About the first day: 10 thoughts

June 18th, 2013

1.  It’s working, praises be!

2.  Sensitive little Verity is taking the shrieks with surprising aplomb.  Unless she’s feeling grouchy and decides to make an issue out of it.

3.  Princess Katie grudgingly decided Tommy may stay after she realized there are enough toys to go around, he’s entertaining to watch and listen to, and she can get out of reach of his sticky fingers.  As long as those fingers don’t touch her favorite toys, ahem.

4.  I’d saved up some fun, new toys to bring out when Tommy came home.  I’m glad I did that.

5.  The comfy, extra-wide rocking chair was worth every cent we paid for it and then some.

6. The pitiful condition of Tommy’s back and his mouth, and the fact that he is so small although he is third in our birth order has hit a couple of our children hard.

7.  If you hear us call him “Muhi-Tommy,” ask him “iskash li igrachka?” or tell him that he’s a “dobro momche,” it’s because he does understand his native tongue in a limited way, and really lights up when we use it.

8.  Tommy fits in like he’s been here for years.

9.  He is going to be a bigger blessing to our family than we could ever be to him.

10.  Just look at this photo.  Can you believe it’s really true???









Birthday girl~



Joshua is two weeks younger than Tommy~
















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50 Responses to “About the first day: 10 thoughts”

  1. Jennifer says:

    I love knowing that with so many caring sets of arms and hands around Tommy will never, ever be lonely ever again. 

  2. kimyeatts says:

    Tears when I saw the shoes.

  3. All of the pictures today are just wonderful! You can tell he is playing and fitting in just wonderfully.  Such an easy going soul.  How precious!  I knew his age but you really put it all into perspective with the pictures of your son holding him and the shoes……Never again……He will never be neglected, starved, abused, unloved….never again.  Praise and glory to God.  Such a beautiful thing to behold.  Boy, is God good or what?

  4. Angela says:

    I’ve been following your blog since a little before Katie came home. Seeing the photos of Tommy sitting next to Katie are so wonderful! So happy to see him home where he belongs. Tears literally came to my eyes the day I saw that Tommy was going to be yours, and now it almost brings me to tears again to see him home. :*)

  5. Cinderellamommy says:

    Blessings abound, Mussers! So happy for ALL of you, home together! 

  6. Maria says:

    So many tears reading this post; tears of joy for Tommy and for your family, but also tears for the reality of the depths of human suffering. The pictures at the end of Tommy surrounded by his siblings – oh my… those images really pack a punch.
    I am so glad Tommy has you all now and that you all have Tommy.  Love conquers all xx

  7. Lisa says:

    I have been reading your blog since Katie came home.  The pictures of Tommy surrounded by his older siblings brought tears to my eyes.  Not only are you making an amazing difference to the little ones, or not so little ones you are helping, but what a huge impact on the lives of your older children.  The love and compassion on their faces just left me speechless.  God bless you.

  8. Cindy says:

    Love this post and the picture it paints of Tommy in his family.
    The picture of your son Joshua holding Tommy is so heart warming and heart breaking at the same time.
    The fact that he is home just makes me smile and I have never even met you all. Thank you so much for sharing your jouney and your family.

  9. Jill B says:

    The picture of Joshua holding Tommy brought me to tears too. wow…
    Sure did love the photos of Katie and Tommy together!  BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for taking the time to blog and update us!

  10. Rita says:

    What a wonderful family.

  11. Colleen says:

    Oh, praise God!!! To see these photos you would think Tommy’s been with you forever!!! Such a special boy! We have been praying! We’ll see you Monday!!! :)

  12. Kim says:

    Pure joy…

  13. Sonya says:

    I have been blessed to see your photos today.  The joy and relief to have Tommy home and seeing your other children getting to know their new brother is so sweet to see.  The last several photos of the older kiddos being so tender and compassionate . . . so poignant.
    Praying thanksgiving and asking for God’s continued blessings on the whole family, especially Tommy as he adjusts and begins his brand new life.

  14. laurie says:

    AMAZING GRACE! Love Love Love the pics!  Oh what He can do when we say YES…
    thank you Musser family for your obedience to the One! who does all things well!

  15. Lorena says:

    Words fail.  So glad Tommy is safe at home, being loved into wholeness.  Trying to let the gladness of his future triumph over the sadness of his past.

  16. Amazing and it looks like Tommy is fitting in well.  Tears when i saw the difference in size…  wow…  So happy Tommy is home and in such a loving family.  Praying for you all and this time of adjustment and may the Lord’s richest blessings be upon you. 
    I love the pictures of Katie and Tommy together too…  :)

  17. Maureen says:

    It’s a beautiful thing, to see him surrounded by all the kids.  (and I agree with several others, it’s heartbreaking to see Josh hold him and know Tommy’s the older of the two. ) God is good, all the time, and His promise is true to restore the years the locust have eaten. (Joel 2:25)

  18. Melissa says:

    God redeems time! Tommy is in a place where he can grow–in both stature and love, in skill and ability. He is in the right place!! We love you, Tommy!

  19. Blessed says:

    I just love this post and pics.  The second to last of Tommy and Katie was the first one that made me cry.  And then, yes, the pics of Joshua with his little big brother–and the other “younger but bigger” kids so protectively gathered around him, touching him with such tenderness, clearly aware of what has been stolen from him. . . your children are so blessed.  I mean those “big” kids who are growing up with such awareness of the value of people–they are going to be adults someday who add more kindness and gentleness and mercy and justice to the world, when the world is going to need it.  I am so blessed to “know” your family through your blog!

  20. andreanyc says:

    I have been following your blog since I discovered it about 6 months ago and I am hooked!  Tommy and Katie look like they know each other, its adorable:)  Do you think they maybe remember?  I hope you continue to blog, as a journalist I have to say your material is so unique. 

  21. Ginger says:

    Those sweet pics do my heart good! Praise the Lord for his goodness to your family!

  22. Kelly Mayr says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post!!  So, happy for all of you

  23. Joleigh says:

    Oh my goodness weep, weep, weep, WEEEEEEEEEEP!  I was okay until the pics of Tommy and Katie together.  Hard to believe it’s real.  Congratulations!!!!  

  24. Cath says:

    The blessing of Verity are so clear in all these photos…what incredible photos, with rich, abundant blessing oozing from every pixel!  Sorry if I sound gushy and over the top, but I feel so incredibly privileged to have been able to witness your journey towards Tommy and thank you soooo much for sharing these precious pictures.  What an incredible family. 

  25. Nicole says:

    It would be great to have a button “I like” because all these comments I would have loved to be able to write them too !
    Such beautiful words !

  26. lizzie says:

    LOVE!!! LOVE! LOVE!!!  SO happy for all of you.  It is so precious to see the pictures, oh my what a blessing that sweet boy is!    Sending you all love, glad all is well. xoxoxox

  27. Laura Lewis says:

    Great pictures, Susanna! So glad you all  made it back home safe and sound…let the fun begin!

  28. Catherine says:

    Wow. Touching and heartbreaking is right. Its so beautiful to see the kids together but once you remember Tommy’s really ‘the big kid’ the tragedy of his treatment hits home. Be Well.

  29. molly b says:

    Beautiful!  :)  Redeemed!!!!  I just love these photos!!

  30. becki says:

    Oh man. So amazing!

  31. Linda says:

    Susanna!  What a thrill to see Tommy home!  I love the pictures with Katie!  Two survivors of “P”.  Thanks for sharing your family with all of us.  You are quite the inspiration!  God bless you all.

  32. Katie says:

    I won’t lie, I cried seeing Tommy and Katie playing next to each other.  Such a beautiful sight that never would have been possible in an institution.  The kids all look so happy – what I wouldn’t give to come visit and see them all in their elements!  They are SO beautiful and I am so excited for all the wonderful things to come in their lives!

  33. Susanna says:

    Susanna, I was fine until I saw Tommy and Joshua’s shoes side by side…took my breath away. GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!!!

  34. Wanda says:

    What a blessing , we love you guys so much !!!

  35. JJ says:

    Thank you so much for making the time both to take the photos and especially to post  You have no idea of how many of us are following this journey that your family is on and keeping you all in prayer.  Again, thank you for allowing us to be a part of this amazing story.

  36. Kristin says:

    So happy to see Tommy home!  Love the pics with Katie too….she’s grown up so much.  (And when did your big girls get so big….time flies!)  So glad to hear Tommy’s fitting in so well in your family….like God meant for him to be there or something ;)  (Of course He did :) )

  37. Joni Owada says:

    What precious pictures! Thanks so much for taking the time to share.
    Bless you dear friend and will continue to pray!

  38. Lara says:

    Welcome home Tommy! Loved the pictures! Rejoicing with you my friend!!!

  39. Sarah says:

    Oh dear Susanna <3  How wonderful that he is home!

  40. Colleen says:

    Susanna, I looked at the pictures first, and then went back to read what you wrote. :)
    When I saw the picture of Katie and Tommy playing together, I was struck by how much she has grown since you got her. She plays telephone! She gets up and walks!  The girl who had no interest in toys now has to learn to share? Amazing!  And then there is the little blonde-pig-tailed girl who started this all.  The Lord gave Verity to you and now Katie, Tommy, and countless other children are being loved!  He is so good!
    When I read the caption and saw the picture of Joshua holding Tommy, I cried.  So many emotions came at once. He is too small. Praise the Lord for sparing Tommy from dying a lonely death! He has been waiting his whole life for you all! I got it together, but then you showed us the shoes, and I completely lost it.  How can people do this to children?  It is so sad, so wrong.  I can’t give room to my anger, though, because LOOK AT HIS FACE!  He is so happy, PRAISE THE LORD!! 
    #8 & #9: HALLELUIAH AND AMEN!!
    Happy birthday to Laura and I love those last pics of Tommy being surrounded by loving siblings.  
    God is good.  

  41. Beth says:

    Congratulations to all!  So happy for you.  Love all the pictures.  Love Katie playing telephone with her new brother.

  42. Carolyn says:

    That picture of Tommy and Joshua made me cry.  I want to scream about something like that, but that doesn’t change anything.  You are changing two lives in uncountable ways.  Bless you.

  43. Cassandra says:

    Possible caption for Joseph and Tommy – “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.” 
    I can imagine that the blog is a time drain but I want you to know that it ministers to me, reminding me that I’m not alone In my increasingly rare lifestyle that is simple but not easy.  
    Two photos spoke to me – first one made me laugh, other made me cringe. 
    1 – Verity in second photo down holding phone.  It’s like she is saying, “Yes- it’s me. I’m busy now. Ugh, it’s always something.”  
    2- Second photo from bottom – where your daughter in green  – looking Tommy straight in the eye- seems to be grappling with the reality that evil exists.  People do starve and neglect kids. It is almost a look of disbelief mixed in with a heavier dose of compassion.  And your other daughter in the foreground is slightly removed, slightly stunned and also seeming to do a reality check about Tommy’s age and condition. 
    Praise God that your kids are living the dream where they can be part of a solution.  

  44. Jessica says:

    Tears of joy!  I read every single one of your posts, but do not always respond…but I just have to say how awesome to have Tommy home!  My kids are wondering why I’m blubbering at the computer screen.  SO happy for your family and TOMMY!

  45. Jamie Garcia says:

    Thank you so much for the updates, I know how hard it is to get on with two (almost 3) so I can imagine in your place :)
    Gorgeous pics of God’s gifts :)

  46. Nanette says:

    I’m so glad you brought Katie and Tommy into your family.  Happy for you all!

  47. Eileen says:

    There really are no words…..so happy for you and your family…..so happy for Katie and Tommy…..thank you for sharing your photos and thoughts with us….thank you for all you are doing for the children at Plevin…..and May God Bless You!!!

  48. Holly D. says:

    Love the picture of Tommy holding Katie’s leg and her holding his arm….so cute. Love that Tommy can sit up unassisted. Congratulations.  I’m sure you’ll be held up with the tonsils for a while…praying for relieve to come soon for your boy with that painful surgery.

  49. Kim says:

    Just LOVE LOVE LOVE all of this.  The smile and love, the shoes, the kiss on the head!!
    Lucky girl you are :)
    Much love!!  Kim

  50. Rilla says:

    I never had chills like I had when I saw the first picture of Katy and Tommy together.

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