Sunday, January 26, 2014

The tiny girl who needs a family.

I have told several people this post was coming, but I put off writing it. Why? Because I wanted some time to gather my thoughts, and frankly, it was painful to even think about writing it.

But I can't block it out anymore, pretend I don't know, no matter how much it hurts. Because she doesn't have time.

It's been 5 weeks since I said good bye to her.

After getting some good pictures, I slipped out of the room all the nannies were crowded in, watching Grace get dressed on Gotcha Day, and bent down to where she was sitting by the door. I scooped her into my arms, kissed her bald head, squeezed her tight, and told her I love her and I would find her a mama. And I snapped a few pictures of her sweet face.

Of "Greta".

It was only a minute or two and it was over long before I wanted it to be. I watched as one of the nannies brought Grace over to the playpen in the middle of the main room, and had her wave goodbye to the other children I had fallen in love with.

As they started back towards the door, I knew it was time and gave her one more squeeze and kiss and set her back down in her chair.

While walking out and setting Grace free was joyous, those steps out of the building were the same ones that were leaving Greta and the others behind. Walking out without them was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I was fighting everything in me to not turn around, run back in and refuse to leave until they let me leave with her.

I managed to leave with only one little girl, but I made her a promise.

I would find her a mama. So that's what I'm going to do.

We had seen Greta across the room every time we went to pick up Grace for our visit. There wasn't much to observe, but we did quickly realize she was being drugged.

She had been described by people who met her over a year before to little climb you for a hug, and push other kids out of the way for attention. That was not the same girl we met. She didn't even acknowledge us whenever we walked in, and sat in the same spot in a corner all day watching TV. I could tell, even without knowing what she was like in the past, that she was drugged. Drugged. Because the nannies didn't want to take care of her.

A couple days before Gotcha Day, I got brave and used my limited Russian to ask for Greta to come play in the visiting room with us and Grace. (There are German volunteers who use the visiting/therapy room to love on and work with other kids in the grouppa.) After I made clear I didn't want the nanny with the same name, I got my wish, and spent the next several hours loving on her.

She is a tiny girl for 15 years old. She is probably as tall as a 6 year old, but is so much skinnier. Pictures do not do justice to how thin she is. We measured her upper arm, it was only 6" around, and that was over two (skin tight) layers. I would guess she wears size 6T for length, but doesn't weigh more than 35 lbs. Now, to put it in perspective, I am the one with her in all these pictures, and I am only 3 months older than her.

She liked the musical singing puppies we brought for the grouppa. She played with it for quite awhile on my lap. She didn't pay much attention to the bubbles the other kids were shrieking over, but she does like hair. My [waist length] hair was up most of the time, but fell out at one point. I didn't put it back up right away, and Greta found it. She was twirling it in her hands, feeling it, and going to town with it for a few minute before I put it back up. She is a 15 yo girl, she shouldn't have her head shaved, she should have her own hair to play with!

Two other things she loves are hugs and swinging. We spent at least the last hour together on the swing in the therapy/"soft" room. She was content just to relax and snuggle, which I of course did not mind one bit! She was only picky about where my hands where, she wanted to play with them. It was heart breaking how, even though she was drugged up, she still wanted love and attention.

I also want to address the issue of her joining a family with younger children. But for the sake of room here, I added that to another post, which you can read here.

Even though she was drugged, we got a few giggles and smiles out of her. Towards the end, when either she warmed up some or the drugs started wearing off, she started babbling a bit. And now I will melt your heart with this adorable must watch video of her saying mama!

We took lots of pictures, some video, and got enough info on her for an update, but visiting with her was so much more than that. Not only did I fall in love, but she got to feel loved, even if just for a few hours. Language didn't matter because love doesn't speak just one.

Love. Something she is so deprived of, yet needs so desperately. Love will cross an ocean and knock down mountains. It is what a family has to offer.

I am praying my heart out that a family will rise up and love her. That they will say YES with open hearts and open arms, and bring her home, no matter what they will face with her. That they will love her without hesitation.

She has $20,000 in her grant. TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS! That means a family would only have to raise/pay about $5000 on the US side of things to get the paperwork done.

BUT, she ages out this NOVEMBER. A family HAS to have their application into USCIS by her birthday or she ages out and is unadoptable.

I can not even think about what this would mean for her, it makes me too sick. We have to find her a family before then, in the next 10 MONTHS! Not finding her a family isn't even optional. She can NOT age out.

I am willing to answer any questions about her or the process to adopt her to the best of my knowledge. Several other people have met her in the past few years and would be willing to talk to you as well. Leave a comment here or email me at forhisgloryhandiwork(at)gmail(dot)com.

So short version. Greta. 15 year old with Down syndrome. She is the size of a skinny 5 yo. She needs a family. Several people who have met her and are willing to answer questions. She has a $20,000 grant. She ages out in November, and needs a family before then. Oh, did I mention, she needs a family?

If you are able to adopt her, PLEASE, PLEASE, do not wait. She ages out in November, but needed out of where she is yesterday. Contact me with any questions, and get the process going. There are many people who will support you and back you all the way.

*I added another post here answering questions for any serious on adopting her.

If you are not able to adopt her, pray for her and her family. And then spread the word, share her picture, share her profile, share this post, do whatever you can to GET HER FACE SEEN!

I know she has a mommy out there, I refuse to believe otherwise. Please help me find that mama!


  1. I am sharing in hopes she finds a family. So hard to see her and know how her life could be changed by having a loving family.

  2. How does one start an adoption process?

    1. Victoria, I added another post answering this and several other questions! Thanks!

  3. This blog post is shared on my facebook group for foster/adoptive families. Thank you!

  4. I too wonder...if someone who feels moved to adopt her has not even BEGUN the adoption journey in terms of paperwork etc., would that be feasible by November or does it take longer? I also am curious as to whether a single person could adopt her --and, could she be escorted to the states or would her new mama be required to travel there? Praying for "Greta!"

    1. It would absolutely be feasible by November! You don't have to complete the process, only submit the USCIS by her birthday. I blogged more about it here:

      Unfortunately, her country is NOT open to single moms right now. And both parents do have to travel to pick her up. More about that in the post linked above.

      Thank you for asking!

  5. Hello this is Randy Gene Maness and his soon to be wife. We are interested in learning more about Greta and the adoption of her. Please e-mail me at Have a great day, your friends Randy and Ladawn.

  6. What an awesome BLESSING you are to Greta! I pray so hard that you do find her a "mama"..

  7. My family and I are praying as well. We are an adoptive home for special needs children. Lamb's Way. Please give us more info on adopting Greta. We are praying for the best home for her that The Lord picks. We pray Jesus bless your efforts for her and others in her same situation. Terri Greenier. I am Kristie Hepworth's Auntie

  8. Praying that this adorable little girl finds a loving home!


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