Friday, July 1, 2011

Our Boy from Baby House 9

Hello, dear readers!  I apologize for the hiatus.  I was blessed with three young visitors for most of the last week, and in order to keep up with five little boys and Gracie, I found myself putting certain luxuries on the back burner.  You know, luxuries like blogging and reading the newspaper and showering and eating.
But anyway, I would like to recommend (for all of you who are not yet familiar with it) an amazing book:  The Boy from Baby House 10, by Alan Philps and John Lahutsky. 

From is the following description:

In 1990, a young boy afflicted with cerebral palsy was born, prematurely, in Russia. His name was Vanya. His mother abandoned him to the state childcare system and he was sent to a bleak orphanage called Baby House 10. Once there, he entered a nightmare world he was not to leave for more than eight years. Housed in a ward with a group of other children, he was clothed in rags, ignored by most of the staff and given little, if any, medical treatment. He was finally, and cruelly, confined for a time to a mental asylum where he lived, almost caged, lying in a pool of his own waste on a locked ward surrounded by psychotic adults. But, that didn’t stop Vanya.

Even in these harsh conditions, he grew into a smart and persistent young boy who reached out to everyone around him. Two of those he reached out to—Sarah Philps, the wife of a British journalist, and Vika, a young Russian woman—realized that Vanya was no ordinary child and they began a campaign to find him a home. After many twists and turns, Vanya came to the attention of a single woman living in the United States named Paula Lahutsky. After a lot of red tape and more than one miracle, Paula adopted Vanya and brought him to the U.S. where he is now known as John Lahutsky, an honors student at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and a member of the Boy Scouts of America Order of the Arrow.

In The Boy From Baby House 10, Sarah’s husband, Alan Philps, helps John Lahutsky bring this inspiring true-life story of a small boy with a big heart and an unquenchable will to readers everywhere.

Vanya at the institution, on a rare trip outside

I read this book long before I ever saw my sweet Gideon.  My heart broke for little Vanya, and then rejoiced with him as the lost became found.  Reading this book was the first time that God whispered to my heart about international adoption.  Sure, I had always loved the IDEA of adopting internationally, but I really never considered doing it myself.  I was not aware of the need.  Oh, the need.  It is so great.  And then I found Reece’s Rainbow.  And the faces!  The beautiful little faces, all waiting for mommies and daddies to come and find them.  When I saw Gideon, and when I read about his life in Orphanage 9, I realized that he is very much “the least of these.”  He needs a mommy.  And I could be his mommy.  I saw a darling little boy, lost and forgotten, waiting every day in a crib, waiting for somebody to notice him, to love him, to treasure him.  And the Lord spoke to my heart, imprinting Gideon’s sweet face into my mind.  Every time I prayed for guidance, and went back to God with the “What if . . .” and “What about” objections and worries, He gave me peace.  He loves Gideon.  He cherishes this little boy.  And He is going to give Derek and me the tremendous gift of allowing us to become his parents. 
He is our boy now, our Boy from Baby House 9. 

And if you have not yet seen it, Dateline presented a wonderful documentary about Vanya and his journey.  Here is the link:
You are going to love little Vanya, and your heart will be touched by his story! 
And by the way, just to keep facts straight, our Gideon’s orphanage is not really called Baby House 9.  The number is truly just a number randomly assigned to it by Reece’s Rainbow, as to every orphanage, in order to provide the children and the orphanages privacy and anonymity.  And Gideon spent his first four years in Orphanage 9, but he has since been transferred to an institution, which is number 54.  But still, I think of Gideon as my Boy from Baby House 9.  He shares the same diagnosis as Vanya, and I think he looks a bit like Vanya, too.  Don't you? 
Gideon does not know that we are coming for him.  He has no idea that he is so loved.  The way his country's adoption system works, it is not possible to send him photos or gifts, or even to let his caregivers know that we are committed to him.  That's just the way it is in his country.  He waits, alone.  Please pray with me that somebody will come into his life and care about him, care for him, as Vika and Sarah Philps did for Vanya.  Pray that the Lord will send somebody to give him the hope and strength to hold on a little longer.  Gideon does not know that we are coming, but the Lord does.  We are trusting Him. 

Vanya, now known as John Lahutsky, with his mom

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