Final Curtain

September 27th, 2016











What a gorgeous, perfect Sunday it was for our big Thank You Open House!  You know we always love having a house full, but seeing everyone who came to be a part of that day was incredibly moving.

If you helped in any way to bring this young lady into our family, and you didn’t pick up one of these Josie-Musser-autographed photos on Sunday…




…we have TWENTY left for the first twenty of you who shoot us an email and ask for one!

Let me stress again here that we were exceedingly conscientious to allocate all your donations according to your directives, and we used every penny of a sizable HELOC loan for everything else in what turned out to be an extensive project involving septic and HVAC systems and more.  Most financial donations that came in were given specifically to help toward Josie’s room and that, my friends, is how they were used.

God has provided in countless ways, from labor donated with willing hearts and hands to discounted materials to large and small financial gifts from so many loving friends.  THANK YOU.  The videos below are for you.  You have helped to bring about and furnish an entire new life for one special girl, and some of you further helped to lift a burden from us and transform our household.  We will never be able to pay back what we owe you.

Last Thursday evening, the twenty-second of September, while Joe and I put our four littlest children to bed for the night and the other ten enjoyed the fourth annual Hobbit Party at Joseph and Lindsay’s house, the final required septic work was finished.  We received our final permit in the mail on Saturday the twenty-fourth, the day before the Open House.  What a satisfying sense of completion and of moving from one family epoch into the next.

Before I post the video walk-through of Josie’s room and sign off here on The Blessing of Verity, a few notes for your consideration…

~We’ve used this blog as well as a private email list to help publicize the annual Big Families and Friends picnic held each Memorial Day Saturday.  We plan to continue to post at least one reminder here on the blog next year, but we’ll be happy to add your name to the email list if it isn’t already included, just to make sure you don’t miss it!

~Is there a kind reader in the Wilmington, DE area who would be able to help us out by meeting up with me and holding our baby during the short periods of time while I’m with Josie at A. I. duPont Hospital for Children pre-surgery and while I’m with her in the post-anesthesia recovery unit before she’s moved to her hospital room?  Nathaniel will be almost ten months old at that time.  If you may be able to do that, please email me for more details at  Thank you for your consideration!

~Are there any other Gray Havens fans out there?  They became favorites of ours even before Joe and I went to hear them sing at the Rabbit and Dragonfly cafe last fall.  All of our verbal children down to three-year-old Benjamin can sing along with Dave and Licia after listening to their CDs all the way to northern Michigan and back this summer, and we are planning to celebrate Joe’s fiftieth birthday by taking the whole family to hear them live in York, PA.  Get your tickets here and please come say “Hi,” if you see us at the concert!

~As I will explain at the end of the second video below, Josie wants to video journal her upcoming surgery adventure, and I plan to post the videos on our YouTube channel, TheBlessingOfVerity, so watch that space for those and other Musser family videos.

~Finally, and by far the most importantly!

It’s no secret that the most needy, voiceless, helpless, broken and unwanted children have my heart and always will.  It gives me immense joy to be able to tell you that the last few adoptable older children with special needs, especially those who spent their early years suffering severe neglect in the Pleven baby house, are coming home to experienced Pleven families.

Chris and Grace (Knuth) Tegtmeier are bringing 14-year-old Hannah Joy home to join 11-year-old Samantha, home from Pleven in 2012, and almost 17-year-old Tony, home from Pleven in 2014.

Mark and Virginia Miner are adopting 5-year-old Owen and bringing him home to join their other children, including 14-year-old Ana (formerly known as Garnet), who came home from Pleven in 2015.

Matt and Andrea Glewwe are welcoming almost-11-year-old Tiya into their family, which includes 12-year-old Krassimir (formerly known as Kramer), home from Pleven in 2013.

Friends, you have been generously tolerant of the many favors I’ve asked of you during the past six and a half years, but I’m being bold to ask you for one more.

Would you please take time to read Andrea’s blog post about Tiya?  One of the most silent and frail of them all.

Today, as I prepared this final blog post, I received three photos of Tiya with her new daddy and mama.

How fitting that I’m going out as I came in, with tears fresh on my face for the love of a little one with special needs.

This time, by the grace of God, they are all tears of joy.




Coming soon: Final curtain

September 3rd, 2016

From the day in February of 2010 when I sat and wrote the first post on The Blessing of Verity, I’ve been hopeful that this will be a temporary assignment.

The time has finally come when God is releasing me from the obligation of blogging.  After the Thank You Open House on Sunday, September 25th, I plan to do a video walk-through of Josie’s room and post that here as my last blog post for an extended, indefinite period of time, if not permanently.

We are not taking the blog down or making it private; it will still be here for future reference.  Our home address and my personal email address will still be on the sidebar of the blog, and I would be overjoyed to hear from many of you over the coming years.  [Listen to me:  I really mean that.  I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it!  If you want to write me, please do!]

I plan to occasionally add videos to my YouTube channel, TheBlessingOfVerity, and I also plan to update the family photo on the About Our Family page on this blog on the rare occasions that we get a decent family photo.

We can enumerate many reasons that this is a good time to stop and not one reason compelling enough to continue at this point.

If we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was using it in powerful ways for His kingdom, I’d keep it up; Joe and I agree that we don’t see that happening now.

Compared with five years ago, I don’t see God primarily using blogs to accomplish mighty things for orphans.  Most of the advocating and networking that is bearing real fruit for eternity now seems to be happening through other venues and other social media platforms.  At this point in my life, I’m not going there.

God isn’t providing me with the quiet sitting time for blogging as He has one way or another in the past six and a half years.  My days are full to overflowing with other things, and then I sleep.

I love to write, and I love to connect with people, but I do not love publicity.  I must have a powerful reason for putting our family out there that’s greater than providing free entertainment to onlookers, even kind and wonderful onlookers as so many of you readers are.  For six and a half years, I had a powerful reason, but I no longer do.

Keeping the blog open to the public after I’m no longer writing on it may continue to provide an avenue for connecting me with people one on one, which is where we see God using me right now.

Over the past six and a half years, it took a mighty compelling from my Master to supersede my near constant desire to be finished blogging.  Over and over again, just as I was becoming convinced it was time to stop, He would bring the next reason to hang in there.  During the low times, I confess that the only thing quite literally keeping me from bowing out was Joe and Joseph’s superior technological ability.  At the hardest times, the only thing that kept me blogging was the knowledge that the Enemy and his helpers would celebrate if I stuffed a rag in my mouth and crawled into a hole.  Sometimes it was a real sense of responsibility to readers who had given finances to help bring a child into our family.  At the best times, it was the utter joy of seeing God use this blog for the rescuing and welcoming and nurturing of countless orphans with special needs both in the Pleven orphanage and elsewhere.  Life in the face of death.

As you know if you’ve been reading here for a while, I am an all or nothing person who is going to be real and do it justice with my whole heart or not do it at all.

More and more over the past months, I have found myself either talking myself out of writing what I really want to say or having to overcome an aversion in order to write something anyway.

I am all too aware, just as I was when in the public position of being a pastor’s wife, of how effortless it is for onlookers to come to wrong conclusions and how impossible it is to avoid the judgment and misjudgment of others.  Without a compelling from the Holy Spirit and the encouragement of seeing obvious fruit from blogging, the struggle to blog with integrity in the face of the easy judgments of others has become an exhausting burden on me.  Worth it in other circumstances, unnecessary stress now.

There have been more and more details of our family’s life that I don’t have the freedom to write about here due to confidentiality reasons, and my heart is simply not in writing about what’s left.

Blogging only about the happy stuff–of which there is plenty here!–and not about the challenges will inevitably send imbalanced, unrealistic, false messages.  I don’t believe this is pleasing or glorifying to God or loving to the readers, and I cannot do it in good conscience.  Donum veritatis, the gift of truth.

I realized that I have gone from telling God, “No more children,” to asking Him, “Please don’t ask me to do this again,” to pleading with Him, “Please, please, please never ask me to do a public adoption with fundraising ever again.”  I abhor fundraising from the bottom of my heart, always have and always will.  It occurred to me that if I’m no longer blogging when we commence to adopt Josie, fundraising on this blog will be out of the question.  Hurray!

Tommy’s death was clearly the end of an era of serious advocating for older orphans with special needs on this blog.  Two years later, I am very happy to talk one-on-one with anyone who approaches me with questions about any aspects of special needs adoption, as well as other subjects, if I’m able to help.  We don’t see that changing in the near future.  The many words I had already written on the subject of special needs adoption on this blog will still be accessible to anyone with internet.

The association in my mind between this blog and the terrible tragedy of Tommy’s death is so strong.  Everything that reminds me of Tommy’s death makes me physically ill, whether it’s a screensaver showing lavender fields in Bulgaria or hymns I clung to during our adoptions of Katie and Tommy or this blog page popping up on my screen–all immediately make me feel nausea, and I have to look away or turn it off, step away, and take a deep breath.

I’m getting a sense that if I keep writing, I’ll just be repeating myself.  We’re troubleshooting schedules at the beginning of another school year, helping our children through their challenges and celebrating their successes, continuing to learn what it means to love God and one another in the nitty-gritty of everyday life, crying out to Him for mercy on us and on our children, knowing that He is faithful and will remain faithful.

In the irritating manner of born teachers, I’ve about talked this to death.  *wry grin*


However, please don’t miss what I’m going to say next.


God says that we are to owe no one anything except to love one another.  The Musser family owes an enormous debt of love to the readers of this blog who have taken time to get to know us, have opened your hearts to us, prayed for us, laughed with us, cried with us, reached out to us lovingly, encouraged us, taught us, rebuked us, stood with us, comforted us, counseled us, connected us with others, shared so generously with us–helped us in ten thousand ways to do the next thing God has called us to do.  I have valued every single kind comment, email, and pen-and-paper letter.  Some of you have become solid friends.

It has been an extraordinary journey together, these past six and a half years, and I will miss you.

Please know that you have blessed our lives beyond words, and we could never repay our debt of love to you.




On her way~



“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”


Peter Rosenberger coming to speak!

August 30th, 2016

Hello friends!  Those of you who are living in our general area who have read Peter Rosenberger’s book, Hope for the Caregiver, may be interested to know that he is slated to speak at Manor Church on Saturday, November 12.

There will be no charge for this event.

I don’t have any more details than that at this point, as I received the inside scoop on this one, and the event hasn’t been added to Manor Church’s website yet.  But mark your calendars and plan to come and bring a friend!  Mr. Rosenberger is a straight-speaking guy who uses humor to get his important message across.  Joe and I are looking forward to making a date night out of it!

This will be the only notice that appears here on our blog.  For further information, please contact Manor Church directly and ask to be put in touch with Christie Hunt, director of disability ministry.


Clifford the Big Red Van, the newest attraction around our place…