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, November 24, 2008

Spinal Tap and Clark Griswold

Yup....that's us, the only 2 cars in the parking lot of the TREE farm. This lot is usually jam packed full with a skinny car trail down the center. Were it, us and the owners car.


My brother John and his family.

Do you see the glowing light around the "perfect" tree?

My 4 Blessings

The Ferrick Fam...

What a great weekend! Bella is feeling great and very much her little self again. Still not standing or walking, but very happy and content. Tomorrow she has another Bone Marrow draw and Spinal Tap for chemo. As a reminder, the first place these inactive Leukemia cells try to hide in is the spinal fluid. So last month Bella received chemo in her spine every two weeks, this month, she will have weekly spinal taps. I know all this sounds awful, but be rest assured, she feels nothing. We spend 1/2 a day at the hospital, but they "knock her out" for both the bone marrow and spinal tap". She goes to sleep in her Mama's arms and wakes up in her Mama's arm's. She has no residual pain from the procedure, only from the chemo. In the big picture, its all good and the hospital staff is incredibly wonderful. I just praise God all the time for His provision in getting our sweet girl home before this attack on her body took place. She could not be in better place for medical care.

On Saturday, my brother John and I and our families decided we would "beat the crowds" and cut down the annual family Christmas Tree. Every year, we head out on "Black Friday" after the girls are done shopping to tromp through the tree farm and find the perfect "Clark Griswold" Christmas Tree. Most years, we buy it off the lot as the best tree's have already been cut down. As you read this story, keep in mind this little venture was my idea, and because my brothers "heart is bigger than his brain", he agreed.

We got a late start, John was ahead of us on the road by about 5 minutes. I got a phone call from John "Sue, I just punched Marty Moose in the face". I laughed and kept talking and again I heard "No Sus, I really punched Marty Moose in the face, their closed, Opening Day is Friday". Between the two of us, we have 8 kids bundled up in their winter gear in the hopes and dreams of getting "The Tree". We have driven 40 minutes out of town and my sister and brother-in-law are on their way out to meet us for dinner after wards. John said there were workers outside, so I encouraged him to wait for us and Dave would talk to the workers and see if they would at least let us tag our tree to be cut on Friday. We pulled up to John's car at the tree farm and I yelled out the window "FIRST IN LINE"! Of course, my adorable smooth talking husband got the owner to let us cut down our trees. Not only that, we got to drive our vans all the way out to the Frazier Fur area. We avoided the crowds and didn't have to wait for the hay ride out to the trees and the dragging of the tree back to the front of the farm....we just drove on back. They even bailed the trees for us. Only my family. In case you do not know who Clark Griswold is or Marty Moose, its from the movie "Christmas Vacation" with Chevy Chase. This is an all time favorite of my family, if you have never seen it, I highly suggest you rent it this Christmas Season.

I heard a great quote today on our Christian Radio Station. "When God is seen small, problems seem big." We tend to focus on the problem and take our eye's off Christ. We underestimate the power of a Holy and Almighty God, we forget that if He created the heavens and the earth, He can certainly fix our problems. We turn to our flesh and how we can fix things instead of turning to His Word and confessing His promise for our life and believing Him for it. I am guilty of this as well, but with every big and little problem that comes my way, I lean closer and closer to Him as I know the success of His Word. It was a good reminder to me to turn that quote around and say "With every little problem, God's glory is shown bigger"!

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.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In the hospital....but good news!


We are still at the hospital for another night. Both the c-diff and roto virus came back negative. She is doing better today, only one poop and it did not explode out the sides...of course, now that were in the hospital and I have someone else to clean the linens. :) She is starting to eat and drink again and is sitting next to me playing with her i.v. cord. Ugh....I really dont care for that port, I still looks like the ambilical chord to me. Thanks for all the prayers, God hears you and so do we.

The good news, Bella is officially in REMISSION!!!! Praise you Jesus! The bad news is, we have been admitted into the hospital for at least the night. Bella has something going on with her intestinal system and they do not know what yet. She has no appetite and will not drink, I called the doctor because I was worried about dehydration...sure enough, she was. So were here until they figure out what's going on and stabilize her fluids. She will be just fine...just a little bump in the road.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Strength and Joy

Bella in the ER Sunday afternoon, check out these steroid cheeks!

God promised us that He would provide us with enough strength and joy for the day, so all we have to do is receive it. That couldn't have been more true this past weekend. Physically, were tired, but our hope and trust is in Jesus. Bella has not been feeling well since last Friday. She has had terrible diarrhea and an awful sounding respiratory cough. We have had more dirty cloths from this little peanut than the 3 boys combined. Yet somehow we have room in our emotional lives to laugh and enjoy life...and that can only come from the Father.

Bella began the weekend throwing up, she has had diarrhea this entire month, more on than off. She has lost her voice and has a terrible sounding cough...but no fever. The doctors are not sure if these are viral or a reaction from the chemo. On Sunday morning, I noticed her lips were chapped (a clear sign that her hemoglobin is down) and she was rather lethargic. I called the on call Pediatric Oncologist and asked if we could take her to ER for a blood draw and IV fluid, they didn't even question me. So Bella and I got to spend 6 hours of quality time in the ER, having a blood transfusion and fluids pumped in to her system. She improved and slept through the night. She ate and drank very little over the weekend, and has been the same today. This morning she had her bone marrow drawn, a breathing treatment and a spinal tap. We ended up spending another 5 hours at clinic today as again, more fluids were needed. We left with an additional medication on top of the 8 she already takes. She has completed her first month of treatment and is now being weened off the steroid. This month provides a break from the interveinous chemo, only spinal tap chemo's will be done weekly. Next month, we repeat this past month with a more aggressive treatment.

Thank you so much for checking in, we truly enjoy and rely on your comments. I recognize how God uses all of you to bring us strength...especially on the hard days.

Please pray for our friend Abby, her blog button is at the top of our blog page.

Blessings to All, Susie

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.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Note to self, never leave a toaster oven when in use.

The result is melted to the pan.

Mom, are you serious...YES! And the funny thing is, she will keep these hats on, but not her bows or head bands. I wish I captured the smile she gave when I put it on her. Thank you Alex, Sam and Rachel for the adorable hat. Mom LOVES it!

This is Bella's new "bed head". This is why I say it has a new texture. She has smooth as silk hair and now it rats so easily. Oh my eighties girl.
All bundled up for a walk with friends.

Today started with the boys being home from school for a "in service day" and Bella having her chemo apt. Because it was also the house cleaning day, they would have to go with Bella and I to the hospital....so off we went. Fortunately, Bella did not need a transfusion today, so we were out in 2 hours. Get this, Bella gained 4 lbs. over the weekend! She eats non-stop, and I mean non-stop. She is rarely out of her high chair before her little hands are signing "more". This is an effect of the steroid and the doctors encourage her eating as she will lose weight in the coming months. More on Bella to come.

So finding humor in everything is a must in my family. We have been blessed with meals coming to our home 3 nights a week, one of which is Monday (clinic day). By 6:30 pm the meal had still not arrived and my boys were starving. So I decided we could wait no longer and quickly pulled out hamburg meat and taco shells. I had my 11 year old cooking the meat, my 9 year old entertaining Bella and I was trying to direct my 9 year old and my 11 year old in what they needed to do while answering a phone call from my Dad. Can you guess what happened next? I was standing right in front of the toaster oven talking with my Dad and I see my 13 year old flailing his arms yelling "Mom...Mom....MOM!" I continued to give him this look like "Nate, I am on the phone, hold on a minute". I finally turned to what he was pointing to and discovered the toaster oven was flaming..."Oh my gosh Dad, the toaster oven is on fire, I got to go!" Click... I completely forgot about the taco shells. The house looked like we had been running the fog machine all night, our home stinks like burnt popcorn, it snowed today and we have all the doors and windows open trying to get all the smoke and stink out, and now we have no taco shells. I quickly grabbed the toaster oven after putting out the fire inside, took it outside and just stared at it. With in seconds, my boys were out side with me, their was a brief moment of disbelief, Nate said "Mom, it looked like our gas log fireplace (and it did) and than a rousing boast of laughter. It was a scene directly out of a Steve Martin movie. We ended up having Nachos for dinner as the taco shells were now permanently part of my toaster oven. To say the least, a toaster oven is on my Christmas list. Any suggestions? (Candy....how do I get the smell out of my house? :) )

Bella, sweet little girl. I so appreciate all the prayers. She had her 3rd round of chemo this week. Her hair is now beginning to thin on top, it even has a different texture. Over the weekend, the "steroid monster" showed his ugly face and she was quit agitated and grouchy as well as VERY hungry. Like I said, she gained 4 lbs in 3 days. The doctor assures me that this will not last, good thing I purchased her cloths bigger for the long winter. She was very tired today, and she still will not stand or walk....she is so weak and her legs still hurt a little.

Tomorrow, a special friend and professional photographer will be taking photos of Bella and our family. We have not had any professional photos of Bella yet nor our family since she come home. I figured this was a good time, bef0re the hair was gone. My heart is still struggling over the loss of hair...but oh the joy all these hats have brought me. My husband say's, "honey, don't you think those are a little over the top?" Are you kidding me?! When you lose your hair, nothing is over the top. I love every one of these hats and I thank all of you profusely for your generosity and kind hearts for sending these to Bella. She also received an adorable bracelet with her name on it.

As always, I appreciate you checking in. God bless, and dont walk away from your toaster oven.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Strangers yet Friends

"I thank my God every time I remember you" Phil 1:3

I find my self reading and re-reading this passage of scripture every day. Phil 1:1-11. This particular passage from the bible radiates my feelings of my blogging buddies. You see, I have not had the opportunity to meet the majority of these women, yet we share a common bond...we all have children from Guatemala, we all made that journey or are still in it, and we found each other because of it. We have followed each others blogs, supported and prayed for each other, encouraged each other when we are having down times, and rejoiced at the up times. Even after the adoptions, we keep up with each other with the hope that someday, we will all get to meet while still on this earth.

These blogging buddies of mine were some of the very first people to contact me when Bella was diagnosed. They offered, support, prayer, love and peace. The picture above are items that have been sent to Bella from my blogging friends. Priceless to me, with each package I opened I swelled up with tears. I would think to my self "they don't even know me yet they care". And then I reminded, "you do know them, in Me, they are your sisters". Yes, they do know me and I them, my hope and prayer is that some day, I will have the distinct pleasure and joy of meeting them in person. Until then, I pray the "God holds them in the palm of His hand" and I rejoice in the sisterhood we share.

Thank you my blogging friends, I wish I had the perfect words to tell you how much you mean to me. I hope you can hear my heart when I say that you are such treasures to me.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Tonight, I witnessed history, and although Senator Obama was not my candidate of choice, he is my President Elect. I find it awesome and exciting that our country has surpassed the racial divides and has elected our first African American President...this alone is PROGRESS! So I stand with all my fellow Americans in supporting our new President. The bible clearly states that we are to respect our government, we dont have agree to everything, but we are to respect them. So I pray this evening as I will every day, that the mind of Christ is bound to our new President elect, that the Lord will "open the eye's of his heart so that he will come to know the hope to which He has called him too". This country has been blessed beyond measure, we give much and receive much. My family and I will stand with the new administration with the hope that we are standing with brothers and sisters of Christ, knowing that God's hand was in this election and that miraculous things will come of it. My hope is that for those of you who were like me and chose a different candidate, that you will follow suit and honor our God and this great country and pray "earnestly, with out ceasing" for our countries future and our new President. Change is good, and its all perfect when God is in it! Congratulations President Elect Obama.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Healing Manifesting!

Bella was a little done with me trying on all her new hats at this point. This one is from
her Aunt Tiff.

New Wand from friend Gracie

Thank you Stella and Courtney for my new Notre Dame Cheer leading outfit!
I think Mom may be more excited than me. And my hat, oh that is from Amy N and Gracie. Again, Mom is more excited than me, but it will grow on me. Especially when my head is cold.

AMEN! We received news this morning that the chemo is killing off the active Leukemia cells! The treatment plan does not change at this time, we are still facing a 2 year and 3 month treatment, but the leukemia cells are responding to chemo as desired and expected by the doctors. Of course we did not expect anything different, for we serve a mighty God and we believe as always that His victory will prevail.

Bella and I spent 4.5 hours at the hospital yesterday for her bone marrow draw, spinal tap and chemo drip. It does make a for a long day, but the joy comes in the one of one time with my girlie and all the wonderful people we get to meet and pray with. We have a special family the night Bella was diagnosed and admitted in the hospital, her name is Hannah and she is 13 yrs old. She is fighting a particularly rare childhood cancer. When you pray for Bella, please pray for Hannah's healing as well. We are on this journey with them and we stand in faith and belief that Hannah is healed.

The steroid is really taking effect this little princess now. Although she still eats in small bites and one piece at a time, she is eating in large quantities and often. It's so funny to see her eat so much. She is still battling diarrhea and a nasty diaper rash, but it all appears to be improving. I spend a great deal of time giving meds, changing diapers, laundry and bed changing.

In conclusion, thank you my heavenly Father for your promises, we have never doubted your abilities or your promises. Thank you friends and family who have supported us during this time, thank you blogging buddies for all your encouragement and for constantly checking in on us, thank you to my husband and my boys who tolerate so much change and willingly sacrificing so much normality at this time. It's hard for 3 little boys to be stuck at home all day due to being home bound for the time. I am definitely grateful that they get to attend school every day.

Blessings, Susie

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lady Bug, Halloween, and Birthday!

Pretty Little Ladybug....what happened to your teeth?

Look what I found outside?

Love of My Life....Happy 41st Birthday!!! So very glad you were born. You make my heart happy. I prayed for you and God gave me the desire of my heart in you. I love you!

Dave with "The Boys and His Princess".

Trick or Treating with the cousins.

Joe Joe is not so sure about his cousin Bella.

Grandma and Bella

Halloween not only marks Trick or Treating, costumes and fun for our family, but its also my husbands birthday. Like I said before, he is my treat not my trick. Bella and I are pretty much trapped at home all day as the Leukemia effects her immune system to the point where we are told she has none, so I took her up to the children's hospital today to pick up prescription diaper creme and to visit her nurses in her costume. Grandma came by later for a visit and then I got the boys all dolled up for a night of trick or treating at their cousins. None of the cousins were sick, so we were able to take Bella with us and again, she lit up when seeing her Joe Joe. We get very few smiles during the day from this sweet girl (chemo and steroids make children very grouchy and uncomfortable)....that is really hard for me, but she always smiles when she see's Joe Joe.

On Saturday night, we celebrated Dave's birthday, 41 years! He still looks like my high school sweet heart. Dave and I met our senior year in high school in religion class and started dating...we have been together ever since. Dave was the quiet, obedient, smiley boy sitting next to me in religion class. I was the chatter box and bubbly. However, this sweet man would sit in class and talk my ear off and when the teacher asked a question, he would raise his hand and answer it like he was paying attention. Then the teacher would call on me and I would not have a clue to the answer because I did not have the ability to talk with him while my heart was pitter pattering and listen at the same time. I love you Dave, and I love sharing my life with you and our sweet children. You are truly a gift and a treasure from God.

I have so much on my mind to post, I hope to have time this week to gather those thoughts.

Monday is another big day for Bella, she will be sedated in the morning for a Lumbar Puncture (pulling bone marrow to see how many leukemia cells the chemo is killing, I expect a great result) a spinal tap injecting chemo into her spinal chord (the spinal chord is the first place that active and inactive Leukemia cells try to hide) and she will receive her intervenious chemo. Fortunately for Bella and I, she will not feel any of this. Were believing for a great day.

Blessings to all!