There’s someone we’d like you to meet.

September 20th, 2012


You met the matching gift challenge so much faster than we had anticipated that I didn’t have my promised post ready to publish!

We are so grateful for those of you who have taken Tommy into your hearts and want to help with the costs of bringing him home.  You are being used by God to intervene in Tommy’s life.  Thank you!  We appreciate you!




Way back in March of 1997, thirteen days before we welcomed our third son into the world, another little boy was born.  He was born to a Muslim mama in a little eastern European country.

Her new son was small and hadn’t settled into a good position when the time of birth came.

Something went wrong.  And that something, whatever it was, injured this baby boy’s brain.  Before too long, his mama could see that he wasn’t progressing like her other nine babies had done.

And the decision was made.

See, it says “Home for Medical and Social Care for Children.”  They can take better care of him here than we could in our little, old, crowded house.  Yet another mouth to feed is hard enough when money is so tight, but a handicapped child?  What did we do to deserve this bad luck?  

Better to take care of it now, before…

Yes, yes, he’ll be better off here.

The papers were signed.

We are no longer his parents. 

He was four months old.

The next twelve years were all the same.  He spent them lying alone in a bed with nothing to do.

Picture yourself sitting alone in a waiting room with nothing to do for one hour.  Picture that stretching out to a day.  Would you be going a little bit crazy?  Nothing to do.  Now imagine that you are still waiting there a week later, still with nothing to do.  A month, a year, five years, ten years, still in the same spot, still alone, still with nothing to do.

During the next twelve years, he was neglected to a profound degree, but God preserved his life when many children around him died.  He was registered for adoption when many children around him stayed in obscurity.  In spite of the neglect and starvation diet, he stayed alive and even tripled his weight, from five to fifteen pounds.

His whole life consisted of aloneness in bed.  He was fed by a propped bottle in bed.  His diaper was changed in bed, and not very often at that.  He learned to feel safest when he was alone in his bed without sensory stimulation or contact with other people.

So the day they took him out of the bed and held him up for the camera, he was terrified.  Knowing what we know from caring for Katie, we look at this photo and see a hurting child with fragile bones being held incorrectly.  A child who is chronically undernourished, with no layer of padding to protect him.  And dehydrated, causing his skin to hurt wherever it’s touched.

We see a child in pain, both physically and emotionally.

Yes, this was Tommy.  Look at this little boy and see his history.


Then one day, God intervened in his life again.  A kindly older woman lifted him out of the bed, perhaps only for a very short time that first day.

Over the next couple of years, she came several days a week and held him for several hours each time.  She watched him learn to relax with her.  She watched him almost double his weight, to twenty-eight pounds.


Then began a series of interventions that only God could have so precisely and delicately timed.

We first saw him in a photo taken three days before he turned fourteen years old.  At the time, we would have guessed him to be half his true age.


A few months later, what a joy to see a video of him up out of his bed, with his baba!


I got to see him several more times after that.

He is still tiny for his age.  He’s a bit longer and skinnier than Katie is right now.

He still spends nearly all his time in bed.

His diet is still insufficient.

He is not receiving the therapy that a child with cerebral palsy needs.

He hasn’t learned to appropriately regulate his emotions.

He can’t talk, walk, feed himself, or use the toilet.

But he is very much alive.  He has learned what it’s like to have someone care about him.  He has learned to interact.  He has learned to smile.

We are already praying that God will prepare his heart to receive a daddy and mama and many brothers and sisters.

Here’s our boy!

We love him.

His name will be Thomas Christian Musser.

You can call him Tommy.




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33 Responses to “There’s someone we’d like you to meet.”

  1. debbie fitts says:

    Oh, he is beautiful!  His dark hair and  dark chocolatey eyes.  Your son was right, you do keep adopting the cute ones.  ;o)
    So happy for Tommy and your family!

    Thank you for allowing us to follow along and pray again.

  2. Barb M says:

    I’m thanking the Lord that He brought the Mussers and Tommy together!!!  He has such an alert look and bright eyes!  He will thrive in your care.  Blessings to you all!

    Love, Barb M 

  3. Galit says:

    His eyes sparkle so much it looks like he is smiling through that tongue thrust! Yepn he’s a cutie!

    How did you pick his name? 

  4. Lydia says:

    I am crying tears of joy, Susanna!  How blessed you all are!

  5. Desi says:

    Oh, my, I have been checking and checking for this update, and here it is – in tears again, no surprises here – but I can almost touch your earnest anticipation of having this handsome young man hugged and loved by his loving family. It’s good to meet you, Thomas Christian Musser!  

  6. Mandy says:

    I love his name-what a handsome son! He’s been through so much and he looks like such a sweetheart. I can’t believe he is smiling after all he has been through.

  7. Shannon O says:

    He is absolutely precious!!  I can’t wait to see all that God will do when he is able to make it home to his family.

  8. LeeAnn says:

    Susanna, all I can say is I love his name and so happy you kept Tommy in there since we have known him as that for so long. Blessings and prayers to you all as you continue on.

  9. Christine says:


  10. Crysta says:


    What a true blessing. Tommy and your family continue to be in our prayers. I pray that God will continue to open doors to help you bring your newest addition home.

  11. Stephanie B. says:

    Look how far he has come already!  I can’t wait to watch him bloom in your family even more!

  12. Jane says:

    Joyful! Joyful! God is present!!!!!
    What an honor for all of us to pray your beautiful family through this next adoption journey!  I can’t wait to see him bloom and grow!  Praying for speed and swiftness in the to-dos and fundraising! 

  13. Kenna says:

    He has a definite spark in his eyes and a hint of cheekiness too…. can’t wait to see how he blossoms when he is home with his family!!!

  14. Kara says:

    What an amazing story and what a blessing. 

  15. Katie says:

    Wow, wow, wow.  Oh my heart, from that first picture, just tore me in half… he was obviously scared, in pain, and look at those little arms, my goodness, the only place I have seen a person that emaciated other than in orphanages… is in photos of the liberation of the concentration camps.  Poor little guy… how could anyone not see what he could become with love and care?  It’s so sad.  He HAS come so far already and he WILL come so far with your wonderful family… you are perfect for him.  God led you to him and is clearing the way for him to come home.  Bless you and bless that sweet boy.

  16. Kristi says:

    Oh my heart!!!  Congratulations!!! <3 <3 <3  I so love this!! Your family is so blessed, and such a blessing!!

  17. sabrina says:

    Beautiful boy! Thank you, Lord that Tommy has such a great family to love him and make all the sacrifices needed to go for him.

    That first picture is heartbreaking…the last one gives hope. Knowing how far Katie has come with love and good care, it’s exciting to think of what’s in  store for Tommy.

  18. Rebekah says:

    What a beautiful son! SO excited for him! I love the light in his eyes! 

  19. Joleigh says:

    Those big, beautiful, eyes remind me of Clara’s.  I can’t wait to see him HOME!  I love the name.  How cool is it that God is putting him in an even bigger family to make up for the one he had to leave.  He certainly won’t lack for brothers and sisters to keep him company and help him grow.  Very exciting!

  20. Holly F. says:

    He looks so much better in the later pictures already!  I cannot wait to see him home and recovering just as well as sweet Katie has!  His Baba isn’t the same as Katie’s by chance? 

  21. Kim says:

    Almost 1/3 of the way there!  God is so good!  Love Tommy’s full name and praising God for his faithfulness to bring Tommy home to his family!

  22. Loren says:

    what a cutie!!  He’ll fit right in with your family, I’m sure! :D

  23. Angie says:

    Praise God!!!!  

  24. Deanna Rabe says:

    Beautiful Tommy!  What adorable, sparkly eyes he has!
    He’s going to thrive with the Musser family, just like Katie.  Look at how well he’s done just with having a Baba! 
    That before photo is heartbreaking…
    We can’t wait to meet him!

  25. This is so amazing, he is just beautiful, congratulations to your family and I hope Thomas Christian is home with you as soon as possible

  26. Lori says:

    What an adorable and sweet boy.  Love his smile, and can’t wait to see more of it!  Congrats!

  27. Becky K. says:

    I am so ready to meet Tommy.  Seeing what God has done in your home over the past couple of years I know that we can expect the unexpected and the beautiful.   Thank you for modeling obedience and following your heart. 
    I want to go on and on……God is so good.  However, I must get packing!

  28. Emilie Roush says:

    I was wondering about something.  When Adeye was fundraising for Hasya, much more than they needed was donated, and they said whatever extra there was would be donated to other families adopting from Pleven.  Do you know if any of that money has gone to other children or will any be available for Tommy’s adoption?  It totally blew my mind at the time that they were able to raise so much so quickly. 

  29. Veronika says:

    I am shocked, just SHOCKED at the first picture.  How can anyone do that to a child??  My heart just aches.  But you know what?  He is gorgeous.  Simply gorgeous.  What a beautiful, beautiful child you have waiting for you!  I pray that the adoption will progress fast and that he will be home before you know it.  :)

  30. Jenni says:

    How wonderful!!! God is SO good! I am thrilled for him, for you, for your whole family!
    We will be going to the same place to bring our little boy home. God has caused a light to shine there for the world to see. May the Lord bless you on your newest adoption journey!

    In His Love,

  31. Carolyn says:

    Hi Tommy!  Can’t wait to see you with your brothers and sisters.  What joy!

  32. Beck Gambill says:

    Wow, your family is absolutely crazy! It reminds me of some unnerving New Testament characters who turned the world upside down with their audacious love and bold faith. I pray more of us lose our warped sense of reality and buy into kingdom reality that makes a living, breathing difference. I can’t fathom how you can take such a task on except by the power of God, I suppose that’s the beauty of a miracle, a God sized task lived out by people through his power for his glory! I pray his richest blessings on you, I have no doubt he will complete what he has started!

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