Further up and further in

October 11th, 2012

“We knew that Claire would be delayed and small.  But when we actually met her, her needs looked very scary.  

The night after we got her I woke up with my heart racing, having a full-blown panic attack.  ‘What if she never walks or talks?  What if she can’t hear or see?  What if all her teeth need to be pulled?’

But God spoke clearly to me and said, ‘If you don’t stop honoring the enemy with your fears about tomorrow, you will miss the blessings of today.’

This changed me, and I have been able to focus on each day’s blessings and challenges.  Tomorrow has blessings and challenges of its own.   And He has already covered that day with His grace and provision.”
~Leslie, adoptive mom 

 

A few days from now, this coming Sunday, the files of six precious children will be sent back to the Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria, branded with the words, REJECTED, HOPELESS, UNADOPTABLE, UNWANTED.

Unless…!

Unless…!

Unless God intervenes, and the parents He has chosen for these little ones refuse to honor the enemy with their fears, say “Yes,” to Him, and start walking.

 

Harvey, 3 years old, has been severely malnourished and neglected and desperately needs his family to bring him home and shower him with all the love he has never received.  He has received almost nothing!  Just think how he could blossom once he is being given what he most needs!

 

Brandi, 6 years old, has never experienced how it feels to have a daddy and mommy enfolding her in their warm embrace and telling her she is the sweetest, most kissable baby in the world to them.  What Brandi needs most is the same thing everyone else needs most–LOVE!  Unlike most of us, she has never received it.

 

 

Kramer, 8 years old, has not received the love, therapy, or nutrition he has so needed in order to blossom.  Honestly, how would any of us look if our arms and legs didn’t work properly, so we were left alone to starve in a bed for years, then brought out and uncomfortably and insecurely propped up for a stranger behind a camera?  This tiny boy is a survivor!  Please see his worth and potential!


 

Chad, 9 years old, seems to be a truly Invisible Child!  I can’t stand the thought that there is any child anywhere who is truly unwanted by everyone!  Nobody has even asked to see the file of this little human being!  Is anyone else out there specifically praying for a family for Chad?

 

Theodore, 10 years old, is another small child in Pleven who just amazes me with his ability to smile.  I’m not the only one who is baffled as to why he hasn’t been chosen yet!  Is it his age that’s stopping you?  Understand that he is a very young boy developmentally.  Please, someone, commit to bring this treasure into your family!

 

Garnet, 10 years old, sparkling like a jewel half-hidden in a dark place!  Look at her bright and shining eyes!  What a lovely little newly-discovered treasure she is!

 

Penny?  Her file has been sent back to her government, but it can be requested again!  Precious Penny with the soulful eyes and the curly hair has been surviving in Pleven for twelve very long years.  She came to us months ago needing a family and instead has received further rejection.  Small one, where are your parents??

 

Over the past couple of years, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know several adoption workers who deeply care about orphans with special needs. They don’t work in the adoption field just because it helps put food on the table. It’s their passion in life to see outcast children become beloved sons or daughters.

I’ve learned a lot from listening to them talk. Did you know that when they receive a batch of the files of newly available children, they can accurately predict which children will get snatched up quickly, and which ones will be overlooked by parent after parent after parent?

They have learned that…

The younger children consistently go faster than the older children.

The girls go faster than the boys.  We learned this shortly after committing to adopt Katie.  As a mom of seven boys, this was a hard thing for my heart to take in.

The more photogenic children go faster than the less photogenic children.

The less delayed children go faster than the more delayed children.

The less medically needy children go faster than the more medically needy children.

The more independent children go faster than the more dependent children.

Does this knowledge make me feel sad for the children who are being passed over?  I confess it does.  You see, I understand both sides. I strongly identify with these little ones who don’t measure up to the currently preferred profile. I have witnessed their need for the unconditional love of their own daddies and mommies.  I have seen their flesh-and-blood realness.

And we understand very well that not every family is going to be able to adopt a child with significant needs.  We know the time and work required to take care of these little ones ; Katie is completely physically dependent on us.

But we also know a little secret!

We know what an unspeakably profound privilege it is to receive a child like this in Jesus’ name!  We know the joy that so greatly outweighs the difficulties that we are doing all we can to bring home another child with significant needs!

Did you know that the healthiest children over the age of three are still being moved out of the Pleven baby house to smaller, better orphanages?

This means that most of the children I will be advocating for from now on will not fit the currently preferred profile.

Of the children with special needs in Pleven who do fit the profile (under three or four years old and relatively healthy), they are likely to be chosen by their families very quickly after they’re listed.  Very likely before I get my act together to speak on their behalf!

Every orphaned child is a precious human being whose greatest need is for a family!  My heart sings for every one of these younger, healthier children!  Our family knows what treasures their families will be receiving!

The reality on the other side of this story is a harsh one.  Until now, a birds’ eye view of the story reveals that a majority will not choose the boys, the older children, and the ones who look most ugly and retarded to them.

Does this knowledge make us lose hope for the children in Pleven who don’t fit the currently preferred profile? Are we just being naive to think that even the most damaged child there can be loved into a family? Should we concede the fight to predictable human logic?

No, no, no!

Never!!!

We know someone who supersedes us and our predictable human logic!  Our hope is not in any human reasoning. It’s in the logic, the logos, of God, and in His ability to transform our thoughts into His thoughts.

 

Our human logic says, “This child’s needs look scary!”

God’s logic says, “There is no fear in love, because perfect love casts out fear.”

 

Our human logic says, “You don’t look lovely to me.”

God’s logic says, “I make you lovely by loving you.”

 

Our human logic says, “You’re too old, too damaged.  It’s too late for you.”

God’s logic says, “Nobody is too old or too damaged to be redeemed by my love.”

 

Our human logic says, “This child looks too hard for me to parent; I’ll choose one that looks easier.”

God’s logic says, “Who shall separate you from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”

 

Our human logic says, “Does this child have enough value to make the sacrifice worthwhile?”

God’s logic says, “I sacrifice my life to make you my valued son or daughter.”

 

Our human logic says, “How would this child give back to me?”

God’s logic says, “You need what I have to give.  I give myself up for you.”

 

So yes, from a distance, the future of the rest of the very needy children in Pleven could look hopeless.  Just think, after all the miracles that God has done on their behalf, to end up being rejected by potential parents in the United States and therefore sentenced to an adult mental institution until they die, stripped of all human rights and all human dignity.

But no matter how predictable this logical scenario may seem to be…

Our hope is in the God who can change us until we see as He sees, and act as He acts.

When the day comes that my adoption worker friends tell me that the first children being snatched up are those who don’t fit the terms of human logic, those who seem to be neediest, or who don’t appear to have much to give back to their families, I will know that I am seeing the kind of breathtaking miracle that comes when the world has been turned upside down.

Friends, can God do this?  Is He really able to keep changing our hearts until they radically reflect His logos instead of mere human logic? Yes, He can!  And He is!

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Father, we need radical, life-changing open heart surgery. We need you to take out our cold, stony hearts and replace them with hearts of flesh that love as You love and thereby reflect who You are. Hearts that can not fear, because they are so full of You. We are in poverty of spirit before You. We need Your grace. We need You! Take us further up and further in, O God.

 

 

I am praying for you, tiny survivor Harvey, that your family will refuse to honor the enemy with their fears!  I pray that they will run quickly to get you as they would to their biological child in distress.

 

Brandi girl, I am praying for your family, the family who will light your world up with smiles and snuggles and teach you to laugh.  The family who sees you as God sees you!

 

Little Kramer, I am praying that God would fling the doors open wide in front of  your family, whomever they may be.  I pray for open hearts and open opportunities all along their path to you, precious loved boy.

 

How I pray for you, Chad!  I pray for the specific family who will want you to be their son.  I pray that God would first open their eyes to His glory and then to the value He has placed on your life. 

 

I pray for you, Theodore, that your family will have eyes to see and accept you for the small boy that you truly are.  I pray that they will receive you into their hearts without hesitation or fear!

 

Oh sweet-faced Garnet, I pray that before another year goes by, you will be learning what it is like to have a daddy and mommy and home!  What a little lovie you are!

 

Penny, you are such a blessing from the Lord!  I am praying that He will have mercy on you and send you a family to love you to bits!  I will whoop and holler and sob for joy the day I hear that you have a committed family!

 

To request more information about adopting any of these small ones, please email Andrea Roberts at andrea@reecesrainbow.org.

You do not need to have a completed home study.

All you need to do to find out more information is to email Andrea Roberts at the email address above, and she will give you the info you need.

You will not incur any obligation by simply requesting more information about a child from Andrea. She will be happy to hear of your interest in one of the children!

 

 

 

 

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36 Responses to “Further up and further in”

  1. Sarah says:

    I cried as I read this post . . . it breaks my heart that these precious children still do not have families and that their files are going to be sent back in just a few days! I am and will continue to be praying so much for each of these precious ones and that their families would find them!

  2. Maureen says:

    Amen! We continue to keep these little ones in prayer. Thank you for advocating for them!!!!

  3. debbie fitts (momys) says:

    Oh Susanna, this makes me so sad.  I had requested to be Kramer’s prayer warrior and do pray daily, sometimes more.  His sweeet face wakes me up at night.  I am heart sick to think of his file being returned.  Does that make him unavailable from here on out?  Let it not be! 
    Thank you so much for pleading on behalf of these children! 

  4. Emilie Roush says:

    I don’t think it’s true at all that the children are “REJECTED, HOPELESS, UNADOPTABLE, UNWANTED.”  I feel that the fact they haven’t been chosen yet means that God’s perfectly chosen and ordained family for these children haven’t found them yet.  I think I remember you saying the same thing about Tommy before you found out your family qualified to adopt him.  He wasn’t any of those things.  Everything is in God’s perfect timing, including the families He has chosen for these children coming forward for them. 

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Oh how I wish we were in a different place than we are now, because I would bring one of them home in a heartbeat.  But I will say, having adopted a daughter with facial tumors, that what seemed scary or hard or overwhelming at first has become a real non-issue. We don’t see them anymore. Really. It is just our daughter and both my husband and I agree that we are sometimes surprised when we are reminded of them. We just forget because it really doesn’t matter. She has such a loving heart and that’s what we find most people see.

  6. Susanna says:

    Emilie, you and I know that the children aren’t unwanted. You and I have a strong belief in the sovereignty and goodness of God. My statement referred to the message that is being sent to the government in Katie’s former country.

    Whether we like it or not, the reality is that every time the file of a “severe” case is returned to that government, it just confirms to them what they already think–these kids are unadoptable. They see the big picture–healthy, younger children being snatched up as soon as they become available, and the older, more “severe” kids waiting on their list for years and years, and regularly aging out. They see children like Penny and Garnet and Theodore and Kramer ending up in adult mental institutions. They don’t see the goodness and sovereignty of God in this reality.

    In addition to this, in the past, there were only a couple of agencies in that country that would even request the files of older and more needy kids. Most of the agencies knew that their clientele would insist on only healthy children under the age of three or four, with mild to no special needs. The competition for these kids can be quite intense, and hence, the competition among the agencies can also be intense.

    In the past year, a slight change has occurred, with more advocacy being done for the children like Katie. A few more agencies in that country, their fingers to the wind, have requested a few files of children with greater needs in response to requests from their US agencies. They do this, evaluating whether it is worth their while. Each agency is limited in how many files they may hold at any given time, and if they choose files that don’t move and are returned over and over again, they will be reluctant to continue to request them.

    You and I, from the outside, have seen some of these children being adopted, and we rejoice every time. But from the inside, the professionals who work in the field are always evaluating whether this new “trend” will continue.

    When the first two files of kids from Katie’s former orphanage with significant needs are sent back (Penny and Peyton), then the very next time a larger batch of files of similar kids is sent back, a message is being sent to everyone along the line. It is truly one of those situations where actions speak louder than words, both in the message that is sent to the government and adoption professionals, as well as in the practical effect in the lives of the children themselves. I wish this were not the case, but it is, nonetheless.

    And at the same time that these children’s files are being sent back, there are loads of parents telling the agencies that they want to adopt from Katie’s old orphanage, but they are waiting for younger children with more minor needs. Many only want girls. Three precious children in this category recently had parents come forward for them within a couple of days of becoming available, one of whom didn’t even make it on to RR because she had a couple of families lined up for her before she got there.

    That is the reality that I want the larger community to know, and it’s the reality that puts me on my knees before God, pleading with Him to change our hearts and remove our fears. The number one reason that otherwise qualified people don’t move forward to adopt these little ones is not any actual obstacles, it is their fear. So I am bold to pray against this fear in ourselves and in other parents; it is not from God. Many, many more families could be doing this than are doing this, and I want to help answer their questions and encourage and challenge them to take fear out of the equation before making their decision.

    This fear in and of itself would have stopped us a million times during Katie’s adoption–we commenced the adoption of a significantly needy child when our youngest baby, who has special needs of her own, was only 7 months old and it took about seven hours a day just to pump for her and feed her, we have a tiny house that is not handicap-accessible (YET!), we have a moderate income, we educate our large family at home, we had no health insurance, and we had no extra funds for the actual adoption costs. Fear itself could stop us from proceeding with Tommy’s adoption as well, for many logical reasons. :) But we know that the God who has provided in the past is already there in the future, and will not abandon us once we have Tommy home, or in years to come, when we are old and have several adult children with special needs. He will be the same God then as He has been to us all along, making us able to do the work He gives our hands to do. There is NO room for fear with a God like ours. We want His people to know that He will more than exceed any amount of trust we put in Him!

    Thanks for writing, Emilie. Does all this help to explain why I wrote what I wrote? (And why I write most of the rest of what I write; indeed, why I am still writing at all. :) )

  7. Susanna says:

    Elizabeth, THANK YOU for writing this!!

  8. Susanna says:

    Debbie, thank you so much for praying for Kramer! Please don’t give up! God CAN send him a family!

    If his file is sent back, it means that his face will only be publicly seen on blogs like ours and a few others as long as we continue to advocate for him and the other children, but they will not be listed on sites like Reece’s Rainbow. It also means what I explained to Emilie Roush in this comment stream.

  9. Beckie says:

    It breaks my heart that no one has come forward for these children yet. I have been privilidged to have sat with every one of them at some point over the last few years, and a few of them I was lucky enough to be able to work one-on-one with over a period of time. They are all so full of life despite their circumstances and many beam with excitement when you get to take them outside. I hope that families will soon come forward for them, seeing past their disabilties due to the circumstances they are in and take them home where they should be! They all have such gorgeous personalities that shine through.  
    As for T****, his little smile really brightens up the room he is in. It amazes me how he is still so responsive after all these years and he draws you into him! I am so happy to hear that he will be going home. I love watching your updates on Katie, she is such a different child to the one I held just over a year ago, its so lovely to see and I am constantly showing people your blog! I hope Katie’s happy ending helps to emphasize to people the potential that all the other children on that floor and all the other floors have within a loving home.

  10. Susanna says:

    Thank you so much for writing, Beckie! I love to hear about the children from you! (I had to alter one of your words, to break the public link between T**** and his location, as per our agency’s instructions. I hope you understand!)

  11. Beckie says:

    Of course thats fine! Good luck with everything, and I look forward to hearing more stories about your growing family in the future!  

  12. Rachel says:

    I have been following your blog for some time. I’ve shared your posts on Facebook. I’ve always wanted to adopt. I know that now is not the right time in my life to do that, but I hope to do it in the future. If not adoption, then definitely foster parenting. The moment I saw Theodore, I wished that I could be his mom. He looks like my kid. Almost a perfect cross between my oldest son and oldest daughter’s faces. 

    I would be a good mom to him. I am a good mom. However, I don’t fit the criteria for adopting him. I am in a committed relationship with another woman, and, together, we are raising our six children. We are Christians, and we faithfully take our children to church and teach them to love God. I wonder if there aren’t other potential parents out there that would love these children the way they deserve to be loved. People like me and my partner. Just a thought. Every time you plead with your readers to consider adoption, I want to plead with you to consider broadening your definition of family and increase these children’s chances of being adopted. I know this isn’t a matter that you personally could change even in you wanted to, and I don’t know the specific qualifications to adopt from Bulgaria. However, I do know that, just like there are lots of children waiting for parents to love, there are lots of lesbian and gay potential parents waiting for a child to love. 

  13. sabrina says:

    One area that I think needs prayer is for social workers on the local levels who will work with families interested in adopting older SN children. We had a very difficult time finding a social worker who was comfortable working with a large family…several told us they were not. We narrowed our options to one social worker who said she’d be comfortable with our family size but she didn’t even want to think about more than 2 children sharing a bedroom and she was not comfortable with more severe special needs. A family may be open, but they still have to find someone to approve their family. In our own experience we were very limited by choices for our home study and then limited in the child we could adopt based on what our social worker was comfortable with.

    I was heartbroken to read about Masha’s family being told by their social worker that they could not adopt her because they already had a few children with special needs. 

  14. Susanna says:

    Rachel, thanks for writing! You are right that broadening my definition of family would not increase these children’s chances of being adopted. :)

  15. Sarah says:

    Just blogged about them! praying!

  16. Susanna says:

    Sabrina, thanks for this excellent comment! For months, we’ve had a long list of families on our refrigerator who greatly desire to adopt but are facing some obstacle or other. Since we see all these obstacles as God, not man, holding the door closed, we actually pray for God to open the door for them if it’s His will for them to adopt. We know of a few amazing answers to this prayer, but like a lot of other adoption-related work, it seems to require tenacity. :)

  17. Susanna says:

    Sarah, THANK YOU!

  18. Jessica says:

    I haven’t heard your thoughts on adopting a child with significant needs when the momma works outside the home.  I know God will work all things out for my family but this is a stumbling block for me.  How would we do it?  What do you think?  Do you have any other friends who are in the same situation?  

    Our hearts are open to adopting again and to special needs.  I know God opened my eyes to these children who have no worth in the eyes of others but I am a full-time teacher at a local high school and I don’t know of other moms who have adopted special needs children and who work outside the home.  Could you share your thoughts? 

  19. Susanna says:

    Jessica, I have two friends I can think of right now who are adoptive moms working outside the home, and I will be happy to put you in touch with them if you like. :) Emailing you…

  20. Christy says:

    My heart breaks and breaks for these children. I have followed your blog for a long while and have friends who have been able to adopt a sweet boy from Ukraine. However, my husband and I don’t qualify to even begin the process. :(

  21. Shared on Facebook… you know the children in these categories have my heart. Today, after being around several homeschool families at a recitation night, out of the blue- my newly adopted 16 year old daughter leaned over to me, kissed my cheek and said “I love you!!!”   She does this all of the time. I had to choke back a sob as I looked into her beautiful smile and remembered the life that was facing her. If you are considering adopting a child but are scared of the unknowns, please contact us. We’d love to tell you our story, and how God has blessed our family with a gift that we never even could have imagined. Oh Lord, please put these precious children into their families quickly and help their parents to trust you!!!! 

  22. Katie says:

    My heart honestly LEADS me to those, most needy, most overlooked children.  But then, I’ve always been one to root for the underdog.  I really wished those annoying kids on the commercial would just ONCE let the rabbit have some Trix… anyways, I digress.  I was always more drawn to the children who had difficult circumstances when I worked in daycare too.  It breaks my heart when I see people turn away from children because they’re too old, too needy, too sick, not cute enough…. because those are the very children who are on my heart, who I would go and get if I could.  Thank you, thank you so much for continuing to advocate for the least of these.

  23. Susanna says:

    Colleen, THANK YOU, dear friend!! Love you!!

  24. Susanna says:

    Your tenacity on behalf of these little ones blesses my heart, Katie!

  25. katie says:

    susanna what does one need to do to request their profile, would we already have to have a homestudy completed, etc? what are the requirements fom this end besides wanting one of the cchildren

  26. Susanna says:

    katie, thank you so much for asking these questions! I’m putting my answer into the blog post, too.

    No, you do not need to have a completed home study. All you need to do to find out more information is to email Andrea Roberts at andrea@reecesrainbow.com, and she will give you the info you need and connect you with the US agency that holds the child’s file. The only child whose file is not with any agency is Penny, but it can be requested from the MOJ, and there is a delay associated with that.

    You will not incur any obligation by simply requesting more information about a child from Andrea. She will be happy to hear of your interest in one of the children! As am I!

  27. Andrea says:

    Following Jessica’s comment, I am beginning the adoption process as a single parent. I fall into the category of people looking to adopt a younger child with less severe needs (although I am hoping for a boy!). This is not because I do not desire to adopt a child like Katie, quite the opposite I actually pray that God would grant me the privilege of parenting such a priceless treasure one day, but right now it just does not seem realistic. I am 28, single and work full time with a lot of overtime/evening work. I know that nothing is impossible with God and am committed to saying yes to whatever/whoever He calls me to. So far, I continue to feel that now is not the time for me to bring home a child who will require full care but I am open to God showing me that I am wrong and would love to hear your thoughts on this.

    Praying for all these children and the countless others whose faces I have never seen… 

  28. Susan says:

    We are praying for these sweet children. 

  29. Susanna says:

    Sweet Andrea, thank you so much for writing. My thoughts are these.

    You have blessed me in the past with your passion for these little ones.

    It is fabulous that God is leading you to adopt! I would love to hear updates from you further down the road!

    A thought to consider from an experienced mom of eleven children (who span the spectrum from very developmentally delayed to very intellectually gifted) is that in one sense, all parenting is hard, and all children need full care. No child should be left unattended or ignored, and all need interaction and oversight on whatever level is appropriate for them. Katie and Verity are NOT the most challenging children we are parenting, by a loooooong shot. The interaction we have with them is rarely emotionally or mentally demanding and exhausting as it can regularly be with several of our other children. That’s not to say that either of them will not ever get to that point! Or that children with severe special needs cannot ever be challenging to parent! I just want you to consider whether you are mistakenly equating greater physical needs with more difficult parenting, and it’s just not that automatic. Children with special needs are just like other children in that they can have easy temperaments or difficult ones, and it often seems to be a child’s innate temperament that affects daily life with them more than their medical issues or physical needs.

    Some of the difficulties common to parents of kids with special needs come when they compare their child to other children, and/or feel a weight of guilt that they aren’t doing enough for their child.

    God didn’t give me children with special needs until I’d had lots of experience learning to accept the differences between my many other children. I refuse to compare my children with other children, and don’t feel sadness when I see a young child without a disability surpassing the skills of my little girls with special needs.

    I also came to terms long ago with my limitations and believe that God picked me on purpose to be the mom for these particular children, with my specific strong and weak areas. I don’t feel the slightest pressure to try to do all the things that other moms do with their children.

    That preparation helps me now to accept the differences that Katie and Verity have, and to be at peace with my limitations, be the mom God designed me to be, and trust Him to fill in my gaps rather than living with the constant feeling of guilt that I’m not doing enough.

    My first and last thought is that with your commitment to saying YES to God no matter what, you are right where you should be, and there is no doubt in my mind that God WILL lead you perfectly. I pray for the same openness of heart for every other potential adoptive parent.

    Bless you, Andrea.

  30. Andrea says:

    Hi Susanna

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my comment. I struggled with the term “full care” even as I was typing it and it seems I should have chosen a better term to convey my thoughts… When I reffered to “full care” I was not referring to the kind of care that I will give as a parent (obviously all kids require full care!) but what would be required in terms of day care, babysitters, etc. I cannot imagine having to put a child who has suffered years of severe neglect, who is dependant on me for every single aspect of their care, into a day care setting. Not only would it be more difficult to find a day care that would accept their “severe needs” but it would also just tear my heart out, plain and simple. If God ever chooses to bless me with such a child, I want to be the one to care for them.

    That said, I fully agree with your statement that any/all children can be challenging to parent and have experienced myself in caring for orphans in a variety of circumstances that more often than not the “typical” children are indeed much more challenging than those with “special needs”!

    I hope that helps to clairify what I was trying to say. I would be interested in hearing from other adoptive mothers who work outside the home and how they make it work. Thank you again for taking the time to share your wisdom and experience with me.

  31. Jon says:

    Susanna,

    I have often come to your blog while struggling with my fears and talking to the LORD in the middle of the night.  Thank you so much for your words–they have been a lifeline several times.  Fear has been a major issue for me as our pending adoption has triggered major grief.  My brother died in a hospital after an invasive operation, and had heart problems.  We had a vigil in the hospital for three weeks, and he didn’t make it.  He was my best friend and I honestly think about him every day.  

    Our pending adoption scares me because my brother was looking at a probable bovine valve replacement surgery to fix his broken heart, and that is the exact surgery that will likely be needed in this case.  Symptoms and issues related are eerily similar.  These last few months have been filled with flashbacks that are very vivid for me.

    I know the LORD cares so much for this child that we are about to adopt, and I know I need to trust.  So keep up the WORDS you are speaking.  They are so important.  Just wanted to share because I believe that many families in these situations are on a journey that has been very difficult at times and this process can make it feel like we are inviting future calamity into our lives.  The LORD is using your blog and others as well to help remind me to trust, to lean on him.  Yet this is very hard!  Just wanted to say thank you.

  32. Susanna says:

    Jon, this helps to make the blood, sweat, and tears worth it. Thank you so much for writing. I am praying for your family right now.

  33. Linda says:

    Susanna, You continue to amaze me with your tireless advocacy and your gift of the the written word.  If it weren’t for you and Katie I wouldn’t have had the courage to step forward to adopt Kolina.  Now that I have met her in person I can’t imagine what I was afraid of!  Thank you for your constant support and enthusiasm – it is contagious!

  34. Susanna says:

    Linda, thank you for expressing your thoughts about meeting Kolina! Love it! So true of me with Katie, too! They aren’t scary labels, they’re just our children and we love and accept them and learn to know them!

  35. Jan says:

    Why are the boys less wanted? I can understand preferring a younger child, or a child with less intimidating needs, but why girls over boys?

  36. Susanna says:

    Jan, there are various reasons, and some pretty unworthy ones, but the most common substantive reason would be the reluctance to deal with possible testosterone-related issues as the boy grows older, especially if he has been institutionalized for a great length of time.

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