needs from Bulgaria. We love you, J and C!
Mama learned some very important things, made some new friends, and enjoyed some valuable conversations.
We met some special people who had read about me here on the blog. Mama loved the long chat she had with a more experienced T21 mama up in our hotel room. She was at the convention to teach people about how babies who have Down syndrome just like me are targeted for abortion. Here I am with her and her sweet daughter.
I wasn’t smiling because I wanted to eat, not pose for pictures. Mama doesn’t want anyone to worry about the french fries; she only gave me healthy stuff!
We had the high honor of meeting Mary Schindler, the mama of Terri Schiavo. My mama and Terri Schiavo’s mama share a common understanding about how precious people with severe cognitive disabilities are. We could see it in her eyes when she looked at me and held my hand in hers. Our family had already learned a lot about Terri’s story here and here.
The only part that wasn’t fun was staying up late to listen to a speaker, mostly because people kept clapping, and that got me too worked up. When Mama could see I was getting more agitated and wasn’t settling down, she took me back to our room and tucked me in my pack-and-play.
I slept late every morning and loved all the food Mama fed me as much as she loved feeding it to me! Mama will never get over how fun it is to give me good food!
While she gave her talk, I sat on her lap and distracted everyone in the very receptive audience. She didn’t get to say all that needed to be said, and thinks she can do better with two sessions at next year’s conference.
She says I was a real trooper all weekend and she’s so, so proud of me!
So now you know why there was a GPS in my diaper bag. Well, except for the fact that even with a GPS, my mom is so directionally challenged I’m just glad she found Bulgaria by herself. She’s too embarrassed to tell you how many times she made a wrong turn in spite of GPS lady!
Oh yes, before I forget…Mama didn’t take a single picture during our whole trip! Can you believe it? (She didn’t sound a bit sorry when she told me how great it was to have three whole days without internet or cameras.) So if any of you were with us at the conference, we would love to see any pictures you took of me. And if you don’t mind, we might even add your pictures to this post. [Thank you, J and E!]
Mama did snap a few quick photos when we girls were out shopping together this week, just to show everyone what a big girl I’m getting to be. Almost every time she leaves the house, she ends up telling my story and giving people little cards. My family is praying that more and more and more people will want to help bring the rest of the children home!
If you are waiting for an email, Mama says to tell you she’s doing her best to catch up!
If you knew we were going away, and you prayed for us, thank you! Mama could tell you did because she didn’t feel a single butterfly in her stomach the whole time.
Thank you for listening to my story, friends! Now I’m going to go watch fireworks for the very first time ever!