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!
So the first picture is my Nikola, technically my nephew, but when get's home next week, he is all mine! Is he not the cutest little thing? I kid you not, I have the most beautiful 9 nieces and nephews in the world. Everyone of them gorgeous and uniquely perfect, I just love them.
Well, we had a bit of a rough week with Bella's chemo. A couple weeks ago when Bella had a flu bug, she had to have her blood drawn by a different nurse and it was not a happy experience for her. Bella is a child that requires earned trust. So this past week on Monday when they tried to access a vein, she was not thrilled even though it was her regular nurse. Her veins were week from the the flu bug and on top of that, she worked her self up in to a terrible fearful fit. So after 5 poke efforts, they stopped and rescheduled us to come back Thursday. We did, and went through the same thing again, only this time, after 4 pokes, her nurse threw everything done and said "that's it, were done, were putting in a port". Nurse Mary was broken hearted as Nurse John and they quickly made the executive decision that Bella needs a port. They love her dearly and they just don't want to see her suffer needlessly and either do we. So Tuesday afternoon Bella will have minor surgery to have an internal port installed in her chest that will allow the nurses and doctors easy access and no pain for Bella. So, with the benefits of no chemo and no steroids this week, I took Bella took the park and we had a great time playing together on the slides and swings in the 60 degree sunshine. God as always made good of an ugly situation and we have wasted no time enjoying our steroid free princess.
Our oldest Nate is in his high school musical "Cinderella", last night was opening night. We took Bella along and she really did enjoy it, however, every time the lights went out for a scene change she would yell "all done" and you could hear the entire auditorium chuckling. Every time Nate was on stage she would yell "See Nate, See Nate!". Sadly, he did not hear any of it.
We are absolutely loving this Indian Summer week we are having in November, so completely out of the ordinary. The heat has been off and the doors and windows have been open. We took the liberty to put up the Christmas lights as all to soon, the snow flakes will be flying, but oh how we love the snow.
Have a blessed week, again, we so appreciate all the prayers and warm thoughts. God is so faithful and we receive Bella's healing every day!
I thought I should post the remainder of the Halloween pictures. These photos are from Halloween. We had such a great day, we headed over to My Aunt Susie's in the morning and the kids got to see their Great Grandma and several of their second cousins (this is normal, we are so blessed to have this). We then had lunch and naps, visited with Grandparents and then headed over to my brothers for dinner and trick or treat with the cousins. At the end of the night, we piled the kids in one room with the tv, put the babies in bed and left Jake in charge and the four of us did a very amateur make up job, put on our Kiss Costumes and headed out to an adult neighborhood party. Dave and I have been married 18 years and we have dressed up for every Halloween, this years costumes were are absolute favorite. So a good late time was had by all.
Bella is just the most absolutely sweet little girl. She always has been, but with all her talking, she just gets sweeter. I love putting her to bed, she loves to be rocked like a baby and tells me "Night Mommy (not Mama but Mommy, so love that), I love you Mommy", and she say's it with a soft sweet voice. It makes it really hard to leave the room. When referring to herself she say's I and me every time, that amazes me, she is only 2, my boys never did that at this age. She can repeat almost any word you say to her, at least she always tries. She sings her abc's, twinkle twinkle little star, Barnie song (thanks Malae) and its bitsy spider. If you ask her who is in her family, she recites all our names including the dog and will do the same with all of her 12 cousins! Chemo has not stopped this child's development what so ever!
Monday is her once a month intervenious chemo and 5 days of steroids. The good news is, we are closer to being done with treatment. December 22, 2010 is her cutoff day for chemo. We have just a little over a year left and already 1 full year behind us. The majority of ALL Leukemia patients treatment is 2 years 3 months for girls and 3 years for boys. So much victory in such a short time. All Glory to God..."His living Word is alive and active", all we have had to do is speak it and believe it, regardless of current circumstance.
Lastly, my sweet husbands birthday was on Halloween, I have always said, "he's my treat not my trick".
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!