You probably saw this one coming!

January 28th, 2012

Our very dear friends,

Despite the fact that I would not have chosen to walk this journey in such a public manner, I have come to have a great affection for so many of you.  You have been far more to our family than mere blog readers!

You have supported us, encouraged us, instructed us, prayed for us, been tolerant of us, sent us pictures of your beautiful children with Down syndrome or other special needs, been used by God to supply many practical needs.  You have poured out your hearts toward us and into our lives.  Friends, you have truly helped us.  We have been so mightily upheld by your prayers and loving, life-giving words during some very difficult, stretching times, some of which you may never know about.

Our hearts are full as we contemplate how many of you have been part of the team God used to bring home our Katie-bird!  I wish there were words to express what is in our hearts toward you!

No, we’re not closing down the blog!

But…

my quiet, private hours of pumping time are my quiet, private hours of writing time.

It may help you to understand at this point that it had become normal for me to sit down to pump several times a day and each time, find more than three dozen emails that required an answer, each one from a real person about whom I cared very much and could not brush off, even if I wanted to.  Many of the emails could not be answered quickly or easily.  Katie was doing well, but my work was nearly overwhelmingly hard because of the writing task.  As you know very well by now, we did not see this as a bad thing.  Hard is not bad!  I don’t believe that God’s big purpose for my life is to keep it manageable!  It was clear to us all that God had laid this work before me, and I loved it.

I caught up on emails and thank you notes while Joe was home during Christmas week by working every spare minute, and some minutes that weren’t spare.

[I think I caught up on thank you notes!  If I somehow missed yours, I beg you would please forgive me and know how greatly your gift was appreciated!]

As the New Year began, I cut out a pumping and still managed to keep up with computer work by staying up late as needed.  The emails continued to pour in, so I stayed up late most nights of the week.

Then almost two weeks ago, Daniel, our sixteen-year-old second-born son, began working part-time for Joe’s brother as he does every tax season.  This is in addition to his studies, piano practice, and need to put in driving hours on his driver’s permit.  In addition, he recently took on the bookkeeping of the family carpentry business during his day off.

He had formerly been my right-hand man, so this had an immediate practical effect on our family.

Another daily pumping had to go, right away…which of course meant cutting out another hour of computer time.  The emails continued coming in full force.

I love telling what God has done, love people, love writing, love helping others.  If I’m going to do it at all, whatever it is God has given me to do, I want to throw myself into it, and do it excellently.

We have also loved having a birds-eye view into the work God is doing in so many of your hearts and lives and families.  We have lost count now of how many families have written over the months to say that they have begun to pursue adoption of a child with special needs.  And that is just one kind of work God is doing!  Friends, we have so much hope in GOD!  He is active in powerful ways right now, and accomplishing what is not explainable in human terms, and we have had the privilege of a little glimpse of that!

By the end of this past week, it had become apparent that the pumping is going downhill fairly quickly.  I’m more grateful than I can say for the liquid gold that two of you have gifted to Katie, one of you on an ongoing basis!  And grateful for the little supply I am still able to pump on a decreasing basis. We still hope to be be able to give our little girls this valuable food until the end of flu season.  As the Lord wills.

But the timing is right for the whole household.  I will be extremely occupied with the needs of my family at least until tax season is over and Daniel is again able to lend a hand.

So…

We wanted you to know…

…that we have temporarily taken the Email Us button off our sidebar.

…that if you are currently waiting for an email reply from me, I will answer to the best of my ability, Lord willing, but it may be greatly delayed.

…that I will be blogging on a much more sporadic basis than I formerly had done, and the posts will be shorter.

…that we will miss you!

that in spite of these necessary changes, we love and appreciate you no less!!! 

 

Katie enjoyed her first visit this week from a very special friend~

 

 


 

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35 Responses to “You probably saw this one coming!”

  1. Barb says:

    I’ve been amazed at how much you write up until now. Pictures on your blog tell the story.  Keep them coming.. :)

  2. Heather says:

    Thank you for your time, for sharing your time and for loving Christ.  It has been a blessing to watch your family during this season of your lives.  May the Lord continue to bless you.  We will continue to pray for all of you and for the children in Katie’s former orphanage and for all of the orphans everywhere.  Thank you!

  3. Christie says:

    Oh this is so very understandable! The work it takes to assimilate a new family member is immense, even without severe special needs!  You are a blessing. :)

  4. Carla says:

    Thanks for posting these photos and the link.  While we’ve never met Robin, her brother-in-law Brian is a friend of ours.  She’s an amazing lady.

  5. Hollie says:

    Proud of you Susanna! I figure this was hard for you to do because we know you love us so. While you are away, please know that you, Katie, Verity, and your wonderful family are in our continued prayers. We in this family thank you for changing our lives.

  6. Paula says:

    I feel blessed that you have shared this journey with all of us.  We all understand.  We will continue to pray for your family.  The pictures alone tell Katie’s story.  We love seeing how God is working in your family and the lives of Orphans.  Katie’s story has touched my heart.  I look forward to the future posts and pictures.  Thank you for sharing so openly.
    In HIM,
    Paula

  7. Jen says:

    Of course, you don’t need to explain!  God will honor your decision to put your family first!  I grew up in Berks County, PA and I love reading news of “home”-or awfully close to home for me!  I will enjoy reading and seeing pics when you have time.   Thank you for sharing your amazing faith story with us.  God is good!

    P.S.  I think you need to add a new sidebar pic of sweet, plump Katie!  :-) 

  8. Susan says:

    Oh, my goodness, Susanna, you still have your plate full and overflowing! Your decision to slow things down online is perfectly understandable and absolutely the right thing to do. I’m glad you’ll still update from time to time – would hate to miss out on my Verity-and-Katie treat! – but knowing that they, and the rest of your family, and you yourself are benefiting by fewer posts and more real-life time is very satisfactory indeed. 

    As always, prayers for you all continue to be offered…

    Thanks again, so much, for sharing.
    Susan in Ky
    Cousin to 2 from EE         

  9. April(justonemorebaby) says:

    Oh it’s Robin!!! :D 
    We will continue to pray <3 Update us when you can :) 

  10. ((HUGS)) Completely understand. 

  11. Ginger says:

    You’ve been exceedingly gracious to keep it up as long as you have! 
    God bless. 

  12. Shari~hotfudgecustard says:

    We will continue to pray for you and to enjoy pictures of your precious family when you post. 

  13. Brenda Lamey says:

    I don’t know how you manage it!  I am nursing a one year old and if you need more milk for your supply, I’d be happy to help.  I’m not sure what your situation is as far as testing milk, shipping and storing, etc but if you need some more suppliers, let me know:)

  14. jamie says:

    of course you need to focus on your family!!!!  Keep on loving on those babies and give us updates if you can!!!!! 
    Much love to you! 

  15. Rachel M says:

    Totally understandable! Praise our Lord for what he has done through this blog and your family’s very public journey. I am so looking forward to any sporadic posts or pics you are able to do, no matter how short. We will definitely continue to pray for your family and the children still waiting…

  16. Debbie says:

    Susanna, thank you so much for all that you have given us!  Please use your precious time for your family (and for YOU!), and post when you can. 
     

  17. You have been so gracious to share so much of your life this far and I have been so blessed by so many of your words.  I thank you for being so generous to all of us by sharing so openly.  I must admit I’m a little sad but appreciate the gift you have given me, in your writing, for so long.  You truly have been faithful to do what God asked of you!  
    Bless you!

     

  18. I just want to be clear that I am not trying to by whiny when I say I am sad about you writing less.  I just love seeing your beautiful pictures and for some reason I really feel connected to you and Katie even though I have never meet you.  Miss Katie has etched a sweet place in my heart.  I hope this is coming out right and does not sound weird because I don’t mean it to be.  Anyway I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.:)

  19. Jane says:

    Susanna, what a wonderful choice to clarify your priorities and take care of yourself, your family and your resources!  How blessed I am to have any postings from you…and I treasure your sharing your journey, sharing your life and Katie and Verity with us, sharing your honesty and work to live God’s word.  I will miss seeing frequent posts, but I am so impressed with your self-care!
     
    As Jamie wrote above me, “Katie is etched in my heart” as well. What a blessing that she/you can be even a little part of my journey.
    As usual, much love from California.  May God bless you and keep you all every moment, and until your next post…lots of blessings. 

  20. Susanna says:

    Carla, Robin truly is an amazing lady! For a 57-year-old lady with Down syndrome–all that she accomplishes! And she has one of the hugest hearts of anyone I’ve ever met. She truly loved Katie and spent most of the visit on the floor making her laugh! I hope to be even a little bit like her at her age!

  21. Susanna says:

    Jane, you are so sweet as always! xoxo

    Just wanted to say that it wasn’t truly my choice; God VERY clearly made the choice for me as I trusted Him to do, between the pumping and Daniel gone. If I had continued at my former pace anyway, the family would definitely have suffered, whereas before it was thriving! So you see, not really a choice involved! And while I will miss things about that stage, I am eagerly throwing myself into the next stage, and it feels welcomingly familiar!

  22. Susanna says:

    Jamie, I do understand, and I appreciate it very much. Thank you!

  23. Sandra says:

    I pumped for about a year for my youngest (28 year old Ramona), who was too weak to nurse and wound up on a liquids restriction due to her heart problems (DORV).  It was so hard to do this and take care of the rest of the family needs, but breast milk truly IS liquid gold.  Although it sounds like you are doing just fine managing your supply, I’m always here for support when you need it.  I hope to follow your journey with Verity and Katie when you have a moment to fill us in :)

  24. Tami Swaim says:

    We’ll just wait for this blog to come out in book format!  :0)

  25. Katie says:

    Will give me time to catch up on old posts.  I was so excited to read the new ones that I read the readers digest version (links in your newer posts, lol).  

    Anyways.  I write immensely long posts for my blog (which hardly anyone reads, so it doesn’t really matter if they don’t come out perfect) and sometimes they take all night.  That’s when I feel most like writing, at night… so I’ll start a blog post around 9 pm or so and finally get it posted after midnight.  Between telling the story in a way to do it justice and adding just the right pictures, it takes forever!  I truly cannot imagine having the time to do it with eleven children, two with special needs.  I know your older kids are fabulous about helping out but they’re still kids who need mama’s love and guidance.  With Katie alone, I think I’d never write – I wouldn’t want to put her down unless she slept, and then I think I’d collapse from exhaustion myself.  You’re seriously amazing to have made it this far.  

    In any case, I don’t resent being a background element to your life… we’ve never met, I’m just a piece of your blog, and besides – you’re doing important work, and while some of that has had far-reaching consequences as a result of this blog, the bulk of it is what is happening in your own home; giving your kids a happy, healthy, thriving, beautiful family.   (Whew, how’s that for a run on sentence?  See, I’d go back in my blog and change that to not be a run on sentence, but it’d take me twenty minutes to recapture the essence of what I was trying to say… and I type fast.  As of right now, I’m too lazy.  Ha.)

    In any case.  The love and prayers of my little patchwork family are still with you and yours.  And whenever you happen to have time/feel led to blog, well, I’m subscribed ;)  I know you choose not to take credit for the work God does through you, but the truth is that there are not many people on this earth who lead their lives in ways conducive to His doing what He has done through you.  When we have beef and rice, the gravy boat doesn’t add to the taste of the meal, but the gravy it carries sure does – it didn’t get on my rice without the gravy boat!  (Catch my contrived metaphor?) …So as earnestly as I thank God for how He changed my life in the past couple of months, I thank you for being an important part of the vessel through which He did so.  

    Love from me and ‘mine’, to you and yours.  :) 

  26. Shanna says:

    God is good!  Thank you for your wisdom and for trusting in God’s wisdom and sharing that with all of us.

  27. Carol says:

    It is neat how God continues to direct your path and guide you and your family into another season with a different mix of work. Verity and Katie are truly blessings, and we are so grateful that you have generously shared them with us. I’m going to show that video of Robin to Allan tonight. He’s in charge of gathering materials for our small group (consisting of four local families including children) to discuss… maybe we could watch that one together.) She seems like an incredible woman of God.

  28. Marilyn Osborn says:

    Love you, dear friend!  You are a wise woman.  I love, love peeking in here and will continue to check to watch for updates as you have the time and the Lord leads.  We love your family.  Continued prayers for this next special season.  ((((hug))))

  29. Rita in Spain says:

    I have to admit I also have wondered how you found the time to blog!!! I had no idea you also got a huge volumn of emails!!   So I completely understand….I will miss seeing daily updates but will continue to check in everyday ….I have seen Katies Transformation and do not want to stop seeing her grow and flourish!!!….Susana, hugs…but don´t forget us!! : )
     

  30. Rita in Spain says:

    Yes! Like one other poster said, pics sometimes tell the story….an update just of pictures is sometimes all you need! : ))

  31. Susanna says:

    Rita, thank you for writing!

    I wasn’t expecting this reaction from my post, and it tells me that I haven’t spelled it out well enough to make sense to people.

    The real question was not how I found time to blog, but HOW I FOUND TIME TO PUMP. I was pumping FOUR HOURS DAILY from May to the end of December–plenty of writing time.

    The answer to the question, “How did Susanna find time to pump?” I think will go into a FAQ page that will be coming at some unknown future point. :)

    For now, it may help to understand that we have two young adults living in our house who are mature and competent enough to be heads of households. :) Part of God’s provision for the work He gave me to do.

    I hope this helps clear up any possible misunderstanding that I was previously neglecting my family duties in order to blog, but now I have come to my senses and am putting that sordid past behind me, haha! God made it possible for me to blog regularly for nearly two years. He has finally released me from that heavy obligation, just in time for my 40th birthday! :) If He hadn’t, I would continue to pump and write.

    P.S. I have been reluctant to go into the specifics of pumping logistics, and I think that my primness has not been helpful. Maybe if I’d posted photos with the caption, “Susanna’s four hours of daily computer time!” Tee hee hee!

  32. Valerie says:

    I am glad you are taking more time away from the computer.  I will look forward to your posts if they are once a day or once a year.  Your family’s journey has already blessed me more than I ever imagined.  I love to go back and re-read blogs.  You are so kind for doing what you have done for us all already.  :) Thank you, thank you, thank you! God’s blessings to you always.

  33. Lorena says:

    I am confident that God will bless your family for choosing this hard thing: eliminating something good (all your encouraging writing!) for the sake of something better (your family life).  And if more words are needed, He will provide either time (somehow!) for you to write them, or someone else to pick up where you left off.  Blessings, friend.

  34. Katie says:

    Oh, I hope you didn’t think I thought you were neglecting your family duties – I don’t – I thought perhaps you were neglecting your need for sleep, maybe, but never your family.  ;)  It’s all too obvious from your wonderful children and their dispositions and success that you’ve never strayed from your primary duty as a mother.  And, I imagine you found time to pump because it was important for the needs of your children.  That’s another part of your story that I really respect, that you kept pumping through all this time and tumult – because mama’s milk is so good for the little ones.  Most people would’ve called it quits by the time you were going to get Katie, or far before then.  And I can’t imagine the multitasking required to pump and write so eloquently at the same time… truly, mama, you rock.  

    As someone else said, pictures are worth a thousand words-  if all you have time to do is pop in and post a quick picture every now and then, I will be thankful for it :)  Enjoy your beautiful family, and hope you still get some time to yourself periodically… I know by the end of a kid-filled day, I need some!  Love to you, and hope I didn’t come across wrong.  

  35. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for allowing me to be witness to Katie’s story, your family’s journey, and the ways in which we can partner in God’s work to help special needs orphans.  It is amazing to see what the Lord has done through you and your family, whose hearts are completely devoted to Him.  Your example has been both challenging and inspirational.  How very spoiled I have been as recipient of your frequent blog posts :)  Truly at times, a highlight of my day!  How well each and every one articulated God’s truths, not to mention extra cute photos always included!  I will miss it, but certainly look forward to updates as they come and entirely support and understand the reasons why.  You and your family will remain in my prayers and close to my heart here in Oklahoma.   Thank you for being such a blessing.

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