Wiersma Family Blog

A glimpse into our lives as a family with micro-preemies. Our twins boys (Lovingly referred to as our Miracle Men) were born almost 16 weeks early.

Our journey continues when our son Max was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 3. This is his story....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Mark sometimes refers to this as his "free therapy," so I thought I would give it at try.

This morning Mark called the NICU (as he does every morning) and got the update on how the boys night went. As usual Wesley was exactly the same. Max was a different story. Over night Max has gone from 43 to 47 on his jet vent. His settings haven't been that high in weeks.

I wish I could say that I am handling this well, but that would be a lie. I am officially in the "why us" stage of all this.
Why did God make our babies come so early?
Why did God take my Mom away when I feel like I need her the most?
Why doesn't God heal Max's lungs? He is so little, he should't have to fight this hard.
Why do we have to sell my house after we've worked so hard?
When is all this crap going to stop?

Mark is great at not looking at the bad, but looking at all this as a sort of opportunity. He is soooo strong. He doesn't ask the questions that can't be answered. It is one of the MANY things I admire in my husband.

People tell me that God is making me strong. I don't feel strong, I feel weak; and scared, angry, exhausted, sad.... All I want is for my sons to be heathy--not even healthy, just on the road to getting healthy.

I have hit my breaking point. I knew this road was going to be difficult, but for some reason I thought it was going to be shorter (or something).

I'm sorry to be so whiny and negative. We do have many things to celebrate, they just seem to get covered up by the bad. Mark and I are so thankful for our amazing family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ. We often talk about what we did to deserve such unbelievable people surrounding us. Thankyou for all your prayers, card, gifts, and words of encouragement. They are all treasured very much.

Hopefully Mark will write a post tonight with good news. Until then thanks, and have a great day.



  1. Kate- my heart just breaks for you. I wish I could do something besides pray for you and your family... honestly, if you think of something (anything) let me know. I know I haven't seen you since highschool, but I'd honestly be willing to help. I will keep pleading with God for you and your boys, you certainly could use some great news and more health miracles.
    lots of prayers, tracy

  2. Mark & Kate... We read your posts daily and marvel at your strength, wisdom and patience! In all the confusion and frustration of the last few months, it must seem dire some days. Know that it is so clear to us that your love, faith and commitment were meant for these challenges. Meant to overcome each of them. From the outside, it seems so clear that you are prepared and united. We only hope that you recognize these traits in yourself. Wishing you better days ahead...
    Canadian Jessica & Cousin Chris

  3. Kate, I'm a fellow HC alum and have been following your amazing journey, thank you (& Mark) for posting these updates so we know what to pray for along the way. My life has recently taken a turn into some valleys that I never thought I would have to experience, all things out of my control. And not positive things either, so it is very hard to see God in all of this and rely on Him and trust Him to be creating good from these situations. I wish I had some positive words of encouragement for you, but all I have to say is that even through our weakness, we are being used by God. I believe in your situation, you are inspiring other people on in their faith journeys, by the way that you handle what is being thrown your way. You and your 3 boys :) are impacting other people in ways that may not be evident until later. Hang in there and know that God is for us not against us, and it might take years before we see His plans made perfect again. Thanks again for your honesty, it is real. :)
    ~ Laura

  4. Kate...
    Part of the beauty of true Christian fellowship is that when you don't have the ability to trust or to hope or to even do more than ask why, others will step up and do it for you. Thanks for your willingness to be honest about how upset and frustrated and confused you are...it makes it easier to know how to pray. Often over the last few months, we've gotten updates on how to pray for your sons, but it is just as great a blessing when we can pray for you. Thanks for giving your friends, family, and neighbors the opportunity to pray for you when you are struggling. Know that all you need to do is ask and we will pray.

  5. Jodi (Vork) EssenburgJune 16, 2009 at 2:56 PM

    While you feel weak, we all see you as strong. Without living through anything like this I cannot even come to imagine what it must be like and you and Mark continue to amaze me and i continually think of you guys and pray for you throughout the day (as I check your blog regularly). I know we never have been close - mostly just aquanitances through HC... but if there is ever anything that I can do to help you guys ... please PLEASE let me know - We are all family in Christ and that is the LEAST i can do.
    Hang in there.
    I'll keep praying!

  6. Still praying for you and the boys daily.

    Have they thought of putting the twins together in the same isolette for a while? Maybe that will help them. I'm sure someone has thought of it; I just wanted to throw it out there.

    God bless you and keep you peaceful.

    Sioux Falls, SD

  7. Good place for free therapy; the real thing isn't too bad either. Praying for peace for you all and healing for the boys!

  8. Kate,
    I'm so glad you posted your feelings...they're real and totally understandable. Don't feel bad or weak about asking the questions, we would all be doing it!! God can take your fears and questions (and even your anger!) He already knows how you're feeling anyway. :)

    Like others have said, the amazing and very cool thing about being part of the family of God is that when you don't feel like you can take it or can't find the words to pray, others can and will for you. And we are for sure!

    Love you my friend,

  9. Kate... I'm so sorry you guys are going through so much. I'm so sorry there seem to be no answers right now. I thank you for your honesty. There are no easy answers, that's for sure! We promise to keep praying for you and your precious family and trusting God to make something beautiful of all this pain. We love you! Amy Sluiter

  10. Katie,
    The journey to parenthood has taken us to places emotionally and physically that I did not know existed. From month after month after month of disappointment, the decision to pursue fertility treatments before adopting, the surgery you underwent because it gave us a better “chance” at getting pregnant, the day we found out we were going to be parents, the day we found out we were going to have twins, the day we rushed to the doctor’s office fearing you had miscarried, the excitement of the many ultrasounds, telling our parents, families and friends, the day you went into the hospital, the 5 times you endured labor and the worst drugs on Earth to stop it, the night the boys were born and you sang “Be Still and Know” through the whole procedure, the first nights when we so scared we were going to lose Max and Wes, the heart surgeries, the vents, the constant vent changes…it has, is and will continue to be the ride of our lives. I would not take this ride with anybody except you, Kate. You have been the love of my life for more than 10-years now. Houses, jobs, plans…those things will come and go, but you are stuck with me. On May 28, 2004 I committed to love, hold and cherish you in the good times and the bad until death separates us. I will not break that vow. I will walk the path ahead with God as our guide, but I only want to walk it with you. You amaze me everyday.

    I wish that I could change the way things have happened over the last number of months, because it seems like it could be so much “easier.” As my Dad reminded me the other day, we live in a broken world. A world where Satan still has power. God did not want Max and Wes to be born so early. He did not want Mom to die and leave us with an emptiness that will never again be filled. But He has redeemed so much of that brokenness. He knew these events would transpire in the order that they did. And I feel very strongly that He gave me you for such a time as this. Our lives are forever changed in a lot of ways Kate, and this is certainly not how I saw things “working out” for us. God has taken us to the place where we end and only He can continue, sometimes it feels like He has been unrelenting in what He has “asked” of us. But I cannot help but notice how much more He has given. You are such an amazing wife. As hard as it is for me to say as a prideful man, you have carried me through so much of this journey. Max and Wes are so fearfully and wonderfully made. I cannot wait to raise them with you and tell them this story. A story of fear, pain, faith, family, community. A story about how our Heavenly Father not only held them in His mighty hands, but also carried their parents. A story about how the body of Christ “works.”

    I love you so much Kate.


  11. Wow... sure don't want to be the poor fool whose post follows that beautiful declaration of love! Thanks Bear.

  12. Katie,

    You and Mark do not know me and I actually stumbled upon your blog through a friend of a friend and since then I have checked in every single day since the birth of your adorable sons and I pray every day for them to get stronger.

    Tonight, I write to tell you how storng you and Mark are..my husband and I lost our triplets this January at 23 weeks. We had them for 3 hours before they passed and it was the most amazing 3 hours of my life...reading your posts it just tugs at my heart because I could not imagine going through what you two go through daily, weekly and monthly..be strong for your boys as they feed off of your strength.

    There are sooo many people praying and doing all that they can to give you strentgh.

    Michelle Hagley

  13. Katie and Mark,

    I want to thank you for your honesty, So often we just say we are fine and go on when in fact we are hurting. Being a member of the family of God we should never be afraid to say I am hurting, I am so down, I do not even know how to pray, that is when others are here to hold you up. Pray with you and for you.

    God totally understands every thing you are feeling, I was told by a pastor that God's shoulders are big enough to handle all of our questions. We might not recieve the answers but that is ok He just ask us to keep Trusting in Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 is the verse that I claim as my life verse...Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto our own understanding in all thy ways acknowlegde Him and He shall direct thy paths.

    God is Faithful, He never slumbers nor sleeps so He is always watching over you and your boys...(Psalm 121)

    May God Bless you and Keep you, wrapped in His loving arms of love,

  14. This morning as I was waking up I was thinkng about you Katie, as a mother who once held our tiny baby and felt some of the same emotions that you are...
    I was reminding of this song...
    "Here I am Lord
    Is it I Lord?
    I have heard You calling in the night
    I will go Lord
    If You lead me
    I will hold your people in my heart"

    Katie, God is leading you, He is leading Mark.
    You are a blessing to so many, the way that you are loving HIm, loveing each other, loving Max and Wes and all those who you come in contact with. There are so many that read these updates and are encouraged by how God is working, How you sing to your boys, pray with them...pray for the others who are walking this same road with you with theier little ones...
    through your examples of love for God, each other and for others we all grow in love for God.
    You have a right to your feelings, do not hold them in, God understands your frustrations, fears, anxiety, He understands so well that He even put a verse in the Bible to remind us that He bottles up our tears and saves them.Psalm 56:8
    May God continue to put songs of hope into your heart and resfresh you today with His love,
    blessings, love and prayers,

  15. Mark and Kate,
    It is so normal for you to share your feelings and it is such a good thing for you to do. As a mom who spent countless hours with my 2 1/2 month old son recovering from a liver transplant I understand your emotions. For me it was almost 2 years ago that I was asking the same questions. It is part of the process and it probably won't go away but it will get better. Some day you will be able to come back to this page and read it and barely remember what you are feeling right now. We are continuing to pray for peace and healing for you and your precious babies.
    The Hill Family

  16. I just want you to know, I am asking God some of the same questions in my life right now, but I come to your page, and find inspirtation for another day of the unknown. Its okay to ask God the hard questions, and not feel so strong some days. Just know you and your sons have touched so many peoples lives who needed to hear Christ speak to them. Hang in there! Praying for you always...

  17. Kate,
    I am so glad you shared your feelings, struggles and frustrations. Sometimes, especially for us on the outside,it is difficult to know how to pray. We know Wes and Max's needs, medically and physically, but specifics are not so clear. Your words propel each of us who read them to pray for specific things for you. I cannot imagine in any way what you are going through -
    "Lord, please uphold Kate and Mark in your arms as they try to be the best parents possible. Love them and grant them that peace which passes all understanding. Strengthen and heal Max and Wes as only you can do. Amen"
    Love you guys
    Steve and Kerry

  18. Kate,
    I have been praying for you and your family a lot. I also prayed that God would be with the parents of the little girl. I ofter wonder how you and Mark keep such a powerful faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. I think it's time we all pray which I am sure we all do that God heal these little ones. I have a couple of walking miracles in my life, and I know God can pull off another with your boys.
    You do not know me at all I know Marks mother.
    May God give you peace. Becky Steggerda

  19. Mark and Kate, my heart goes out to both of you with all the struggles that you are experiencing. Paul told the Philippian church, "I can do everything through Him Who gives me strength." Remember that when you end, He doesn't just pick up. He has been there all along. He has promised NEVER to leave us or forsake us. Cling to that promise when you feel like you can't go on. He is faithful -- always.

  20. Mark & Kate,

    Sending you lots of love, kisses for those precious boys and know that we pray for you constantly. We can't even begin to imagine what you have gone through these past months. Today I am asking God to give you the strength you need. We are asking the Lord to heal these precious boys and to again show His mighty power in a real and tangible way in the days ahead. We know that when we are at our weakest, that is when God shows His strength the most. We are trusting in His perfect plan for your family. Continuing to love and pray for you guys! Aunt Allie, Uncle Bob and family

  21. My Dear Friend:

    I am so happy to see and read a post from you. (Not that I don't love reading yours Mark:) it's nice to hear from both of you)

    Thank you for opening up and being honest about your thoughts and feelings. It seems like when we're together I never know what to say to politely ask how you are - I never want to pry or ask the tough questions if you aren't ready to talk or share yet. I definitely don't have the right words to say or the perfect time to say them to make you feel better - but what I can do is listen.

    You have been through so much, more than I can imagine, and the last thing I want to do is make you uncomfortable so as I friend I just want to say that I am here for you. You can count on me for anything - big or small - all you have to do is ask and I do hope you ask!

    Kate, if I could trade places with you and Mark I would... even if only for a moment that you wouldn't have to feel any pain, loss, doubt, fear, or worry. It is because of these thoughts, feelings and emotions that I am so Grateful we have an Amazing Father to turn to when the load is too heavy to bear. He knows You Kate, everything about you and despite all your "whys" He is using you and in all due time His plan will be revealed.

    Until then, keep your amazing Faith, continue to feel what you feel and share what you need to share to lighten some of the load and always remember that you can come to me as a sister.

    Keep looking up because the hands, heart and eyes of Jesus will be looking right back at you!

    Love you,

  22. I am praying for you, Mark, Max and Wes. What a journey you guys are on. Do not be afraid to give us the raw emotions - and do not be afraid to bring those raw emotions to God - He needs to hear them!