Back in September of 2009, I had the privilege of helping to pull together a tiny team to go to Katya's birth country and work for a week in her orphanage. I thought some of you might like to read about that experience, so I'm sharing a post from my personal and more private blog.
I knew at the time I blogged this (and for quite some time before) that God was calling us to be Katya's family, but it took Paul almost another year before he began to see that God was the one calling us to Katya.
I was committed to praying for parents for Katya, even if it wasn't us. I can not tell you how many nights I sat up late, staring at her sweet little face and crying and praying for her. Why Katya, you ask?? I don't know--I just know that God laid her on my heart--unmistakeably and undeniably. I know it, just as surely as I know He laid Kristina on our hearts when it was time to adopt her. I know it, even though the future with Katya looks rather uncertain and scary at times as we think about all her medical needs.
At any rate . . I hope you enjoy this peek at Miss Katya!
September 27, 2009
As long time readers of my blog will know, Katya was the impetus for the trip to this particular orphanage. Ever since adopting our Kristina, we knew we wanted to someday start to organize teams of Osteopathic Physicians and possibly other medical professionals to go into the orphanages and asssist the children. So it wasn't a new idea at all to us--but we saw the need to start with Katya, and that was where God opened the doors for us. So, Little Loaves and Fishes was launched! And I do have more stories to share with you later about how God provided the "Loaves and Fishes" (ie funds) at the last minute (really last minute--but they were on time!) But for right now, I want to talk about Katya and share some of the photos of her with you.
Katya was pretty active, and rather "touchy" about her head being worked on. We quickly realized that some of that stemmed from her fear that her hair bows would be dislodged. Some of it also seemed that it was due to her head being extra sensitive to touch due to all the deformities.
One of the days though she seemed to realize that we were wanting to help her, and put her hands up to show where she wanted her head touched.
Isn't she gorgeous?! Look at the sparkle in her eyes! Please keep praying that a family steps forward for Katya and rescues her from the almost certain death awaiting her in the mental institution where she will be moved sometime in the coming months, pending a miracle.
On Thursday, we could hardly get her to hold still to be worked on. Finally, I took her into my arms and began to slowly sway with her and whisper in Russian that I loved her in her ear . . . she loved it and calmed down enough that the team could work with her.
Afterwards, Katya was so calm, and wanted to just nestle in my arms. I carried her back to her gruppa. They were already eating lunch, and so I sat and held her and fed her a good portion of her lunch (until my arm, which was already tired from holding her, got too tired to continue, then I offered her the spoon and she finished.)
We found out from N., our interpreter, that the care-givers were totally astonished. They said that Katya *never, ever* lets anyone hold her. They could not believe how calmly she allowed me to carry her and hold her, and wow--even feed her! I don't have all the answers to that, but I think she sensed the spirit of love that God has put into my heart for her, and maybe that is what partially made the difference.
The last day, we treated her in the a.m., and then in the afternoon before leaving the orphanage, asked to see her again. The two Docs were allowed to go to her gruppa where the kids were napping and treat her in her bed! This is amazing--and this is a testament to the doors God opened for us! The first day we were there, the orphanage was ready to send us away after meeting and talking with us, telling us to come back the next day to start working. We begged for, and finally were allowed to treat two kids--but refused any more, due to them all "napping". When the Doc begged N. to ask if we could work on them while they slept, since especially with younger children that is often a very effective way of doing cranial-sacral work, her horrified face and the "NO! I won't even ask!" told me that I hadn't wrongly imagined that nap-time is considered almost sacred in the orphanages. So, as I said, the fact that we were allowed in to the room where the children were sleeping to treat Katya was a true indicator of the trust that finally developed on the part of the orphanage medical stuff as they saw how lovingly, carefully, and respectfully we treated the children.
Katya in her "gruppa" bed with Samantha.
Katya during her last treatment for the week. God willing, she will have many more!
And now, one final "Katya story". I had stayed behind, praying for Dr. Chan and Samantha's work to be blessed to Katya's good while they were working on her in the children's bedroom. After they were done, Dr. Chan came to get me--"I think you need to come say Good-bye to her since it's obvious she and you have a connection--and I want you to see how much better her eyes look since we worked on them!"
I went tip-toing quietly with Dr. Chan and we were again given permission to enter the children's bedroom. I think all the rest of the children were sleeping, but Katya was laying quietly in her bed, wide awake. (She'd been awake when the Drs. went in too.) I bent down, snugged the covers up around her shoulders and whispered to her that I loved her, and told her good-bye (all in Russian). She grinned at me, and I gave her a kiss on her cheek. As I straightened up to go, she looked up at me and made puckering motions with her lips and looked at me with the most pleading look in her eyes. . . . Needless to say, she got many more kisses before I left . . . .
"Dear God, Please send a Mama and Papa for Katya who will love her and kiss her and nuture her!"