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!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On the edge.

It seems as if I'm living on the edge of a great abyss. One wrong move and it is all over! I think many adoptions here are like step away from total catastophe at any given time.

Does that frighten you? I hope not.

I remember another time when I felt this close to the edge. It was the time when Ralph was born and I had no idea if he would survive or not. I learned to fly blind then. I learned to let God be in control. I had no other choice.

Later, when life settled down a bit, when we got comfortable again, I found that I had taken the wheel back into my own hands. I was in the driver seat again. Not where I needed to be. I missed that total surrender. I needed it back.

This experience in Ukraine has been bumpy, strange, heartbreaking, totally special and unforgettable...warts and all! I am where I am supposed to be. I'm doing what I am supposed to be doing. I always want to be able to say that.

The closer I get to the end of the journey, the more emotional I get. I think about the little kids that I will never see again. I think about the kids who will never have a family of their own. Each of them deserves to be loved, simply for being a creation of God.

This morning at the bus stop I heard some soft crying. I crossed the street and I noticed a black puppy struggling under the bench at the bus stop. It was howling in pain. It must have been hit by a car and crawed off the road. My bus arrived just then so I got on and left. I couldn't help but cry for that little pup. I'm such a dork.

I had to pull myself together or my day would be ruined. Crappy, unfair, hurtful things happen every day, all over the world. The only reason I was upset is because I witnessed the hurting puppy. I don't cry every day for all the hurt puppies all over the world. Why today?

Crappy, unfair, hurtful things are happening to precious children every day, all over the world. We don't cry for them because we don't witness what is going on. We don't hear about it. We don't know about it. We don't want to, do we? Because then we might have to get a little closer to the edge.


  1. Thank you for sharing your experiences. If everyone storms Heaven with prayer for all the hurting children and takes action by going out of their comfort zone to share and do ONE thing, anything to help ease their suffering what a diffference it would make.

  2. You are exactly right! Every time God starts revealing things to me about the lives of orphans, I say don't show me this, I don't want to know, this hurts my heart! ANd then I think no wait dont stop showing this to me, but show me what you want me to do about it. Please pray for me as I put together a presentation about God's heart for the orphan. I'm hoping that leaders will let me show it to the association my church belongs to. Thanks! And I will continue to pray for your family during this process!

  3. I'm with you... the feeling like I am falling off the edge.. needing to trust.... crying for the kids... all of it...

  4. Stephanie...such wise words and painful. I am praying about I can do if not adoption. My daughter and I were scanning the church this morning for potential parents for these kids. I sent RR to one of them and she wants to talk so maybe my part will be to share this news and introduce to prospective parents..still praying for some of my own too. Can't wait for you to bring your sweet boys home.
    Nancy B

  5. Our 'process' took 3 trips there over 3.5 years for a child we hosted. They made it hard. We fought, God intervened amazingly. The last and final trip was 2 months long. Crappy soviet like a local eventually. Taxis and trains and all the brokeness in things, buildings, systems and people. I thought my hometown was a dump until I returned. Example: we have a little thing called a Lawn-Care Industry. We have been home a year now and still have Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder. Not sure why I can't just cut and run...but still check these blogs and care for that stupid country. Couple things I came away with - maybe insightful for you, don't know. - "For God so loved the world..." pause on that one. Are you kidding me? How?? - then "You love because I first loved you." ... as believers we are saddled and provisioned for the dispensation of grace. Fight it...or give into it and move in trust. Sucks having the ultimate choice every day...but we do.

  6. On the edge too! How can I ever forget almost losing a child? Or where our adopted daughter came from? Children are a blessing, all of them, but there is something very special about what happens when you fall in love with an 'unwanted' child. You begin to notice how many there are. I first noticed it in the hospital when our first daughter with Down syndrome lived there until she was well enough to come home (most of seven months). I heard babies crying all the time. I know our daughter would have died if I wasn't there to look out for her. Next I noticed it in Ukraine through adopting our second daughter with Down syndrome (first adoption). Again, what I saw was even more abandoned children whose faces are forever in my mind. Not a day goes by that I am not in tears praying that they too will all be found. Thanks for sharing your experience Stephanie...praying with you on this journey. Our two are both 7 years old now. Sometimes I grieve the fact that I didn't get to watch our adopted daughter take her first steps, or rock her as an infant (we adopted her when she was 5 and found out about her when she was 3). Sometimes I even grieve the fact that I missed a hospital free beginning with our biological child and then I remember it is what God used to take us to one more. God is good and I am convinced His plan to lead us to orphans first began in my heart in the hospital when our daughter was so sick. I know there are many more waiting in distress who need a MAMA to love them too! (James 1:27!)



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