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!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Under the fluffy pajamas...

Look at those beautiful chubby cheeks! Isn't she a total doll? She's almost 4 years old.

And those luscious, chocolaty brown eyes? How could you not love this sweet child?

But, appearances can be deceiving. What you see is not always what you get. This little jewel was lost and starving, abused and neglected, like so many other children around the world. She was the very least of the very least. The bottom of the barrel.

Despised (sound familiar?) by those who were charged with caring for her.

But then...

...she was rescued.

Thank God that Carrington was rescued! She now has a name and a family to call her own. And someone to love and tenderly care for her for the rest of her sweet life.

But the cute cheeks and the fluffy pajamas were hiding the terrible truth. Carrington is in very bad shape.

We don't' really want to know the truth, do we? We would really rather not know some things at all. You know, the whole "ignorance is bliss" thing, and all.

We really must confront this, though. This does not have to happen to any child. Anywhere. Still, I'm encouraged, because Carrington is on a plane right now headed for her new home America. PRAY for her and her mommy as they make their way home today...and then straight to the hospital. I look forward to sharing her physical and emotional restoration with you.

Let me suggest that if this reality makes you feel uncomfortable...

...or guilty

...or tearful

...or angry

then perhaps God is calling you to do more than sit on the sidelines.

You men. When are you going to stop responding to these children like a sissy? Let your manly heart be broken and then put on your full armor and fight for them! This is one of God's precious, beloved children and if her condition breaks HIS heart then it had better break yours.

And you ladies. Are you so comfortable in your perfect, orderly world, enjoying your blessings and luxuries that you are unwilling let go of any one of them?

And you churches. Are you addressing the orphan crisis? Are you equipping families to adopt? To foster? Are you regularly sending mission teams to orphanages? And why not? Isn't adoption one of the central themes of the gospel of salvation?

Let me encourage you all to get in the game! Pray-give-go!

Pray - pray for the children, for their hearts and minds and bodies to be preserved and protected. Pray for families, that they would be courageous to keep and raise their children, no matter what their imperfections may be. Pray for the families that God has called to rescue the abandoned children, that they would hear the call and follow with conviction. And there is so much more to pray for, isn't there?

Give - financially assist an adopting family or give to a waiting child's grant fund. Give your time. Babysit for an adoptive family. Hold a fundraiser for them. Clean out junk from your closets and donate to their garage sale.

Go - go adopt a child and give them a chance to reach their true potential. Go visit an orphanage. Many churches and organizations offer short term mission trips to orphanages around the world.

Just go.

Just give.

Just pray.

Just do it.


  1.!!! Thank God for sparing her sweet life! Praying for her and her awesome family!!!

  2. Kori looked just like Carrington:( Oh that brings back so many sad memories for me:( GREAT post...people DO something!


  3. Thank you, Stephanie. It's hard to see complacency in the face of such neglect and need - complacency of others, of the church - and of myself. I pray for this child and her family and all others like her - and them - and have been an RR supporter for several years. My young cousins came home five years ago this month, and their journey opened my eyes to the varying conditions in the orphanages of EE.

    Thanks so much for sharing this, painful and sad though it is.

    But hope for this little girl's future is real now. Thank God, and the Burman family, and Reece's Rainbow for that...

    Susan in Ky
    Cousin to Two from U.

  4. Thanking God that she is rescued. Those pics are heartbreaking.

  5. Oh how heartbreaking. In this country, we have a huge problem with obesity,live in huge houses, drive expensive cars, and spend so much money on beauty products and services..yet only one person was willing to put herself in a position to go for this starving child.
    I hate that I am held back. I feel so sick for each child living on the brink like Carrington. I am so thankful she is on her way home.

  6. Well said Stephanie! Thanks for telling it as it is, with straightforward and easy to follow instrutions on how to help.

    My heart breaks for sweet Carrington, and I can't wait to see her heal and grow. My love to her and her family as they make their way home, and start their new lives together.

  7. These pictures tell a story that just cannot be ignored. That small, innocent children are abandoned, only live like this, is one of the many dark sides of society today.

    I pray that not only will many many more children be rescued by adoption, but also that there will be change all around the world in the way these babies are treated.

    And I am so super happy for Carrington! She has a long way of recovery to go, but in due time she will be as healthy and happy as God intended her to be :)

  8. Great post Stephanie! I hope people read and take it to heart. I am so glad that they have rescued Carrington and Reagan too :) Can't wait to see them healthy at HOME!

  9. Wow Stephanie, that is shocking. I will be praying for her. Thank you for posting this and I am so sorry to little Carrington and all the other children who are just like her. :( Wow.

  10. Beautifully written! AMEN!!! Thank God for adoption and for families who are willing to step out into the unknown!

  11. If the world only knew...

    God knows...and I am trusting in Him to send families like yours, like ours, to bring these sweet babies home...

    Jesus in Heaven, move hearts, change lives.

    Love finds a way,
    Renee Tam

  12. thank you

  13. Stephanie, I knew those first pictures of Carrington were going to be hard to see....God bless the Burmans!!

    Christie--momma to my 3 J's and AJ on the way (formerly known as Alexander 50)

  14. I have linked to this from my blog...I hope it`s ok...


  15. Great post Stephanie. Praying for the Burmans and Carrington as they travel home and to the nearest hospital. Heartbreaking. No child should ever look like this...

  16. Thanks for your challenge! So happy to hear this sweet girl will get the love and adoration from a family, that she deserves!

  17. We need's reality in our face. I have been praying for them today. Will you please update on travels for Carrington and her mom when you hear something.

    Stephanie Lynch

  18. Mother of 3:

    I pray for all the hurting children that they will receive an angel to save them.

  19. Thank you for this post. I pray those around us that walk in complacency will one day awake, and realize the call to GO, GIVE and PRAY is for THEM. If their not doing it, no one is. May God place a hedge of protection around each waiting child, cover them in the blood, and bring them home to the love of Christ through the love of family.

  20. My heart is breaking. I cannot believe any human being is capable of allowing that to happen to a child. I wish I were in a position to take at least one of these children home. Hopefully, someday soon, I will be. God Bless You and thank you for sharing this and bringing it to people's attention that all is not right in the world.

  21. Thank you Stephanie for writing this! God bless you for speaking the truth!

  22. Bless you for being willing to show and write the truth!

    I need to do me Lord, show me the way!

  23. May I post this story and pics on my blog? I am in the process of adopting a little boy with Ds from EE and I want to show people the reality for these children. I'm so glad she's safe with her mommy! I will continue to pray for this little girl's health:)

  24. Bless their hearts...
    and in all seriousness, to make people feel guilty is not the way to get help for these little blessings. Trust me, I would love nothing more than to adopt, but our family cannot (veteran family with PTSD from overseas tours, which excludes us from adopting :( It's been my lifelong dream, but I cannot fulfill it).

    I definitely DO think, though, that showing these pictures is extremely important. People NEED to see the ugly truth, and they NEED to be confronted with these images... this way they can feel what is in their hearts to feel, and they can hopefully come to a decision to help. Thank you for including all the ways we can help.

  25. I will definitely pray for this little girl...RIGHT NOW:

    Lord Jesus, I come to you now Lord and I pray for this little girl! Fill her body with your Holy Spirit, please help her gain strength and nutrition Lord. She will survive. Give her the fight, and be with this family as they struggle. We have faith and trust you JESUS!

  26. I just talked to someone recently wh told me about the conditions of children with Down Syndrome in Ukraine-Russia etc. Then another friend put a link to your site on their facebook. So God must be trying to tell me something. Not sure what but anyway will see if I can repost the link. Good example of where this country is headed if we keep going down the socialist path.



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