Hello dear friends,
As we head into the cold, dormant part of the year, it’s evident that our family has not only stabilized, but is being strengthened and nourished from the roots up. We see it in our marriage and in each of the members of this family and the many interactions we have with each other. There is grace and forgiveness and healing and restoration and hope and peace here because Jesus the Truth is here, and we are thankful. So thankful.
This blog has served as a journal for our family, and because of that I’m reluctant to carry on without first going back to fill in some empty spaces.
So without words unless words are helpful or necessary, here are some favorite photos from Before, May to July of this year.
[Note: If the photos are excellent or I appear in them, they were taken by our fifteen-year-old daughter Laura or by Mindy, the college student who lived with us during her summer break.]
Tommy’s bone density improved from -9 to -5 in one year.
Field trip to Gettysburg~
Eighth Annual Big Families and Friends Picnic~
Laura is friends with Sarah Huizinga, and both are sisters to treasures from Pleven. Oh the joy of holding Penny for the first time that day.
We are so blessed to witness the friendships between our five oldest children.
All the wage-earners of the family pooled resources to invest in a worthwhile gift for Laura’s birthday. She has enormous natural artistic ability.
Road trip to Kentucky was not for the faint of heart, but oh! So worth it.
Okay, not exactly a favorite photo, but it sure brings back memories of taking the kids to the Cincinnati Zoo without Joe. Potty/diaper time in the handicapped stall, of course without benefit of adaptive potty seats or diaper changing facilities. I will spare you further details. Oh my. I was thankful Mindy was along to be with the other children so they didn’t have to wait outside the door for an hour every time. As you can see, Tommy was unflappable.
Her favorite birthday gift and does she ever use it.
Fourth of July Barnstormers ballgame followed by fireworks
Verity was very slow to warm up to Mindy, so we considered this a great victory.
This is the last photo I took of Tom-Tom. Getting a tube feeding and watching me make cookies for Family Night. How I miss this little person and his happy spirit.
Ben and Verity are typically the first to wake in the morning. This photo will always be bittersweet for me, as it is the final photo from Before. I took it the morning of July 31st.
Photos from After, August to the present time, are planned for the next blog post. Before too long, I hope also to have updates on the children in the Pleven orphanage ready to share with you. And other posts are waiting to be written.
So many of you have continued to pray for us and reach out and minister to us in various ways. You are a blessing and we thank the Lord for you.
Love in Jesus,