I don’t fault her. Sam was this woman’s 14th pregnancy. And if the stereo-types are true, as a woman of Roma heritage (Gypsy, as many would say), the odds were truly stacked against her. I don’t doubt that she struggled to keep food on her family’s table, and that she probably really believed that someone else could give her special needs baby a better life.
Regardless, seven years and five months ago, a frail, tiny baby set out on life’s journey...alone.
For two months, Sam made her home in a hospital crib. Although I don’t know if anyone in that facility truly loved Sam, I’m thankful to God for this gift of time. I have a feeling that it was in this hospital that Sam learned how to eat. If this is the case, it was likely this simple, yet vital skill that prepared her to survive what laid ahead.
Upon being released from the hospital, Sam was transferred to an orphanage just one town away from her birth place. Her life was signed over to the care of the Pleven baby house. Baby Sam, still just as tiny as could be, quickly learned the ropes of her new home. Rule #1.) Lie down. And #2) Don’t bother crying; no one will come.
So that's what she did. She lay on her back in her crib day in and day out. No one came to visit her except the woman in the white coat. But she never stayed very long. She came once a day (if that) to change Baby Sam’s diaper (and only her diaper). And other times she would come just long enough to prop up a beer bottle full of sludge for Baby Sam to drink. Sam would gulp down the fast-flowing, rancid liquid as best as she could, not knowing when she would see the woman in the white coat again.
Even despite the lack of love and human contact, slowly but surely, Baby Sam began to grow. And even without a teacher, she began to learn! She taught herself how to move about her crib, to kneel and pull herself to a stand. She learned how to rock herself to sleep and how to comfort herself when she was afraid. For entertainment, she would study her own hand, and use her voice to experiment with a variety of sounds.
But no one applauded for Baby Sam when she uttered a new sound or attempted a new skill. In fact, the woman in the white coat wasn’t pleased with Sam at all! She moved too much. She made too much noise. She had way too much life in her.
The woman in the white coat gathered together with the other White Coats and decided to do something about this life-filled baby girl. They labeled her “crazy”. An “anomaly”. Her movements and sounds were deemed “symptoms” of a “disease” which could not be cured.
They moved Baby Sam to a new floor where they keep the “hopeless cases”. To a room where she would hence forth be kept in solitude. The horizontal scars on the insides of each of her arms and on the sides of her neck, indicate that she was restrained. Tied to her crib.
Left in this state for a period of time, Sam’s body began to atrophy. Her weight declined. She could no longer stand up unassisted. In fact she was hardly even aware of her own body anymore, flopping about like a fish out of water.
The White Coats were determined to break her. To steal the life right out of her.
And they nearly did.
Until Hope walked in.
Because all of you prayed and HE answered.
The prayers of thousands of people all over the world changed Sam’s world. They changed the atmosphere in her crib. They prepared her broken and bound up little heart for a mommy who loves her more than words can say. And for Jesus, who loves her far bigger than even her mommy ever could.
And they prepared her for freedom.
The LORD looked at Samantha with LOVE and spared her life. And not only so, He protected her sweet spirit. She can now be found free from her chains, and thriving in her new life.
Thank you, Jesus, for LOVE'S RANSOM.
Thank you for saving this precious, oh-so-valuable, and very much loved little one.
I am so grateful.
Neither of us will ever be the same.
|When it all gets to be too much, the koosh ball makes everything all better :) And of course, Mommy.|
|...And a bottle! Sometimes taking a bottle is enough to make Sam burst into giggles. She is SO happy to finally have a full tummy.|
|After only two weeks of good nutrition, look was Sam can do...|
|...all by herself...|
|...leaning against a wall...|
|...and standing up like a big girl!|
|Giving mommy kisses :)|
|Giving in to sleep after chattering up a happy storm!|
|She may be tiny now...|
|...but she is growing!!! Look at that belly! She's already gained two pounds since her first doctors appointment one week ago.|
|Enjoying the scenery outside her bedroom window.|
|Trying a new food...green beans!!! She's still a little on the fence about them...|
I waited patiently for the Lord;he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him. Psalm 40:1-3