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 20, 2008

Still Here

UPDATE for Friday, 11-21-08........WERE HOME!

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives STRENGTH to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who HOPE/WAIT/TRUST in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

It's really easy to grow weary when your living in the flesh, but when living in the spirit, you have super natural strength and perseverance. So many of you have expressed how strong I am, I appreciate the kind words, but I am only as strong as my savior. By nature, I am an over, under and around person. When I want something, I go after it till its done. Patience is not my natural virtue. God has done a great work in me over the last 2 years because I was willing to trust Him and not myself. I see now how that time prepared me for what we are enduring now. I do grow weary, I get tired, frustrated and down right sad, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is in this and that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I know I cant do it, but He can, does and will. Not because I deserve it, but simply because I am His daughter. My hope is you Lord.

Thank you Karen for sharing this scripture with me. Although I have read it several times, it has a new meaning for me today.

Were still here at the hospital. The doctors have determined that Bella does not have any viruses and that all this is a result of the chemo. Mother's intuition is always right. :) So the isolation banner has been removed from our door and the nurses and doctors entering no longer have to "suit" to come in our room and we are free to walk the hallways. They dont look any different than they did 2 days ago. They are putting her on another new medication that will settle her nervous system and lessen the pain so that her body can relax to stop the diarrhea as well as allow her to start standing and walking again. Since she is in remission (just want to give the Lord another shout for this...AMEN!), they are going to lessen her intervenious chemo this month as they feel it is more toxic to her system than beneficial. She will be taking an oral chemo this month as well as weekly spinal taps of chemo. Bella still does not want to eat or drink very much, I am pushing the fluids big time as that is our ticket out of here tomorrow. The best part of today has been that Bella is returning to her self. She has not been herself since mid September. She is officially off the steroids for a month and thus regaining her personality which is mild tempered, silly and incredibly sweet.


Joe and Erin said...

Great post Sus! Bella Boo looks so much better now that she's off the steroids. I continue to claim that "trouble will not come a second time." The Lord will not allow it accroding to His Word. Love you and am incredibly proud of you! ~Joe

demp5 said...

Okay, I realize that you do not want any of the credit; BUT, thank you, Susie, for allowing HIM to work through you and minister to those around you. His light is shining brightly in you :)

Leslie said...

Im glad to hear she is doing a better!!!

My favorite quote is
God only gives us what we can handle but i wish he didnt trust me so much ~ Mother Teresa


Susie said...

Wonderful post. You're not only strong, you're humble too! I'll second your AMEN for remission and another AMEN that sweet Bella baby is getting back to her sweet self. What a great sight that must be to witness. I hope that she is strong and standing again very soon. Blessings to your family!

Cheri (prounounced Cherry...really!) said...

Sus...Praying daily for Bella Boo's "normal self" to shine through. I know that will help your mood if you just see a little normalcy from your girl! Again, I can't even wrap my head around what you are enduring, but I am thankful that we have God in charge of all of this! love.

Anonymous said...

I read your story in tears, your faith in our heavenly father is amazing and it is such a teaching for the rest of us..thank you for sharing your story of faith with us. I am soooooooooooo happy to hear that your darling is in remission! PRAISE JESUS!!!
karen mommy to carlos from HH

Becky said...

Just wanted you to know that we are praying for Bella and for your entire family! God bless all of you.

Vanessa said...

Still praising the Lord for what He has done for Bella!! You guys are never far from my mind these days and I am so thrilled to have witnessed a miracle through you and Bella! Hug that sweet girl one from me!

alex & sam said...

remission !!! WOOHOO!!! I pray that bella is feeling better


Michelle Riggs said...

Great post. What a blessing to read it today.

I am sorry that you are still in the hospital, but I am thankful that they are decreasing her chemo. Yeah for remission!!!

Abby is still in the hospital, too.

Praying always.

Brian and Jenifer VanZanten said...

Thank you for the amazing testimony you are to others. We continue to pray for Bella's continued strength and healing, but are celebrating that she will have a break from the steroids and that she indeed is in REMISSION!!!
Love you guys...
~ Jenifer

Robyn said...

Bella is in my thoughts and prayers!!

The gFamily said...

Still praising God for remission!! LOVE the scripture you shared today!!

I pray Bella gains strength!

Magen said...

I am so happy to hear that Bella is getting back to her normal self. I am sure you are so happy to see those smiles and giggles.
God Bless

Rhonda said...

Oh Ferrick, I am so excited to hear she is feeling so much better and off steroids for a month, way to go BELLA.
Blessings, blessings, blessings, Rhonda

Mary Ann said...

Bella is still a precious baby as ever! Sick or not!I am praying for you as a mommy! I know how we wear when are babies are sick!

Amanda said...

Thank you for ministering to me. So many times over the last few weeks when I've been frustrated or upset about something silly, I've thought of your battle. And I've thanked God for using you in my life (and so many others). I know it's a residual thing as Bella's battle is central to his lesson for us. But I'm grateful for your uplifting words. Your spirit truly, truly makes me smile. Thank you, Lord, for blessing Susie, Bella, her brothers and Daddy.

And kiss those sweet steroid cheeks-- just more of her sweetness to love.

Many prayers,
Amanda and Gabi

nikki said...

Thank you for keeping us all updated. Happy to read you are home!!!!
So happy to read that Bella is returning to mild tempered sweet self.
Susie hope you got some rest at home. remember to take care of yourself also!!!!

Michelle Riggs said...

Yeah!!! I am os glad that you are home! Praise God!

Francisco said...

Dear family, I had just yesterday leaned about little Bella's illness. It came as a surprise to me because I followed her growth and development very closely since birth until 8 months of age. Bella was among the healthiest kids at Hannah's Guatemala. I went throug her medical record and she had just suffered a few common and slight illnesses, such as during new born period umbilical cord mild infection, with good outcome, some minor atopic eczema(skin allergy) and some hyper responsive bronchitis once during a respiratory viral outbreak. Her growth and development was all right, even a tall child by Guatemala's standards, and strong and happy child, that seems to me still. The LLA has now a days a much better prognosis with 90% remission and some near a complete cure. I am joining you, your relatives and friends, and pray for a soon recuperation from this illness. Bella and Ferrick famiy's testimony is serving many people, especially me to recognize how importat is to have Jesus present in our lives and all principles and values He had taught us to follow, the message is that there is a hope always for us and human kind.
Love to you all, on behalf of Hannah's Hope Guatemala's health personnel and the children we look after and will be under our care in the future,
Yours faithfully,
Dr.Francisco Castro B.

Michelle Riggs said...

How are you all doing? Thinking about you and praying for you all.