Today, I had the privilege of attending a memorial service for a very special young man.
If you are reading my blog because you have an interest in special needs adoption, you likely already know the Musser family, but many of you probably do not.
Trevor and I began reading Susanna’s blog The Blessing of Verity while we were adopting Niko. At that time, the Mussers were adopting their daughter Katie from the same country Niko came to us from, and we followed their journey with interest.
A little over a year ago, while we were working to adopt Delia, the Mussers also brought home a beloved son, Tommy, from the same orphanage they had adopted Katie from.
It has been a joy over the past year or so to get to know Susanna personally through a little support group she organizes for moms of children adopted out of institutionalization. She has been an incredible blessing and encouragement in my life.
Just over two weeks ago, on July 31st, Tommy passed away in an accidental drowning. I found out that night by stumbling across a mention of the news online. I spent the rest of the evening crying and vainly attempting to put something helpful into an email to my dear friend. It hurt to even think about what she must be going through. What their whole precious family must be going through. What they will continue to walk through for years to come.
But today was a celebration. A celebration of Tommy’s much-too-short life. Of adoption. Of love. Of the difference a family can make. Of the immense value of one human being and the impact he can have on the lives of those around him.
Because of Katie’s and Tommy’s stories, many families have been emboldened to see precious orphans for the treasures they are and go and adopt themselves. Many more have given to help those still left behind.
In Tommy’s honor, I would love it if you would go to Susanna’s blog and read a bit of their amazing story. The links at the side for the beginnings of Verity’s, Katie’s and Tommy’s stories are a good place to start. If you feel moved to do more, please consider making a donation to The Pleven Project, which Susanna and others have set up to revolutionize the care of those left behind in Tommy and Katie’s former home.
Would you also join me in lifting this dear hurting family up in prayer? Susanna has described the love and prayers of others as a “wall of protection” as they have walked through these difficult early days. Let’s help keep that wall strong for them.