Rise up.

June 27th, 2012

“Like a mighty army
Moves the church of God…” 


Some wonderful things are going on with Verity.  She had her happy birthday yesterday, but I haven’t typed one word or uploaded one picture of her comprehensive two-year-old update.

We’re seeing Katie make more progress, including one major milestone she reached this week.

I have so much to tell you about both our little precious girls, but I just can’t.

The words are dying in my throat, because of…






Do you remember Tommy?  I know for sure that four of you remember him and pray for him, because you have told me so!

Tommy is never out of my mind.

When I think of all I have to report about Verity, this two-year-old child of privilege who has been unstintingly loved and gotten the very best support for her needs from the time I saw two lines on the pregnancy test, I think of the fifteen+ years of Tommy’s life that have been totally and unnecessarily wasted.

When I watched Katie reach her big milestone this week, and cried tears of joy for her, they were mixed with aching tears that in less than a year, she has learned skills that Tommy could have learned an entire lost childhood ago.

When I work with my two little girls with their feeding skills, using all the little tricks that are so easily learned and utilized to help a child with low muscle tone and tongue thrust, I think of Tommy.  I wonder if prospective parents can’t see past his tongue thrust.  It is invisible to my eyes when I look into his face.  It should not become his death sentence.

Our little girls are safe and thriving and being loved.  Not like Tommy.

When I’m alone, my thoughts turn to prayer that God would open up someone’s heart and put Tommy in there to stay, no matter what.

Every time I check email, I look hopefully for the message that says…the boy with the million-dollar smile has a family coming for him.

I hope for the message that says…finally! finally! at the eleventh hour, he will be taken home and thoroughly loved.

When I read this important blog post, I wept, “O Lord, please have mercy!”  How I pray that every one of you would click on that link, read every word, look at the photos, watch the videos, and then do whatever God wants you to do about what you saw.

And when I read that post, I thought of Tommy.  He’s almost out of time before he is sent to a place like that.




How long will he keep smiling when he’s lying behind bars at the adult mental institution?  How long until he decides to give up, because he no longer has even a baba to get him out of bed and hold him for a few hours a week?

Listen, friends!  These are not unsubstantiated words typed out of a vivid imagination!  If a family does not commit to adopt this tiny gentle boy with the sunny disposition, he will end up in a place that makes even the bad baby houses seem cushy by comparison.


I haven’t been silent about Tommy because I’ve forgotten him, no longer care about him, or have lost hope for him.  Honestly, at this point, if I blogged exactly as I pleased and thought it would actually help instead of scaring you all away, I’d show you his photo and talk about him everyday.  I’ve actually toyed with the idea of explaining calmly that I will post more about our two cute little superstars when I’ve heard from five hundred people who promise to pray for him until a family comes forward for him.  No, make that a thousand.


I know by looking up our blog stats just now that many of you did share the last post about him.  Thank you to every single one of you!

But here’s how it stands now.

There is no way to help financially toward Tommy’s adoption until he has a family.  God has seen to it that all has been done to make him available to be adopted.




He needs a flesh-and-blood family with love in their hearts and room in their home to say they will adopt him.  As soon after that as Shelley Bedford gives me the word, we can start helping them raise the funds as quickly as possible so that money doesn’t hold them back from kicking off their shoes and running for all they’re worth to get him.


The more time that goes by without a family committing to Tommy, the more urgent his need grows.  Time is moving inexorably toward his sixteenth birthday.


In other words, Tommy’s need for a family to commit to adopt him is more urgent now than it was two weeks ago.


So if you haven’t already helped to spread the word about Tommy, could you please do it now?  If you have already told everyone you know, could you contact them again and ask them to pass it on, and ask them to ask others to pass it on, and so on and on, until the right family hears about him and comes forward?   Here’s the link to the original blog post about him:

URGENT:  The boy with the million-dollar smile


And friends, if you might be Tommy’s family, please email Shelley Bedford without delay!  shele337@gmail.com


We’re praying for a miracle.  We’re praying for the mighty army of the church of God to MOVE for Tommy.



Share it!

41 Responses to “Rise up.”

  1. Rachel says:

    We will pray for Tommy!! 

  2. Susan says:

    I can’t be Tommy’s family, but I surely can pray for him and for a family to commit to him. And I can spread the word…

    Susan in Ky
    Cousin to 2 from EE  

  3. Tammy says:

    Oh, if only we could… I did share and will pray!  

  4. Sarah says:

    Praying for him, and just reposted your post.

  5. Jennifer says:

    I don’t know if we both know the same people, but I know a family who has prayed for this child and wants to add him to their current adoption.  The fees would be $8,000 more (I think) and they are not fully funded for the current adoption.  If people would stand for this family and agree to storm the gates of heaven and help them…I think they could do it.

  6. Susanna says:

    Jennifer, I don’t know any of the families who have considered adopting him. Would you be willing to put them in touch with me? Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  7. Tammy says:

    Jennifer, I will be praying for just that!  What an awesome possibility.

  8. Holly says:

    I am praying for him and for each precious one you post about!

  9. Julie says:

    I have been praying for Tommy since I first heard of his situation! I continue to pray, and WILL continue to pray until he has a family. I know of a family who is considering him, and will pray they get the go ahead from God that he is their son. 

  10. Galit says:

    I am including Tommy in my prayers.
    My blog does not have a large readership, but I offer my bit:

  11. Kelly Mayr says:

    I think about Tommy all the time.  I am still trying to get my husband on board.  Tommy is never far from my thoughts.  I really hope that the family mentioned works out, I can’t stand the thought of Tommy waiting one more minute for a family

  12. Sharon Robbins says:

    Posted again Susanna and I will be praying.  I had one share from my post the last time and I’m pleading for more this time!  Bless you and yours!

  13. Susanna says:

    Jennifer, actually, I do know one of the families who has considered adding him, and I didn’t know it until they wrote me this morning. :) A WONDERFUL family with more barriers there than just the finances, so THANK YOU to everyone who is praying and sharing, and please don’t stop until you hear that he has a family fully committed to bringing him home. I am praying for a family who wants him with all their hearts!!!

  14. Brooke says:

    Shared this post… Thank you for continuing to advocate for those who so desperately need it. Your heart is huge and beautiful!!! Praying for Tommy…

  15. Cinderellamommy says:

    Susanna & All,
    I am praying with you for Tommy, for us to bear witness to God’s miraculous provision for all of His children, and that Tommy’s family will be listening and ready to move when Our Father asks them to specifically move.  I pray, too, for our family, as well as others to know and remember that as God’s own children, as sisters and brothers to each other and these children, that we do hold responsibility to help wherever and whenever needed.  We ask daily for Him to guide our next steps.  I believe that he is also using you and your beautiful family to open hearts, minds, and to ultimately draw others to Him.  Thank you, bless you, and may God richly bless Tommy’s family with their precious son soon.

  16. Missy says:

    I’m praying for a family for Tommy.

  17. sabrina says:

    I hear your heart through your words about Tommy. I know what it’s like to have the Lord put a child into your heart that isn’t yours, but you love and intercede for that child as your own. You share, you pray, you don’t sleep, you don’t eat. I imagine that when that child is already 15 it is even more heart wrenching.

    I will pray that the Lord brings a family forward for Tommy who loves him like you do.

    When I saw the pictures of the boys on the post you linked you, my heart was broken, but I didn’t make the connection between those faces and your smiling Tommy. I’m sorry. I see it now. 

  18. Ann says:

    Tommy, our Family is praying that your family finds you soon!

    From Clare Woslager

  19. Melody says:

    Hi Susanna, I just wanted to let you know that I read your blog every day and that none of the other kids you have posted about have touched me quite like Tommy. I will definitely be praying about him. 

  20. Anna H says:

    I’m praying for Tommy’s family to find him!

  21. Lauren says:

    Is there ANY way to get his file without a commitment? I think that’s what’s holding people back; having to jump in blindly to what all will be involved in the care of “Tommy”.  I am praying fervently for him and his future family!!

  22. Keely Guthery says:

    Just posted a link to this page on the mothering forum I frequent – there are a lot of adopting families over there and many with huge hearts for special needs (including some RR moms).
    And I will pray for him!

  23. Ruby says:

    Praying for a family for Tommy…I will share your post on a forum I’m a member of. 

  24. Rachel says:

    my heart just breaks…certainly praying for sweet Tommy and the family God has for him.

  25. Rilla says:

    i shared this on my facebook wall tonight.

  26. Desi says:

    I shared, and messaged a friend with a beatiful boy with DS to share more widely among her respective friends.

    Thanks for bringing these children in our hearts, Susanna!    

  27. Jenice Pearl says:

    Praying for Tommy and all the children facing adult mental institutions.
    If you know of any ministry that is seeking to impact overall change of the system there for these children, I would like to join their efforts, please advise.

  28. Lisa says:

    Praying for this little boy.

  29. Adrienne says:


  30. My heart has ached for this little boy since I read your post a few days ago.  I have been praying fervently for God to move in the heart of his mama and daddy.  Thank you so much for allowing all of us pray for him.  I believe and look forward to seeing him with the family God has chosen for him.

  31. Kelly Mayr says:

    Any word on sweet Tommy?  So the family that has some things standing in there way……could they request his file since they are “seriously interested” in him to get the file released?  So even if they couldn’t get past whatever issues, they file would be available for another family?  I am still working on my husband.  My kids and I would love to make Tommy part of our family!

  32. Such sadness.  I too put a link on my blog, but it is not well read either. I know though, it just takes one family.  I guess my mind wanders to what would have to happen in that country for people to feel differently about children with syndromes and health issues.  My son is in the Middle East, sharing with me about the sadnesses there.  You know, in the pictures you never see a child that appears to have any syndromes.  Where are they in those countries?
    Love reading about your family. 

  33. Anna T says:

    Just prayed for Tommy’s forever family to step forward and for any mountains (barriers) to be moved for them!!  Maybe you could share regarding a few children when you talk this month?  Prayers, ((hugs)) and love!!  Anna

  34. Kelly Mayr says:

    My husband and I talked about Tommy today as we are driving across the country.   I think his heart is softening for sweet Tommy…. any word on a family?

  35. Beck Gambill says:

    I take great comfort that God new Tommy before he was born and he knows each day of his life. He loves him more than all of us combined and it is his love that compels us to pray. I’m trusting that that love will rescue little Tommy!
    I wanted to update you on my trip to Serbia. I’ve been in contact with an institution called Dom Veternik. They have welcomed me to come and discuss their problems and needs with them and how we might be able to help. Now that Kulina is all but closed Veternik is considered one of the worst institution in the care of it’s residents. My new task is getting a passport and raising funds to travel to Serbia for myself and a companion. We will assess the situation first hand and then make a plan of response. I appreciate your continued prayer. I’m trusting that God will provide. My desire is that his name will be lifted up and become famous in the surrounding area of this institution. That not only will these precious ones be helped but that hard hearts will turn to Jesus.

  36. Ashlee says:

    I haven’t been on the computer much, but every day I come to  your blog hoping for a post that Tommy has a family. Praying continuously! Thank you for keeping the blog open for the children such as Tommy! 

  37. SarahR says:

    I too am praying for Tommy.

  38. Tabitha says:

    Our family has commited to praying for Tommy to have a family.

  39. Elizabeth says:

    I am not eligible to adopt, but I am praying for a forever family for Tommy!  I shared the link to this entry on my Facebook page.  

  40. Lauren says:

    ANY news on Tommy?! Has anyone pulled his file yet? Been PRAYING for him!

  41. Susanna says:

    Lauren, no news! Please don’t stop praying!

RSS feed for comments on this post. And trackBack URL.

Leave a Reply