Wind in our hair and screams of delight but also unpredictable turns and unknown outcomes. We are a family of six; Dave, Susie, Nate, Jake, Sam, and Bella.
God has been faithful in our marriage and through the birth and blessings of our boys.
God has been faithful during our adoption journey and united Bella with us in May of 2008. We were privileged to visit with Bella's birth mother; therefore, Bella's family in Guatemala will always be dear to our hearts.
On October 16, 2008, Bella was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia. We are now battling the disease with 2 years and 3 months of treatment. We believe God will continue to be faithful!
Our family is committed to living life to the fullest...even on the hard days. Thank you for checking in and journeying with us!
I apologize, the last update did include where we are on the waiting list. We are #36. As new babies in the orphange are brought in or born, we move up until we are finally #1. They expect that will be around May or June. It's all in God's perfect timing and plan.
In November, we sent in our official application to AGCI. and received our Dossier package in the mail along with our first installment payment. On January 10th, we sent the completed Dossier with our 2nd installment payment to AGCI. and on January 11, 2007, we were officially placed on the girls waiting list and #36. Now we wait, we pray, we plan and we let God control his plan. How Great is our God for guiding us on this journey to bring a daughter in to our family. We all anxiously await and celebrate her homecoming.
"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." Matthew 18:5What a gift it is to be called to celebrate and participate in the "miracle of adoption". This of course comes at a time when we felt our family was complete. Our youngest is now 6 1/2; he will be in school full time next year. We had plans to travel more, to continue the my already blessed real estate business , plans to move to a new home, ballroom dance lessons, more golf, the list goes on. And then ever so gently, slowly and without recognition, God conceived Esabella in our hearts. So our hearts are pregnant and growing bigger every day.For those of you that do not know about the adoption process, it has already been quite a journey. As I recall when having the boys, the only question or concern anyone had was "do you have a car seat to take him home in? And "Insurance card please". Adoption however included DH and I being finger printed, having an FBI and Police Report run on us, ordering official birth certificates and marriage license, physicals, HIV tests, completing a 51 page booklet, each, on our past and current life, participating (along with our 3 boys) in an 8 hour interview with a social worker, who by the way is amazing and made it fun for all of us, ordering passports, copies of drivers licenses, 8 referral letters from friends, and a Financial Study. Oh...and let's not forget the Government and agency fee of close to $33,000. All of this red tape to give a beautiful child a home, a family, and life. It's no wonder more families do not choose adoption. Yet, with all the work required of us as well as the cost, we feel compelled and fortunate to expand our family in this way.We know the journey may be long; there may be times of great disappointment, anxiety and worry. We have been told that adoption is a "roller coaster" ride. It's starting to feel like pregnancy more and more everyday. Yet...we press on. Everyday we get closer to receiving the first picture of our future daughter, the first glimpse of "God's Eye's". We want to take all of you on our journey with us. There are several ways that you can experience the journey; continue to visit our blog site for updates and photos, pray for us that the Lord will guide us and provide all the funds needed to bring her home, pray for health and protection over Esabella and her birth Mother as well as the Lord's hand in guiding them to All God's Children. We need your support and prayers. This is a bold and new journey for our family, but one we accept with great joy. May God Bless all of you a thousand fold, and may he hold you always in the palm of his hand.
We have been so blessed with emails and calls of people who want to help us through this time of treatment for our daughter. Per suggestion of our social worker and friend, we are posting here what we feel will be most beneficial to our family at this time. Although the help is easy to give, its hard to receive, but we have been told by medical professionals an social workers that we will need it. Your love and support mean so very much to us, thank you.
1. Prayer, please see "Pray with Us" 2. Meals 3. Car Pooling from school 4. Continued emails and blog posts with encouraging words. (This means more to us than you can possibly know.) 5. Loving on our boys, this will be a time of sacrifice for them. 6. Child Care 7. GIVE BLOOD! Where ever you live, please give blood in honor of Bella. Save a life!
We want to personally recognize and thank all of you who have graciously helped us in one way or another. Whether its through meals, house cleaning, driving, errands, donations, gifts, etc. We so appreciate you and recognize the blessing from God in all of you. Every moment of every day we are privileged to see the face of Jesus in all of you. From our home to yours, thank you and "May God bless you and hold you in the palm of His hand." Please note, your emails and posts are greatly appreciated and needed just as much as any monetary blessing, please continue to do so as they lift us up daily.
The Stanley Family (Gretchen and Gillibean) Candy and Kya Blue Michelle and Abby Riggs Deb Vangorder All God's Children International http://www.allgodschildren.org/ Kentwood Community Church Kitty and Larry Jerard The VanderZwaag Family The Angerbauer Family The Infante Family Annie Bulthuis The Edwards Family The Ambrose Family The Claeys Family The Fabro Family The DeMarchis Family Peter Harmon Joe and Erin Harmon Mary and Dejan Vukic Keith and Daphne Edwards Susie Harmon Betty Harmon Courtney and Stella Sue Marvin Beth Hartlien Pam Sult Keller Williams Realty Grand Rapids KW Cares Grand Rapids Sue and Rob Harkema and Family Jenifer and Brian VanZanten and Family Action Chemical of Grand Rapids Celebration Entertainment-Brad Eley Trish Borgdorf-http://www.vangels.com/ John and Michelle Lawrence Larry and Kitty Girard Stacy and Bella Gail and Johanna Pam and Rick Foster Amy, Fred and Grace Nagel John and Tiffny Harmon Tom and Sandra Harmon Nancy and Don Harmon Ray and Linda Ferrick Helen Devos Childrens Hospital Dr. Deanna Mitchell Dr. Ron Hoffman Jenifer Gerwig and Family Jane and David Lautenbach Greg and Shannon Ferrick Karen and Chad Janney Cheri, Donnie and Malaena Harris
Our Home Address
Many of you have asked for our home address, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like this information. Again, we appreciate all the support and prayers. It has meant more to us than we are even able to put in to words.
Our Praise from Psalm 103
With all my heart, we Praise the Lord, And with all that we are, we Praise His Holy Name. With all our heart, we Praise the Lord, and we will never forget how kind he has been. His kindness and love are a crown on our heads. Each day that we live, He provides for our needs and gives us the strength of a young eagle. For all who are mistreated, the Lord brings justice. You oh Lord are merciful, kind and patient, your love never fails. How Great is our God! You are kind to all who worship you, You keep your promises to those who faithfully obey you All of you who serve and obey God, come and Praise your Lord! With all our hearts, We PRAISE the Lord!