Love is not self-seeking

November 29th, 2012


If you have been reading this blog for some time, you know that there is more than one bad baby house in the country of Katie’s birth.

Last spring, a dad and mom were eager to receive updated photos of the little three-year-old girl with Down syndrome they had committed to adopt.

Their in-country adoption team had considerable difficulty in obtaining permission from the director of this tiny girl’s orphanage to get these updated photos.

When the photos and the report from the adoption team finally came, we understood why.


The mom forwarded the photos to me with only one question, a pleading, searching question.

A question that God will hear and answer.

The question that too many of His people are too afraid to ask Him.

The only appropriate question.


“What do I do Lord???”


They asked God this question, and He answered them.

First visit with Sophia Grace~


In the best hospital in Sophia Grace’s country before traveling home, weighing 10 1/2 pounds~


In a US children’s hospital~



Home and at peace, now almost four years old~


There is another little girl waiting in Sophia Grace’s former orphanage.  She has cerebral palsy.  She is severely malnourished, and weighs less than ten pounds at six years old.  Do you remember that Katie weighed seven pounds at seven years of age?

Zoey is in desperate need of parents with selfless motives.

Please email Andrea Roberts with your serious inquiries about adopting Zoey!  This darling girl’s parents need to step forward quickly!

UPDATE!  Zoey now has parents coming for her!


Jeremy, not yet two years old, needs selfless parents.  He is waiting in Pleven, and his agency will hold his file until January.  Jeremy’s record states that he was born prematurely and has moderate external hydrocephalus and chronic bronchial asthma.

Email Nina Thompson about adopting Jeremy: 


Harvey, age 3, needs selfless parents to take him home from the Pleven orphanage, and none have yet come forward!  His file was sent back to his government!

Please email Andrea Roberts about adopting tiny, malnourished Harvey:



Owen, age 4, is waiting in Pleven and has a bleeding disorder that is controlled by medication.  He needs selfless parents, but none have come forward!  His file was just sent back to his government!

Please email Nina Thompson about adopting Owen:



Brandi, age 6, is alive and wants to live!  I have seen her on video!  Do not write her off as undesirable!  For goodness’ sake, her head is shaved and she is ignored in her crib in the Pleven orphanage all day long every day and has been all her life!  No parents have stepped forward for Brandi!  Her file was sent back to her government! She needs selfless parents to give her a chance to respond to love and therapy!

Email Andrea Roberts about adopting Brandi:



Kramer, age 8, needs selfless parents to carry him home from Pleven and love him into thriving life and health!  Like our Tommy, Kramer has cerebral palsy but has not received the therapy that he has so needed!  No parents have stepped forward to adopt Kramer!  His file was sent back to his government!

Please email Andrea Roberts about adopting Kramer:

UPDATE!  Kramer now has parents coming for him!



Chad, age 9, needs selfless parents to see his potential and say yes to adopting him!  Nobody has yet come forward for Chad!  His file was sent back to his government, but he has had his file requested again by an agency who chooses files out of compassion and not for any lesser motive!  So he is on Reece’s Rainbow once more!

Please email Andrea Roberts about adopting Chad from Pleven:



Garnet, age 10, tiny, lovely Garnet, waiting in Pleven!  She has not had a family commit to her, so her file was sent back to her government!  Please pray for selfless parents to see obstacles come down so they can make that commitment to bring Garnet home!

Email Andrea Roberts about adopting Garnet:

UPDATE!  Garnet now has parents coming for her!


And just look what God did!!!

Theodore, age 10, NOW HAS A COMMITTED FAMILY!!!  




Friends, I cannot see what I have seen and know what I know and have a clear conscience about mincing my words!

The big picture shows that God is working wonders to open the doors for more and more very needy children to be adopted.  And right now, we are seeing fewer parents come forward in response to this greater need.  This is not love and this is not justice and it makes the enemy gloat!

You know that we are sending a message with every file that goes back.  A message to the government and also to the agencies who are holding their fingers to the wind.  These agencies will leave the most needy children behind and choose files of children they think will sell best be chosen first, and we are already seeing that happen!

When we send files back, they hear us agreeing that these children are undesirables and not worth sacrificing for!  Agreeing with God?  No!  Agreeing with the enemy!  Whose side will we stand on, friends?


All of us in the special needs adoption community hear it at some point.

“I couldn’t give a child like that what he or she needs.”


There’s something the little children in our family aren’t allowed to say.

“I can’t.”

They may calmly do their task without help.

Or they may calmly tell me they’re having trouble and need help to do what I gave them to do.
If I give them a task to do, and they respond with a reluctant, lazy, whiny attitude, and use the words, “I can’t,” this is what they’ll hear–
“The problem isn’t that you can’t.  The problem is that you don’t want to.”

The blunt truth is that a majority of those who make that statement could give an orphan with special needs a better life than an orphanage can, if they are only willing to make the necessary sacrifices out of love for that child.  Not everyone!  But a majority.  Far, far more than there currently are.  Those of us who are living this life know that.

So may I challenge you, if you are one of the people who is able but unwilling to make these sacrifices, that you take responsibility for your decision?  Please face the truth squarely, just as I have my little children do when their basic trouble is an unwilling heart.

“The problem isn’t that I couldn’t care for an orphan with special needs.  The problem is that I don’t want to.”


A mama with a willing heart recently wrote to me with good news about her husband’s change of heart.  I don’t think she realized how truthful and telling she was in her choice of words.

“Thanks for lifting us up in prayer, as God has already softened my husband’s heart!”

What is the opposite of softened?


If your heart is open, but you are being stopped by fear, what is the core of your fear?

Are you thinking that you could never do what I do?

You know what?

If you have ever thought that, please don’t think it any more.


Because it totally misses the real point.

Of course you could never do what God asks me to do.  Manage my household?  Mother my children?  Wife my husband?

God didn’t give you my job.  He gave it to me.

The question you must face is whether you are doing what God wants you to do.

Have you asked Him what He wants you to do about the need of these little voiceless ones?

Or have you said, “I could never do what she’s doing,” and used that to push the whole subject off to what appears to be a safe distance from the core of your life?


And if-like our family and nearly every other international special needs adoptive family we know–you are aware that you could not carry out the task without God’s help, then ask God for help.

“This is Your work.  You will have to be the One to make it happen.”

And then start walking.  He will guide your feet where He wants them to go.


Where are the selfless parents with love enough to look upon these little ones and ask Him with an open heart,

“What do I do Lord???”











P. S.   Dear friends, as Joe and I see more and more files of these children being sent back, we are more and more determined not to give up on their behalf.

We are aware that the core readership of this blog has already seen the need of these children, and that the word needs to be spread even wider.

 Our hope is in God, and He is still alive and working!  He asks us to trust AND OBEY, so I am taking more opportunities–articles, interviews, public talks and one on one conversations–to tell even more people about the need of these children for parents.  Any opportunity offered me that is at all possible for me to take, I am taking.

Friends, if you have never done so before, would you please consider doing all you can to help spread the word as well?  Thank you so much!





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14 Responses to “Love is not self-seeking”

  1. Amanda says:

    We are going back to that place for three more children who we already adore.  We have also had the opportunity to speak at a large church lately.  Praying for more and more opportunities.  Thankfully, with 18 kids I get asked lots of questions.  lol  Praying for all of these little ones to have families!

  2. lizzie says:

    Beautiful and so so needed and true.   Please lift my hubbys heart up in prayer, that he would be willing to go?   xoxo

  3. Lydia says:

    Well said as usual, Susanna.  I cannot believe that Owen’s file was sent back!  His needs are manageable and he is adorable.  I think Pleven has become “old news” and we need reminding with pictures like Harvey’s that all things there are not right for the children.  We appreciate the efforts of the new director, but these children need families!  I too promise to keep screaming and praying for opportunities to share.

  4. Phyllis says:

    I’m PRAYING for all these sweet faces!

    (I’ve been to that Baby House #10, and many years ago our close friends adopted John’s little buddy from when he was there. :)

  5. JessicaD says:

    I am sure I have told you this before, But I die a little every time I see Kramer’s picture. 

  6. Michelle says:

    Zoey is in the same place that our daughter is in. My heart breaks.

  7. Rebekah says:

    Does Theodore’s adoptive family have a blog? He captured my heart. I would love to follow his updates. 

  8. Susanna says:

    Rachel, if I hear of it, I will let folks here know!

  9. Lori says:

    I am not familiar with process for international adoption.  What needs to happen for a family to be able to inquire about a specific child? 

  10. Susanna says:

    Lori, thank you so much for asking this question! You don’t need to do anything in order to simply inquire about a child. Nina and Andrea would both be happy to give you more information!

  11. K says:

    You know what’s awful?  We are a loving family committed to our children. We have the means to care for a child with special needs and the experience. We would take Zoey home in a red hot second. Why can’t we?  Because our family has two moms. Tell me that God would rather these children wither away in these awful places than go home to two loving committed parents and a brother and sister that would love them. It breaks my heart. Daily. Praying for all of them. 

  12. Donna says:

    My heart just breaks for these adorable children. We adopted our youngest out off foster care. He has severe CP. He is the sweetest little boy and has brought us so much joy. I have a question about insurance. How do you pay for all of their medical needs? Are they eligable for medicaid? I would love to abopt little Zoey but know how tremendously expensive their medical care is. God Bless you for all you do!

  13. Susanna says:

    Donna, once they are home, they are just as eligible as any biological child for gov’t health care. Currently, you must have health insurance to adopt internationally, and some int’l SN adoptive families then sign up for gov’t health care as a back-up plan for their insurance.

    Our case has been a bit different, and for several reasons, we have been unable to explain the details of this part of our story publicly. Maybe someday! God has provided in miraculous ways for Katie, and we are already seeing Him provide for Tommy. :)

  14. Melissa C. says:

    We are still praying (and praying and praying) about Owen! We received more info about him a month ago and have since had a foster child placed with us. Owen would be the ‘big brother’ in the family should we be able to adopt our foster child! =) I saw Zoey and my heart just broke in two. I want so much for her to be a success story like your Katie!!

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