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!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wow! Could it really be Thursday?

Sorry, no new photos today. :(

The kids wear the same clothes nearly every day. Today's photos would have looked like yesterday's, and the day before, and so on. Today I figured it was pointless.

I continue to attempt to visit both boys at the same time. I get Theo first, as he lives upstairs. I bring him down, put him in the stroller and then stroll into Zhen's room to get him. He helps me push the stroller out the door and down the stairs! We're careful! Not a single ramp in the place.

Oh, I take that back. There is a ramp in a new wing of the orphanage. It's pretty steep and leads up to a shiny new kitchen. I honestly don't think this kitchen is or has ever been used. Strange. Creepy.

So Zhen and I push Theo outside and we find an empty playpen for Zhen. That's easy because none of the groups are currently playing outside at all. Zhen plays with his car or some books while I take off Theo's socks, hat and shirt.

Today there was piles of cigarette ashes and some butts in the playpen. I looked like someone had a party there last night. The orphanage grounds are pitifully fenced. The chainlink has huge holes in many locations and I have seen young men cutting through the grounds in broad daylight. I can't figure out why. There are paths all over the place and it's not really shorter.

When I get Theo stripped down for comfort I put Zhen in the swing. He's barefoot! He has a way of wedging his shoes in the bars of the playpen and slipping out of his shoes. It totally makes me smile. I put Zhen in the swing and I gently grab his toes when he swings my way. I'm trying to teach him the word "piggies!" I turn and play with Theos' piggies for a moment, too.

I place the Ipod in Theo's stroller, wondering if he can hear the music, and I'm singing to the kids and hoping that God can hear me...

As we lift up our hands
As we call on your name
Will you visit this place
By your mercy and grace

Satan is well pleased with the lives he is destroying here. No secret. But it just hit me hard this afternoon.

I visited Zhen this afternoon, thinking that it was only going to get hotter this weekend. I didn't want to take him outside in the heat so the caregivers let us play in the mostly unused play/therapy/music room. From this room there is a window to the room where all the cribs from this grouppa are located. I saw rows of babies (2-3 year olds) laying very quietly. Quite still. No toys. Nothing to do but wait.

Folks, this is the "good" room at this orphanage! And, that's all I've got to say about that.


  1. Hi! So glad about you holding your little ones now! We've been following your adoption blog for a long time and praying for you to get them safely home. Just love Theo!! And Zhen’s so cute!

    We have a very odd question! A few days ago, you said you saw Masha… have you seen the brown eyed Masha or the blue eyed one??

    If February, Masha got a new pic. In her old one, she had huge, blue eyes. Her new picture showed a girl with brown eyes... we are sure these pictures are NOT of the same child. We are worried about the blue eyed one being "lost in the system" and not being able to find a family!!!

    Did you get pictures of "your" Masha???

    Hope you don't mind questions!!!


    A Masha(s) Lover

  2. It is just heart-breaking to hear about all the other children....and wonder about THAT which you don't say.When is your 10 day waiting finished...I counted to the 9th. Excited to see you go home. I've heard that Russia (I suppose it's near enough) are experiencing their worse heat wave ever. Our radio station said today that they had over 500 wild fire's this morning. May God keep you, and bless you and watch over you in your remaining days there. I pray especially that He will keep you and your boys healthy!

  3. Hang in there, Steph! You will all be home so soon...

  4. Stephanie's HusbandAugust 5, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    "Masha Lover" Email Steph and she may be able to answer your questions. :)

    Karien - Yes the 9th is the end of the ridiculous 10 day waiting period. Then the whirlwind trips start!

    We can't wait for her to get home with our boys! She will Have our oldest son Wes there with her on the 10th to help her when "GOTCHA DAY" comes.

    I love reading all your comments and know that she treasures each one! Keep the comments coming for her!

    And yes the heat is unbearable at times for her and the boys! I guess I was the lucky one and got out of there before it got really super hot!


  5. I regret not leaving daily comments but your family in my thoughts and prayers for a safe journey home as soon as is allowed.

    Thank you so much for blogging this experience, Stephanie.


  6. Hi Stephanie! I want to tell you that I read your blog everyday, your boys are gorgeous and I pray for their health/safety and for you to travel safely home. I greatly admire your honesty and perseverance, I know it must be difficult. You are so close and I know you must be longing to be in your own home to love and care for them as they need.
    You will be in my thoughts and prayers!
    In Christ~

  7. I have been reading your blog daily and want to thank you for sharing your journey.
    My God bless you in your final steps of bring your little boys home.

    Hang it there all good things come to those that wait!

    Hugs : )


  8. Thanks for the continued updates. I look forward to them. Keep the praise music going! Praying all goes well over the weekend and your son arrives safely. I'm guessing Zhen, especially, will be thrilled to meet his big brother.

  9. Masha lover,

    If you are referring to the February photo on Reece's Rainbow, that IS Masha. And she DOES have blue eyes. It is just not a great photo, colorwise.

    Let me tell you about Masha, I would come back for her in a heartbeat if we hadn't just spent every last cent we have! She is just a little tiny ray of sunshine in this dark place. She IS tiny, but she could be walking in no time if she had someone to work with her. She pulls to stand and does her best to come see me whenever I enter the room. She always wants to be where the action is. She has a desire to live and learn. She has that spark!

    If you truly love her, please pray that her family would step forward soon and stick some money into her grant fund. She will be promptly transferred in January when she turns four.

    :( :( :( :(



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