An easy yoke

September 16th, 2013


Many kind friends have asked me how I am holding up under the pressure.  The thoughts in this post have been coming together for some time, and are my answer to that question.




Take His easy yoke and wear it;
Love will make obedience sweet;
Christ will give you strength to bear it,
While His wisdom guides your feet…
~Joseph Swain


A rainy day is a lovely thing when you have scissors, a bin full of felt, and siblings to keep you company.





Biggest and littlest~



Unseasonable cold snap for Verity’s morning walk.



Doesn’t she look like…



…something yummy to eat?  Sweet girl.



John Michael riding his orange bike from heaven.



Ben doesn’t like to lie back in his bouncy seat.  He thinks he’s one of the big ones now.



Joshua has several loyal customers.











Jane and Katie are both eleven years old.



Hi Ben!  You ready to go swimming?



Verity wasn’t upset about the water, but not thrilled, either.



Katie-fish, on the other hand…

















Thank you so much, H family, for sharing your pool with us!





























Three afternoons a week, Katie receives her therapy and special instruction in our local MDS classroom through IU13.  Here she is with Mr. Allen, who is surely kindness personified, if such a thing is possible.



She can hold her own cup now, and only needs a little assistance in setting it down without spills.



Pennies into a Welch’s grape jelly container with slot.



Not afraid of the big girl swing.  It seems like she turned into a big girl this summer.  No more baby Verity.



Open, closed, open, closed…



Can you do it, Verity?



Open, closed, open, closed!





Katie learning to be gentle with baby Ben.  For her, it’s an issue of learning self-control within her sensory issues.  She’s doing well here not pushing his weight off her lap or grabbing and squeezing his ear, hand, or foot to see how it feels.



Dan the man is finally eighteen years old!



Baby’s sunny spot









Glenn Gould Musser?  Goofy kids…

Glenn Gould Musser


Hi Tommy!







I love being a young mom…



…and an old mom at the same time.

Meet Lindsay…

[Link goes to Lindsay’s mom’s blog post containing a quiet reference to the couple below.  Bet you didn’t know the pterodactyl shrieking was part of a secret plan to ensure we acquire very, very special sons- and daughters-in-law.  We didn’t, either, but it’s working!  Only a pretty nice person would consider marrying into our three-ring circus, I mean family!]



IMG_1846 - Copy (2)


So how am I holding up?  Am I living a life of quiet desperation?

After all the months of waiting and the hard work of preparation, having our whole family under one roof brings a deeply satisfying sense of completion.

We’re still in the process of learning what life will be like for us now, and making the changes we need to make for long-term success.  That’s energizing.

When life is so enormously challenging, I have a palpable sense of accomplishment at the end of each day, just for having gotten through the day successfully.

It gives me a real sense of well-being to live this life that God designed and created and prepared me to live.

I know the way to the well of Living Water.

We have so many scrumptious and funny little people living at our house.  Love really does make obedience sweet!

We’re watching something beautiful happen as God patiently untangles some knotty places in the family and knits us more strongly together.

Besides all this, I can’t shake the feeling that we made off with another one of Bulgaria’s national treasures.  <grin>



Please don’t misunderstand!  We don’t always get it right!

We’re not so much an experienced adoptive family as we are an experiencing adoptive family.

We get exhausted.

We forget.

We get overwhelmed.

We fail.

We lose perspective.

We sin.

How many times have we said we want to die to self and yield to God’s will for us?

Sold out to Jesus!  That sounds beautiful, exciting, adventurous!

At our house, the center of God’s will often looks and smells an awful lot like poopy diapers and sounds like ear-piercing shrieks.

For me as a mom to this family right now, being yielded to God feels like being the bread that Jesus took in His hands, tore into pieces and handed out to the multitudes.  That bread had to lose its self in order to nourish many lives.  And because it was in Jesus’ hands, it not only triumphantly stretched to go all around, but there were twelve basketfuls left over.

It’s this hard time, right here, right now, that God is using to make us like Jesus, and that is a joyful thing.




Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.





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23 Responses to “An easy yoke”

  1. Maureen says:

    How fun!! Kids particularly enjoyed the video (me too!) I guess congratulations are in order?!?!? :D

  2. MamaV says:

    What a lovely post! Katie-bird in the water reminds me a lot of my little guy… Who thinks he can swim and invariably drinks half the pool ;-)
    as we always said to my mom, growing up in our family of 8 kids; “at least it’s not dull!”

  3. laurie says:

    Yes Verity looks like a yummy treat!  love all of the pics
    and more….the perspective!
    love you

  4. Barb says:

    I’m confused about the link to Lindsay….I don’t see her when I click there. :(

  5. Susanna says:

    Barb, sorry about that! The link now goes to her mom’s blog post that refers to Joseph and Lindsay. We are blessed to be good friends with her family, who live five minutes down the road. I added an explanatory note to the post. :)

  6. Phyllis McElrath says:

    Hi This is Deannas mom.  I dearly love all the pictures of your family, I know some of your children more than others.  I often play games with Joseph and Daniel.  Love them both.  They are so much fun.  I have met Jane and Laura at game night.  My grandfather was from Bulgaria so I love reading about Katie and Tommy.  You write so beautifully and I am encouraged. 

  7. Phyllis McElrath says:

    Hi there.  This is Deannas mom. I so very much enjoy reading about your family and seeing the pictures.  What a lovely family you have.  My grandfather was from Bulgaria so I am so happy that you rescued these lovely children from there.  It is wonderful to see them grow into healthy people.  I have enjoyed getting to know your boys because of game nights.  They are a lot of fun.  Hope to see you before too long. 

  8. Absolutely wonderful to see your family enjoying your friend’s pool! I love to read your posts and soak up the truth that we (I) don’t have everything down perfect but have Jesus and He promises to be with me through my daily mess ups. 
    I am privileged and humbled to be the Aunt to my nephew Stephen that was born 18 years ago with Down Syndrome. We adore him for who he is and the gift we received the day he was born, given to us by God to raise. It has not always been easy with different issues Stephen has endured, many baby steps, but we are so honored and blessed that he is in our family.
    Thank you, Suzanna, for the opportunity to follow along with your precious family and for me to share my nephew with you.
    God Bless,

  9. Louisa says:

    Amazing perspective….amazing story that has God’s handprints all over it!

  10. sabrina says:

    Beautiful family pics. Loved them all! 

  11. Lori says:

    Wow, another beautiful, inspiring, and thoughtful post!  You ave touched my soul…again. 
    Someday, you really must get your blog published into a book! 

  12. Deanna says:

    I love seeing your big, happy, healthy family!  We missed seeing everyone Sunday!  It is a joy to be living the life that God has for us, and that is energizing!  I love how He equips us to do just what He has for us to do!
    Lindsay and Joseph….we are delighted.  Can’t wait to see God write more of their story.  

  13. Kim says:

    What a lovely, inspiring and TRUTHful post.  Praise God for His grace truly is sufficient for us!
    Congratulations to Joseph, Lindsay and their families!

  14. colleen says:

    Beautiful…thank you…

  15. Missy says:

    I loved seeing Katie in that pool. She was exploring that water and what she could do in it and had no fear. Whoever was talking on the video was right, she has great potential to be a swimmer. 
    Is courtship dating with marriage as the purpose? I mean one wouldn’t date a person unless the person was suitable for marriage, is that right? Then eventually one would get engaged? I saw congratulations in comments and I wasn’t sure what was going on. lol And I was loving the look on Joseph’s face as he grinned at Lindsay so I thought I’d ask.
    It was so fun to see all the pictures. Thanks for taking time to share.

  16. PL says:

    Have they looked at a B vitamin deficiency (e.g. folate) as exacerbating/causing the atrophic gut issues.

  17. Tiffiny says:

    Susanna, I second Lori’s suggestion about the blog published as a book. If it was printed in volumes, just as it is (with photos and comments), I just know it what a blessing it would be for so many parents. I have said often how I wish I had your words of wisdom and faith when we started our family in 1991! As a mother of six (soon to be seven!) children, two adopted and another (Ds) child on the way, I so appreciate this blog more than I am able to adequately express. As a social worker, I believe your blog would be an excellent resource to offer families considering adoption, particularly those adopting a special-needs child internationally. I don’t know what costs would be involved to print and bind it, but I would be very happy to contribute to such costs, should you ever decide to do so. And I would pay good money to buy several copies — having the blog in book format would allow my husband (not a computer kinda guy!) to read from the beginning. I am serious about my offer. I would love to help anyway possible with any costs! 

  18. molly b says:

    Beautiful post!!  I love your outlook. Even in more challenging times, you still see and seek Jesus.  It’s very encouraging.
    And I relate to the “being all under one roof” statement.  We’re so much closer to that now and looking forward to completing our adoption and finding a new normal…with all of us together. :)

  19. Missy says:

    Lori and Tiffiny are so right! The blog would be such a good book. It would be a valuable resource to parents but it also would help many people who are searching for faith, who are not sure how God is with them each day. I know this blog has enriched my faith life and given me so much encouragement. Think and pray about it.

  20. Molly says:

    You are super inspirational!

  21. Heatherk says:

    I’ve been reading your blog from the start.  I think this is my favorite post ever.  Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us!

  22. Suzanne says:

    Such a beautiful family !

  23. LaurieS says:

    Praising HIM!!  Lord Jesus thank you for this day, for this family, for this vessel of your glory!
    p.s.  A “Puddle Jumper Life Jacket” (by Stearns) would be perfect for Katie!! 

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