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!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Single Lock

This is a lock of hair from our Bella. I cut 2 locks off her head last night, in case one got lost. I want to always have a physical memory of her "first head of hair". Her hair is beginning to thin on top, I didn't want to take a chance that it would start falling out in clumps before I got the lock cut.

4 weeks ago tonight, we sat in the hospital with the first news of our daughters diagnosis. She has had 4 transfusions since then, 4 chemo injections, daily bandage changes, 8-9 meds a day...and is now making her OWN good blood! AMEN! Monday, she will have another bone marrow biopsy to evaluate the active leukemia cells. I have no doubt in my spirit that this little girl will be in remission. We still have a long road ahead with treatment and unknown days, but the active leukemia will be out of her bone marrow and we thank God for all he has done and will continue to do.

As I placed the lock of hair in an envelope, I remembered that amost a year ago (around Christmas time) God gave me the scripture from the O.T. "I will repair and replace the years the locust have stole". Christmas time always brings about emotions, last year, Bella was 4 months old, still in PGN and abviously not home. My heart hurt, my emotions high at times...I was losing this precious time with my baby girl and I would never get it back. And then God gave me that verse "I will repair and replace". And here I am, with that scripture again. Forced to be home with her, not able to work for the time being, caring for her night and day, waking up with her in the middle of the night, back to bottle feedings because it comforts her, several diaper changes a day from all the fluids, changing bed sheets daily because she wets through them every night (again from all the fluids), re-teaching her how to crawl and kneel and stand, figuring out what foods she likes because the chemo has changed her taste buds and I think...."WOW! I see it Lord, not the way I would have liked, not my idea, but I see it. You have replaced the time lost". Here I am, doing all those new born things with Bella and she is 14 months old. She will even get a new head of hair and I will get to experience all of it, with her. We are getting time together that is not necessarily "normal", but definitely intimate and bonding. Many moments she is not herself due to the medical treatment, but there are many moments of joy and sweetness between just the two of us. And I cant thank God enough for providing the way for me to be home to care for my daughter. One minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time. "Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it".

Again and Again, I cant thank all of you enough for supporting us in this journey. It just bring us so much strength and ecouragement and we stand stronger and taller because we know we are being prayed for and loved on. God Bless you.


Vanessa said...

I'm praying things continue to go well for Bella! I know God WILL heal this precious baby girl!!

Joe and Erin said...

you are unbelievable! God bless you, Sus. I'm so blessed by you.

Leslie said...

Im praying for your family and precious Bella!!! Im also a adopted Mommy and just heard about your blog!!!

God is Good all the time!! But you knew that!


Brian and Jenifer VanZanten said...

What a sweet memory... That verse has definitely come full circle, and it makes so much sense why it was given to you. I can see why, even though these days are tough, these times are truly precious. Yes, God has replaced those lost days. What a blessed little girl to have such a wonderful mommy. Praying for you, dear friend...
Love, Jenifer

Michelle Riggs said...

Beautiful post and one that I really needed to read. Thanks.

Praying always for your family.

Chantelle Becking said...

I am praying for you guys. What a post. It is such a good reminder that God sees all. He knows what is going to happen at every moment in out lives and He walks us through it.
I keep up with you through Cheri and I know little Bella is a strong little girl. I know it is so hard to have to see her go through this. I am glad she has a momma like you.
Much Love

Stacy said...

That little lock of hair just breaks my heart, but I know and have experienced that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.

Thanks for the post... I really needed the reminder.

Love to you,

demp5 said...

I am marveling at your wonderful attitude. God is so wise!! He knew that YOU alone would be the perfect mother for Bella, and so it is. My kids and I pray for your family daily, and I am looking so forward to the great results you will hear next week.

alex & sam said...

praying for good news!!!!


Jack said...

You are truly amazing! I am so touch by your faith! Please know that our family is praying for Bella and your family!
God Bless

jeck said...

Susie, I pray that things continue to go well for Bella!! Your outlook is wonderful!!!


nikki said...

Such a touching faith filled post.
You are so wise to see all this while in such a hard time in your life. While in treatment for my childhood cancer, I also was lucky to have my Mother care for me 24/7
The times we spent and the closeness we shared, have carried over into our lives today. Bella will be so greatfull to you for all the care you are giving her.
Continued prayers for your family.

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

You are a witness for all of your blog readers right now...do you realize that?! I love you, Sus...Cheri

Will and Aileen said...

Praying and believing for good results tomorrow!

Candy said...

OH GIRL...I know this hair loss is going to be rough on you...but you have a GREAT ATTITUDE about all of it...YOU GO GIRL!

Rhonda said...

What a very moving post and such sweet memories as life comes around in a circle. Sending you many prayers.

Blogs by Danielle said...

I hope the site button brings many people to pray for sweet Bella. Praying for you!



Anonymous said...

You are so strong! We love you and are praying for you! Give that beautiful little girl a kiss for us.

Becky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky said...

I found your blog through Abby's and just wanted to say that I will be praying for Bella!

jajbs said...

I am praying for your precious family. God's peace and wisdom are radiating through you. You are a strong Momma and He will carry all of you through this. Praying!!!!!

My daughter's name is Bella, also. I have found myself praying for your Bella almost everytime that I say my daughter's name! God seems to have dropped that into my thoughts.


Carrie said...

Love and prayers for more good news and lots of special moments!

Princess Gabby and Prince Hunter said...

Oh my gosh, what an emotional post, I teared up. And you are right, God knows all. Hugs and prayers to you!

Leslie said...

OMG where do you live???? We live in the Cleveland ohio area!!!!!! Im soooo excited we love meeting people who adopted!!!! Oh and i have bio kids too!!!!!

Here is my email wadi2u@yahoo.com

Hugs,Your neighbor leslie

Robyn said...

Bella is constantly in my prayers!!

Elena's Girl said...

I am praying for your little Bella. I am a fellow Guat adoptive mom and found your blog through another one.

Mary Ann said...

What a precious lock of hair. Just think of it as her first hair cut!
I am sure she has so many beautiful hats now that you will not even notice her hair!
Lots of love and praying for a complete healing of sweet Bella!

Jean said...

Hi Susie and Bella and family:
Hello and blessings to your family from the DeHaan's, fellow 7th floor in patients :) We love your blog. We miss seeing you, too. We pray for Bella's continued healing. God has blessed us with so many new friends on this journey. See you soon,
Jean, Roger and Hannah

Courtney said...

Thinking of you.......(((HUGS))) Courtney

Chris & Lindsey Wheeler said...

Oh Susie, you are one AMAZING mother!! I loved this post....so sweet. Your walk with the Lord is encouraging me and challenging me...thanks friend. WE ARE PRAYING!!

Love you,

McMurrays said...

I check in daily to see how Beautiful Bella is doing and to be touched by your inspiring faith! You are an amazing writer and the perfect mommy for Bella. She is a blessed little girl and she is going to make it!
Thanks for your words they are light in my day.
We will keep praying!
The McMurrays