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!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We can do all things....

Through Christ who strengthens us. That was the verse for the day...I spent a great deal of time whispering this in to Bella's ear as well as my own heart. And through His strength, we made it through a tough day.

Bella received her feeding tube today through her little nose. Unfortunately, it was a physically traumatic event for her, not because it hurt, but because she was afraid. The procedure is no more painful than a single IV, however, it does require for no parent to be in the room as well as being strapped down. I really thought I would be ok, I knew this was the best thing for both Bella and I. In order for both of us to be home, she needs to receive her meds, fluids and nutrition...this tube will achieve that, but seeing terror in your daughters eye's and walking away from her side is painful. I can only imagine how God must have felt when He turned his face away from His son in order for salvation to be achieved for all who choose to believe. When I looked in to Bella's eye's, I could truly feel God's compassion for the moment, yet my physical heart was hurting so.

It took me 2 hours and a dose of Benadryl to calm Bella down after that event. She took a 2 hour nap and then we took a walk around the same hospital halls, but in a fun kids wheel chair. We also spent some time in the playroom where she quickly decided to take a tug at her new tube while I was looking for toys. When I turned around, it was hanging down to her chin! Ugh...I quickly stuffed the tube back down and brought her to our room and called the nurses. That resulted in a new bandage change to secure the tubing...and another 1 1/2 hours of me calming Bella down. But, she sleeps.....and I have prayed over her to have "the peace of Christ that passes understanding". She has no way to process all this, she cant understand, but I rest in knowing that as she grows in to a beautiful young woman, she will never remember this time.

My husband calls her our "miracle baby". How different her life is because God placed her in the arms of our family, in this town, at this time. This journey is not by any means fun, but we find the joy in it everyday...and we have seen the face of Christ more times than we can even recite. We have the privilege of growing our faith deeper than we could have ever imagined. And we have the absolute gift of raising and loving Bella and our boys. So all is well, God is good all the time, and He makes good of all things. I love seeing on a daily basis just how big our God is!

My sister-in-law sent me the message below. I hope it brings you as much victory and power as it brought me. It was a good reminder of just exactly who I am. "With all that I am, I praise the Lord".

I am God's child (John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15 )
I am united with th e Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ. (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnat ion ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven.. I am significant (Phil 3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom.. 8:31 -34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor 5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor 1:21-22 )
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28 )
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16 )
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12 )
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil.. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor. 3: 16).
I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ20in God (Col. 3:3). I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God's workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected. (Phil. 1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven ( Col 1:14). I have been adopted as God's child (Eph 1:5)
I belong to God
Do you know
Who you are!?

Keep this bell ringing...pass it on

'The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you
And be gracious to you;
The LORD turn His face toward you
And give you peace..'
Numbers 6:24-26

"Stop telling God how big your storm is. Instead, tell the storm how big your God is!'


Sandra & Tom said...

Oh Sus. I wish you and Bella home very very soon..
Love Sandra

nikki said...

What a horrible event for you and Bella. But you are right Bella will not remember any of this. I was a teenager during my treatment and between the chemo and the pain meds, I don't remember much of that time.
The feeding tube will help so much, now you won't have to push fluids on her, and she will get the nutrients she need.
Praying you are home very very soon.
If you ever ever need someone to talk to, or ask questions or just vent, please email me velbanc*aol.com
Hugs to you and Bella

Brian and Jenifer VanZanten said...

What a day for both of you. I am glad that the pressure is off to push fluids and make sure she gets all of her meds, but I am sorry that it was such a traumatic event.
We continue to pray for you...
Lots of hugs to both of you...

~ Jenifer

Nancy and Isaac McGee said...

I admire your faith in God. If only a lot more people were like you all and just put everything in His hands, including myself. I wish I could have that faith that you have, I need to try harder and you and your family make me want to. God Bless you all and I pray for Bella to be sleeping peacefully as I write this.

Joe and Erin said...

Sus ... my heart is with you. I am absolutely awed by your faith. No words of anger or frustration to God, just love and joy. I know you don't always feel that, but you have "paid attention to His words." You have avoided letting any garbage come out of your mouth. Nothing but the Word of God! I'm so proud of you! As for Bella's memory of this: "I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten." ~Joel 2:25 Whether she remembers it or not ... it doesn't matter ... God will restore the years of her youth! :-) Love you ~Joe

Leslie said...

AWWWwww Poor Bella what a hard day for that little one and you!!!!!!!

God bless you and hugs,Leslie

P.S that bell is BEAUtiFUL!!!!!

alex & sam said...

my heart aches for you guys.. I am truely amazed by your strength...
hugs & prayers as always


Gail said...

I can only imagine what you had to go through as a mother. I am praying for strength and peace for you. I am also praying this feeding tube works well and Bella gets the nourishment she needs.
You are ALWAYS in my thoughts and prayers!!!

Lana said...

Hi there, thank you for your comment on our site. I didn't know about Bella. We will be praying for your whole family.
Carmen got an NG tube about a year ago and had it for 6 weeks before we went with the tummy tube. Overall, the NG tube wasn't bad and it sure helped with feeding/medications. The most tricky part was when it came out or got clogged.
Hope you have a much better day today!

Mary Ann said...


Faithful Froggers said...

I found your site through Kiss the Frog 4 Me and just wanted to let you know that we are praying for Bella. She is beautiful! You are right . . . God is bigger than all of our storms. Thinking of you all and hoping Bella feels better soon.

May God bless you and comfort you during this difficult time.

Jack said...

Susie, Again I am really astounded by your faith and you have really opened my eyes and I thank you for that. Here's to a better day and as always you and Bella and your whole family are in our thoughts and prayers!

Robyn said...

What a difficult day!! I am continuing the prayers for Bella and your entire family!!

Will and Aileen said...

Your family is such a testament to God and his awesome power. We are praying for Bella every night!

Becky said...

It is SO tough when you can't be right at your child's side during a procedure...so glad the two of you both found peace at the end of the day. Praying for you!

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

I think of you non-stop. We will be in the car 4 hours tomorrow so call if you get a free moment. WE will leave around 9am. Love.

Candy said...

Well GIRL..You are officially STRONGER than My BIG OLE HUSBAND....he did not even make it thru then doing a Chest XRAY on Kya after we got her home...so GOD has given you GREAT STRENGTH as Bella's Mommy...I love your attitude...HUGS

Amanda said...

My heart aches for Bella that she cannot understand and is so very, very frightened. But she trusts in you and her daddy. And eventually that step will lead her to trust and believe fully in Christ. But the true blessing is that she won't remember it and she will be stronger, healthier and feel so much better once she has nutrition, fluids and meds. Bless her sweet angelic heart. And bless her mommy and daddy who are so faithful.

Much love to you all,
Amanda and Gabi

sarah bess said...

I'm new to your blog, but I wanted to say I can really relate to what you're saying here. When my middle daughter was a toddler, she was severely scalded, and during the painful dressing changes, they made me leave the room. How awful it was to see (and remember) the look in her eyes as I 'deserted' her again and again, just at the time she felt the most need for Mommy.