Anna Henderson

First post: 9/12/2017 Latest post: 11/12/2017
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. 
           We have always had a heart for adoption.  We were blessed with our first daughter, Ella in 2005. As soon as Ella could talk and pray she began to pray nightly for a sister.  For quite a while, we prayed if this was right for our family and happily decided to become foster parents with the hope of helping another child. Upon completion of our training we were placed the very next week with Anna. 
          Anna was a cute, cubby baby with a big bright smile and fuzzy head of hair. We all fell in love with her at first site. We were her foster parents for about two years before we were asked if we wanted to be her forever parents. We excitedly proclaimed , Yes!!
          Only a few months after her adoption was finalized, Ella saw a small drop of blood in Anna's  ear.  We thought that perhaps she had an ear infection.  Later that day,  we were told that it was a polyp and they removed it, but, unfortunately,  the doctor saw something else below  the polyp. Many tests, a definite exercise in patience while worrying for Anna and finally a surgery confirmed that Anna had Rhabdomyosarcoma.  We were put in an ambulance and sent directly to another hospital for staging of the cancer and treatment. Anna had 29 days  of radiation and began a 54 week plan of chemotherapy. 
       Her diagnosis gave us time to be together, time to pray together and time to reflect on our lives. We realized that our family was not going in the direction that we needed to go,  in order to grow. It was a very isolating and lonely time for all of us. It was difficult to see so many sick children suffering,  like Anna .  We held on to the thought that everything is in the Lord's time and in His plan.  We wished that all the children would survive.  Anna's  chances were not good but we prayed and asked everyone to pray. We focused on making good decisions for her daily.  Ella was there for Anna the whole time.  She did so many sweet things for her and with her.  Anna had so many sick days where she could not even hold her head up. Then there were other days where she was strong and full of joy. We realized that no matter the outcome, we needed to find joy in every day.  We set out to be happy daily in small deliberate ways. We read the Bible together, popped around a blown up glove with a smiley face on it and we talked about our hopes for the future. 
             Anna finished up all her treatment only a few months before she turned five. She had survived and we all were blessed and thankful.
            We made big changes in our lives. We changed the church that we went to since we were teenagers. Our new church was Biblicaly based with many people who  nurtured our need for the truth and helped us to grow in the direction that we felt would strengthen our family and  please the Lord. 
          I became a homemaker and homeschooling Mom. These were precious years together. The girls, Barry  and  I spent as much quality time together as we could.  We also spent time supporting other families with children diagnosed with  cancer,  in various ways. 
       Over the years,  Anna has endured many late effects of all the radiation and chemo that she received.  She has been strong, courageous and full of joy.  We can learn so much from her example.  She has a light inside of her that shines bright and she loves everyone, especially, the Lord  Jesus. 
             Recently,  Anna had numbness in her jaw. Unfortunately, after several tests and a surgery she has been diagnosed with cancer, new and different types, close to the original cancer site.  She is nine years old now and she is enduring this battle again.  She has a good attitude but we all feel that it is harder to walk through once you know what to expect.  We are determined to find joy in each day that God gives us together.  Prayers are very much appreciated. 

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