Our life is nothing short of an adventure...

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!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Homecoming!

For two years, I played this day over and over in my head. I had an image of how this moment would go, I could feel the emotions of walking down that run way and seeing my boys and family waiting for us, but nothing could have prepared me for this moment. Honestly, it was more overwhelming than the moment we picked Bella after 8 months of not seeing her. I wish the pictures above depicted the number of people waiting ,the energy, the excitement, the love. When we walked down that runway and heard the loud cheers and seen all the people and the signs, it literally took my breath away and I almost fell to my knees. It was a powerful moment, completely designed by God.

Our plane lander in Grand Rapids around 4:55 pm, 20 minutes behind schedule. We were held on the plane a few minutes longer as they did not have enough crew to get us off. It was cloudy and raining, and I could see faces in the windows...but I could not tell who they were. Bella had cried for at least the first hour and a half on the plane (we realized Sunday morning she had cut her first tooth!) and finally fell asleep in my arms the last 45 minutes of the flight. When we landed, I had to go to the bathroom so bad....so when we got off the plane, I headed straight to the bathroom before making that final walk.

As Dave and I were heading down the runway with Bella back in my arms, and older couple walked by us and said "Is this the baby girl from Guatemala?" and I said "yes it is!" and he said "boy, you sure have a crowd waiting for you". He was not kidding. I looked and Dave and smiled and we kept walking. I knew we were getting close to the end, and then before I could even realize what I was seeing, I could hear it. A roaring thunder of screams and clapping. And in the front of this huge group was our 3 boys, beaming with joy and excitement. I was overcome with emotion and burst in to tears. (However, Dave would tell you I was crying the entire plane trip home...I just couldnt beleive that the journey to bring her home was actually over and the vision was now a reality). Bella immediatly lit up when she seen the boys and reached out for Jacob's face. She absolutely knew who they were.

With every face I seen and every hug I received I became more overwhelmed with joy. For 2 years, every one of these people were part of the journey...a very important part of the journey. 4 of my 5 siblings were there with their children and spouses...my sister and brother-in-law drove all the way from St Louis. My Aunt Susie came with my 90 year old Grandma (yes, my Grandma is holding the sign "PINK RULES") and gave my Dad a "play by play" low down as he was in the OHare airport returning from a mission trip in Haiti. My Mom who was my spiritual rock stood off to the side and I remember thinking....I just want to get to her...I want my Mom. She was at all 3 of my deliveries with the boys, and this was no different, I wanted her right there. My very close and dear friends Jenifer and Sue H and their families, and friends Sue M, Beth H and Pam S. Several people stood on the sidelines that we did not know watching the whole thing transpire, congratulating us. I could not have planned it any better. It was an awesome moment. And although we do not have photos to depict every thing, it is embedded in my mind and heart forever.

When we pulled up to our home, pink balloons were on the mail box, a welcome home sign in the front yard and an "its a girl" flag on the front of our house. We had balloon boquet on our dining room table and my sister-in-laws had sent us home with dinner. My boys kept saying "finally! We get the food!" (We always bring meals to families who have a new baby). I also heard them saying "Its a feast". Oh they make me laugh.

It's been 1 week now since that night. How quickly it has gone by and how desperately I do not want this sweet girl of mine to grow. We are totally in love with this little girl. Lord, I stand amazed by you. Your plan, your will, your ways....you have provided above and beyond our wildest dreams and imaginations. You were and are bigger and greater. May this journey continue to bring glory to you...All of you, none of me.

To my family and friends, we love you, there are no words to say how much you mean to us....we were strong because of Him, but we were sane because of you.

Blessings to all of you, and to my friends waiting to bring your children home, your day is coming, God already has it covered.


p.s. Still working on the slide show, waiting for a few more pics.


Chris & Lindsey Wheeler said...

I LOVE these pictures......it makes me so excited for the day we bring Eliana home! I love that the Lord blessed you with SO MANY PEOPLE cheering y'all home!

Pam L said...

Oh Susie,
I love the pictures; the love and happiness they all show. You are certainly blessed! I'm so glad you're home and also glad to know you will be our prayer warrior until our little one makes it home.

Waiting on God's perfect timing :)

Mary Ann said...

Susie, Great pictures!!!
I love all the smiling happy faces!
Priceless! You sure had a big turn out to welcome you some!

Mary Ann

One Busy Momma said...

So nice you had such a reception at the airport!!
Also, very cool that there is another Guatemalan in Michigan!!
Congratulations again!

Denise (PackGirl)