Our Family

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send?
And who will go for Us?’
And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’" Isaiah 6:8

A Little History

Living in different areas of the United States, my husband and I seemed to always know God was (and is) our lives.  He was (and is) our constant.  His Son is our salvation.  His love is our peace.
As a little girl I stood under the monkey bars in our back yard (in 80 degree heat where it NEVER snowed) and climbed Mount Everest with a string of my invisible children in parkas holding onto a rope.  I was going to take care of them, they would be my children.  They were orphans, escaping all the horrors my young mind could imagine.  Our Heavenly Father was planting the seeds even then.

When my husband and I met, we both knew adoption was in our future.   We knew God would lead us to our children, and we would bring them home.

Married in the early 90’s, we learned the ins and outs of military life as my husband enlisted…and how to be parents.  Tom (our honeymoon baby) came into our lives within 12 months after we were married (1994).  Sarah joined us in 1996.  After living overseas for 3 ½ years, we returned to the states in 1997 and learned to live as civilians around 2000.  We were joined by Anna that very same year.

Three children, a house, animals…. the American Dream.  Thankfully God’s vision was so much bigger.

At Church in 2002, my husband and I both left with a sense of anticipation.  By the end of the day (without talking, I must say) God had placed the knowledge that we had a son across the world.  The inkling of Max was born.  In 2003 Max joined us from Russia at 13 1/2 months old.

God was not done with us yet though.  Bekah joined us after God placed the thought of Ethiopia in our lives DAILY for weeks and weeks.  She was on the special needs lists with a large lump on her neck (TB or Cancer we thought). Bekah joined us in 2007 at 15 months old. Ten months of TB meds later the lump was gone and the giggly, fully attached girl emerged.  God had led us across the world to our child.

Thankfully, God’s vision was even BIGGER for our family.  In 2010 we brought home our twins from Ethiopia (at ten months old).  The pictures we received had left us seriously worried about Gabe, but LITERALLY, we feel if we had traveled even a week later, Rachel may not have been with us.  She was so sick when we arrived.  They were both in a place we would not wish for them, but FLOURISHED and are extremely active and adorable.

Our family was full, or so many thought.

Now, who would have thought a little Asian blessing awaited us?  We had seven children, right?  Yet on Christmas 2011 we met Jael (our eighth blessing) in China for the first time.  She entered the U.S. and the arms of her entire family on January 5th, 2012 (at three and a half years old).  Her precious legs were created a little differently (Tibial Hememelia).  We had no clue what a little power house she would be and how she would eventually ROCK prosthetics!  She's been through amputation surgery through both knees and has blown us away with her strength!

In 2013 our ninth child, precious Jonathan,  joined Jesus in Heaven. Five weeks from traveling to hold him, we were given the news.  That was March 13th.  His 9th birthday was March 18th.  We celebrate his victory though.  He is now running in meadows and streets of gold.  We mourn and are in pain, but we are also forever thankful to have had the opportunity to love him.

Jonathan's adoption is now complete.  He IS our 9th child and has reached the ultimate destination...Jesus' Arms...God's presence.  This is our goal for all our children. 

We have now completed our journey to Jonathan's brother Benjamin (June 2013 at almost ten years old), our tenth blessing, from Eastern Europe.  His history is dark, as it is for many with disabilities (or as we like to say, different abilities) around the world. Benjamin has Down Syndrome and is non verbal.  He's now fourteen years old, and an adorable little guy.  Cognitively he learns more every day.  He's had to fight to learn, since his neglect was extreme, but he's come so far!

Our Benjamin

On May 6th, 2016 Timothy  (4 years old) entered our family.  Timothy has Arthrogryposis.  Though it affects his shoulders, thankfully they will not need surgery.  He has had one minor and one extremely major surgery so far to put his hips in socket (3/4" off of each leg, hips put in socket, feet flattened, full body cast for six weeks).  He has a couple more surgeries ahead (one major in which they will cut the through the bone on his leg and rotate it to face the correct direction).  He is precious and a gift.  Everyone that meets him says he will either be a preacher or a public speaker.  He talks from morning until night (chuckle).

God was not done with us yet.

In July of this year (2017), Grace~Victory and Hope~Glory entered our family as the youngest members at 3 1/2 years and 2 years.  These little blessings happen to both have two different kinds of Down Syndrome (or I should say they are blessed with an extra chromosome).  They are so adorable and sweet.  Once home we discovered they have something called Atlantoaxial instability.  Hope's is more severe than typical and she will need surgery at the base of her skull inserting pins and plates.  The C1-C2 vertebra is slipping out of place and this can be dangerous.



We still are trying to find our new normal.  We aren't exactly sure what "normal" is, so it may be hard to find (chuckle).

Our Family

With ten children living at home (and thirteen blessings in all), we are constantly busy…and constantly filled with wonder at God’s amazing Grace.  We are a home school family beautifully formed by God’s Hands alone. With children ages 2 year old  to 23 years old, a wonderful son in law and daughter in law, and three precious grandchildren (one still in his mommy's tummy), we are kept on the floor laughing most of the time. 

My mom lives around the corner and one brother nearby.  Our oldest son (Tom) is in the military and his wife and daughter (Elizabeth and Alessandra) are at their first duty station. Our daughter (Sarah), her husband (Ivan), and daughter (Isabella) live close by and are expecting a new addition shortly.   We are surrounded daily by a crazy family and awesome friends (some are quite the pranksters…standby to see what we have planned).  We have a huge support network of prayer warriors, including many of you (as well as an AMAZING Church family).  Thankful doesn't begin to express our feelings.

God propels us each day to new adventures and thinking beyond what we thought possible.

Yes, our family may seem full, but God's vision is SO much bigger than ours.  Join us as He stretches our human vision beyond what we could've ever imagined...to a family of fifteen, including my husband and I (and our Jonathan in Heaven).

(That's not even including a precious son-in-love, daughter-in-love, and three precious new grandchildren!)

Tom, Sarah, Anna, Max, Benjamin, Bekah, Jael, Gabe, and Rachel
                                                   Picture taken in 2014, before Timothy joined our family.

Gabe, Max, Elizabeth (daughter-in-love), Jael, Anna, Ben, Tom, Bekah, Timothy, Sarah, and Rachel (Ivan, our son-in-love was sick)
Our Awesome Zoo

Marr Kids (including our daughter and son in love and granddaughters)
Grace and Hope had yet to join our family at this point.  Prayerfully we
will have new pictures with EVERYONE soon!
(Early 2017)

The Guys (Reality)

The Girls
(minus to precious little girls who are new to our family)

Tom/23 and his daughter Alessandra/9 months
Elizabeth/22 (Tom's wife) below and their daughter Alessandra/then 4 months
It's time for a family picture of these three!!!

Sarah/21-Married to our awesome son-in-love Ivan/23.   That little tiny "Sunshine and Sass" is Isabella (1 year).


Max-15 (and SIX FEET TALL)

Jonathan/Forever 8/In Heaven with Our Savior/A Blessing Beyond Our Imagination




Gabriel-8 (TWINS!)

Rachel-8 (TWINS!)

Timothy- 5

Grace~Victory (3 1/2 years old)

Hope~Glory (2 years old)

Will we adopt again? Prayerfully so, but that is up to our Heavenly Father. 

Is our journey over?  Oh no...it's just begun!

(updated 11/2017)

1 comment:

In the joy of following our Heavenly Father, we sometimes choose to proceed with a whisper, a verse, or a downright shove...no matter how we follow Him, the momentum that follows is like nothing we've ever experienced before.

Join the momentum...it is a beautiful place to be. It's not always easy, but then the best things never are.

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