Psalm 68:5-6

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

I am Stepanie Nance. My family adopted two little boys with Down Syndrome from Ukraine in 2010. I hope to educate and to inspire you. I hope to make you laugh and to make you cry.

Come along for the ride. It's a wild one!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Me again.

It's me again. My brain is fried from sitting in the sauna (bus) too long. I can't think of a snappy title for the post!

This morning we had a fantastic visit! This afternoon...well it didn't happen. I got all the way over to the other side of town before I decided that it was too hot to play with the kids. It would not be fair to them to take them out in this heat. I checked the temp when I got back home and it was 37C/98F but 42C/107F with the heat index. Then I didn't feel so bad. I may just stick to morning visits if this heatwave does not break.

Again, I'm visiting with both boys at one time. The caregivers generally help me get the stroller down the steps, which I am thankful for! I'm sure they would love to have a ramp. (Thinking mission project in my head.)

Zhenya is well trained to push a stroller! You just put his hands on it and away we go. He may complain but he doesn't quit or try to run/crawl away.

Look at Theo sitting up tall! This boy is getting stronger and stronger every single day. God is so good! Zhenya decided to sample some dirt while I was getting this pic. The boy will eat anything he can grab!

My favorite caregiver showed up. Actually, come to think of it, she walked out with us. I was curious about her, so I called my facilitator to ask her some questions. It turns out that she is a speech therapist and works to improve the conditions for all the children in the orphanage. She is a great asset to the place and deserves a huge raise. Here she is working with Theo.

Handsome boy!

James, you know what this face means! It is hard to believe that he could barely sit up when we met him two weeks ago.

Yes, you are still handsome! Thanks for looking at the camera.

There are some lovely girls in the background here. We asked about one of them that James fell in love with. Turns out that she has parents with rights to her AND a brother in this orphanage as well. She is not available. :(

I just love this lady. She works hard for these kids. I wasn't too sure about the swing for Theo after the last time I tried, but he did great today! Oops! How did Masha get in the photo! I'm telling you, this little girl is FULL of life. She is just a joy! I'm praying her family will feel God nudging them to step forward.

Say da-da-da-da-da!

Yes, he is tied into the swing. It's a common practice here. I was OK with it because we weren't going to leave him there or anything. This place could really use some baby swings. After all , it is a baby house. The oldest kids are 4, 5, or 6, depending on what sort of special needs they might have.

There is that face again. He is snorting snot. Sinus issues perhaps.

Therapist working with Theo and Masha in the playpen. Yep, he is tied in. It gives him a little more support to sit up straight.


Oh, you are OK!

See? What a big boy you are!!
I'm glad that I called the facilitator and had her ask questions from the therapist. She shared with me that they have seen big changes in both boys since we arrived. She is so happy for them and for us. She wants to take pictures of us together all the time. What a great lady. What a fun morning!


  1. I love your posts and all the photos. I know (or think?) that Zhen is around 4 years, but how old is Theo?

  2. Oh Steph, I am just so happy for you and your boys. I am sure you see it too, but even just through the photos, I can see the difference in them, especially Theo! They are precious!! Praying for you still!!

  3. Is Masha available for adoption? Is she listed with RR? Looking for more info...Thanks! PS: Just love your boys and all of the pictures! Congrats!

  4. Zhen is 3 1/2. Theo just turned 4 in June!

    Ann, Masha IS available and she is on listed under Other Angels.

    Mel, thanks! I can see the changes and they give me so much hope. It also goes to show that all the children here have so much potential. Way more than they are given credit for in this place.

  5. Wow! Theo is doing wonderful! He reminds me of my youngest son Elijah. He was only 15 1/2 lbs. and was over 2 years old when I first met him. He is still a little guy but doing very well.:) Thanks for sharing so many pics of your boys, I love seeing them. Boys are so much fun. I have 4 sons, 3 have Ds.:)

  6. I am amazed at the visible signs of improvement that Theo is already showing. It is simply amazing to see these changes in a such a short period of time. Zhenya looks like such a cutie and you can tell how much he loves to play.

  7. I'm a little confused on how your boys are dressed - it's totally like when our Alex was there!! The part I am confused on is why the last couple of families that were there had their children dressed pretty nice but yours are not. I thought that your boys and Misha were in the same group/room - am I mistaken?

  8. Yayyeeeeee....LOOK how great they're doing...and they're not even home yet :) Oh my goodness, just you wait and see how they are going to transform before your very eyes. It's a beautiful thing, friend.

  9. I cant get over how much more aware theo seems ;) more bright eyed and stronger sitting , they are both beautiful. 107 seriously??? yikes. I would just melt into a puddle :)

  10. Mandy, they are in different grouppas. Zhen is in TJ's old grouppa and Theo's grouppa is upstairs from them. Theo's grouppa is filled with "bedridden" children and I don't think they are generally even dressed other than the typical Ukrainian tie-up jammies. I cause a ruckus every single time I show up and they have to get him out of bed and dressed each time. Don't know why, but he is ALWAYS in his bed.

    ALL - thanks for noticing the changes! I have tried to keep my expectations very low while I'm here, but I can't help pushing them a bit every day!!

    Maria, the 107 was just the heat index, but yeah. I was melting sitting by the window on the bus. Think solar oven!

  11. Theo is melting my heart he's a sweetie and doing so well fast!. so good to see someone working with the children. love reading your blog and hearing how you are all doing.

    Cathy (Aden's mummy)



  © Web Design by Poppies Blooming 2010

Back to TOP