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!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Surgery Success!


Going on a wagon ride. Of course, Bella would wear her hospital mask, but she refuses to wear her bows!




Bella and Grandma

Bella's surgery to install her broviach port went GREAT today. It was a long day as surgery was to be around 10 am and they did not get her in until 4 pm. She went almost 24 hours with out any food or water and she was quit unhappy about it. We spent a great deal of time today trying to distract her stomach pain. We took her for a wagon ride up and down the corridors and then to the inpatient play room where she had time alone to play with the toys and read new books. Grandma was with us in the afternoon which allowed Dave and I to have lunch together alone. Bella received a special blanket today as well as a necklace with her name in beads. Every time she gets any treatment whether its blood withdrawal, chemo, antibiotic, etc., she receives a new bead. Thus, earning her "purple heart". She also received her first chemo tonight.

Bella's immune system will be down as her bloody is not creating the necessary anti-bodies to fight anything, not to mention that the chemo will kill any good cells she does have. So protecting her from sickness will be of top priority. We are not a "germ worry" family. So this is going to present some new challenges for all of us. We are already working with the kids to wash hands and use hand sanitizer all the time. We will all need to change our cloths when entering the home after being out in public. We will basically be home bound for the first 2 months of chemo except for clinic days at the hospital. Yet, there is no place I would rather be than carring for my baby. While waiting to bring Bella home, people would often say, "enjoy this time while you have it" and my response was "I would give anything to have her home and in our arms. That could not be any more true for today. She is home with the love and support of her family and in the awesome medical care this facility. Praise you Lord for your perfect provision in protecting our sweet girl.

We hope to be here only a few more days, Bella has handled every med and treatment perfectly! Believe it or not, we are going forward with our Halloween Party Saturday night. Friends have offered to decorate for us and we are very much looking forward to the mental release of the current circumstances. Grandma and Grandpa will be taking care of our sweet baby girl at their home.

As I look at my daughter, I have grief about the 8 months of time we lost while she waited in Guatemala, and now, the infancy and toddler hood that will be consumed in her treatments. I struggle with the fact that her hair beautiful black, silky hair will begin to fall out in only 2 weeks, and the daughter I waited so long for will be in a fight that is not meant to be her own. And I praise God that He is in this, that He loves her more than me, and that His only wish an desire for her is healing and perfecting in Him. So again, we look for the joy in the journey, and expect hundreds of miracles and blessings along the way.

We are so incredibly humbled and touched by all the loving posts. We feel emotionally drained, but at peace. A peace that can only come from God and your prayers. When we were leaving for the hospital after her diagnosis, anxiety gripped my heart as I scrambled through my mind as to how we were going to handle all this....I felt alone. Today, I feel peace, the support of friends, family and the blogging community has truly lifted us up and I know we are not alone. The human spirit never ceases to amaze me. What a gift it is to be part of the body of Christ.

Blessings, Susie

25 comments:

Gail said...

I am so glad things are going well with the treatment. God is so good and so present in all of this.
Gail

Vanessa said...

PRAISE GOD for the successful surgery!! I will continue to lift you all in my prayers!! Praying things continue to go well and please post a mailing address when you can!!

Stacy said...

Praise God that Bella has handled every med and treatment perfectly!

Praying non-stop,
Stacy

The Adoption Journey of Baby King said...

So glad to read the surgery went well. Prayers and thoughts going out to you. Children are so much stronger than we are as adults.

Praying and thinking of you and your family.
Debbie

Michelle Riggs said...

The necklace is a great idea. I may have to borrow it for Abby.

Praying for you all as you start this journey.

Call if you need to talk.

We would appreciate your prayers for our Abby.

Kim said...

God always amazes me. He knew that this precious child would need to be here - with your family - to fight this fight. And He made sure she was. I'm glad things went well today, and my family is praying for all of you.

Katie said...

Praying for you all and Bella. I will add her to my church prayer chain .

alex & sam said...

happy to hear that Bella;s surgery was a success.. your family will be in my prayers

alex

ConnieRae said...

Praising God that the port placement was such a success and that Bella is handling her treatments and all the hospital stuff well. What a little princess warrior she is! Covering little Bella and the rest of you with love and prayers.

Mike, Connie and the girls.

The gFamily said...

Praise the Lord that things went well in surgery! God has sweet Bella in the palm of his Mighty hand!

I laughed about Bella keeping the mask on her face but not the bows in her hair! Still making her decisions known even when she may not be feeling the best! Keep the fight up precious Bella!! :)

We have been praying for Bella and for your family non-stop and will continue! I already see it as a miracle that Bella is here in the US where she can receive great treatment and care! I can't wait to see all the miracles along the way! I am believing God for the miracle of fast healing!

lisa kindred said...

Praising Jesus that Bella is doing so well thus far. Jesus is holding her tight in his hands. We pray for your hearts that you will feel peace thru this huge trial. God will show you His way!

We have a huge network of adoption friends and this request of Bella is being shared to many. Please know we are PRAYING and will not cease. Although I don't know you I want you to know we deeply care about you and your precious one.

Another adoption sister in the Lord, LIsa

4boys and a princess said...

We have never met but share the same Lord, social worker, adoption agency and love for the fatherless. We are waiting to go get our 17 mo. of daughter from Vietnam. Our family is praying for you and Belle to have a full recovery. God has great plans for her to het her home to you so she can get the treatment she needs. She is not alone in an orphanage.May the Lord bless you and keep you and may His face shine upon you and give you peace.
Becky Adams and family

Judi and Elaina said...

Keeping you, your family and Sweet Bella in my prayers.

Joanna said...

I'm glad the surgery went well. I am so thankful that Bella is home with you so that she can receive the BEST care.

Much, much love...
Joanna

Leslie said...

You and your family are in my prayers!!!!!! Your bella is such a doll!!!!
this is the first time to your blog....



Many hugs,Leslie

Amy said...

I am praying for your daughter. Thank God the surgery was a success

Barb said...

Your family is in our thoughts and prayers daily. Take one step at a time....even if they are baby Bella's size steps....God WILL give you the strength that is needed for each new day. Give Bella a hug from this grandpa and grandma!!!

Cec and Barb Harkema
(Rob's parents)

Cheri (prounounced like the tree, like the fruit, as in Cherry Pie) said...

Let Bella know that "Aunt" Cheri will be looking for her some fabulous NEW HATS!!! Love.

Little Ladybug Designs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ilana's Mommy said...

I am glad to hear the surgery went well. Bella and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Mary Ann said...

Sweet Bella, I am so glad all went well today! I am praying that God will heal your precious little body !!!

Courtney said...

WOW..............I love how upbeat and positive you are. That is what Bella needs. I am here if you need anything. I am so glad to hear the surgery went well. Poor Bella. My heart breaks for her. I am sure she will be strong, especially with a mommy like you. Hang in there. We all love and support you. Courtney

Tracey said...

Praying that everything is as successful as the surgery! I know your beautiful little girl will kick cancer's butt!

Sarah said...

Keeping your beautiful precious Bella in my prayers!!

Rhonda said...

Susie, you are SOOOOO not alone. I am so happy that to hear that surgery went well and defintely will keep this special princess and your family in our prayers.