Through the deep waters

March 23rd, 2014

 

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

 

There’s a fun post in the works for you, full of my favorite wedding photos set to the text of the wedding covenant Joseph and Lindsay wrote together and vowed together.

Katie had her twelfth birthday party this week!  More photos and some videos to share.

Yet another fun post is in the works, made up of my older kids’ late-night responses to this friendly challenge from a long-time blog reader:   “I would also love to hear some of your kids’ thoughts of their daily routine. You’ve done that a couple of times before and every time I see a pic like that from Dan shaking the bottle or Laura holding Verity I wonder how things are for them.”

All three of these posts essentially written by others.  <smile>

But we have been in such unremitting distress as a family that I again feel compelled to ask the people of God to pray for us.  Several friends have recently asked how Tommy is doing with his new school schedule, and I realized that it’s been a while since I [gave up a night of sleep and] wrote an update.

 

We are still waiting in limbo.

Tommy still has not started school due to explosive diarrhea.

 

I’ve thought it might be good to map out a timeline here for future reference. Probably that’s all I need to do for our prayer request to become clear.

So here it is, with key events in bold.


Overview of Pertinent Events Since Bringing Tommy Home on June 15, 2013:

June 19th:
-Initial assessment by Dr. Kevin A. Strauss, medical director of the Clinic for Special Children, Strasburg, PA
-We begin increased nutrition in Tommy’s diet, with supplementation targeting his needs.

July 6th:
-Tommy’s bowels gradually grow looser beginning a few days after bringing him home on June 15th, but become a serious problem by three weeks home, the weekend of July 6th; nothing contains his explosions.


JULY

-Tommy has major, life-altering diarrhea, BUT…
-He only takes an hour to eat each meal.
-Daniel is only working one day a week, so I have his back-up help.
-We are on a summer break from homeschooling.
-Although we do very little outside the home other than medical appointments, we have hit a stride and life is manageable.
-We initiate the process of having Tommy assessed for therapy and other needed services.

 

AUGUST, the Golden Month

-We drastically alter Tommy’s diet; his bowel issue begins to improve immediately and is completely cleared up within a few days.
We follow a fabulous schedule and enjoy an idyllic month of homeschooling.
-Daniel is still only working one day a week, so I still have back-up help.
-Tommy takes about an hour to eat each meal, but I can feed him while homeschooling the other children.

 

September 3rd:
-Bowel issue restarts full blast although no changes have been made to Tommy’s diet.
-We alter his diet again with no resulting improvement.
He begins taking longer to eat.
-Between cleaning up random diarrhea, feeding Tommy, and making his food, very little time is left in the day to regroup, let alone make progress in other areas of life.
-In desperation, we begin feeding him on the toilet as an ounce of prevention.   

September 8th:
-We hit yet another learning curve when we change Tommy’s diet again with no resulting improvement.
He begins actively resisting eating, taking two hours to eat each meal.

September 15th:
-Tommy vomits for the first time since coming home.

September 16th:
-His overall condition begins to go downhill quickly.

September 17th:
-Tommy quits eating altogether; he is admitted to the hospital.


Mid-September to mid-October


-Tommy, Ben and I spend just as many days in the hospital as we do at home.
-Full GI workup reveals the reason that his overall health tanked and this is addressed.  However, in the end, we are left with no clue as to the cause of the diarrhea; the two issues are apparently unconnected.
-Tommy receives his G-tube near the end of this time period and begins to make real gains in weight and energy.
-Daniel works every day that I am home during this month, so with homeschooling, I have no breathing space to recover the household from my absence between hospital stays.

Mid-October to early January

-Daniel is now working full time.
-Tommy’s diarrhea is kept under control by medication, but now he is vomiting randomly two or three times each day, adding chaos to a life already without margin.
-I’m feeding him by mouth and doing tube feedings, dealing with various random problems that attend both processes, increasing the chaos factor.
-We constantly tweak his formula and feeding schedule, as per his gastroenterologist’s suggestions.
-We fit therapy/educational assessments and more doctor visits into the schedule.
-I spend a lot of time attempting to track down formula and other necessary medical supplies.
-Mastering the learning curve seems like a distant dream, because about the time we reach a new normal, at least one variable changes and the learning curve starts all over again.
-Every day begins to feel like we’re barely winning the battle just to get the basics done; we see large areas of life start to disintegrate due to the inadequate attention we have to give them.
-Even small areas of life are impacted; with cold weather keeping the windows closed, four children in diapers and one with death breath, our little house stinks; we begin to do our part to support our friend Becky’s soy candle business with ongoing financial gifts, haha!
-Tommy seems stressed and unhappy too much of the time.
-God gifts Joe and me with the opportunity to go away and rest for a couple of days.

January

-Our family’s stress level is reaching critical mass with no relief in sight, we see many areas of critical need among the children that are being left unmet with no remedy in sight; we feel like we are swirling the drain.
-We attempt to add in-home therapy; after one session, we realize that with the time-consuming nature of Tommy’s current basic needs, it will be impossible to add in-home therapy and also homeschool on any given day.
-I am exhausted, weepy, not keeping up, grieving our losses, battling anxiety over the many unmet needs within our family, feeling trapped in impossible, crying out to God for help and provision and for the first time in my life, hearing silence in return; I know He CAN and don’t know why He ISN’T; my emotional state is exceedingly low; I know I am flunking the tests that He has sent me; in this state, all my sins rise up to mock me and I question whether I am really His child…

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Why are You so far from helping me,
And from the words of my groaning?”

-I see Joe rise to the occasion in unparalleled ways as his formerly capable wife is no longer able to handle the lion’s share of household and parenting responsibility without his help; God begins to work on our marriage and knit our hearts together as never before. 
-We face the necessity of making some drastic changes to ensure that everyone’s needs are being met for the future long haul; we come to terms with the fact that we cannot meet Tommy’s massive needs without massive amounts of outside help but we can see that his needs are met…

… if we had brought home a child who needed ongoing hospitalization for something we could not provide for him at home, like cancer treatments or kidney dialysis, we would not be beating ourselves up as failures, we would simply be grateful that we could get him the help he needed…

-After an indescribably final-straw Sunday, we decide that I’m in an indefinite season of staying home in order to rest up for the challenges of each upcoming week; Sunday becomes a day of rest for me again.
-We begin to pursue every avenue of help and support we can access; this [still ongoing] pursuit takes up a lot of time, but now it feels hopeful; it seems that we are moving toward a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
-After many months of Verity looking at me sadly from across the room, I have hope that the changes we make will enable me to help her as well as address unmet needs among the other children.
-The decision is made to move Tommy to school-based services, a decision that Joe had come to long before my German, hard-headed stubbornness would agree to consider it.
-At the same time we decide to increase Katie’s school schedule to a full week; the transitions for both children require time-consuming meetings, phone calls, emails, and paperwork.  It is obvious at every new step and detail that this is the right decision, affirmed from every direction; we are unhesitatingly confident the change will be best for both children and the rest of our family.
-Somewhere during this time, God begins to show me His face again in small but tangible ways despite the fact that we have left many ideals in the dust and are making decisions we never thought we’d have to make.
-Tommy is happier and almost imperceptibly begins to relax.

February

-God gifts our whole family with the opportunity to go away and rest for ten days.
-Tommy’s bowels begin to grow looser.
-Upon returning from vacation, instead of having Tommy start school, we begin seeking a solution to the now full-blown diarrhea that is keeping him out of school.
-Katie begins a full school schedule with no negative effects on bonding, so we are confident her needs are being met.
-I blog that Verity doesn’t get ugly-stubborn and does respond to my teaching, and as if on cue, she begins to display ugly-stubborn and shows great resistance to my attempts to teach her.
-We embark on one learning curve after another with Tommy’s medical testings and tweakings galore; none of our efforts make the slightest difference to his diarrhea; the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel keeps moving further away.
-The most basic necessary preparations I must make for Joseph and Lindsay’s wedding happen at the last minute by the skin of my teeth; God reassures me with tangible, unmistakable help to pull off the added responsibilities.

March

-God mercifully answers prayer by keeping Tommy’s diarrhea at bay for two blessed days, the wedding day and the next.
-Life continues a pattern of learning curve followed by a change requiring a new learning curve followed by a change requiring a new learning curve and so on; I hit a good stride for a few days at most before having to work on a new plan; I begin to anticipate the inevitable changes rather than making optimistic long-term plans during the few days that life seems like it may become manageable.
-One Sunday, God gives me a startlingly clear view of what is really happening in our family; someday I want to blog about it.
-Mid-month, God gifts me with the opportunity to go away with Joe and rest for one day.
-My younger sister, an approved respite care provider for us, says that she will be happy to help one Sunday a month to enable Tommy, Katie, Ben and me to be with our church fellowship–our whole family, together!  This can happen after his diarrhea clears up.
Nothing we try makes any difference to Tommy’s diarrhea but a new medication cuts way back on his vomiting.
-The glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel is almost out of sight; we face the real possibility that we will be stuck in this position indefinitely; what then?
-We hear that the three nurses who were trained and ready to care for Tommy during the day while he is at school will have to be re-assigned to other patients so that they can be earning some income.
-We begin to hear suggestions that Tommy receive in-home therapy services while waiting for his bowel issues to clear up.
-Verity is growing sadder and pushes me away when I approach her; she spends more and more time in her own world; it seems that she is shutting down and slipping away from me.

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Where we are now, going into the last week of March

In spite of having taken a recent trip to DuPont to pick up a month’s worth of meds and to have some bloodwork done…

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Bloodwork!  Ouch!

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Me and two of my cuties~

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Jane got some sweet shots of Ben~

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Helping Tommy calm down, over and over and over again…

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Susanna’s roadside G-tube feeds, at your service~

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All set for the long trek back home~

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…within the past couple of days, I’ve taken Tommy to DuPont again, twice, once for more lab tests and to pick up new formula and new meds to try…

The gas money is worth it–we can have all his prescriptions filled for a tiny fraction of the cost of just one of his meds through our local pharmacy, due to the 70% discount we receive from DuPont and their lower starting cost. 

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…and once to the emergency room to have his G-tube replaced when his tube was pulled out and his stoma began to close…and to pick up the rest of his new meds.

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Tommy’s happy as a lark…

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…but Ben is not.

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Until a kind-hearted volunteer lady came bearing toys. 

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Right now we are waiting for further evidence that something may possibly be alleviating the diarrhea.

But we are braced for the reality that God may continue to say “No,” to our cry to Him for relief.

We still believe that…

He can do anything, even when He chooses not to, without explanation.

He has the right to choose for us, without explanation.

He did not make a mistake when He sent Tommy to us.

None of Tommy’s needs and none of our resultant hardships are a surprise to Him.

Hardship does not mean we are outside our Father’s will, in spite of every human feeling within us screaming to the contrary.

He has not forsaken us.

He is always faithful to give us more grace, even when we grow impatient and complain, struggle with resentment, and otherwise flunk the tests He sends us.

He can and will keep His grip on us when our strength is gone and we can’t even see where He is in the dark.

Our hope is still in Him.  We will keep waiting on Him to provide for us and send us help in our time of trouble.

He is still a good God.

 

 

 

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83 Responses to “Through the deep waters”

  1. Susan says:

    Few suggestions (and certainly no criticism) from me, just virtual hugs and very real prayers for strength, rest, comfort, and encouragement for you and your family, and especially,  an explanation and a resulting answer to Tommy’s complex and extremely frustrating issues to be found, posthaste…
    I am so sorry things are so very challenging just now, and hope that practical, hands-on additional help can be found and put in place, not only for Tommy, but for your other children, especially for the sake of sweet Verity and your other “littles”. I do think another reader’s suggestion of a small playschool  or nursery school for Verity for a few mornings each week might be very helpful for her, and might allay some of your concerns for her.
    I hope the (all-too-slowly!) approaching spring will be a season of renewal for your family, in many ways. Just being able to open the windows, spend time outside, and enjoy the warmth, the flowers and greening trees will be a blessing, one which I hope will lift your spirits and strengthen your already strong faith.
    Sending caring thoughts from Kentucky,
    (another) Susan

  2. allison says:

    Susanna,  My heart breaks reading about your struggles.  And then my mind goes to work wondering what could be the cause of the never-ending diarrhea.  Has he had a bowel biopsy yet to rule out interstitial/lymphocytic, etc… types of colitis?  Has the diarrhea been definitely tied to diet?  Do the physicians believe it to be related to malabsorption?  
    My questions aren’t helping you at all I know.  But I firmly believe that if enough eyes read about this and enough minds think it through then a solution will be found.  You have gotten some good suggestions in all these comments.  I pray that one day soon some ideas will pan out to a treatment for that sweet boy!  

  3. Lori says:

    Thank you for being “real.”  It is helpful and offers hope to many of your readers–more than you know.  I will continue to pray for you and your family.

  4. Emily says:

    Prayers for you and your family, Susanna. 

  5. Nancy says:

    Susanna – I am so sorry you and your family are going through so much right now.  I’ll be praying  that you can find solutions to Tommy’s digestive troubles, and that you can find a balance that will benefit everyone in your family.   Your strength, faith and commitment to living God’s plan are inspirational.  Thank  you for sharing about your family through this blog, and thank you especially for this post – it will remind me to pray for you all, and will give me something specific to pray for.  Stay strong, and when you can’t do that, draw your strength from those of us who are lifting you in prayer.  With God, all things are possible.   {{{{{Hugs}}}}}

  6. Betsy says:

    Are you able to receive any in home nursing care? My mother works for Bayada and does in home nursing care certain shifts to relieve the parents. 
    God hear the prayers of this faithful family, give them strength and wisdom for each day, each need, and each child you have so faithfully blessed them with. Amen! 

  7. Gina in Spain says:

    Susanna..just one more thing….and I am in NO way saying you should disrupt this adoption …but we know God works in ways we sometimes don´t understand and perhaps you are not Tommy´s final destination…perhaps through Verity, symbolically,  he  is telling you in a sutle way that Tommy came home with you to be saved …but you are not his final place? In any case,  if Tommy does not end up in your home and he will be  somewhere where he can be attended to 24/7 in ways he needs, he is most definitely 100% better off from where he came from…and he has you to thank for that….please don´t be angry I said this…..it was just a thought..I know you are suffering and your family is too…..I am ultimatley praying for his bowel issues to get better because I think that if this happens, everything will be better for you, your kids…hard..but better..but I did want to throw that thought out there……HUGS and PRAYS..You are amazing…. 

  8. Fiona says:

    Thank you for updating us. My heart breaks for your family, it must be so difficult. I can’t think I have any advice which you’d want to take, but just to say you haven’t failed Tommy if a)he needs respite care with another family, b) needs specialist residential care or c)to move onto a new home. The last must seem abhorrent to you, but please don’t rule it out at this stage.  If he had a set up where he is was an only child, he might get better care simply because he’d have parents able to devote their whole selves to him in a way that someone with other children can’t. You might be doing the best thing for him by doing that, as dreadful as it might feel to consider. 
    Please have a read of http://www.behindthechild.BlogSpot.com. It is written by an adoptive mom, her child’s birth mom loved her daughter very much but was simply unable to care for her needs, and it has ended being the best thing possible for the little girl. Her adoptive mom is the most amazing person, and in a situation where she has the resources to care for the girl’s every need in a way her birth mom couldn’t. Just one example where the worst possible thing has turned out to be the best possible thing.   

  9. Laura says:

    Praying for you all, my sweet friend!

  10. S. says:

    I am so very, very happy to read that you haven’t considered “disrupting” tommy. That you are seeking avenues to heal and help him.
    If ANY birth child displayed these same delays and medical issues you wouldn’t even fathom giving tommy away! Giving him up like some…annoying pet.
    Has anyone mentioned C. difficile infection? 
    It usually presents in adults, or those who have been very ill. But it’s been shown to appear in children/teens and can flux in when it comes and goes. 
    Also, the  J tube option may be something to speak about. Do you have a doctor that is dedicated to JUST GI? Someone you can call/visit/etc? 
    Another, radical thing may be that since he cannot control his bowles, and they are so loose you might want to talk about an Ostomy. That way, the bowles are caught into a bag that is changed and cleaned and bypasses the rectum, so you no longer have to deal with all the clean up, smell and disruption.
    Tommy is your son. And I so applaud you, pray for you and just….respect you for never giving up. I understand if a child is sexually abusive or has severe violence that can’t be controlled and needs state care, but I will never, in my life undestand those that “disrupt”‘ because of medical issues. As I said….these people would NEVER hand their birth child over if  severe medical issues presented themselves!
     

  11. Becki says:

    Praying for you. I’m another one who is wondering about C.Diff infection. I’m sure samples have ruled it out but its a thought. Have any medications helped to slow the transit down?  I assume all parasitic infections have also been ruled out – that would be another thought especially considering Tommy’s background. 

  12. Lori says:

    Thinking of you again today, Susanna…  I wish I had words of wisdom for you but I don’t unfortunately. I read all the comments and I hope and pray that we all, ALL the time, remember the power of our words to lift up or to tear down and that we ALWAYS choose to lift up! I don’t know how I’D personally feel were I in your shoes, reading several comments about disruption. I have to believe they are said out of concern for the most part. But I also know, IF it were me, I’d feel some hurt and perhaps even guilt, if, in MY human weakness, the thought had crossed my own mind in that situation. What I DO know is this: You and your family love Tommy as if he came from your womb! You are devoted to ALL your children and want the best for them. You want to find solutions to Tommy’s myriad of issues and for right now at least, it is a season of no easy answers and heavy burden. Thankfully, we know God is BIGGER than ALL of that! We know that His timing is perfect and that where HE leads you, you and your family will follow! Praying for sweet Verity too. That photo of her with the sad eyes was a hard one for your readers so I can only imagine how hard it must be for you! Keep holding on to the One who holds you ALL in the palm of His hand! Hugs and prayers…

  13. Kelly says:

    I am praying for your family right now. I have very little advice as I cannot imagine these suggestions have not been made already. My daughter had a g-tube for the first 18 months of her life. She had some vomiting early on after the g-tube was placed and the doctors considered performing a fundoplication to alleviate this. I am not sure if this would help the major issue which is the diarrhea. She took Reglan to stop the vomiting which caused some minor diarrhea and we gave her an iron supplement which helped stop the diarrhea. Praying for you all! 

  14. Amy says:

    S.  THANK YOU for what you posted above!  Susanna, you know your Savior will lead and guide you.  I am appalled by some of the comments, even if they were said with concern and good intensions.  It would break my heart if they were directed at my family and struggles.  Seek Him, dear Susanna.  Seek and trust Him.  He is always faithful, always.  His ways are not ours and He asks us to do seemingly impossible things.  Praying for His guidance and protection of you and your precious family.

  15. Jane says:

    Prayers for practical, consistent relief, and enduring faith are going to you.  God is with you.  God is greater than all of this and this will pass in God’s time.  In our human world, just try to remember to breathe and ask for help as much as possible.  Sending you love. Thank you for telling us all  your hard truth!

  16. Keri says:

    Hugs to Susanna. You have such a beautiful family. I’m wondering if Tommy has ever been tested for Eosinophilic disease. My mom has this and it took doctors decades to diagnose it. It can be much more severe in children. She can control it now by eliminating allergens, drinking elemental formula and using prednisone during flare ups. Just a thought. I’m sure you are over whelmed with all of the possibilities.

  17. Gina in Spain says:

    I am not sure if other posters are referrgin to me…If what I said appalled anyone I am so sorry…I did not say those things to you Susanna with that intention and I don´think I wrote anything so horrible. I think that looking at things from every angle is always a good idea….But I apologize if I hurt you in any way. As I said I pray that the medical issues be resolved so that you and your family can begin having more golden times and less dark hours…….Hugs…

  18. Susanna says:

    Gina, I hate to think of you feeling badly–please know I heard the kindheartedness in what you wrote and that kindness blessed me very much. I am overwhelmed at the love and support of so many people we have never met, and so grateful for every one of you. I only wish the other struggling adoptive families I know had as much prayer and moral support behind them. Hugs back…

  19. laurie says:

    Hello Susanna
    I am blown away by the prayers and support you have, not only for yourself and Tommy, but for the whole family…. I wonder how many of us would really REALLY, understand the world of adoption if we had not come across your blog and your willingness to share your rawness and your joyful praises to the Father!? I think of you often….when my boys from Bulgaria are screamming the “pterodcytall” scream…..when they are hitting themselves out of frustration…. while they do not have the medical issues that Tommy has, they have their own “issues”.  I love the post that the mom wrote about the different “perspective” many would have if Tommy was biological….. we wouldn’t think for one second to “place him” with another family….. I am so thankful that you willingly share your journey and the encouragement it gives me! and the visible strength of God shining in your life. We do not get to “choose” His will for our lives….. and I am so glad!  Nor do we ever have to worry that He will “disrupt our adoption by Him”!  love you and praying for all thy needs to be met in His perfect and pleasing ways!
    love you
    laurie

  20. Linda says:

    I so hope that you find out very soon what is ailing Tommy, and that in-home nursing or respite care can be provided so that you can get some relief. Is there no social care available in your state? Sorry I don’t know what is provided in the USA but in the UK Tommy’s family would have carers who attended him at home to help with nursing and cleanup, or he would be in hospital/respite care. 

  21. Melinda says:

    I wish there was a “like” button for so many of the posts above…I agree with so many of the sentiments!  Susanna, I think I speak for many when I say that you are an inspiration.  I pray that you find an answer to all these medical issues.  I am definitely no medical professional at all, but I was wondering if maybe some of Tommy’s issues are rooted in his emotional grieving process?  The body can do really crazy things when the emotional/psychic pain gets to be too much.  Anyway, I can only try to imagine what you are going through.  Perhaps, if you felt comfortable doing so, could you post some requests or things that would make your family’s life a little easier?  You have a lot of readers who care very much about your family, and you never know who might know someone else, or work for a certain company that might be able to help, etc.  Maybe that is how God will shower his blessings upon you, through the combined efforts of so many who would love to lend a hand  (((HUGS)))

  22. cassandra says:

    Hey Susanna,
    In case you are wondering, I did not sense from your post that you were thinking of disrupting Tommy’s adoption.  Disrupting is such a sanitized way of saying, “quitting.”  What I did sense from your post is that you are being stretched in ways you never believed possible and in spite of yourself, you are surviving.  I do hope readers realize that the one photo of Verity does not represent every moment of her day, every single day.  Gosh, it would take me three minutes to find somebody in this house with an unhappy expression:).  Easy for me to say (though is is actually not easy for me to believe), but try not to take the long view too terribly often.  I mean, on our hard days I focus on getting to the next meal in peace. Resolution, I’m learning, looks different every day. 
    I am so interested in hearing about the one Sunday you refer to.  Why do I think God has something in that for me to learn from? 
    Finally for now, I suspect that if your kids took standardized tests that they would far and away be exceeding grade level expectations.  Not traditional, but they are living very “big” lives and I believe they have amassed a huge knowledge base.  
    I get that when you post and what you post is not necessarily representative of  your family’s big picture.  Thank you for giving us specifics upon which to pray.  Keep us updated. 

  23. Lucy says:

    Have you had his ileocecal valve checked? Ileocacal valve syndrome can certainly result in Tommy’s symptoms.
    http://healing.about.com/cs/conditions/a/aa_ileocecal.htm

  24. Grace says:

    Susanna, I have no wisdom or even practical advice. Just love and prayers and long distance hugs. You and your family are never far from my thoughts. 

  25. Holly says:

    Thank you for posting this update. I think of your family often and include you in my prayers. Our family is taking the very first baby step toward adopting and boy is it overwhelming sometimes! thank you for all your inspiration over the years.
    Holly

  26. Robinsnest says:

    I am so sorry things have been so crazy for you. Continuing to pray for your family.

  27. Laura says:

    Susanna,
    In prayer for you all! I don’t have any new suggestions to offer or anything of that sort, but please know that I’ll be in prayer, holding you and the whole family up to our Father! Many heartfelt hugs sent your way, too!
    Laura

  28. Lisa H. says:

    Praying for God’s solution and provision for Tommy and your family!

  29. Gina in Spain says:

    Thank You Susanna…you are SO kind and it has put me in awe that you would even take the time to put my mind at ease at having possibly  hurt you. You are indeed a great, kind and thoughful  person….still praying for Tommy and all of you…XXOO

  30. Ruth says:

    Thank you for posting your struggles. They are such an encouragement to me. Our family recently adopted an 11 year old girl from Hong Kong who has severe Intellectual Disability and epilepsy. We are really struggling right now with her behaviorally and your story brings me hope. I read your blog and realize that I am not alone. There are other parents out there who struggle with their special needs kids they have adopted but keep on going. We are committed to finding the best help for our daughter and to not disrupt our adoption, but some days we wonder what we have gotten ourselves into and if we can make it. So, thank you for being real and for being an encouragement to me personally. I am praying for your family. 

  31. Mary Francis says:

    Susanna, I have been following your blog for years.  I admire what you are doing so much in adopting Katie and Tommy.  Praying for your other children and that you will find a way to devote more time and attention to them.

  32. Debbie says:

    Susanna, you have probably had Tommy prayed for by the elders of your church, but since I’ve not seen you post to that effect, I thought I’d mention it.  Praying for answers and healing!

  33. Rachel says:

    Praying for you guys!

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