Do you ever have those weeks that you finally sit down to catch your breath and wonder what just happened; where did the days go? It’s crazy sometimes how life totally slips from us, and we are left trying to process all that has occurred. That is currently where I find myself. Too many good things in such a short time can be overwhelming, even if they are some of the most incredible life changes. To fill you all in, Sean and I, (Marissa), got married a little over two weeks ago, came back from our honeymoon, moved houses with Vanessa, and are back at work while Vanessa starts school again. We have decided, for at least this semester, to keep Vanessa in school. As much as one on one homeschooling would benefit her needs, too much change can be hard on her, and our family as a whole needs some time to breathe and just get into a routine before we pursue that. We have decided to spend time in the afternoons and evenings doing her therapy program as well as some reading and sign language help. She has been doing well since the move. For the first time I heard her call our new house “her home,” not just “Marissa’s house.”

I want to share a story with you that so touched my heart. Our first night in our new apartment, Vanessa was sitting at the table with me. She looks around and blurts out, “I love my new house! It’s beautiful. I love it.” I smile and reply, “I’m glad.” Her head perks up as she hears Sean come in, and she giggles as he kisses her cheek, says hi, and asks how her day was. She watches him walk up the stairs and proceeds to jump out of her seat screaming, “Sean!! SEEEAAAANNNN! Sean!” while chasing him up the stairs, bounding with each step. I can hear her laugh as he says, “what’s up Ness?” She follows him like a puppy, talking his ear off, only coming back down when he walks out to his van. She walks over and goes, “I love my Dad.” Oh be still my heart. For the first time since I gained custody of Vanessa, I hear acceptance in her voice; I can see that she feels at home, that she feels part of a family, and that she is starting to see the love of her Father in a greater way. For His plans are greater than ours. He is more than we could ask, think, or imagine, and He is working in her life, even when I struggle to see it some days.

Sean also told me of an evening he was sitting with Ness soon after we got back from the honeymoon. She leaned over and said, “when are you going to take me to work with you Sean?” “What? Take you to work with me?” “Well yes,” she replied. “I am your daughter, and Dads take their kids to work.” Oh bless her soul! The way she sees the world and understands life sometimes is too cute to handle.

Thank you all for your support of not only this beautiful girl, but of our family. We are so blessed by each and every one of you. Seeing the way the Lord showed up at our wedding and in our move with Vanessa has blown me away. The love and support of our Village amazes me. We do have some exciting news we are asking you please mark on your calendars.

For the month of October The Green Fork and Local Roots Market in North Wales ( will be hosting Vanessa’s Village art work on their local artists wall. This restaurant prides themselves in amazing food (which I can vouch for), organic, vegan, and gluten free options, as well as a market of local products. You may go any day in October to see Vanessa’s artwork, but the dates we ask you mark down are our meet and greet and our dine and donate.

The address for the Green Fork and Local Roots Market is 115 S Main St, North Wales, PA 19454.

Meet and greet- 6pm to 8pm Saturday October 7th. This will be a time to meet Vanessa and her village, hear what we are about, look at her artwork, possibly purchase a piece or two, and give towards our cause. There will be light snacks and drinks to enjoy. Food may also be purchased from the restaurant but none of their proceeds go towards us this evening.

Dine and donate- 11am to 8pm Thurday October 26th. This is the time that a percentage of the proceeds from any purchase at the restaurant will go towards Vanessa’s Village. You may come in anytime between 11am and 8pm, talk with Vanessa, meet us and hear our cause, as well as purchase her paintings and buy food which will benefit us.

We are so appreciative to The Green Fork and Local Roots Market for this opportunity! Check them out at their website or Facebook page.

Thank you again for all you do for us! We are very excited to share more of Vanessa’s art with you in the coming time. If you have a piece you would like to purchase before the fundraiser in October, shoot us an email under the Contact Us tab and we will get it to you. All proceeds go directly to support Vanessa’s therapy as well as her hopes and dreams of working with art and baking.

Thank you!

God bless,

Vanessa’s Village

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