My heart is full

March 7th, 2016

August, 2011, 9 years old~



November, 2011~









Four years later, now thirteen years old~







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14 Responses to “My heart is full”

  1. Missy says:

    Mine is full too. Was Toni astounded? Thanks for sharing.

  2. Susanna says:

    Two other moms with their Bulgarian kids were also at our home last night. When Toni arrived, I went out to welcome her. As I accompanied her into the house, I told her that there were three little Bulgarians waiting for her in the kitchen. She looked into the room and said, “There’s Michael…and there’s Lina…who’s the third one?” Katie was right in front of her. Toni was overcome. She welled up with tears remembering the little skeleton baby Katie used to be.

    What an honor to have this dear friend, one of my personal heroines, right here in our home last night and then again today. It was surreal and yet again as natural as if we had just seen each other the previous day. We have Paul and Maureen Huizinga to thank for making this happen, as it was impossible for me to attend Toni’s reunion the week beforehand. She is so very dear to me and I thought I would not see her face to face again this side of heaven.

  3. Deanna Rabe says:

    I love that this visit happened!

  4. Becky says:

    Tears! I was so very happy that this was made possible. Thank you for sharing the photos!!

  5. MamaV says:

    That is so wonderful!!

  6. This is just wonderful! LOVE that! LOVE it! <3

  7. Maria says:

    Toni <3 ! So happy to see your reunion! It has been a long time since we've "talked", Susanna, but your family is never far from my prayers. I catch up with your blog every couple months, as I come up for air from the daily needs of our little family. Wish I could have seen Toni but travelling from the West coast is difficult. You both look great and it blesses me to just see the pictures!

  8. Mindy says:

    Do you think Katie remembered her?

  9. Susanna says:

    Mindy, I’m quite sure she did not remember Toni. To her, Toni was a total stranger. She was quite puzzled about why in the world she was being allowed to sit on this strange lady’s lap. Yes, we broke the RAD rules, but when it came right down to it, I just couldn’t deprive Toni or pass up this golden opportunity for an “after” photo, especially with the pink pjs on. And Katie came right back to me afterward and gave me hugs, so all is well!

  10. Beckey says:

    Wow! Her transformation is amazing seeing those pictures together. I can see why Toni did not recognize Katie. She looks like a completely different child. Beautiful.

  11. Susanna says:

    Maria, it’s really good to hear from you again, and I hope you and “M” are well. I wish all the Pleven families could get together, just once. Seeing the children in “after” photographs just is not the same when you saw them “before” in person!

  12. Paul says:

    Susanna, you know I had to make this happen once we realized you were unable to come down our way. So glad Toni had a chance to see the miracle of your little Katie and see the rest of your family as well. Paul

  13. Susanna says:

    Paul, it was an amazing gift, and I laughed out loud when I heard the back story! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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