All we have needed Thy hand hath provided.

July 27th, 2013



Did I tell you that friends from our church fellowship did our family’s laundry while I was visiting Tommy in January?  Thank you, R family!


And then a different family offered to take on the children’s laundry when we traveled to bring Tommy home last month.  Thank you, L family!


We had more volunteers than we needed to drive us to the airport in June.  I’d forgotten to tell you that, too!  Thank you, T, for driving us to the airport, and to A and A for driving us home again!


A neighbor friend checked with me before doing her thrift store shopping, and then found everything on the list I gave her!  What a help that was while we were on the learning curve of how to contain diaper explosions!  Thank you, G!


The friend from our church fellowship who is doing all our family’s ironing at no charge also offered to launder cloth diapers for us each week.  Using our stash of bumGenius diapers for Benjamin rather than disposables will save us money, but our laundry process can’t handle anything extra yet.  Incidentally, this family is also contributing a generous sum monthly to Tommy and Katie’s care fundThank you, M and K!


Another friend from our church fellowship is making and selling Katie candles as a fundraiser for the care fund.  This care fund is more helpful than ever since we brought Tommy home!  This friend is also brainstorming other ideas for our church fellowship to assist our family during this tough transition time.   Thank you, B, and everyone else who has given to this fund!


A family from our church fellowship surprised us with many dozens of yummy homemade cookies in three flavors to send home with us one Sunday.  She and her children must have spent an entire day baking cookies!  They also blessed us with funds for a family pizza night!  Thank you, B family!


We are still receiving a meal per week from a ministry-minded family in our church fellowship.  This is like having free cash to spend where most needed each week!  Such as a day that is spent in dentist appointments!  Thank you, H family!


Ah yes!  Dentist appointments!  Our family dentist refuses to charge us for Tommy and Katie’s care.  Thank you, Dr. T!


[Ready to head to the dentist, 45 minutes from home.  The children surprised us–Katie cooperated for the exam cheerfully and Tommy didn’t cooperate at all!]






About once a week, a neighbor or friend randomly blesses us with a meal.  Thank you, friends!  It may seem random, but God always sends you at just the right time!


The family from our church fellowship who has committed to making us a meal every week loaned us their college-age daughter for a day of painting.  Because of my nursing baby and a small child who stayed home with a stomach bug [Yup!  More uncontrolled bodily substances!], this young lady ended up more than doubling my efforts, and the entire job was finished that day.  Thank you, K!


“Will you have room for some diapers in your car? We got water in our basement last night and have to clean it all out! I have some diapers for Katie and Tommy!”  This email came from a good friend who had already blessed us with a sizeable stash of large child and youth disposable diapers, which is being used quickly!  We’re saying yes to all offers of diapers!  Ha!

This same friend has given us all the special formula we’ve needed since early this year!  Thank you, S!


And then I received another email, this time from another good friend, containing another offer of large diapers!  She sent over two large garbage bags full of all sorts of diapers, including large disposable diapers, large overnight diapers, swim diapers and classy cloth diapers, cloth and disposable changing pads, diaper cream, and a few other extras.  Wow! Thank you, T!


Then there are the countless small provisions and other details that God orchestrates to make life manageable.

I’m thankful for all the helps available for people with disabilities!

[This is stable because the bars go all the way across underneath the mattress.  It’s super hard to change the sheets, but it does work.  Both sides can go up and down as needed.]



We’re thankful to have a full bathroom right off the kitchen, so when I’m caring for a child during a meal, we can still feel like we’re part of the family gathering.

[After too many indescribable disasters involving Tommy’s highchair, Joe had the brilliant idea of feeding him on the potty.  It works!  We feed Tommy first so the potty is available for Katie when she’s finished eating, because she can wait, but he can’t.  We have to clear the whole area each time so Tommy can’t pull items down.  For Katie, we only have to move the roll of toilet paper.  More details about the medical cause of Tommy’s loose and explosive bowel issues will be in the next post.] 

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We’re thankful that Tommy’s favorite food is his most necessary food right now, so when he’s not very hungry, he’ll always eat that, even with his medications and supplements in it!

[Medications and supplements before the food is added]



I’m thankful for a nifty little Cuisinart hand-held blender, which is of inestimable value in my eyes right now…



…and for Wilton silicone loaf pans for freezing and popping out bricks of pureed food, and for a blog reader who told me about both these useful tools…




…for fenugreek and blessed thistle, rolled oats and Mother’s Milk tea, all natural galactagogues that help me keep up a great milk supply even during seasons of very little rest…

[If any of my family is reading this–can you believe I really eat a big bowl of plain oatmeal for breakfast every day–usually cold?!  I can’t, either.]



…a straw cup that travels with this nursing mama wherever she goes…




…Kashi granola bars for $1.25 a box at our local bent and dent so I can grab a bite on the run…




…and so can my hungry helpers!




We’re also thankful for good music…



…for Daniel’s meticulous work…

[We will miss him greatly when he begins full-time work this fall!]



[Yes, we were without a kitchen table for almost ten days!]





…for Laura’s help with the laundry…

[She recently decided to put a little laundry money toward a few months’ violin rental, just to try it out…]



…and for local thrift stores that have fabulous half-price sales and fill-a-bag-for-$10 sales of wonderful, quality clothing and other items our family uses.



We’re also so thankful for hand-me-downs from friends.

[Sunday clothes laid out for the eight youngest children]



We’re thankful that I had so much experience helping a baby form a good sleep pattern that it became second nature to me.  This life would not work with a baby fussing to snack every forty-five minutes or hour.  Ben takes full nursings every three or so hours during the day and is a great sleeper for naps and night time.




Waking up happy!



He is such a strong, alert, interactive baby!

[I had to put a collection of baby pics in here somewhere, don’t you know!  He’s three months old tomorrow.]
















One more thing.  Can you believe that I have only two email conversations in my Blessing of Verity inbox right now?  TWO.  After a couple of years of an unbelievably heavy email load, a manageably small number of emails is now coming in.  Just enough to easily keep up with.  It shows restraint and understanding that I am so grateful for.  Thank you, everyone!



This post is full of exclamation marks for a reason.  Every single item that is gifted to us, every service that is offered, every word of encouragement spoken, every prayer offered for us, all are so valuable to our family and lovely in the sight of God.

We’re on the other side now, on the side that looked like a scary future.  This life demands a lot of resources.  And we’re expecting it to get harder.

Will we have enough?

It might look too big for us, but it’s not too big for God.

We are trusting Him and taking our requests to Him.

He is proving Himself faithful.

Just as He said He would.





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31 Responses to “All we have needed Thy hand hath provided.”

  1. Deanna says:

    Precious people in your family – we are thankful for you all!  How would it work if Rachel and Sarah came over one afternoon a week and helped Laura with Laundry and Folding?  They could enjoy time together while accomplishing a necessary task.

  2. Christina says:

    Could you use more cloth diapers? I have a pile of very lightly used bumGenius (velcro ones) and some barely used Green Mt Diaper prefolds. I would love to send them to you if these might be useful. Please let me know. This post was a wonderful testimony to the body of Christ in action!

  3. Susanna says:

    We’re saying yes to all offers of diapers, Christina! THANK YOU! We’ll pass them on to others if we find we didn’t need them, if that’s okay!

  4. Susanna says:

    Deanna, that could be really fun! What do your girls think of the idea?

  5. colleen says:

    I am thankful for your blog:-) 

  6. Missy says:

    That “going to the dentist” bag is why I offered to help if you come to A.I. :) I would be your pack mule happily. I am so happy that Tommy’s bed is up high. I was really worried about you trying to lift him up. Silly me, I know not to worry. I am also happy to see an air conditioner so you can eat your meals in relative cool. I loved seeing those Sunday clothes. :) Is it my imagination or did Tommy’s tongue get smaller? Do you have tea and coffee with your breakfast? A mug in each hand????What did Daniel seal the table with? It looks wonderful! Do they make cloth diapers in Tommy, Katie and Verity sizes? Do you have one of those sprayers attached to the toilet? Okay,you said you didn’t get tons of e-mails so I thought I’d ask 1000 questions in this comment. :)

  7. Praise God for His provision!!  This is such a wonderful testimony of His work through His church!  Thank you for encouraging all of us by sharing. 

  8. Christie M says:

    What a fabulous testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness and the ministry of the body of Christ! :)
    I loved seeing all the pictures, and REALLY LIKE the huge red table! :)

  9. Susanna says:

    Missy, we’re definitely coming back to DuPont, and coming back again, and again, and… ;)

    The caseworker for our home study agreed that if Tommy isn’t very mobile, putting him on the middle bunk would be best, and it sure enough is!

    I’m grateful for A/C on every hot and humid day! It isn’t as expensive for our small house as it would be for a very large one. Counting my blessings.

    I thought of you when I laid out that dress for Katie. It’ll look adorable on her! Thank you again!

    You aren’t the first to notice that Tommy’s already responding to being fed correctly by holding his tongue further inside his mouth.

    My other mug contains concord grape juice with several glugs of World Organic liquid chlorophyll. That stuff is potent! I do like coffee, but Ben doesn’t. ;)

    Daniel used polycrylic? I think? Does that sound right? He’s sleeping, so I can’t double-check that right now.

    I think my friend said she used the cloth diapers for her bedwetters up to age 9? Haven’t examined them closely yet–just got them this afternoon.

    No sprayer attached to our toilet. The bumGenius diapers are dry pail diapers, so no rinsing, hurrah, hurrah! :):):)

    You asked easy questions, so you got a quick answer!

    Love ya!

  10. Kim says:

    Rejoicing with you over His wonderful provision.  He is a God of detail and He is thorough in His blessings to us! 

  11. K says:

    I’ve been busy adopting and moving house, so I’ve enjoyed the last two hours tonight catching up on your blog.  What a pleasure it is to see your family thriving, but when I got to the explosive poop part, my heart went out to you BIG TIME.  I am having similar issues with my new little one, but she is a mere 20 pounds.  I can easily imagine what big boy explosions are like and, suddenly, my trouble with poop seemed much smaller (pun intended) than yours.  Honestly, today when I saw the brown stuff coming out of my daughter’s waist band, I was not at my best at all, but tomorrow when it happens, for it most certainly will happen, I’ll think of you and find the grace I need to clean it all up again with gladness in my heart that I have my daughter to clean up after.  It does remind me to post the picture soon on my blog of what happens when a bottom-scooting baby scoots across a white carpet with a leaking diaper.

  12. MamaV says:

    we have been praying for God’s provision for all of you, and are so happy to see these tangible answers to prayer! We see that God has been providing for us as well, in just as many unusual and surprising ways, sometimes at the last minute. We are so thankful for the body of Christ in action!

  13. Amy Boroughs says:

    Thank you for sharing God’s specific provisions! I love to hear testimonies of how He meets needs. We get asked all the time “How do you do it?” with a large adoptive family, and we always love sharing some of many ways He is faithful!

  14. Maureen says:

    Praising right along with you!!! I love Ben’s Bulgarian board book. :D (With a cow on it, no less!!)

  15. Katie says:

    SO wonderful to hear all the ways that God has blessed your family!  BTW, the kids look GREAT in their car seats! I can’t believe how tall Tommy is though!  I can’t tell you how good it is to see GOOD car seat pictures (amongst a sea of blogs with ones I’m dying to correct!)  Also, I know you mentioned that you might have a cause for Tommy’s bowel issues – but it made me think of *my* recent experience… I was hospitalized several times this spring because I had C. Diff., which was causing me to dehydrate rapidly and pass out!  It was very scary and very unpleasant.  The antibiotics seem to have worked most of the time, but there are other times I’m terrified it’s re-occurring, since that happens so often with a bacteria that’s even *named* ‘difficult’.  I have to be tested again this week.  I hope you get Tommy’s issues under control ASAP – because I know how hard it is to have problems like that when I can get up and run for the bathroom, but in a child who can’t even tell you… that’s got to be really rough.  Love and prayers to all of you!

  16. K says:

    Something came to me in the night that might help you with Tommy and keep him with the family at dinner time, even though it might seem gross.  There are bed side commodes for elderly people that are fully adjustable in height.  They have handles and can easily have a seat belt, too.  I see them all the time at thrift shops, but they are also in drug stores new.  I just donated one I used four years ago with my grandmother and now I wish I’d kept it to ship to you.  Your Tommy might be able to sit at the dinner table, or wherever the family is, on his own commode.  You might even have a small card table or TV tray to put across it so he can even play and “work” there, as needed.  I’m sure you can even find one on freecycle or craigslist.
    I was also thinking about diapering him, too, and mine.  My baby blows out because she has very little bottom and it’s very skinny and explosive and she sits all the time, so when she poops, it has no where to go but up and out.  I was going to try this with my baby today… if you take some thinner flat diapers and make a sausage roll, then a doughnut shape with it and put it in the regular diaper (like making a little pot in his diaper), it will create space to catch his mess.  I’m not sure if you are using cloth diapers for Tommy, but if you aren’t, you can even try using a chux pad or sanitary pads, or another disp. diaper rolled up.

  17. Daniel says:

    Missy – Mom is right, I used Minwax Polycrylic. It’s not necessarily the best sealant for a high-traffic surface, since it’s susceptible to heat and ammonia unlike oil-based polyurethane. But oil doesn’t work well on top of latex, plus it can yellow slightly, so I went with the next best. We ended up putting 10 mil clear plastic sheeting on it and using large hotpads for under dinner plates etc.

  18. Missy says:

    Thanks Daniel! It looks so good and I have a painted coffee table I would like to protect, so your information will help me as wander the aisles of the hardware store trying to figure it all out. 

  19. Susanna says:

    Katie, what’s really amazing is that the seat Benjamin is using is the one we brought Katie home in. 8O

  20. Susanna says:

    K, thank you for both these suggestions! I wouldn’t have thought of either idea!

  21. Galit says:

    If you need some larger-sized cloth training pants, I have some left over from when one of my children was nighttime training at age 8.

  22. Melissa says:

    You’ve made a difference in my life. After almost 40 years of taking care of only myself (and now nearly 4 years of the care and feeding of my wonderful husband ;) ), I wanted children but I am still on the learning curve of how to get over my sweet self and take care of my kids. I’ve only been a mom for less than a year, with a 2-year-old (we got him at 17 months) and a three-month-old (just a few weeks older than Ben! we got him at 5 days old), and there have been times when I just can’t change another diaper or answer another question or sing ‘The Farmer in the Dell’ one more time. I’ve been reading for many months of your love for Verity and Katie, and the challenges of caring for them as well as those without that little something extra ;), and cheered with you in their successes. However, when I read about your sacrificial love in caring for Tommy in the wee small hours, and then looking after Ben…it finally hit home. This is worship. I have been looking at things a little differently now…I am blessed to have my kids, no matter what. Changing a diaper at 2am is a chance to be with my beloved baby. I revel in the chatter of my toddler, especially since he will be reunited with his bio family soon. So thank you for all that you do, and your transparency. It has helped me greatly.
    You’re also giving me great ideas of what to do with my baby–I need to have more for him to look at during tummy time! :)

  23. K says:

    I’m glad you liked my ideas.  I hope they work.  I didn’t have a good clean diaper cover for my baby today or yesterday, so I used on AIO yesterday and a disp. today and she blew out of both.  I’m heading to civilization Wed. so I hope to find one or two more since my sewing stuff is still packed.  Then, I’ll try the diaper donut idea on her.  I forgot one thing about the bed side commode.  Put some water in it like a regular toilet.  This saves on smell and cleaning later.

  24. Cheryl says:

    I think Missy has a great idea. There are many types of bidets that attach to the toilet, but if you had one that was hand held you could use it to control the flow of water. It makes cleaning up little bottoms much easier and saves on toilet paper.  It also is wonderful for soothing sore bottoms from icky tummies!  I looked online for one my friend suggested and here is the link.|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1&facetInfo=  I heard from my plumber that they are not too hard to install.

  25. Sarah G says:

    Oh how I love those pictures of Katie and Tommy each laying a hand on Benjamin. I will never get over seeing them happy and in a family. I also loved the table make over. Kudos Daniel and thanks for the how-to advice in the comments!

  26. Anna T says:

    Thanks again for today, we really enjoyed ourselves (and Jacob was asleep 2 minutes after we left).  LOVED reading the post and having the hymn go through my head as I was reading.  All for now, time to run…((hugs)), prayers and love to you and yours…

  27. Susanna says:

    Anna, thank you so much for your helping hands today! We always love getting together with you! Sending love and hugs back!

  28. Lea says:

    Oh Susanna, THANK YOU SO MUCH for this post.
    I’ve been struggling so much with waiting on the Lord’s provision right now and reading how He has blessed you all is so helpful!  Sometimes when you’re “in the thick of it” it’s hard to see how it will all work out.  Resting in Him is sometimes so very hard!
    And I love seeing those smiling and happy faces and so many helping hands! Verity with that purse is just too cute! And I might just need to paint my table red now too…
    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing,

  29. Colleen says:

    What a wonderful update.  God is so good to us, great is His faithfulness!  Thank you for continuing to share your testimony on the blog.  It is such an encouragement to our family.  We love and pray for you.  

  30. Robin says:

    I would love to see list on the side bar of items you’re in-need of: big or small. For instance: Verity sz 3t pants, etc. for ANY family members. I would love to send a gift card or item but then think “what if she has 30 sz 8 shirts for the boys already” Or “would this be useful in a small house of many children?”!!

  31. Susanna says:

    Robin, you must have a very sweet heart to think of this! My goodness! But I would die a thousand deaths before making a public list of things we need, truly! Emailing you…

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