Visit Rebekah's Page to get updates, read messages and send messages to Rebekah and her family through comments. This is a public "diary" of a family whose little girl started a battle with inoperable cancer in April 2005. In December 2007 our house burned down. And in September 2009 Mommy was diagnosed with a terminal disease (a genetic form of ALS) that took her to Heaven in July, 2011, leaving Daddy and two young girls to make it on their own. Over several years of ups and downs, you will get into our hearts, minds and souls as we share joys and sorrows. It can sometimes be very difficult to read. We hope it is also uplifting. Please find joy in what you read here.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Well, it has been a long day. Honestly it's been a long weekend since I first started having concerns Saturday afternoon. I'm not sure I really have slept much and the emotions have torn into me.

The good news is that Rebekah needs some pretty major oral surgery. Yes, you heard me right, that is the good news. There is something wrong in our family's lives that we often find ourselves hoping for something that would be a major disaster to some others. Praying for an infection, praying for MS, etc. Obviously this is the good news because it means that the swelling we are seeing is probably not cancer. There are no guarantees, but according to the dentist the oral problems could account for the danger signs we have been seeing.

Basically all of Rebekah's adult teeth are there, still up in the gums, but have been destroyed by the radiation. As they start to move, if they start to move, they are not in line and generally not well. Rebekah had an adult molar pop through on the left side. It had no enamel on it and a large hole down the center. A large hole into her body. A large hole that carried infection into that area. We don't know why her body showed no other sign of infection (fevers, rashes, redness in the area etc.)

So yes, this molar needs to come out. She is on some pretty heavy antibiotics and we will have surgery in two weeks. Surgery is a full on hospital anesthesia. The dentist, the orthodontist, the oral surgeon, the pediatricians and the oncologists all have to consult on this with it being likely the first three will be doing the surgery. At this point the surgery is set but exactly what will be done beyond removing the offending molar is not known. Lots of smart people have to come up with a treatment plan to artificially replace what we have destroyed.

And then there is the possibility (likelihood?) that Rebekah's jaw itself won't take the work necessary to get the tooth out and will fracture - but that is for another post.

For now I am beat; emotionally and physically beat. Good night.


Rebekah Scare Update

I wish that I had wonderful news to update you with, but I don't. But I also don't have too bad of news, at least not as bad as it could get.

I debated this morning as to whether to just show up on the door of the pediatrician's office and wait to be fit in, or to call them when they opened and see what they said. As they opened only 15 minutes after Sarah left on the bus, I decided to wait and used that time to get packed up and ready to go for a couple of days if necessary. I had long forgotten what it is like to walk out the door with your kiddo not know when (or if...) you would be coming home.

I couldn't make an early appointment with our normal pediatrician, but did get one with someone else in his office. Actually I have to look at this as GOD got us that particular appointment. When this doctor, that I have never met, walked in the first thing she said was "I understand. I had a little boy in the hospital the same time Rebekah was..." She looked Rebekah over pretty thoroughly and said "we need to get you in as soon as possible so you don't have to live with this limbo." If you haven't been through this you can't have any idea how special (and rare) it is to have a doc that understands this and is willing to help.

She also suggested that there is a chance (did she say "good chance" or am I just hoping she said that???) that this is a dental related infection and she asked for the name of both our dentist and our oncologist. Rather than sending us on our way and getting back to us she told us to wait while she contacted them. She tried hard to set up a dental exam this morning but the dental staff being out of the office this morning made it impossible. But we are set up for 3 this afternoon. Doc also said that if this isn't obvious she will have oncology ready to see us and get set up quickly, adding that she would do everything in her control to help that happen.

On top of this great patient advocate, our normal pediatrician, hearing Rebekah was in the office, also came in and saw her and the two docs started working together on this. Will I get charged twice? I DON'T CARE!

I am hopeful though not comfortable that Rebekah has a dental related infection as that I can emotionally deal with. But if its more than that, at least I am comfortable that we are starting with a great, understanding medical team behind us at the pediatrician.

As hard as it is for me to say this, please pray.
She asked If you haven't been through


Saturday, October 29, 2011

REALLY Scared Right Now

There are a lot of things that make parents scared regarding our children. But for a cancer parent there is one thing that we fear more than anything.

The girls went to Grandma's last night and today and just came home. Grandma told me Rebekah was complaining of her cheek being tender. Her cheek is indeed swollen and it looks like it did when her tumor started growing.

Obviously there are a lot of things that can give us a swollen cheek. I have looked all over inside her mouth and outside and I don't see any obvious bites, wounds, etc. That makes me REALLY scared right now...

I have spoken with Rebekah's doctor and for the first time speaking with this particular doc, his "control of the situation" was actually a bit calming to me. I am apparently a different patient than I have been. He basically said remember Occam's Razor - when you hear hoof beats think horses, not zebras.

In other words there are a lot of things that it could be that are more likely than a recurrence (there, I said the word.) He wants us to work through some things today that might help to rule some of them out. A VERY positive in his mind is that the swelling in her face is tender to the touch as generally a tumor growth would not be. Not so positive, but still not definitive is that she doesn't have a fever. We will be watching throughout the day and decide more tomorrow.

Some prayers right now would be a good thing.


Thursday, October 27, 2011


For those of you that don't know, not only am I an adoption attorney but I was also adopted. I have searched long and hard to try and find my birthparents and have had no luck. I just received a phone call that left me speechless. In fact it took me so by surprised that I had to ask the person to let me call them back. The relevant portion of the very short phone call was:

"Is this Scott? Scott my name is _____. I am doing some research and found out that my mother lived in a home for unwed mothers [the same one my birthmom lived in] and gave birth to a baby boy around [my birth date] and was forced to give him up for adoption..."

I had to end the conversation right there, getting a number to call her back. My emotions are running right now. Not sure if I am ready to call her back.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Laying It Out (The Empty Seat)

This came from my journal last night. I have been keeping a journal with things that don't seem appropriate to post on facebook or here; or more often things that I am afraid for one reason or another to post in either place. This entry falls into the later category.

I will lay it out. I am fearful of posting anything along the lines of my emotions regarding dating. Fearful because there are a lot of people out there that have opinions on the subject and don't mind sharing them maybe just a bit too freely without actually having been in or fully understanding the situation. Fearful because of what someone who I might go out with might think if they read this. Fearful, most of all, of the unknown. I was relieved a bit when I wrote these things in the journal but I still feel like they are bottled up inside me, so here goes.

I have gone back to driving the van this week. It wasn’t an emotional decision but rather one brought on by taking Sarah’s class to a field trip on Friday. But it has turned out to have emotional consequences.

Thursday the girls and I went to Target to do some shopping and go out to dinner. Only having the three of us in the van doesn't quite make sense in my mind. This was the van that Frances and I bought especially for them when we were pregnant with Sarah. It is the van that we have travelled so many miles in as a family. The passenger seat seemed so empty, much like my heart. The girls filled the back seat just like they fill a big part of my heart. But that other seat, just like part of my heart, was just empty.

On Friday the van was filled with 8 people. On the way to the field trip we had 6 kiddos in the back and Sarah’s teacher in the front with me. It was very Very VERY comforting to have a full van. I thought it would be weird having someone else be in "that seat" but it wasn’t. Even though "that seat" in the van was temporarily filled, it did not fill the hole in my heart, but it did comfort me a bit. I learned something about myself that day, I learned that I really do want someone to be in "that seat;" I want someone to be in my heart.

I do not know how I go about finding the right person to do that but God does, and I am trying hard to put my faith in Him. I have written a lot about what I want in that person and may post that here another time, but for now I will say that my next wife will be for another life time and will affect not just my life but the girls’ as well. I want the decision as to who that will be to be a good one and not just an emotional one. But what I do know is that finding that person with all the insurmountable hurdles will be impossible by myself. God, are you listening?


Monday, October 10, 2011

Frances and NAFA

NAFA (Northwest Adoptive Families Association) is a group that means a lot to our family. So many of my kiddos and their families are members there and we have spent a lot of time doing things with this AWESOME group. We just love them and all their families.

Their summer newsletter just came out and they did a great story on Frances. Find the Full Newsletter Here. The story about Frances is on Page 5.

Or if you can read it, here is the article itself:


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Angels Rejoicing

We have talked about many very personal things on the blog, but none so personal as this. We have talked about how we have heard from people that something they read here influenced their decision for Christ and have shared how multiple times we have said "Lord, if this person coming to Christ was the reason for all of this suffering then we praise You for it." As much as those have meant to us, none have meant so much as this.

As we were driving in the truck Sunday evening, 7 year old Sarah was reciting John 3:16. Her verse: "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life." After her reciting it while driving home we sat in the truck in our driveway and talked about what it meant. We had a very adult conversation and I was proud of her understanding of scripture far beyond just this verse.

Fast forward 24 hours. Monday night she was working on memory verses again and again we talked about what they meant. In that she said, somewhat in passing, "like I did..." I wasn't sure I heard it right and in fact wasn't sure she knew what she was saying so I let it go.

Fast forward another 24 hours. Tonight I pulled her up on the couch with me and asked her what she meant when she said "like I did..." last night. She proceeded to share with me about sin, about how a perfect Christ died on the cross to carry our sin away from God and how asking Christ into your life means you will have God in your life forever and have forever life with God in Heaven after you die. She shared with me about talking to Jesus and asking Him into your heart. When I asked her again about what she meant when she said "I did that" she said "I asked Jesus into my life the other night, after we talked in the truck, while brushing my teeth."

Lots of things make a parent proud. I cannot imagine that anything can make a parent prouder. The Bible says angels in Heaven rejoice when a soul comes to Christ. I know that, in addition to the angels there, so is Mommy!



Saturday, October 01, 2011

Alone. And Becoming More So.

I am alone today. Very very alone. The girls have been off off with Grandmas since last night. It is alone times that are the hardest. Especially when other things make you feel even more alone.

I started cleaning off the kitchen table today. That is actually a much bigger job than it sounds. You see, 1/2 of the kitchen table has been Frances' pharmacy. Cleaning off the table means going through all of her drugs as well as piles and piles of paperwork that have been thrown onto that 1/2 of the table for lack of a better place to keep them.

As I touch each bottle and place it by category to be disposed of correctly, I am touching bottles that slowed the progress of her ALS, bottles that attempted to provide her with some relief from the pain, bottles that made her as comfortable as possible throughout the horrible process of dying. Now, like her, these little bottles, patches, syringes, containers that had been such a big part of our lives, will all be gone.

The more that is gone the emptier the house is. The emptier the house is the emptier I feel. Back to being alone.