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!
A few updated photos of Bella at the cottage this week. Life is Good!
The last photo is of Bella and one of her favorite cousins Emma.
Bella had a blood draw on Thursday, her ANC count was still too low to continue chemo, so we are on a ONE WEEK HIATUS from any medications or chemo! Whoo Hoo! Bella has not had a week like this since Oct. 15th last year...the day before her diagnosis. So we are hanging low at the cottage with the fam and enjoying each other and laughing a lot. Never a dull moment at the cottage, there is always someone to tease and new stories to tell.
Ok, so I have been harassed enough by my family and friends about my Non-existant posts. Honestly, its not intentional. It's that time of year again, "Cottage Time". We have basically been living at the cottage since Memorial Weekend, traveling back and forth for games and my work, and I have had technical difficulties with my laptop and Blackberry....still working on getting these resolved, but I should be up and running at the cottage by the end of the week.
So with that said, here's a quick update. Bella looks beautiful! Her hair is really starting to come in and her head is currently similar to "brushed velvet", we just pet her all day long. She loves being around her cousins all day, especially "Emma and Joe Joe". Today was her first day in the lake as it took her awhile to get re-aquainted with the water and sand. She is so there now.
She had her second month of "maintenace treatment" last Thursday. I was so amazed by her demeanor and tolerance. As you may recall, we had her broviach port removed last month so that she would be able to enjoy the water and sand this summer as well as have regular baths. This results in Bella having to be poked twice in the arm for a blood draw and her regular schedule monthly chemo treatment. She did not like it, but she only cried for a second and it was over. The nurses are amazing and they got in the first time and she has absolutely no bruising. Her counts were great except for her ANC (reminder, ANC stands for "Absolute Nutrifil Count" which controls her immunity system) which was in the low 300's. So they are holding off her 6mp (oral chemo) for a week and we will return back to clinic next week for another blood draw to see if her counts have improved so that we can restart her chemo back up again. Am I concerened? Absolutley NOT! We believe with all our hearts, soul and mind that Bella is healed, we are just going through the motions. She started her monthly 5 days of steroids on Thursday and has been handling it much better than in the past. I think being at the cottage with her 9 cousins, aunts, uncles and grand parents really keeps her distracted.
I'd like to give a big shout out to all you Dad's out there, especially my heavenly Father, earthly Dad and my amazing and handsome husband.
Will be uploading pics this week! Wait till you see Bella's suit, compliments of her Grandma Linda.
Looking forward to getting my lap top back so that I can catch up on all of you. I miss my blogging buddies.
We have been so blessed with emails and calls of people who want to help us through this time of treatment for our daughter. Per suggestion of our social worker and friend, we are posting here what we feel will be most beneficial to our family at this time. Although the help is easy to give, its hard to receive, but we have been told by medical professionals an social workers that we will need it. Your love and support mean so very much to us, thank you.
1. Prayer, please see "Pray with Us" 2. Meals 3. Car Pooling from school 4. Continued emails and blog posts with encouraging words. (This means more to us than you can possibly know.) 5. Loving on our boys, this will be a time of sacrifice for them. 6. Child Care 7. GIVE BLOOD! Where ever you live, please give blood in honor of Bella. Save a life!
We want to personally recognize and thank all of you who have graciously helped us in one way or another. Whether its through meals, house cleaning, driving, errands, donations, gifts, etc. We so appreciate you and recognize the blessing from God in all of you. Every moment of every day we are privileged to see the face of Jesus in all of you. From our home to yours, thank you and "May God bless you and hold you in the palm of His hand." Please note, your emails and posts are greatly appreciated and needed just as much as any monetary blessing, please continue to do so as they lift us up daily.
The Stanley Family (Gretchen and Gillibean) Candy and Kya Blue Michelle and Abby Riggs Deb Vangorder All God's Children International http://www.allgodschildren.org/ Kentwood Community Church Kitty and Larry Jerard The VanderZwaag Family The Angerbauer Family The Infante Family Annie Bulthuis The Edwards Family The Ambrose Family The Claeys Family The Fabro Family The DeMarchis Family Peter Harmon Joe and Erin Harmon Mary and Dejan Vukic Keith and Daphne Edwards Susie Harmon Betty Harmon Courtney and Stella Sue Marvin Beth Hartlien Pam Sult Keller Williams Realty Grand Rapids KW Cares Grand Rapids Sue and Rob Harkema and Family Jenifer and Brian VanZanten and Family Action Chemical of Grand Rapids Celebration Entertainment-Brad Eley Trish Borgdorf-http://www.vangels.com/ John and Michelle Lawrence Larry and Kitty Girard Stacy and Bella Gail and Johanna Pam and Rick Foster Amy, Fred and Grace Nagel John and Tiffny Harmon Tom and Sandra Harmon Nancy and Don Harmon Ray and Linda Ferrick Helen Devos Childrens Hospital Dr. Deanna Mitchell Dr. Ron Hoffman Jenifer Gerwig and Family Jane and David Lautenbach Greg and Shannon Ferrick Karen and Chad Janney Cheri, Donnie and Malaena Harris
Our Home Address
Many of you have asked for our home address, please email me at email@example.com if you would like this information. Again, we appreciate all the support and prayers. It has meant more to us than we are even able to put in to words.
Our Praise from Psalm 103
With all my heart, we Praise the Lord, And with all that we are, we Praise His Holy Name. With all our heart, we Praise the Lord, and we will never forget how kind he has been. His kindness and love are a crown on our heads. Each day that we live, He provides for our needs and gives us the strength of a young eagle. For all who are mistreated, the Lord brings justice. You oh Lord are merciful, kind and patient, your love never fails. How Great is our God! You are kind to all who worship you, You keep your promises to those who faithfully obey you All of you who serve and obey God, come and Praise your Lord! With all our hearts, We PRAISE the Lord!