I went for a run tonight. That is a huge accomplishment for me. When I opened the running app on my phone I saw that my last run was November 23 of last year. Major fail on my part. I’m going to try to get going with running again. Our best friends are adopting from China so we have to get ready for another Chosen Marathon in October. Woo hoo! I’m going to do my best to get Ian to run it with me this time. He doesn’t know it yet. Its seven months away… that should be enough time for a double below knee amputee to re-learn to run and train for a half marathon, right? Right!

During my run I had a lot of time to reflect and pray. I listened to NeedtoBreathe while I ran. This was an album that I listened to a lot while I was trying to sleep in Ian’s hospital room when he was sedated and intubated. It brought back some memories for sure. I thought about the crazy alarms that went off at all times of the night that startled me awake. I remember the nurses coming into his room with a Doppler machine to listen for pulses in his feet. I didn’t realize that they already knew his feet would be severely damaged. I was always so relieved when they actually found a pulse. It was kinda like going to your OB to listen to your baby’s heartbeat… it was so nice to finally hear that beautiful sound. Then my mind wandered to last Easter.

I LOVE Easter! It is the day that it was discovered that Jesus had risen. The grave could not contain him… After being nailed to and dying on a cross, God rose Jesus from the dead and he is alive!

Last Easter was like Christmas to me. I had been praying and fasting for God to heal Ian’s dead black fingers and feet. I believed that when I woke on Easter morning, Ian’s fingers and feet would be healed. I had faith like a child. I remember waking up… As soon as my eyes opened I looked over at Ian, who was still sleeping, and found his fingers. Still black. I was disappointed. Not my will, LORD, but your will be done. Looking back on it, I think I realized then that God’s will was not going to be to heal Ian’s dead black fingers and feet.

Fast forward one year, and this Easter I am reflecting on how far our little family has come. It has been a long, hard road…but we have never been alone. God has blessed us through relationships with people we have met. God has generously provided for our every need. God has revealed so much of himself to us and our children and we are forever changed. Ian is anxious for the day when we won’t talk about his therapy OR his new legs OR his new thumb OR anything related to his sickness. I am anxious for God to reveal to us why this happened. I believe that it happened for a reason, and I pray that God would give me a little glimpse of his plan and how he is using us in it. Maybe he will and maybe he won’t. Either way, I trust him completely and believe that this plan for us is better than any plan I could have come up with.

Easter is not about bunnies. Easter is about a Savior who died to save us. He saved Ian, but don’t forget that he also died to save you.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

Love, denisse

the pincher.

For those of you still reading, thanks for your faithfulness and prayers.  Some days are easier than others, and we are still very much adjusting to our new normal.  God is in the business of carrying us through.

Ian had his post surgery follow up with Dr. Pederson today.  We were both very excited about it.  Its been a long, hard three weeks without seeing what his new hand will look like.  They removed the cast when we first got there, and we were able to see what we had seen before.  Lots and lots of cotton dressing stuffed down into Ian’s palm.  I didn’t notice last time, but the cotton was actually sewn in so that it wouldn’t move.  Luckily, it didn’t.  Dr. Pederson is a fabulous surgeon and his work was impeccable.

The wait in the room was tough.  I think I was making myself sick just imagining what it would look like… wondering if it was infected… imagining how ugly it was going to be.  After all, Pederson told me after surgery that it wasn’t pretty. Finally, Pederson walked in, and he eased the tension with his smile and jokes.   He started removing the dressing really really really slowly.  There was some thread stuck to it, along with dry blood and bad skin.  I told him that I thought I was going to cry with all the suspense and he proceeded to tell me about his wife crying about everything, too.  He compared revealing Ian’s hand to opening a Christmas present.  He was really trying to be nice.  I appreciate that.  And then, after removing the last bit of cotton, there it was.

It took me by surprise.  It definitely isn’t pretty.  There were stitches and markings from surgery on his skin.  I could see more of the pins poking out because his hand is less swollen than it was two weeks ago.  It is less swollen, but still swollen some according to Pederson.  He says that it will start to look better in a couple of weeks as the swelling continues to go down and the skin continues to heal.  Overall it looks good.  Ian has a great big thumb.  The skin graft from his hip looks really good.  It is not infected and it looks like it worked everywhere.  There are areas where the top layer of skin is peeling off, but Pederson said thats normal.  The blood supply is good.

This is what we told the kids: Picture a crab.  Then picture what its claw looks like… two really fat fingers that squeeze together to pinch.  That is basically what Ian’s left hand is now.  We are probably going to call it the “pincher.”  We are not going to share pictures of his hand just yet.  We decided that we probably have a much higher tolerance for seeing gross things now, and we will spare you from having to see anything that will make you uncomfortable.

We are thankful for the surgery!  It is wonderful that we have the opportunity to improve Ian’s hand through surgery these days.  I can’t believe that he has a thumb again, and that he can actually move it a little.  Our next step is to continue to let the skin heal and to start some good therapy to get it to stretch and move more.  The space will definitely be big enough for Ian to hold his phone, a pen, fork, book, and other things with his left hand.  This is a great improvement from the paddle he had previously.  I think he might even be able to hold my hand!!!  Woo hoo!!!  Thank you, Lord!



thankful. always.

Ian is doing really well.  The first few days after surgery were hard.  He was in pain, so we just made sure to give him pain meds as frequently as he could have them to  stay ahead of the pain.  The pain is to be expected after a surgery like the one he had.  Needless to say, he also slept A LOT.  The pain medicines work well, but they also knock him out.  One night he slept from 8:30pm to 9am the next morning.

We took the bandage off his side (hip) on Saturday night.  Wow! is all I can say.  We didn’t know what to expect, but we didn’t expect eight inches of staples under there.  I guess I was just expecting blue surgical thread…  But, nope.  We counted and he has 28 staples keeping that skin together.  Please pray for no infection.  🙂

We still haven’t seen his hand.  We know it won’t be pretty.  Dr. Pederson warned me of that.  I don’t know what to expect.  Ian has been looking up you tube videos of pins in thumbs and has found some pretty gruesome ones.  The pin in there is probably really, really long.  The videos show someone pulling it out, and the patient usually yelling in disbelief.  I can tell Ian is already dreading the day when that pin will have to come out.  We think that will be 3 weeks after the day of the surgery.  We have an appointment this Wednesday for the big reveal.  Pederson is out of town for a conference, so one of his fellows is going to take a look to make sure that everything is healing.  Ian finished his last dose of antibiotics last night, so we are really hoping to keep infection away.  Please continue to pray for no infection.

I’ve been so tired lately.  I’ve been feeling sorry for myself.  I feel like I have to take care of everyone.  I don’t sleep as much as I’d like.  I don’t have time for myself. Lately, I’ve even had some awful headaches that have been slowing me down.  I’ve found that when I get down like this, God always kicks my rear end back in gear.  Sunday afternoon I decided to take a nap during the day while the boys napped.  I had a terrible dream.  In my dream Ian had really died.  I was so so sad, and I really didn’t know what I would do.  My dad tried to comfort me in the dream, but I remember saying, “Nothing will ever be the same.  I can’t be ok. I miss him too much.”  I woke up with a new sense of gratefulness.  That dream could have been my reality, but thankfully it is not.  Since then, I am trying to be more positive.  We knew that surgery would set us back.  I was getting used to Ian’s independence.  I loved that he could drive her to school in the morning so I didn’t have to wake the boys and get them ready so early.  For now, I’m back to being all things for everyone.  With a thankful heart.  🙂

Thank you, friends, for your prayers.  We appreciate them so much!

Thank you, too, for the wonderful meals our family has received and will continue to receive for the next couple of weeks.  They are so helpful!

Love, denisse

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.


sweet well wishes.

We are so blessed by Emma’s school! Yesterday she came home with the sweetest cards for Ian from her classmates. I thought I would share some drawings and thoughts of first graders. They are so sweet!

Check out these prosthetic legs!



Dear Mr Warshak, I’m so very sorry that your arms and legs came off but I am happy that you can still use them. I am so sorry that you got sick but at least you got better. How are you doing today? I’m glad you are feeling better.

Another set of awesome prosthetics.



Dear Mr Warshak, I hope you feel better. I really liked your father of the day. It’s cool how you work on computers with no fingers. You are very nice. I like you. I hope you feel better!

Aren’t these just precious?? Wish I could share them all!!