The Story Begins – ohhhh baby

 It just wouldn’t be our Place Called Simplicity if 
we didn’t tell our newest adventure without a little fanfare.
After all, true treasures don’t just ‘happen’ upon us everyday.

Like I wrote to one of my sweet friends on Facebook last night:  
 “this is my theory: If anyone else wants to adopt a boatload – or still be adopting at our age- they have earned the joy of having a lot of fun with it! All our peers are yawning from boredom – and we are still having the time of our lives!!”

Scriptures call them gifts from the Lord – 
He even refers to them as a reward!!  
And come on – let’s be honest…..
how many folks get a reward and keep it a secret?  
Definitely not this chica!! 
I would be throwing a gigundo, magnificent celebration
{and tell everyone who was willing to listen too}!!
So yes, indeed.  
We are expecting!!   
And we are definitely tickled pink –
I couldn’t wait to tell you all – I was actually about to burst!  
And a few may have guessed,  but the funnest part of it all?  

They don’t know the whole story!  


But here’s the scoop…

When Dw and Emmy were in Africa this last trip leading the team of 22, a little tiny gem had just arrived at the baby home.

She was found abandoned and guessed to be 10 or 11 months old, 


she only weighed SIX pounds.

The baby home had named her Daniella.

I asked for prayer for her here.

And Emmy told Daniella’s story here. 

No one thought she would survive – 
except by the GRACE of God
and the prayers of God’s people.
Dw’s heart was broken when he saw her.  He would lovingly feed her every chance he got.  Praying and singing “Oh, How I Love Jesus” over and over each time he held her.   Running down to the baby home between commitments, just to snag a chance to tenderly feed her.  Even running down to see her before the day had started. 
 He had to check on his baby girl.  
He couldn’t help himself.  
She had completely and utterly stolen his heart.

Here is the first picture I saw of her:

I started to cry when I saw her.    
 Six pounds of bones, yet Emma is lovingly snuggling her, cradling her and tenderly helping to care for her.  
But truly, isn’t she precious?
What a fighter she must be!
 This precious treasure would throw up every time she was fed.  We talked to our Abigail, who knew a friend who cares for sick little ones near Kampala.  Abi’s friend said that she needed to be fed every fifteen minutes, teeny-tiny bits in order to keep the food down.  Isn’t it amazing how the Lord brings just the right people at just the right time….oh how HE loves.
Dw went to the director every chance he got.  He was advocating for all the care he could find for Daniella.  He was so concerned for this teeny-tiny treasure.  

  There was no doubt that Dw was there at such

 a time for such a purpose!

This little treasure needed a brain scan.  There was a concern that she had Hydrocephalus.  Dw offered to pay and take her himself for her testing.  The director agreed.  {That man of mine was thrilled beyond words. He considered it such an honor to be the one who would take her.}  He watched as this precious baby girl, emaciated and barely alive, screamed and cried while being poked with needles.  He could hardly bare it.  The tests confirmed that she does have Hydrocephalus.  
And each time Dw held her he bonded more and more to her.
When he left Africa he went to the director of the baby home multiple times to be sure she understood, if this precious little gem had any need at all, please, please, please, let us know.  
He promised:  

We will do anything for her.


the director took Dw serious.  
Very, very serious.  
Before Dw had even arrived home, she had written to us. 
 She said, 
“Pastor Dwight, you said you and Linny would do anything for Daniella.  Would you be willing to adopt her?” 
And although I had not held her,
 the moment Dw had told me about her, 
my arms longed to hold her.  
To protect her.  
To love her unconditionally. 
 To whisper in her ear how beautiful she is. 
 To sing songs of Almighty God’s deep and abiding love for her.  To bring her home forever. To be her mama.  And for her to be our daughter. 
We Skyped the director.  
We told her that indeed, we would count it an honor and a privilege to adopt Daniella and bring her home forever.  

Yes, we know that Daniella has many difficulties and what would be termed by most as “severe special needs”….but the only true “special need” she has: a family.  

Plain and simple.
She needs us


we need her! 

At the news that we would love to be her mommy and daddy, this normally rather serious orphanage director, was almost giddy. 
 And we all rejoiced together. 
We are humbled beyond words –
we have another daughter!!
 {Elizabeth and Elijah said hello to the director as well while skyping, 
since this is the baby home where they had also once lived and they knew her.}
there was a problem. 
Daniella’s head has grown and it appeared that 
the Hydrocephalus was presenting some problems.  
Anyway, we were able to find a hospital {in Uganda!} started by missionaries that treats kids with Hydrocephalus.  It is called CURE Hospital  and Monday morning {Kampala time} the director left with Daniella to take her to CURE Hospital.
We were up in the night praying and Skyping the director to see what the neurosurgeon had said.
They did a bunch of tests and found that Daniella has an infection in her brain.   They cannot even treat the Hydrocephalus until the infection is gone.   They were doing another test to see what type of infection it was so it could be treated with the proper antibiotic. The director said they would like to do surgery 
in the next week or two.  
We have been in contact with CURE and just received this picture this picture from the hospital where she is at:
Dw and I keep crying looking at her.  
Isn’t she absolutely beautiful?
We are trying to get all the paperwork completed on this end, in hopes that we can go soon to bring her home.
But here’s where we need you bloggy friends:
Would you PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pray with us?

Would you agree with us that God will move the 

Mountains {infection} in her brain and heal her?

That the antibiotics would be effective quickly?

For wisdom for the doctors?

Would you pray that each person who encounters o

ur little treasure will give her tender loving care?

Would you pray that God would 

comfort Daniella and give her hope?

That He would surround Daniella with ministering angels?
That God would preserve and protect and heal our baby girl?
And that we could get her home quickly?

Thank you for sharing our joy and thank you for praying with us.

133 thoughts on “The Story Begins – ohhhh baby

  1. What a beautiful story! I know God has plans and a future for this precious treasure. I am in tears reading this and being in awe at God. How he put DW and Emma there at just the right time. I am praying for this sweet baby girl.

  2. I so knew it. And I still love it. Y'all make me smile. (I still stand by yesterday's comment about being half as awesome as you. hehe)

    She is gorgeous and I can't wait to see her home, being snuggled by her Mama & Daddy and siblings. 🙂

    Absolutely praying, sweet friend.

  3. Linny, I feel honored to be the first one to leave a comment. Hugs to you and your family as you celebrate life! I will be praying for God to show himself once again in the midst of the story! He is a miracle working mountain moving God….. He knew what your answer would be before the question was asked. YES! With hands open to receive His blessings! What a blessed little girl. What a blessed family.

  4. I will put Daniella and your family at the top of my prayer list. What a blessing to see a family with unconditional love and I know God has a purpose for blessing your family with this precious baby. I look forward to following your journey.

  5. Oh, I am so excited to pray with you! She is a baby doll! So precious! I pray she heals quickly and all of the red tape is dealt with in record time.

    I was disappointed I did not make the cut for the Knee Team. I was out of town and comments were closed a few days later. But God knew the timing of the post and I would be out of town when it was announced, so I trust Him. I pray it is a huge success, so others can join. I love the picture of Satan trembling when he hears us pray. He knows how much power there is in prayer.

    Keep us posted on this sweet baby.
    How exciting there is a hospital in Uganda the treats hydrocephalus. I love when you see God in the details.


  6. I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago. You are so precious and inspiring. As a teenager, I hope to grow and have a family like yours. I am praying fervently for Daniella. She is absolutely beautiful.

  7. WHAT?!?!?! I'm so speechless!!!! OH my gosh I could not be happier!!!!! I'm not going to lie, this thought did occur to me while we were there as I watched him sing over her…..

  8. She is precious. Dw was telling me the story of her watching him as he sang to her – could see his love for her.

    Can't wait to welcome home Daniella!

  9. SO EXCITED FOR Y'ALL!!! I'm bursting with joy for y'all….but especially for sweet Daniella!

    As I was reading this post my 5 year old sister came up and saw the picture of your sweet girl…I could tell right away that she had never seen a baby so small and frail. She started asking lots of questions about her and I told her that she was very sick and needed lots of prayer. I told her that a family was coming to love her SOON. She was quiet for a little bit and then said quietly…."i love her…" and then a little louder with a big smile, "I love her!!"

    We will be praying for her! And I can't wait to show KM what prayer does….as we watch our sweet girl get big and strong!

    Love y'all!

  10. Yes, Daniella is such a sweet, sweet baby. She will be such a blessed addition to your family. I can guarantee you that most everyone on our team was hoping that she would get a forever family after our trip. She is amazing!!

  11. Will we pray? Absolutely! We have been praying for this little blessing since you shared information about her! We'll keep on praying!!!!! So glad to hear that you are adopting her. Beautiful!

  12. crying, crying, crying. tears of hope and love and joy at all of this. love your little girl and will continue to pray with you!!! the only special need she has is a family. AMEN.

    love you beyond words. can't wait to hug your whole family one day.

  13. Oh my! Tears rolling down my cheeks rejoicing with you! Thanks for your example of loving the least of these, being the hands & feet of Jesus. She is just so beautiful, precious & made so perfect in the imagine of our amazing Lord. I will be on my knees praying & believing in complete miracle of healing for your girl.
    The picture of Emma holding her is priceless, a sister loving her new sister with reckless abandon…just doesn't get any better than this. Made my heart smile!
    All for the glory of our Lord!

  14. SOOO Happy for you!!!! We adopted a son from China with Hydrocephalus. He is such a wonderful blessing to our family!!! My prayers are with you that the Lord will make the surgery possible very soon. and that she will be home with you very soon!

  15. She is beautiful and so are you and your family! God has her in His hands. I am praying! I am so happy for you and your family and for this darling girl.

  16. It brings tears to my eyes reading the story of Daniella. Seeing how God brought this specific child to you amazes me. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for over 2 years now and about a year ago, I started praying that if it was God's will that we adopt, He would bring the child to us. I didn't even tell my husband I was praying like that because it seemed so impossible. About 6 months ago, I finally had the courage to tell him and he's been praying that prayer with me since. Seeing that happen for you renews my faith. Thank you for sharing and thank you for being so open to God. Will be praying!

  17. She's beautiful, and YES I'll be praying – for healing , protection and wisdom! What a beautiful story the Father is writing for her!! Can't wait to see her in your arms – So happy for you!

  18. Congratulations! When I saw that comment you made on your wall to your friend, I figured she was coming home to be yours forever 😀 I love how in the picture of Emma and her, it looks like she's looking up to Emma. So Precious! Thank you for your family's example.

  19. She is going up on our refrigerator and we are praying her home!! This little girl has plans for hope and a future, may angels encamp around her and God move mightily on her behalf. Congratulations!!

  20. It breaks my heart that adoption takes so long. Why can't you just get on a plane now and bring her home so she can get medical care here while sitting in your loving arms? (I know, I know, red tape and all but still I wish it were that easy!)

    Absolutely precious. So, no where in there did I read a new name for her. Are you changing her name? Is there a middle name? Congrats on your new addition. She is precious.

  21. We'll be praying for this tiny daughter of the King. His hand is on her! Praying for healing, peace and comfort for your little one. And praying you can bring her home very very soon!

  22. Ok, me again…in tears as I watched our newly adopted 2 year old pray for Daniella…She folded her hands immediately and in her developing English said "baby sick, better – Amen!"

  23. It is hard to type through tears. Sweet sweet girl, you are loved already. I couldn't help but pause with the tears flowing and echo the words from Hillsong's song "Hosanna"…"break my heart for what breaks yours, everything I am for Your kingdom's cause…"
    You're right. The only special need this baby truly has is a family. Praying and believing God will move the mountains.

  24. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound….Your love for the orphans and for your Lord is inspiration for all of us. I will keep this precious baby girl in my prayers and keep praising God for how he has worked things out and how He will continue to move mountains!! His grace and love is amazing…

  25. Happy tears!! When God closes one door, He opens another! And oh, how she needs you! Prayers that things will move quickly and easily and that the precious girl can be home soon!

  26. She's gorgeous. tears are a pourin down my face – prayers for healing, prayers for the drs, prayers for your family that your sweet beautiful baby girl will be in your arms soon.

  27. So very very excited and celebrating with your family! I love to watch the truly stunning ways God creates and brings families together!

  28. Ohhhh Linny,
    She is soooo BEAUTIFUL!!! I am praying, praying, praying that your little girl will be in your arms soon and healthy!


  29. Mu husband and I have tears in our eyes reading this. We have been following your posts about little Daniella, and we want to say- CONGRATULATIONS!!! We will be praying for you all. Your whole family are an inspiration to us. God Bless.

  30. His eye is truly on the sparrow. It is so like my Jesus to choose a beautiful family for little Daniella. Praying for her, praying for you. Praying that Elizabeth and Jubilee will welcome this new little princess into their arms soon.

  31. Linny – I am in tears…….I cannot stop crying. I have read your beautiful words over and over again, and looked upon the precious pictures of your new little one. I was so hoping it was going to be Daniella – and it is. Praise be to God ! Oh my goodness, I have no words. I am so thrilled Daniella is going to be in the best place in the entire universe – with your family. She is going to grow and thrive so beautifully. Today I am praying, and fasting……….for your precious little child. I pray for the infection to be healed, that she is cuddled and loved, for the doctors and surgeons to be guided by God's almights hands……and I know they will be. I pray Daniella will be in your arms soon. My heart is so full, I wish I could express what I am feeling. I am so thankful to God that Daniella is coming "home"…….and I pray it will be very soon. Praying and Fasting…………in God's Love. Lynne

  32. Thank you Jesus for the way You have already cared for your sweet daughter. Thank you for giving me a picture of her whole and plump and healed. Praise you Abba for the way you care so tenderly for all of Your children. Thank You for that promised hope and future that we are even now experiencing! Holy Spirit thank You for dwelling with us and little Daniela. Amen.

  33. Awesome! She is beautiful…who wouldn't want to cuddle with her:) Prayers for the doctors and the process that is be unbelievable quick and full adoption is granted!

  34. OMW! What an awesome testimony and I can't wait to see what God does next! Congratulations on that little beauty! She is absolutely beautiful! Tears of joy are falling at God's greatness. Praying for all of your requests. Oh how I'm jumping up and down for joy for God!

  35. On my knees in prayer…unceasing prayer and thanksgiving for the great miracles He has already done and the ones He will bring to pass!!! Excited beyond words…in awe over all that He has done in bringing this precious new daughter to your hearts and family…tears of joy for the care of our Father and the love He pours out on His children…"Unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Eph. 3:20). We claim all the fullness of that promise and all the possibilities of believing prayer! To God be the glory for the great things He hath done and is continuing to do on behalf of the orphan…and little Daniella is an orphan no more! She is coming home to her forever family! She is beautiful…so beautiful…and my heart just cried out for her! Congratulations! It's a girl! So happy for you…celebrating the miracle of Daniella!! oh happy day! God is just so good! <3

  36. I suspected it was the sweet treasure you asked us to pray for:O) Congratulations Linny and Dwight!! I am so very happy for you! And yes, she is absolutely beautiful!!

    Lots of love,
    jenn H

  37. I would be honored to pray for this sweet precious girl and that you all can bring her home soon so she can get all the loving she can get.

  38. Oh I so badly wanted Daniella to be yours! Have been praying for her constantly since you sent the email. Will continue to do so. She is just so precious!! Congrats on a new little one in your home 🙂 May the boat continue to get bigger 🙂

  39. I cannot wait to see her in YOUR arms! Praying for her as she battles illness and your family as you cope with being so far from her. God bless!

  40. Oh my goodness Linny. You are such amazing servants and that precious little treasure will be so blessed to be a part of your clan:) And I know you will be blessed by her and already are!!! I am praying for the Lord to heal that precious sweet ones brain infections and to bring her safely into your arms as soon as possible. So happy for you… so thankful for the example you are to me:) Giving my little adopted Hope an especially tight hug before nap right now:) PRAYING!!!

  41. Yippee!! I wanted this for Daniella so badly when I first heard about her. congratulations on your newest daughter!! I feel a connection to her from praying for her and I'm just so thrilled for her. I will continue to pray for her healing and for you as you wait for her from the other side of the world. Love this!! So awesome!!!!!!!

  42. I thought God might be doing that! Daniella already looks a lot healthier by that second picture. Congratulations on the newest family member! We'll be praying for her and the whole process.

    ~Megan Casteel

  43. in tears. . praying. . really. . .I am imagining this picture on your blog next to her high school graduation picture. . . .makes me cry seeing the difference in my mind's eye. She is beautiful.

    And I love that pic of Emma with her little sister. . your Emma is a special young lady. . .oh, the plans God has for her!!

  44. Congratulations on your beautiful daughter! I will keep her in my prayers! I can't wait to see her at HOME surrounded by HER FAMILY'S love!

  45. Only our God could orchestrate this miracle with such willing servants as you and DW!

    Certainly turns up the throttle on what has been recently placed on you know who and my hearts!

    You are a treasure to so many!

  46. I think…that unless you have BEEN there, you don't really have a clue. I think that when you say "God, break my heart with the things that break yours." it is really very abstract. And then…there is a picture of YOUR baby girl, and there is suddenly a face to this whole thing, a very personal thing now, not abstract in any way. Linny and Dwight's baby…not just a baby, but YOUR baby. I am praying. I am also praying that somehow I will end up going to Uganda with y'all at some point, so this becomes heartbreakingly real to me, as it is to our Heavenly Father, and those of you who have gone there. I can just see you, with her strapped to your chest, going about your daily chores!!! Oh, God, the orphans, the orphans!!!

    Hugs and love and prayers…
    Nancy in CT

  47. Yes she is beautiful, and not only your newest treasure but a miracle. God knew DW and you would do anything for Daniella! Congratulations on your newest daughter. I will be praying for her recovery and all the paperwork to bring her home quickly1

  48. I have been praying for Daniella throughout the day each day since you emailed the Knee Team about her trip to the hospital and will continue to pray for her until you can bring your sweet baby girl home (beyond then too if she needs it!). I just knew it was her after reading yesterday's post and I am so tickled to have my feelings confirmed. Congratulations on your precious tiny addition!!!

  49. Oh beautiful story!God is so good! Congratulations on your new little girl! Praying that Daniella will be healed and to be home with you, DW and family sooner.

  50. I was so hoping that she would become a part of your family! And look at how much she had filled out in just that short time! Look what God's love can do! <3

  51. Yep, will pray….Love praying for babies and children who need special attention and homes….Waiting for the Lord's Hand to Heal…
    Love from,
    Sandy in NC

  52. YES she is indeed PRECIOUS and BEAUTIFUL! I am so happy for you, and she is truly blessed to be chosen by God to be a Saunders!!!! You are an amazing family, and I love you in Jesus, and you will have my daily prayers! I know you cannot wait to get her home!

  53. SO amazing, our God. His love for us, for Daniella. What a beautiful little treasure she is…and what a beautiful family you are! Praying for healing for your sweet girl and praying that she will be in your arms soon!

  54. Praying for your beautiful treasure! Especially praying for her to have the peace and Joy of the Lord as she recovers from this infection and waits to be in her families arms.

  55. Oh my word!! I DO NOT know how DW was able to leave her… My heart skipped a beat when I saw her. I wish I could go and sit with her while she waits. I know now why God has put up the roadblocks He has. I will not be able to go and not bring home a treasure… I have to wait…

  56. Praises! There is one less orphan. Congratulations ~ she is beautiful. What a huge testimony for such a little baby. Praying Praying for your daughter!

  57. Wow Linny and Dwight, You sure walk the walk and not just talk about doing something, you do it!!! God must surely be smiling down on this new happening. Just think there are well over 101 people/ families now praying for Daniella and that certainly isn't all. I can't wait to see her grow and thrive when love is given. Much love, Ellen in ILLINOIS

  58. Oh, Saunders family! Congratulations on this beautiful addition to your family! She is made in God's image and she is gorgeous!

    I will SO pray for her, for her medical team, and for you.

    But hey, can you text me? I lost all my contacts and couldn't text you to talk! (My little treasure that was diagnosed with hydro as well (but it DISAPPEARED…another story for another time) WASHED my phone!!!)

    Love you guys, and I'm crying with JOY over your newest sweet girly!

  59. moved to tears, obviously…i see jesus in her face, in her eyes, don't u?? she is truly precious. i will be praying for your little sweet daughter…thank you for sharing…can't wait to see her home where she belongs with your amazing family of love…you are an inspiration.

  60. Praying over here in northern CO for you and your family as you wade thru adoption paperwork… And praying for healing for your sweet & tiny baby girl…

  61. OH WOW!!!! Another blessing for sure! Praying for Miss Tiny! Praying that God will use Miss Tiny in a HUGE way! That all will love and care for her gently as if serving the Lord Himself…pray that I treat others the same.

    Don't you love when your man falls in love with other "ladies!"

    Congrats Mama!!!

  62. I just knew it when I read the original post about her! I had thought to myself she was going to be your daughter! We are praying hard!

  63. I continue to pray with you and your family for sweet Daniella. As I hold my fat, chubby Brecken, I think of and pray for Daniella and so many other children who are suffering around the world lacking proper food, families and medical attention. So thankful that God ordained for Daniella to be in YOUR family. Praying that this infection would quickly leave her little body and that all other hurdles will be overcome. Hugs my friend! I cry looking at pictures of her and know I'll probably cry someday when I see her in person!

  64. What a special family! What a special mommy and daddy she has to come home to! What a special little girl! I will pray! I look forward to seeing this tiny little fighter in the arms of her mommy.

  65. OH SWEET SISTER (sorry, am I shouting here???) I'M CRYING TEARS OF JOY! Of course, I'm agreeing in prayer that your Treasure would be loved and cared for, that the Mover of all mountains would move quickly to bring her home to her mommy and daddy, that her infection would be gone. Love you!

  66. What a privilege to be able to help you pray for this request and to feel a part of helping this little one. Can't wait to hear the answers that God is sending to help her.

  67. Maybe call her Esther Abigail – for such a time as this she has become her Father's/father's joy – just pondering. =D

  68. She is beautiful … praying that you will have her in your arms very soon. Praying God's protection and healing of her little body. Praying that she will be home very soon, running around with all the other Saunders' kids in months to come. Thanks Linny and DW for answering the call and for speaking up for orphans!!!

    Until They ALL Have Homes,
    Machell Rogers

  69. Linny,
    Standing with you in prayer today for this little one's life…so very thankful that God knows and God hears and God moves…We can trust Him and He is faithful.

    Love to you and yours!

  70. I just knew it. As soon as I ready it's a girl…. The way you spoke of her so tenderly, and the way Emma adores her. Even as a reader I could tell the love your family had for this sweet angel. I haven't stopped praying. Sending love and prayers half way around the world for a sweet Angel!!

  71. Wow! What a beautiful little baby girl you have! I will be praying for sure! God loves this angel girl and what a heart your husband has (as well as you and your entire family). Thank you for sharing, I've been waiting to see who God has for you and am so happy to see this treasure! God bless you!

  72. Oh goodness gracious I am beyond excited for you!!!!!! 🙂 <– That smiley face doesn't even begin to explain the huge smile I have just thinking about your precious new baby. I love your heart for the Lord Linny! Please please please let me know how I can be praying!

  73. I cried when I got to the part about adopting her. God is so awesome!! What an awesome story of His power and your commitment. I am praying for your sweet bundle and for the expeditious filing of papers. God Bless you guys.

  74. From the moment I read the request to pray and Em's post about her… moved my heart with compassion and love for this TREASURE. He has brought her back to mind several times to pray. I've been wondering what has become of her. As soon as I started reading this post… I was all giddy to skip to the revelation… was it Daniella?!? YES! The pictures… wow… I will pray!!! I rejoice with you!

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