We adopted Nat-Nat from a Russian orphanage nearly eight and a half years ago when she was only three years old. Chappy and I are continually amazed by how far our Russian princess has come. This year, for the very first time, Natalie has been an official "school girl". She began the fifth grade in January---mid-school year---and has done so well. In fact, tomorrow she will be receiving an award at school. Chappy and I will be attending the award ceremony and can hardly wait!
Natalie doesn't write (for public viewing) very often. She was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and it has impacted her ability to organize thoughts making writing (and communication in general) often difficult. However, Natalie asked to be able to share her heart this evening, willing to humble herself before all of you. I am typing exactly what she has written and will only correct her spelling. She worked diligently on this for three hours this evening....I know the Father is pleased with Natalie's eagerness to share her heart:
When I was born, my mom didn't want a child. So she left, and one of her friends saw me the next day. I found out I was not with my mom (I was in the orphanage and thought there was no hope for me), but when I was three years old there was a mom and dad. They came to me and introduced themselves to me. After a couple of weeks, I was walking out of the orphanage with my new mom and dad. When we got off the airplane from Russia, I saw a girl and boy waiting for me. The boy's name was Caleb and the girl's name was Lydia. We headed home.
When Lydia and I were five and Caleb was nine, my mom and dad came into the girls' room. They said, "It is something in mom's tummy." So, I screamed, " A baby!" I was right.
Before we had the baby the doctor first told us it is a girl and second she has Down Syndrome. We didn't know what to think, but we knew we weren't going to abort her. When we had the girl, we named her Hope. Though when Hope was five days old she had a stomach surgery. Here is the reason we named her Hope: The doctors and nurses told us: "She won't make it because of her heart; there isn't any hope". Hope is a perfect name.
After her second and latest (third) open heart surgeries, we believed she would live and she has. When Hope had her recent open heart surgery (6 months ago), the doctors found an aneurysm in her heart which can't be fixed. Hope had a heart check up last week and the aneurysm has gotten worse. That's the story.
When Hopey was just born I would stand around the hospital bed praying for her and knowing she was going to make it. With the situation, I love Hope even a thousand times more. I am going to keep praying for a miracle. God has taught me alot of stuff. Right now Hope can't sing and she doesn't dance too perfectly, but some day in heaven she will have her own mansion. She will be in a marching band in heaven in the very front singing "This Little Light of Mine" and dancing perfectly, but right now on earth she is on the very bottom to people. In heaven she will be at the very highest rate you could get to.
God saved me from the orphanage and He taught me to never give up. I will keep doing the fruits of the spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control. Hope can't do everything I can do, so I will do my best. I like the verse that says: "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you." Psalm 55:22.
The reason I wrote this blog tonight was because tomorrow I am earning my first very big award. I have no clue what it is for yet, but I know it is big. Hope will never be able to be a great writer because of her Down Syndrome, so I want to write for her tonight. I want to do my best at everything I can do because she will never do all that I can do. Tomorrow I will accept my award for Hope. She is the reason I work hard every day. Her little light keeps shining.
Thank you for praying and please keep praying. Blessings and Love,