Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Well, it has again been a while since I've posted, I guess because I'm not always sure what to write. Nothing has really changed, we see minor changes in Tanner, nothing huge, at least not enough to mention, but, I know people want to know what's happening.

I heard a song today that I've heard before, but, meant something different when I listened today. It's sung by Natalie Grant and is about the loss of a baby but, the two months in the verse can be changed to any age! Here are the words:

Two months is too little.
They let him go.
They had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Is appalling.

Who told us we'd be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We're asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It's unfair.

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held.

This hand is bitterness.
We want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow.
The wise hand opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow.

If hope is born of suffering.
If this is only the beginning.
Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held.

What a reminder that we're not promised a life without pain or suffering. Some days, it's easier to follow the bitterness and hatred, but, that spirals downward, hardening hearts. Remembering that He promised to hold us no matter what is so much more reassuring than the bitterness. This is not to say that the pain and anger aren't still there, but, to hold onto that doesn't change anything or show others what an amazing God we serve.

Thanks to an amazingly gracious Heavenly Father and your many prayers for our family, we definitely feel held. We have received many notes filled with your thoughts of love, concern and prayers and they mean more to us than you will know. We are so grateful that God has brought you into our lives to love and encourage us. It's so reassuring to have a Savior who is suffering with us, reminding us that He brought us here and will always be with us throughout this entire struggle.

We've been having a fun time the last few weeks enjoying new things with Tanner (including hatching and raising a duckling and now, a baby chicken as well), anticipating summer and spending time together making memories!

Thank you again for your prayers and love. Here are a few new prayer requests: for Tanner physically, he's having some minor problems that slightly affect his walking, we would appreciate prayers for his safety. Also, we would appreciate prayers for us to live focusing on every day and not worrying about tomorrow.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Matthew 6:25-27

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Well, I've thought often about updating here, but, just had a hard time doing it. We had a nice time celebrating Tanner's adoption day. Then, Tanner had a fun weekend with 2 birthday parties and on Monday, a day off of school! We went with one of Tanner's friends from school to go indoor miniature golfing and out to lunch. It was a fun and memorable weekend (you can see a few of the celebration pictures here)! Of course, at times, it was difficult wondering what next year will be like, but, we tried to focus on celebrating him.

People often ask us how we are doing, and I often reply that it depends on the day. Last week was a hard week, maybe because of all of the celebrations and the thoughts that accompanied them. It was hard to accomplish anything, hard to talk about Tanner, hard to write about and hard to pray about. I felt like we were trying to be normal but life is not normal. I wanted to find a way to go about life again, like it used to be, but, that's not possible either. I became easily agitated and frustrated with everything and everyone, then upset with myself for becoming angry! Almost every time I would look at Tanner I wondered how long he'd be able to walk, when would he notice that something is wrong, when would he need more help, etc. I didn't want to think about it, yet, it was all I could think about. There have been some minor noticeable declines in some areas, and those are hard to think about too. It's hard to watch him and not know if his issues are normal kid issues, if they're plain stubbornness, or, if it's related to the leukodystrophy! Do I push him to continue because he should be able to do it, or, not, because he can't help it?! Sometimes I wish I knew more about the disease, and sometimes I'm glad I don't know. I hate thinking about the possibilities in the future, yet, wish I knew so that I could be prepared. I try then, to remember that I don't even know about my own future!! Thankfully, our Father knows and has always known! Some days that's easier to focus on than others. As I was adding the picture of Tanner opening his gift from us (he's signing thank you), it made me realize again, what a precious gift we've been given. I try to remember that daily. It's become a little harder lately to not be bothered that we won't have this gift forever, but, we've never been promised that we would! And what an amazing blessing that God entrusted this special gift to us.

So, this week is better. Tanner and I enjoyed eating supper in the treehouse while Jon was at a meeting, and then we had fun playing a game before bed. It was easier again to just have fun and feel normal. Hopefully things will continue this way for a while. I'm getting excited about the summer; swimming lessons, playing with friends, a trip to Glen Lake (in Michigan) with my family, and much more!

Thank you again for your continued prayers. We would appreciate your prayers for us to continue to love and teach Tanner everything we can without feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. Also, prayers for us to accept the unknown. That's often the most difficult, the unknown (of the disease, of the future, etc.). We are thankful that we can feel secure in remembering that it's irrelevant if we know the future, Tanner is safely in his Father's hands. Below are 2 encouraging verses I read last week (from The Message).

If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there;
if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath. Psalm 34:18

You've kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book. Psalm 56:8

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Adoption Day Anniversary

One year ago today we were in court for Tanner's adoption! We watched the adoption video together this morning and Tanner loved it! It was fun watching it with him and seeing his expressions and excitement. Tonight, he wants to eat pizza to celebrate, so, that's what we'll do!

May 1, 2007, what dreams we had! Dreams we never even imagined when Tanner came to live with us on Jan. 28, 2005 as a foster child. We always assumed Tanner would be with us for a short time and then he would leave until God brought other children into our lives. What different plans God had for us, exciting, wonderful plans that we never could have dreamed.

Then, September 27, 2006, our lives changed when we were in court and realized we were going to be able to adopt Tanner. How fun to dream about his future and our future as a family; where will he go to college, who will he marry, what nursing home will he put us in :). Then, new changes again when in March we received the diagnosis of leukodystrophy.

When we were becoming foster parents, we knew that we would love whomever came into our lives for a just a little while before their next phase of life. I tried to hold onto that even after the adoption, that everyone is His and that we were given Tanner to love and take care of for a time. It was harder to remember after the adoption, because it seemed a little more permanent, but, it's been brought back again with this diagnosis. We remember that Tanner is not really ours, God just gave him to us for a short time (in our eyes) to love until it's time for him to go to Jesus.

The good thing is that it helps us to appreciate and enjoy whatever we do with each other and spend more time making memories as a family. Tonight, we're going to celebrate 1 year of Tanner's adoption and on Sunday, we'll celebrate 7 years of Tanner's life! Right now, life feels good. It's not that we don't think about the leukodystrophy daily, or worry about how many adoption days and birthdays we will be able to celebrate, but, for today, for this moment, God is giving us a wonderful feeling of peace.

Thank you for your prayers. It has made a big difference in our lives. My sleep is much better, my overwhelming fears are much less significant, and we are feeling our Savior's comfort.

We appreciate continued prayers for God's peace about the situation, for Tanner to maintain his abilities (physical, behavioral and cognitive) without fast or significant regression, and for us to continue to use this situation to tell others about God's goodness.