Monday, August 8, 2011

From a Two Year Old

Hello! My name is Katelyn, and I work in the Critical Care Unit of the New Day
Foster Home. There are currently four children living here whose strength we must help
increase that they might be ready for surgery. Working here has deepened my heart’s
capacity for joy as well as compassion. There is never an easy day, never a boring day.
Despite these kids’ urgent condition, the CCU is full of joy and life to the full. Let me tell
you why:

In the CCU, even the smallest improvements are miracles. If two year old Anton
stands alone for a few seconds, we rejoice. When he throws his head back and laughs,
we laugh. Whenever Nicole kicks or smiles, she fills us with delight. If Ella sleeps in
peace, we are deeply thankful. The unspoken yet prevalent quality which pervades this
place is Hope, despite the odds—despite what the doctors may say. Needless to say,
I’ve been learning how to rejoice in the small things here; it is a lesson I’ve needed to
learn for quite some time. Funny how only small children could have taught me that.
Over the past few weeks, I have grown to love spending time with Anton.

Together we walk with tottering steps around the room, his hands in mine and his tiny
socked feet fumbling for traction on the slippery hardwood floor. Together we learn to
roll a ball back and forth, to say ‘car’, to dance to hopelessly cheesy kids songs such
as “the wheels on the bus go round and round”. What they don’t tell you about that song
is that the wheels continue to go round and round in one’s head for hours after the song ends. Such songs are hopelessly catchy, but I love it.

This week, I have been helping Anton learn to feed himself. Often, he will refuse
to take a bite brought to his mouth by any hand other than his own, no matter how many
times the food slips into his lap at the last second before entering his mouth. Needless
to say, there has been much laughter and throwing up of the hands; I love when he and
I are able to laugh uproariously at funny sounds and dramatic head motions and tickling,
despite my paltry Mandarin knowledge. Love is truly the universal language–and that is
no cliché.

What Anton has taught me is this: though our frail human attempts at love are
sometimes met with kicks, hits, yells, and tears, authentic love refuses to stop giving of
itself, because love never fails. What Anton gives me each time he puts his hands in
mine, trusting me to help him walk, to carry him to places he cannot reach on his own,
is love. His willingness to nestle on my lap and rest his head despite my failing to meet
his needs is love, too. If love is to flourish in any way, it must involve trust—the laying
down of fears and agreeing to put your heart or hands in another person’s care, despite
how they may fail you. My time with Anton has taught me that perfection in love doesn’t
matter—what matters is trust, forgiveness, and the refusal to stop giving of one’s self.

All of this I have learned from a two year old.

Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is Love.

-- Written by Katie, one of our 2011 Summer interns.


  1. That was beautiful, Katie! I know you are such a blessing to Anton and all the others...
    I needed to read your post today!

  2. Katie- I am in tears. Your words are beautiful and so heart felt. It is amazing how God uses these children to teach all of us and show us things we never would have seen any other way. May God richly bless you and all of the precious children at New Day. We will be praying every day for all of you.
    Love and Blessings in Him!