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Monday, November 9, 2009

I made it to Amsterdam!

little sister LOVES her some muffins! It's as big as her face!
Joseph, Gwen's little boy, I just whispered " your Mommy is coming soon!"
Nicholas, Tara's little boy, can you say "hunk o' love?" Poor Josie...those little eyes just did not want to open that day!

My text from Katie this morning said: I just had a good cry over how much I will miss Josie, how thankful I am for her sweet life and her forever family…I love you guys…I can’t wait to see you!

I am on my way to Uganda. I am bringing my little Jlovie home. The empty stroller that I have pushed through the airport will be full on my way home! I am in a little bit of disbelief…. I can feel the Holy Spirit all around me.

Life has been somewhat hectic the past few weeks. I have blinked and found myself sitting on this plane with my body being drained and my spirit feeling empty. . I am usually pretty good about refueling before the little light comes on, but I have TOTALLY neglected to refuel lately. (complete survival mode) SO, I decided to fill my cup a little bit. I slept for about 4 hours and then opened up my bible, blew the dust off and started replenishing DROP BY DROP.

I have to admit that I have always joked about this “crazy blogger world”. I have actually laughed OUT LOUD at Gwen and Katie when complete strangers have approached us and asked details pertaining to their latest post. I would give them the HARDEST time. I mean, this blogging world really is C-R-A-Z-Y!! I started this blog on our first trip to visit Katie so that our family and closest friends could follow us for two weeks. AND HERE I AM, almost a year later, BLOGGING!

I have received quite a few emails reguarding Josie having HIV. There have been many questions reguarding keeping our “journey” quiet. Some people that already have a child with HIV feel it isn’t in the childs best interest to expose it. Others that are in the process of adopting a child with HIV are soul searching . What IS the best thing for our children? Well, I can’t give any advice on YOUR situation, but for MY situation this is what the Lord has said to ME.

“Don’t begin by traveling to some far off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. TOUCH THE UNTOUCHABLES. You have been treated generously, so live generously. Don’t think that you need a lot of equipment. YOU ARE THE EQUIPMENT…travel light. When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they do not welcome you, quietly withdraw” (that is the hard part for me!) “Stay alert. This is hazardous work I’m assigning you. You are going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves. Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove. Don’t be naïve. Don’t be upset when they impugn your motives, smear your reputation and speak of you in public. WITHOUT KNOWING IT, THEY’VE DONE YOU- and ME_- a favor, GIVEN YOU A PLATFORM TO FOR PREACHING THE KINGDOM NEWS. Don’t worry about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The RIGHT words will be there, the Spirit of the Father will supply the words!” Matthew 10:10-20 (the Message Bible)

It is by NO mistake that our family is walking this journey. We feel that we are called to speak boldly on Josie’s behalf. We are called to educate those around us on HIV and teach HER that while the HIV is part of her life, it is NOT who she IS. She will find WHO she is through Jesus Christ and CHRIST ALONE.

I have been doing just a little shopping for little cutie pie the past few weeks. I probably should have been at home “filling my cup” but she HAD to HAVE some warm clothes.(heehee) The child has never felt winter. I don’t even think that she has felt air condition (except for in a car, when I am begging our driver for some relief from the heat) . I bought her a little light pink dress and got it monogrammed in chocolate. Seriously, when you live in the south you HAVE to have a few things monogrammed. When I picked it up from being monogrammed, I could have fallen to my knees and cried. (probably would have, but Mike was waiting in the truck and I had to be “a big girl” because I was going to board a plane all by myself and go to Africa and I wanted his heart to be at peace with me leaving) THERE IT WAS…. JML….her initials….her name…Josie Love MAYERNICK. She finally has a LAST name! On her legal forms in Uganda, it says “Josephine”…nothing else, just Josephine. Having a last name gives us a sense of belonging. It tells us where we come from....where we BELONG. I think I might just monogram everything that she has! She has a FULL name, a FAMILY, and a Saviour that CREATED her PERFECTLY.

I am in the process of educating myself on HIV, so as I draw conclusions, I am going to blog them so that we can all learn together!

Here are a few facts that I just read on the plane.

People CANNOT get HIV from:



Sharing a home

Touching toilet seats, telephones, or doorknobs

Eating or playing together



Drinking or eating after each other


Shannon said...

Hi Suzanne, I am one of those complete strangers out in crazy blogland. I have been following your journey and am constantly inspired and blown away by your love for Jesus and His children. It's incredible that we can shed tears and celebrate with complete strangers but following your journey I have done just that. Last week when you posted about leaving to get Josie Love I broke into complete shaking sobs. So overjoyed for Josie and for your family. I have been praying for Josie and your family since I started following this amazing journey. I have been woken from a dead sleep with Josie on my mind and lift up prayers to Jesus. I will continue praying for your safe travels and return with Josie. I can't wait to see her in her mongrammed dress...she will be beautiful! Your praying sister out in Washington state.

Ang said...

Another complete stranger who's praying you home. Keep going, girl.


SiLa said...

You are going home with Josie!
That is precious miracle from God.

Beautiful Mess said...

Complete stranger category as well,

but I am appreciating your education on ALL things--your faith, your fortitude and strength are such an encouragement. I can understand why others may want you to keep quiet--but the world must deal with HIV and education is the front line. Appreciating my schooling--via LOVE!!

Thank you!


mommy24treasures said...

God speed to your precious little love.

steal magnolias said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steal magnolias said...

praying for your cup to be filled with the truth of our savior. so much so that you over flow with JOY. i pray you have a peace that passes ALL understanding. may GOD bless you and Josie love on your JOURNEY home. how thankful am i that we serve a GOD of REDEMPTION. oh what a thanksgiving this will be.

The Young Family said...

Praying for you and can't wait for you to get our Josie Love home! We have all fallen madly in love with this child of God's from your blog and I sure can't wait to watch her although you weren't a blog fan to begin with---you can't leave us hanging girl! We will be praying for you, supporting you and praying for JL's miraculous life and healing every step of the way. The Lord will bless your family, you and Josie Love for YOUR family's obediance!

Shonni said...

I have been praying for this little one to come home and I am so moved by your beautiful words today and so grateful to the LORD...He loves her so and you have a HIS story to tell the world!

Erika Kolecki said...

Another stranger here, but thinking of you guys and praying for you every day. May your journey be safe and your family whole very soon. She is blessed to have you, and you blessed to have her. Thank you for sharing your blog with all of us strangers :-)

missy said...

i am touched by your family, your journey and your sweet josie love. so happy you get to bring her home...can't wait to see a picture of her in that monogrammed dress representing that she has a last name and a forever family!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Suzanne....we're praying for your pick up trip & have been following your blog for awhile now. Mark has really enjoyed getting to know Mike, and we are cheering you on! On a vain & shallow note, I must say your biceps look amazing in the pic of Josie Love eating her muffin. Helping 147 million orphans & staying sculpted--wow!
Thanks for living our crazy love!
Mary Pierce

3 Blessings said...

Praying for you...your journey and your sweet Josie Love.

Hold My Hand said...

this is Hannah baldwin. My mom is the school nurse at CPA and Anna Bliss Eberle is my best friend and she keeps me updated. I know you hear this all the time but as I'm sitting here reading this blog in the student center at UGA I just started to cry. I'm so glad that you still blog because your words are always what I need to read and I pray for you guys so much. I'm so excited you get to bring your little girl home and love on her even more. Praying for you as you deal with the weariness of traveling and the joy and just everything. I'm so excited for you!

Nancy said...

Ah, Suzanne, I just love your heart! I am so, so, so excited that this next and BEST part of Josie Love's life is beginning! What a miracle! Hug Katie and her kids for me!

Love...Nancy in CT

MommyBrec said...

I am one of the crazy bloggers who follows your blog and I have never even met you! I just love you and your family. I also love Josie Love and am so excited that she is coming home. God is good, always good. Thank you so much for continuing this blog after your time with Katie. It has been a blessing to follow your heart and your family's journey to bring home Josie Love. Please continue to blog and keep us posted about her.

This may be too personal, and I don't mean to offend you, but in this post you mentioned, about a picture, that her eyes "just didn not want to open that day"...does she have something wrong with her eyes? (I remember in a previous post you mentioned how perterbing it was for people in Africa to always be asking what was wrong with her eyes. I am so, so sorry that I am one of those people...but I genuinely want to understand. Is it related to her HIV?)

I had goosebumps through this entire post! You have such a strong testimony! Thank you so much for sharing it with the world. It strengthens me. Each time I read your blog I am uplifted. THANK YOU for blogging (even though it IS CRAZY!!!!! LOL!)

Praying for you,

florence said...

Suzanne, I'm so glad that you are on the final leg of bringing that sweet muffin home! What a story you have to tell- and I thank you for telling (SHOUTING) it!!! John and I prayed for you, Mike and the children last night. I have been reading Crazy Love and am in a restless period right now where I think I would move to Africa if that's what the Lord wanted me to do. When I shared this with John, he says, "I just can't see going to Africa when our own neighbors don't even know Jesus!" He has a real heart for our little cul de sac. So, thank you for that scripture from The Message today and the encouragement to BE where we are, making His name known.

Oh, to have a last name.. to belong to a family. I love that you are getting clothes monogrammed. She is YOURS- a Mayernick! Anna's birth certificate from Russia says that her parents are John and Florence Berti.. what a trip! And so we are.

Praying for a wonderful rest of your trip, lots of sweet memories with Katie and a smooth transition HOME...

Jennifer said...

I'm another crazy blooger that follows you even though we have never met. I'm sitting here in my kindergarten classroom on my lunch hour crying as I read your post. Your complete trust in God is such a wonderful example to me. I need to do a better job of doing what I can, where I am. Thanks for the enouraging words!
Prayers for a safe trip!

Goodness and Mercy Mom said...

Dear Suzanne,

Nothing like bringing your baby home to get your crazy lurker friends out of the shadows! I'm fessing up that I'm one, too.(But I officially joined as a follower today and put your "147 million" link on my blog.)

I'm just so overjoyed for you! I've had the same kind of adoption adventure (except I'm adopting a 9 year old boy from Guatemala and has taken 2 1/2 years to get him home). Okay, well maybe my adventure has been different, but my passion for orphans is the same.

I'm praying for you to have health, safety, wisdom, peace, renewed strength and abounding joy in these precious days of bringing your daughter home.

May others be inspired by you and your sweet family's obedience in caring for orphans. Thanks for taking us with you through your blog!

Kathie from Georgia
(Being a Southern girl myself, I understand the need to monogram)

Rhonda said...

Suzanne, this may have been one of the sweetest things I've ever read. I've been thinking about and praying for you since yesterday morning. I chuckled at your comment about blowing the dust off your Bible...aren't you glad The Teacher doesn't give us demerits when we don't do our Homework! He is just glad we're here again, and He's ready to teach us a whole new TRUTH for today! Sounds like He has given you the Truth you need for this day...I'm so thrilled and grateful to be a part of Josie Love's community! I can't wait to see her face to sweet face! Our prayers go with you, my friend. You're are a champion for the CAUSE as you're walkiing humbly this path He has put you on!! We're cheering you on from the "Brent Hood," as my boys call it! haha! Love you!

Rhonda said...

Suzanne, I forgot to tell you this. I remember being in a meeting with our attorneys, re-doing our will & estate planning TWO DAYS after we'd received our referral for "Li Ming from Jianxi." At that meeting, with the stroke of a pen, Li Ming became an inheritor, along with her 3 brothers, to everything that we have....because God had ordained her as a Kemp from the foundation of time. It was mind boggling to sit at that conference table and give them her full Chinese name and in essence, hand over everything that was ours' to her........I'm still in awe of the picture that gave me of our Father's love He so lavishes upon us, that we should be called HIS SONS and DAUGHTERS!! It's a miracle that will forever astound me!

P.S. Nolan also wanted me to tell you that he wants to be Josie's first babysitter. I told him to get in line!! ha!

MUCH LOVE from all the KEMPS!!!!!!!!

Chastity said...

Praying for you and your sweet Josie Love. Safety, joy, peace, protection, health, trying to get it all in for you. She is beautiful and I can't wait to see how God is going to use her for His Glory. Oh girl, its going to be Big!
Your friend in the Boro (PCA)

Anonymous said...

After reading all of the other posts I am left has all been said already. However, being that I am one of those people you don't know I thought I would post a quick note to say, "Thank you" and "I'm praying for you and your family." Isn't it amazing how God uses everything to bring His family together for His good and His glory?
Be blessed today, and give Katie a hug for me!

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

SOOOO excited that you get to bring your girl home!!! I say preach on about HIV- people NEED to know! Children's lives depend on others not being afraid of "cooties". The facts are soo easy to know and yet they don't.

Just come home safely with your sweet Josie!!!!!!!!!! Praying for your family back home & YOU too!!!!

Brian and Mandy Harvey said...

Okay, sister, so, if my cup was visible right now I would be sloshing all over everything in my path! I am SOOO excited for you, for Josie Love, and by the way, we got "the call" this morning and are leaving for Kolkata on Friday!!! So, next time I see you, we will be up two brown girls :-) It's funny, I had the same kind of revelation this morning, I was thinking about orphans and Mia when all of the sudden it hit me, she isn't going to be an orphan any of Tuesday, she is a daughter. A child redeemed from a different life. And unlike you, I did cry. I was at home so I could. :-) It is beyond word. I will be checking your blog as much as possible and then will post on mine while we are gone. I will wave to you from the plane this weekend (not that we will fly over Africa, but it's closer than here in Indiana!) I love you and am praying for you both.

Anonymous said...

SO excited for you!!! I cannot wait to see the little punkin! LOVE YOU!!!

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...


I'm so blessed to have been introduced to you and can't wait to meet you, Gwen and Katie face to face!!!!

Your story is one that God wants others to read because the truth will set them FREE!

Please hug Rhonda and her precious family for me too! You are all so blessed to live so close together!

Big hugs and that dress is ADORABLE!!!!


Kat said...

Another stranger :)...but we're all not, are we? We're children of the same Father...the ULTIMATE Father in Heaven. We've been praying for you and our hearts sing in celebration as you bring your little one home. God is so amazingly good to bless us with these little good...unbelievably good...amazingly...stunningly. Celebrating with you and praying for you!!!

Renee Click said...

Hey Sister! You continue to amaze and inspire me! I know you will have a wonderful trip. I can't wait to follow "Stalk" you this next week! I am so excited for you all!

KT said...

oh Suzanne
I can't wait to meet this sunshine. Sophie LOVES her last name as well. When we talk about Shepherd, she says his last name we are giving him. She says he's part of us. I LOVE that.
Is it cute to get toddler boys stuff monogrammed?
You are brave and full of the Holy Spirit, I know you will have much to tell us.

Oatsvall Team said...

well you know i can't even read the screen for my tears ... you could have posted anything and i would be bawling ... i am so excited for the journey we have a head w/ Josie ... auntie gwen will be there to give lots of kisses to Josie love and walk w/ you on this blessed journey ... i have no doubt Josie will teach us so much about the Father's love ...

Ellen Wrede said...

Suzanne I am SO EXCITED for you to bring your sweet girl home. I'm praying for you both!!

Kenlie Posey said...

My heart is so warm and fuzzy for you! I am beyond excited that you are getting to bring her home. I have been following you for a very long time. And I love it. I am so thankful to have people like your family to look up to. Adoption from overseas is something that tugs at my heart. God is amazingly working in your lives and I am beyond blessed to be a witness of that. He is a wonderful man. Be safe in Uganda. I pray for your family, Asher's family, Katie, and the children in Uganda daily. And I mean that. Thank you so much for sharing all you do. Thank you for loving Jesus and feeding His sheep. You and your family are a real blessing. I'm so excited that Josie is coming him to be with her forever family. I get chills just about every time I read something you post.

the Skips said...

i am another blogging stranger that is thankful for the way that God is using you and your "blog" to inspire so many of us to live passionately and boldly for Him! my family is praying for you!

Over-Caffeinated X 4 said...

Oh, please keep educating all of us. There are so many things that I have always wondered and had no one to ask about HIV. I feel like the Lord is really going to just open another entire ministry through this one little girly in Tennessee! :)

Anonymous said...

Another stranger here, who feels she knows you so well. I just know Josie Love is going to absolutely thrive when she comes home. I love all children but there is something about her that even comes through on this blog that makes here very special. With prayers and love to all of your family.

Renee said...

Oh Suzanne! What a beautiful post! My heart is so full, my eyes are bleary with tears, but it is JOY that is bursting through as I think about JOSIE LOVE MAYERNICK being in your arms RIGHT NOW! I love your heart, I love your zeal, I love that you are making a difference, but most of all I love how you love our Savior! Thank you for walking this journey boldly-it is inspiring and encourages us to all do the same! Give Josie big sloppy kisses from me and give Katie and the girls my love! Love you, sister!

Chris and Lindsey Wheeler said...

Suzanne, the Wheeler family is praying, crying, and rejoicing with you as your bring precious Josie Love HOME!! I can't believe it. I am praying for the Lord to use you mightily in the week you are in Africa. Love you so much!! Can't wait to give that sweet girl a big hug!!!


Cindy Hannah said...

Thanks for your words and honesty, it has really given me something to think and pray about. I love how God spoke that scripture to you and applied it in a way I've never thought about. Let's talk when you return.

Ali said...

We are all doing great here! I've got a precious picture to post on facebook of us at Moes for Joshua's birthday. The kids have been precious and Nonnie and Susan and I all had a great time talking yesterday. Thinking about you CONSTANTLY! love you so so so so much

Polly said...

Yet another stranger..thanks for letting us all share this adventure and amazing blessing with you. You have a gift of being able to share your story in such a compelling manner that inspires relentlessly! God bless you and your sweet Josie Love who will so rock her new monogrammed dress that every Southern Gal must own!
Also, thanks to you and Gwen, who I met at the Together for Adoption conf. I love all my new "147" shirts. Decided adoption shirts would be my new Fall wardrobe and I can say without a doubt I don't for a minute miss all my old CAbi attire..

Jeanine said...

We are all waiting with SUCH excitement to get our hands on that precious girl and watch her BLOSSOM! I love how you are using your journey to educate others about the fact of HIV. God has such big plans...He is going to change so many lives and hearts because of your precious family who has walked this road of obedience and love. BLESS YOU as you take the final steps to bring her home and make her part of your family!

annabelle said...

I miss you so much and I cant wait til I get to meet Josie!I am going to call you today okay but please answer when I call.


Connie said...

We're praying for you, happy that you allowed us to to read your story and share in the journey. God bless you all as you bring Josie home where she belongs, is loved, and yes, has your last name. God is the Giver of every good and perfect gift...enjoy her immensely in His presence with a thankful heart.

Tabitha Harder said...

Ok. I totally started laughing when I read your comments about total strangers reading your blog. I think i feel the same sometimes when I realize how much I care for and pray for total strangers :) HOW FUNNY! I love reading your blog and following Katie and Gwen. I am so inspired by how God is using all of you! Thank you for sharing your story..........

James 1:27

Victoria Searer said...

Pryaing for y'all! Can't wait to see her! So happy that y'alls family will be complete at Thanksgiving! I understand about the monogramming! (I even have Caro's bat bag monogrammed!) Love y'all!

Annabelle said...

I miss you so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so much!Last night I was crying because I missed you so so so so so so so so so so so so so much!!!


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I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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