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Mar 30, 2009

Abby Update, Comments About Comments & the Next Two Years

News Flash 8:50pm CST

Holy cow... we just had an inch of hail dumped on us in less than 5 minutes. It actually was a little scary. I have a "drift" of hail a 6" deep outside my office door. I was trapped in my office and couldn't get in the house. The kids were terrified, then wondered where all the "snow" came from.

Inch of hail dumped in about 3-4 minutes with window
rattling lighting and thunder. Thrilling and scary.

From Michelle:

I am sorry it has taken me so long to update you. Things have been tough for Abby, Brent and I, but they are improving for Abby. I love and appreciate the prayers and encouragement we receive when we are struggling and honestly I have needed your prayers this last week and now.
Unfortunately when I talk about the harder things that are happening with Abby, I get numerous emails, questions and comments about how we need to just put her on hospice and let her die. Of course the word "die" isn't used but nicer phrases like "let her go". Most are written out of genuine concern for Abby just not really understanding the whole situation and where we are at, but others were just being mean.

This is an example of one comment that we went ahead and posted. I took off any identifying info, because I believe that even though it was hard for me to read, she was just saying what she believed was best for Abby, out of concern for her:

  • Okay, this just breaks my heart seeing poor Abby in that video begging to go to the beach. Awww she is too adorable! Have you ever considered taking her off all of this painful treatment and bringing her home , letting her enjoy the beach and be a happy kid for the little time she has remaining? I think that would be good for Abby. I know sometimes as parents we can be kinda selfish wanting to do anything to prolong our child's life yet when the quality of life is diminished and the child is suffering, sometimes its time to make some serious decisions and let our children be happy.
Obviously this commenter had nothing but good intentions, but it's still really hard to read stuff like that. We have NO ills feelings about the commenter. Brent and I are fully aware and have discussed at what point we will talk about ending treatment. Abby is no where NEAR that point. This note was innocent, but painful. Do people REALLY think we haven't discussed this? Most of the others, I would never post and we just delete because they are simply mean and cruel.

I know it is hard to read about a child who is hurting. Imagine how hard it is to hold them, care for them and watch them endure all this. We don't want Abby to suffer and we have to continually balance the potential for cure against the price of treatment.

The chemo Abby is doing now is to KEEP HER IN REMISSION. If we were to simply stop the treatments, Abby is not going to "die from cancer". Abby doesn't technically "have cancer" at this point. The chemo eradicated it, and the continued chemo is meant to give her the greatest possible chance of never getting it again.

Now, having said that, yes, Abby has been close to dying 3 or 4 times during her treatment. There was no way to foresee that, so there was no chance to even consider "not" treating her. Each time was from different compiling chemo effects.

In the end, we want our friends and family to know this: WE have seen her through every step of this. As you know, we are NOT hopeless or desperate, and in fact, we know that Abby will be quite happy waiting for us in heaven should she graduate early. If and when the time comes that we need to seriously consider "is the treatment worth the possible cure?", we will face that question and are quite able to do so. WE will know when it is time to say "enough!", and WE will know when comfort and quality time during her "last days or weeks" is more important than enduring further treatment. We do not FEAR that decision, though it would sadden us.

It hurts to have people leave comments implying or directly stating we are selfish and desperate, and will let Abby suffer any amount just so we can keep her around a little longer. I guess anyone who really knows us very well (personally, or by reading our blogs) will probably already know that... but these comments caused me a quite a bit of heartache and I wanted to write this, even though Brent's advice was to just move and on ignore it all.

What's Next...

The next treatment planned for Abby, is the LAST phase of chemo call "maintenance". It is usually an easier course of chemo, but it will last for 2 years, once a month clinic visit typically, daily chemo. The goal will be to keep her immune system suppressed enough to keep the cancerous white blood cells from coming back, without compromising her immune system to the point where it will be dangerous to her.

Because Abby has a history of handling chemo poorly, they are starting with lower doses and only giving her higher doses if her counts are too high, and she seems to be handling it. She will have weekly appointments until the right dose is found, then go to monthly most likely.

For the next two years Abby will receive 4 different kinds of chemo. The tougher ones will be at most once a month and the other chemo will be a daily pill. Daily chemo for 2 years sounds like a hard long road, and it is, but it will be easier than what she has done in the past. If we choose not to give it to her, then everything she went through for the last 9 months would probably be for nothing. If we stop, barring a miracle, the cancer will come back with a vengeance.

We have already let Abby go out to church and shopping, with a mask on, because her WBC (ANC 740) was adequate. She was very excited and enjoyed it. We would appreciate your prayers as we are making decisions for Abby.

We are shooting for a more "normal" family life, while still remembering that Abby needs to be protected from germs. It will take several months to find the exact doses that are best for Abby. Once we do that, she will have more freedom.

Abby should be able to do many more fun things, once her current wounds heal. Even though she is home, we are still administering round-the-clock antibiotics and morphine. Normally, a kid in her shape would still be hospitalized, but since we know how, we were able to bring her home and do her care and nursing at home.

(And by the way, for those two or three really nasty comments about how Brent doesn't help me, uses our blog as his own ego trip, thinks he's "god" and that we adopted Sami to use her as a slave to care for Abby.... go find another blog to read. We, and our blog friends, have no use for you here. Brent is the hardest working person I know, and cares for our entire family relentlessly, doing more than his share of house work, kids, work, ministry and helping others. Everyone that knows him, know this about him. And for those hand full of people who don't like Brent "giving his intolerant religious views" on our family blog, you can either ignore them, or join the others who need to move on. Brent has been teaching, ministering, guiding, mentoring and discipling people his whole life. It's who he is. It's an integral part of our family and relationship. To say it is an "ego trip" for him is senseless and hateful. It is an act of service that Brent freely gives his time and energy for when he could be using that time and energy out making money or pursuing leisure.)

Today, Abby is still healing. The wound on her abdomen is still red and has an open area in the middle. It is much better than it was, but it still needs to heal. We are almost finished with the IV antibiotics, but have been warned she may need another round of them. We are willing and ready of course, but Brent and I would love not to have to get up all hours of the night.

Abby's pain is pretty well controlled at this point. She is getting her energy and spunk back. Brent and I are really, really tired, but little Miss is recovering quickly and hopefully we'll get some sleep soon. Kids are amazing, aren't they?

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and encouragement. Thank you also for loving Abby enough to be concerned about her and pray for her.

In the future Brent will be moderating the comments and questions. He is able to read and delete, without giving rude comments a second thought. I love him for shielding me from comments that are written by people who say hateful things for sport. Other comments on harder subjects, but written out of caring, we will talk about and pray over before deciding how/if to respond.

From Brent:

Well I had to add a little to Michelle's comments. Just to many of my own thoughts to keep them quiet. For you heartless people who accused Michelle of exploiting our children, adopting Sami so we could have a "slave", and implying that we "use" our children for personal gain and labor... GO AWAY.

No really... go away. And if you think you are "getting to us" because we wrote these comments, think again. We are just letting our blog friends know you are out there in case you wander off to their blog to harass them. We'll take your harrassment first, so they can ignore you when you visit them.

I have set up approval/moderation systems on the lists, comments, questions and other reader submitted information on our blogs. From now on, your nasty comments will never make it past me. Michelle won't see them, and they will never get on the blog. They don't bother me... so don't bother wasting your time. Delete, delete, delete will be the only response a nasty comment, question or list submission will ever get from now.

Now, for our true friends on this blog, we WELCOME genuine, loving, respectful disagreement, questions and even criticism. We always want to grow, and if we make a mistake we HOPE you'll kindly tell us. If you disagree, we hope you'll tell us why, because we may be misinformed or ignorant. We WANT to learn. We really sincerely want to know why people disagree. Mature people learn MUCH by discussing disagreements. If we receive your criticism or disagreement and we still end up disagreeing, then guess what? We disagree. Big deal. We disagree. How earth-shattering... we don't question your sincerity or motivations... and hopefully you won't question ours. We just disagree. Big stinkin' deal... if we agree on everything, all the time, then I say we don't have much of REAL connection anyway. If you genuinely want to discuss a disagreement, include a name and email, even if you send it to me privately. Anonymous disagreements/criticisms will be ignored.

I plan for this to be the last post about nasty, cruel, hateful comments because they will never make it past me from now on. In reality... IT IS WASTE OF TIME AND ENERGY. Out of the hundreds of thousands of visitors we get each month, four or five are hateful jerks, another half dozen are rude and leave gutless, ugly, comments, and only 3-4 more leave any sort of genuinely negative and always anonymous responses. So why waste time on them?

If I receive a genuine criticism or correction that is accurate and needs to be heeded, I'll be the first one publicly to admit it. Being teachable and correctable is a sign of maturity, not weakness. I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong, or was ignorant about some facts or information.

Whew... glad that's over with. Someone leave us a nasty comment for wasting your time talking about our nasty comments.

The many faces of Little Miss Abby.


Katherine, Anna's Mom said...

A lurker here coming out to say that the photos of Abby are gorgeous and joyous. I pray for you throughout the day and am delighted to read that Abby is able to get out with a mask on. It must make your heart sing to see her improving.

I admire the strength and courage you and your whole family display every day. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

petersonclan said...

So wonderful to see Abby smiling again. Glad she is feeling better. Sorry for the negative comments. You'll not get them from me! Good on ya, Brent, for protecting your wife from them. Way to go.

Jenney said...

So great to hear she is feeling horrible to hear that people are being nasty.
Have you been in touch with MckMama? She is really discouraged right now. I think you guys probably know how she feels and how hard it is. Thank you for being so strong and sharing your faith.

Sandy said...

Dear Michelle and Brent,
I can't understand anyone who would send you an unkind comment.
I am praying for Abby, both of you and your family.
Sandy Hammock

Following Him said...

Brent and Michelle~
You both amaze me with your strength and endurance for Miss Abby. I know in my heart that what you do for her is BEST. I will never ever contradict what you say because YOU both are her parents. I am saddened with how mean people can be and what comes out of the so-called Christian mouth. What you do for ALL of your children is AMAZING! I am amazed at your stength and trust in the LORD as well. Abby is such a fighter and a survivor. Keep doing what ever you are doing!

Tina:0) said...

So glad that there is a plan in place for Abby - even though it will mean more chemo. She looks wonderful in the pictures on this post!

For anyone to leave a comment that you are basically bringing harm to Abby by putting her through treatment, they've obviously never had a child with a serious medical condition. I've been through 10 surgeries - all but one being on her heart. You will do anything you can to make sure your child gets the proper treatment. I've seen her poked, proded, hooked up to machines, & knocking on death's door twice, but she's still here! Did I want to put her through that? Not on your life!! But obviously she's here now because we "put her through" the necessary treatments to keep her going. I've seen my daughter on her death bed twice, & both times I've given her back to the One who created her. Obviously He has more in mind for her to do while she's here! In the end, no matter what we want or do, it truly is out of our hands!

Sending our love & prayers to you all, & for continued recovery for Abby!

Jodie said...

You handle things in your way---you are the only one that knows which course of treatment for your loved one is right

You are both truly incredible parents and you are guided in each and every decision by god and that can only be the right way to go.

Bless you all and praying for you always


megherald said...

It warms my heart to see this little fighter smiling so big!!

lauren said...

God bless you and thank you for continuing to keep your blog public despite the criticism. I'm a pastor and know how cruel and sometimes even hateful supposedly Christian people can be. I have a hard time working on thickening my skin and get my feelings hurt too easily. Reading posts like this one (both of your parts) is a reminder to me that sometimes faithfully witnessing is painful. And sometimes folks think that they must just know what's better for YOUR kids. I feel your pain. Thanks for sharing.

Stephanie said...

I think they're just absolutely childish!!! People who would think that you're using that precious little girl are insane and obviously need to find some other place to go and read! I think you and Michele are doing an AWESOME job and am so incredibly thankful that I found your blog. Continuing to pray for Abby and your entire family!!!!

Bonnie said...

Oh man oh man oh man... Michelle? If you didn't have enough on your plate, I'd fly you to Seattle, set you down in a Starbucks and chat with you for hours. About whatever happened to come up. Above all, even above all that you have put into caring for Abby (I'm a Mom, too - I can't imagine NOT doing it if it were needed), I have immense respect for a woman who defends her husband, even if it's not necessary. There isn't enough of that today - too many women complain about their husbands, too many husbands complain about their wives... A few thousand miles away but if you heard a bit of a squeak at your time (I'm not even sure what that is but it's 7PM Pacific time), that was me cheering you on. Bless you all. Yeah - I'm gushing, probably not writing very well, either but... I'm posting anyhow. If you're ever headed to Seattle, I hope God grants me the privilege of meeting you in person.

lisapooh98 said...

I just wanted to leave a nasty comment for wasting my time talking about your nasty comments...okay...there it is. :) Abby and your family are continually in my thoughts and prayers.
Hebron, KY

Peggi said...

Love the pics of Abby. She looks like she is feeling so much better. Go Abby!!!!!!!

debr said...

I just wanted to say that I am sorry for the hateful people that have commented. I personally have found your story and your family to be an inspiration and a wonderful testament to the grace of God!

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

Brent and Michelle,

First, big HUGS!

Second, AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! Time to move on and let God deal with all those who spew evil from their mouths.

Sometimes remembering what we all learned in kindergarten would be really helpful NOW - if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all.

Praying for the boys family - I was very sad to read they were found dead. I'm sorry for them.

Praying for Maddie too!

You two are such a special couple! I am inspired by your love and grace daily!!!!

Praising God that Abby is doing so well and her fight through this rough treatment is coming to an end :)

Love and blessings tonight,

Anonymous said...

Very well said! You all have enough on your plates without dealing with people who obviously have too much time on their hands. Michelle, isn't it wonderful being married to a true man who protects?! I am thankful every day that I am married to a man who is not afraid to be a man!

katie said...

someone's ready for Easter! I love that sweet angel face! She is just precious. Glad things are going so well at home (but sorry you two aren't sleeping!)
Love and prayers,
Katie in Texas

Am said...

Thank you for sharing your lives with all of us. It truly saddened me to hear what people are commenting to you. I had a very close relationship with God but through various circumstances have let that slip, but have started to work on that the past 2 years. There are many blogs, yours included, that have ministered to me in ways I never thought possible. God speaks to me through this blog and Abby's life. I am sorry for others cruel words but want you to know I appreciate all you do. I am praying for all of you.

Heather, aka Jake's Mommy said...

I love the new faces of Abby. It is such a blessing to see such a genuine smile on her face.

Thank you to both Brent and Michelle for allowing all of us to be a part of this struggle and victory in your life. You all, through this blog, are such giving individuals that inspire us with your reliance on God. We appreciate you and if we cannot meet you here on this earth, I rejoice in getting to spend eternity with such wonderful people.

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for several weeks now, and it amazes me that anyone would question your love and ulitmate concern for Abby's well being, as you, not them, have been with her every step of this journey We have been blessed with our precious little 2year old grandson who was born in Guatemala & came home to us at 11 months old, so Abby's story touches a special place in my heart. Your family is an inspiration and example of genuinely loving God and eachother. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Anonymous said...

Apparently some of these people don't have children or have had to deal with someone fighting cancer. There is a lot of pain in dealing with this monster and we all hate to see our children suffer but we have to do what ever we can if there is a chance for our children to grow. We trust in God to let us know when enough is enough and you as Abby's parents will know better than anyone when that time will be should it arise.
God bless you and those sweet children that you have. Every time I see that beautiful smile Abby has it just makes my heart melt.

Anonymous said...

I am glad Abby is feeling better and getting to be a spunky 4 year old. Kids are so incredible at this age. Ok, now I'm worse than a kid at birthday party who can't wait to open a present. Who was the special visitor from the earlier post? I can't stand waiting. Abby is probably better at waiting than me. I hope you take this with the humor it is intended.


Madelyn's Mommy said...

I admire Brent for protecting you. That is what a husband should do!

You are a child of the King and I know that you and Brent have prayed about what the treatment and next step for Abby should be. And in no way shape or form am I anybody who should question your parenting of Abby. No one leaves comments on my blog about how I parent my child. And just because Abby had cancer doesn't give anyone else the right to give their 2 cents.

I would do the EXACT thing you are doing for Abby.

It really upsets me that people would leave those types of comments. Even this "nice" one that you posted about is wrong of them to write it. But we have to remember that not everyone has the Holy Spirit living in them.

Unless they have prayed to God and God told them to email you or talk to you they have NO right to confront you. And a public blog is no place for it.

Keep it up my sister. You are an amazing mother and I can see the Holy Spirit around you and your family.

In Christ love


kate said...

Wow I am sorry you are having to deal with that on top of everything. You could just keep all of this to yourselves, but I am thankful you have put yourselves out there to bless others like myself. We are praying for Abby and feel like she is part of our family eventhough we've never met her. Hang in there and I hope you can let those nasty e-mails slide and be blessed by the others. Why is that that you can have 100 nice comments and 2 bad ones and the two bad ones ruin everything. Ugh. Brent, that is great your are protecting Michelle from those! Bless you guys!

Beth said...

I am so sorry that you get nasty, mean comments. I can't imagine why people would be like that. I think your family is amazing. When I read your blog I can just feel God working through you. I look forward to reading your blog. I too am familiar with mean comments, but not on my blog. It's actually verbal. I am single and I adopted my son last year from Guatemala. I get mean comments about how unfair I am being to Zach because he only has one parent or they say every boy needs a dad. I know I shouldn't respond but it is hard. I usually say, "you are right. He would have a better life in an orphanage". I tried the truthful route about how I prayed and God lead me to Zach, but that usually gets an eye roll. I have found though that there are more supportive, great people in this world then there are mean and nasty. I think you two are amazing parents. Thank you for letting us in to your lives and showing us how even when times are bad it is so important to always keep your faith.


Liz said...

I'm so sorry that pain has been added to an already difficult time. I am praying for peace for your family and praying for those who have hurt you...that they will find Jesus and change their ways....
The photos of Abby are the bright colors!

Anonymous said...

I love these new pictures of Abby! I am so glad she has some sparkle back! (It looks like she might have some of her energy back too!) Praise God!

I am sorry you have had to deal with such nasty comments. Anyone who has followed your blog or Abby's testimony for any time at all knows what you heart is.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to pray for Abby. I have grown to love and care about her and your family.

Love and Prayers,
Holly in OKC

elteescat said...

No nasty comments from here!! I like you guys!!!! And as long as there's hope for recovery I say continue all treatments for Abby even if they're hard on her because NOT treating her would constitute withholding treatment in my book. Any grown adult would choose to hold on to life tooth and nail and not give up just because it's a little tough so why would anyone expect a parent to give up on their child? Abby hasn't given up!!!!!!!!!!!

oneblessedlife said...

EEK! What fun surprise pictures of Abby at the bottom. One day I hope to meet your beautiful family in person. Until then, my prayers are with you. May God continue to strengthen all of you and wrap his arms around you.

I'm glad you told the vocal troublesome to be on their way. Even the disciples shook the dust from their feet as they went on to the next town. You're in good company!

Anonymous said... this is what you have been dealing with. Sami as a slave??? Honestly???? She always looks so happy and well loved with her enormous smile!!!! I am sure life with you is so much better than what she had in Ethiopia. You look like loving parents and I'm sure she adores you.

As for letting Abby someone who knows a little about leukemia, it's not at that stage yet. If she had relapsed 2 or 3 times it might be time to consider letting her go, but she is in remission and there's every reason to belief she has a good chance. And frankly it's not your place to say. Brent and Michelle will make that terrible decision if the time ever comes.

Good for you Brent and Michelle, for addressing this issue. You know your good intentions, so nobody can tell you any different.


ReadyAim said...

Oh my! Look at that beautiful smiling face! Please tell me those are recent photos!!! It is so wonderful to hear that Abby is doing better. Praising God for holding you tight over the last speed bump! I pray for continued healing for Abby and some needed rest for her mommy and daddy.


Susan said...

Abby is a beautiful little girl with a most radiant smile! I am so happy to hear that she is getting out with the aid of a mask...she must be giddy with excitement.

God Bless Abby and her amazing family!

Upstate New York

sweet_p07 said...

Hello Riggs family~ I've been faithfully reading your blog for a while now and, after reading your last post, felt it was now time to leave you a comment. Praying for your family has become a daily habit I don't even think about. I know I talk about Abby with my bible study girls like I know her, but she's so close to my heart. Your honesty, integrity, and willingness to share your life (good and bad) for all to see is admirable. There is no better witness for the world to see than a life led by example! I look forward to seeing Abby on the road to recovery!
Love and Prayers,
Lisa in San Diego

Joy said...

I am mostly a lurker as well but I just wanted to comment to say how much of a blessing your family is to me. Abby and the rest of the Riggs family comes to my mind quite often and you are in my prayers. Abby is just gorgeous, she looks incredibly happy. It's obvious you guys are doing a wonderful job with her. I admire you, Brent & Michelle, keep up the good work.

Becky said...

First, let me say that Abby is just plain adorable...what a cutie pie!!!

Secondly, I don't think I can add much to what has already been stated by the previous posters, but I sincerely hope that the MEANIES go away and stay that way. I just don't get people sometimes.

We are praying for all of you. The kids ask about Abby all the time and pray for her regularly. You are wonderful people and we wish you every blessing!

jetjrfhth said...

Thank you for the continued updates on Abby. It is a blessing to be able to pray with our kids for her then show them her pictures and let them know how she is doing. It was great to see her in church on Sunday! Tori is praying for the day she can come back to Sunday School with her friends!

Hoosiermama said...

So sorry to hear that people are being ugly....
I am glad that Abby is getting her energy back and pray that she will continue to heal, and that you both will be able to recover your strength as well. Blessings.

Marianne said...

Brent and Michelle,
I love the latest pictures of Abby, her smile warms my heart and I am sure brightens the room for those who have the joy of knowing her personally,

I continue to be amazed at how cruel people can be and I am sorry that you have experienced such mean spirited comments. I am thankful that Michelle has Brent to shield her from further hatefulness.

Thank you both for sharing your family with me. I feel honored to be able to pray for Abby and the two of you as you care for her.


Juls said...

How awesomely brillantly beautiful does Abby look in green?! SO CUTE....

My heart is heavy for your family..dealing with negativity. I agree that although it is okay to attack someone's character is something totally out of hand... Good for you guys for standing your ground...

Keep on keeping on...and we are still praying like crazee!

Shelby said...

First I have to say that I can not for the life of me figure out what people are trying to accomplish by being so nasty and hateful. I think it is wonderful that you are going to moderate so Michelle doesn't ever have to deal with it again- but I am saddened that you have to do it.
Lastly thank you for those bright beaming pictures of Abby. They brought a huge smile to my face to see her looking so great!

elteescat said...

Neither snow nor flood nor hail.... A family from California moved in accross the street from me in the Fall and when we had a freak hailstorm like that they thought it was snow and they all ran out to look!!!! (Either you only just updated the post or my internet connection is acting up because that picture wasn't there a minute ago!!!!!)

Anonymous said...

I love the new pictures of Abby. I love her smiles. She is a very fortunate young girl to have parents like you two.

I'm very glad that you did not respond to the negative comments by taking away the Annonymous heading. I have no blog so I don't have any other way to respond.

God bless you all. Praying that Abby's sore heals soon.


Cathy said...

OMG...after everything all of you (including Abby) have been through, I cannot believe that anyone would want you write that sweet child off! Just look at that smile...she is definitely a keeper! She has touched so many lives and I want to give a shoutout to Sami for being such a wonderful big sister!

Anonymous said...

just wanted to say that i'm so sorry that you have had people send you these nasty comments.
i'm so happy abby is feeling better and i am praying that you and michelle get some rest soon.
much love,

Sam said...

Any post that ends with pictures of such a beautiful little girl could never be a waste of my time. :)

There's nothing I can say about those kinds of people that you don't already know. Just take care of yourself and your family, that's all that's important.

Anonymous said...

HELLO MISS SMILEY!! What a blessing to see your beautiful face. We're so glad you are feeling better.

Brent & Michelle,
God bless you and uplift you during your journey with this very special little girl. As an adoptive mother of four, three of which are considered special needs, I can understand where you are as to the people second-guessing some of the decisions. Our youngest had to undergo a double leg amputation at the age of 9 months. I'm sure some have second-guessed our decision, but knowing the full extent of her situation, we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was the best decision, albeit a hard one, for our daughter.

Praying for your continued comfort, wisdom and healing.

The Hewett Family

Oh well, hey! said...

Oh, Michelle, Brent and all ... you bring tears to my eyes! Tears of joy, hope, love, honesty, "being real" - your Abby has brought much to our family and has even allowed us to talk about illness that we probably wouldn't have otherwise. We continue to keep you in our prayers - you are a beautiful family and I LOVE reading your updates and LOVE the pictures even more! My oldest looked at Abby tonight and said, "Aww - she is CUTE!" God Bless - Keep the updates coming and we will keep the prayers ... well, I would keep the prayers coming regardless. Michelle - from one Mommy to another - may God Bless you greatly (you too Brent, but...)your strength, honesty and ability to "do it all" is beautiful beyond belief. I wish I knew you to give you a hug personally and take you out or bring over a great cup of coffee or tea. Hey -then I could get a snuggle from Abby too! Love and Prayers from Missouri - Juli

Mandi said...

Little miss Abby is so full of life in those photos. I can truly see why you would love her so much.

Cori said...

I just had to say how ADORABLE miss Abby looks!! What a joyful little fighter!! Boy, we are all in need of a lesson from her!!

Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder why those who don't agree with what you share here are even reading. God knew what was in store for Abby and placed her with the best of parents. Abby is a precious and special little girl with 2 very amazing parents. Her smile despite all she has been through says it all.

Gail said...

Thanks for posting the beautiful pictures of Abby. My, she looks just wonderful!! God has been so good and continues to be good!!!!

Stacie said...

Good for you, Michelle, for standing up and saying something. Neither of you deserve anything that is said out of malice, or just plain ignorance. I don't have children, yet, but as an RN, I have taken care of extremely sick, and dying, children. No one knows what you are going through except those who have done it before. Of course you know when enough is enough... but those beautiful smiles and the light in Abby's eyes in those pictures is reason enough to not waste any moment rethinking any choices you have made to this point. Keep up the good work being Abby's fighters. (Praying you get caught up on sleep very soon.)

Kristine said...

Wow...some people are just so unhappy aren't they. It is really pretty sad that some people have nothing better to do than harass 2 parents who are going through a nightmare trying to save their daughter. I just don't get it.

Anyway...on to more important stuff.

I'm SO happy to hear that Abby is gradually getting better. The pics are lovely (nice photoshop'ing - how did you get the isolation so clear?) and hope she is playing and giggling away in no time!

Kristine & Katie

DawnS said...

I'm happy to get this update about Abby and hope that she continues to "bounce back" quickly. I am so sorry that you have been hurt by comments that people have left, but sadly not surprised that it has happened. I have the greatest respect for both of you and appreciate how open you have been about this whole experience and expecially about your faith. My prayer life has grown much stronger over the last several months as I have prayed continuously for Abby and Stellan. My faith has grown even deeper by watching you travel this journey and live out your lives in bold obedience to God. Because of your willingness to share your lives with us, we have grown to love a little booty shaking girl named Abby and my kids ask about her every single day. We are better, our lives are better because you have shared her with us. Please know that for the handful of people that do not understand and that lash out to hurt you, there are hundreds and hundreds that are thankful and honored that you share this part of yourselves with us!

Janet and Kevin said...

Thank you for continuing to share your faith in your life struggles. We are glad your daughter is beginning to feel a little better. Praying for her to feel better and better. God bless you all,

Janet and Kevin
Ted, and Philip

Live to love and laugh said...

I am still praying for your whole family. I cannot even begin to imagine how tired you are but God knows.
He will keep you in His hands.
The pictures of Abby are so sweet. You can really see she is feeling better by looking at her eyes. Good for you Abby!

Debbie said...

Sorry to hear that people have been mean and nasty. That is awful and so unnecessary. It is obvious that you do what you feel is best for your children and love them dearly.

I wish your family and Abby the absolute best in the remainder of her road to recovery!

Juliet said...

What a beautiful and well written post(s). As I read, and scrolled down, I was near tears thinking of someone leaving a mean comment on your blog. HOW could someone do that? How? And just as the tears were about to spill over, I scrolled down to the pictures of Abby. And I saw God's face in your little girl and I remember that good will always triumph over evil. Jesus is all good. Thank you for sharing your story - praying for you and your family in NJ.

Penny said...

Love your Easter bonnet, Abby! What I REALLY love is your gorgeous smile! It looks like you're feeling better and I am so glad! Still praying for you.

To other readers,
Parenting a healthy child is hard enough, an ill one even more so. Even well-meaning people just need to be supportive. This is the Riggs family's blog, not a political forum! Please respect that.

Erica said...

Brent and Michelle,

I have been following your blog for some time but have never commented. But now seems like a good time to tell you that you have such a profound ministry in so many lives, including my own.

I pray for your sweet Abby and for your family as a whole, and I so admire the way you humbly, vulnerably relate the details of your lives.

I hate that anyone left you negative comments. As a parent of a formerly very sick premature infant, I know that the parents are the ones who know BEST for their child, no one else. May you continue to seek the Lord's wisdom as you raise your precious family. God bless you both!

Lindsey's mom said...

Keep up the good work! I would have done all I could for my daughter! You are giving Abby the best treatments and potential possible! Keep it up!!!
Kathy in Alaska
AKA volcano Lady
Oh if Abby or the other kids want to see some cool volcano photos go to the Alaska Volcano Observatory site! Find Images and check them out. I have some on my blog!

The Gobble's (Lanetta) said...

So glad to see the great pics of Abby... are those from today?? She looks so bright and happy and her eyes are popping!!! Great pics. Dad!!!
So sorry about the negative commnets... and Brent you are so sweet to protect Michelle from them... Phil and I are the same way.. He can handle it, I have troubles.. :) Hang in there Michelle.. and know that for every one negative person there are hundreds of your sisters in Christ who are praying and proud of you!!
Lots of prayers always.... Lanetta

Brysmommy, Kenswifey said...

Wow..unbelievable that people would even consider themselves so great and mighty to judge you and your situation..I am glad that you realize there are only a "few" of "them"..all the rest of us...truly love and respect your family..and think you are doing a wonderful job and are amazed at the love and care you show for little Abby..what a lucky little girl!!! you should be receiving a package from my class in the next few days!!!! Hope she likes them!

Nancy and Isaac McGee said...

Just wanted to say I love the new pics of Abby and I can't wwait to see pics of her playing outside this summer on her playground equipment from last year. Hang in there you all. Even though I don't personally know you guys I think you all are great people and have a lovely family

The Eadle Family said...

Being a relatively new reader to this blog, I had no idea the chemo was to keep the cancer away for good. I didn't even know that option was available. Thank you, I love learning new things. lol.

I am glad Abby is getting her spunk back, and I hope that you both can get some sleep soon!

As for nasty commenters, I agree ... they should be ignored. Why go on someones blog and criticize them on how they live their life. So disrespectful!

Kim Gonzales said...

Just want to add to the many others that I agree that these people are sick, sad, pathetic in their actions to criticize the family of a child with cancer. I mean, why not go out and kick the dog, the nun, the homeless person, while they are at it?? Geez . . .

And for those with good intentions giving you advice about letting Abby go, they really have no right and sounds like they have no idea what they are talking about, so I chalk that up to ignorance.

Take care and know we will still be praying.

Gonzales Family

jeck said...

Brent you have an amazing way with photos!! I love the photos of Abby and they way you put them together!! God Bless!

Nikki said...

Hey Michelle,

I haven't stopped by your blog lately even though we are continuing to pray for Abby. Ugh, what sad people there are in the world. I really was just stopping by to say hello and tell you we haven't forgotten getting to meet part of your family at the pool last summer.

Praying for God's peace and joy to surround you this day!

Al's World said...

Brent and Michelle,
I adore your blog, your family and everything you stand for. It puts a smile on my face that Abby is home, that Michelle is home and you are a family again. My face is crying when I think of all the pain you have endured watching this angel suffer so. God has mighty plans for her, for you and Satan is just trying to get you down! Thank you for not letting it, thank you for focusing on the goal and running this race.

Lindsey said...

I love how you are dealing with the not so nice people out there. I love that you are going to DELETE and move on. I am so uplifted, encouraged, convicted by your story, your teachings and how you handle your sweet Abby's illness. To leave nasty comments just to be mean tells me how much time people have on their hands just to be nasty. That is so sad. Sad. Sad. Sad.

Abby looks wonderful! What a world of difference since she was last in the hospital! Praise God!

We will continue to pray daily for Abby and your family. :)

day by day said...

Oh, these pictures of Abby made me smile BIG! Her smile is just so beautiful!! Also, I love the Easter egg hat she is wearing.

Michelle, I am so sorry that you had to read those hurtful things. Honestly, I just do not know what goes through people's minds sometimes. Never, in a million years, would I feel it my place to judge another parents decisions in a matter like this. For goodness sake, I just can't imagine going through all you have been through...I have no doubt that every decision you make is out of the complete love you have for Abby. You are her Mom and you know best.

Give Abby a big hug from us! : )

Angela said...

Dear Abby's family,

I've been to your blog a few times but this time is the first time I've posted. To be honest, I am quite bothered by the comments that you made reference to by others asking you to let Abby just enjoy what time she has here.

In November of 1988, my 2 year old son Danny was diagnosed with ALL. Fast forward 21 years later, and he's a productive, happy 22 year old man.

You keep doing what you are doing for Abby.

I wish I had the faith in God that you do. I have been searching for 20 years but I know that it will come one day.


annb said...

Anonymous comments are some of the rudest things I see in the "blog" world! If someone believes in something - truly believes, then why not stand behind it with their name?
Anyway, I'm thankful that you have allowed us to follow Abby's journey and to be so open with your life and your faith. I've learned many things from Brent's ministry and posts and wouldn't want to see him stop just because of rude people.
I rejoice with you that Abby is now "cancer free" and pray that given the same situation I would handle it with the grace and the love that you both have during this time.
In His Love and blessings,

Our Family's Spot said...

Just a quick note to let you know that we are praying for Abby and for you guys as well. It really stinks when people can't be nice - especially when they are being inconsiderate to such wonderful, encouraging people as yourselves. Really - you guys are such an encouragement. I love reading your blogs because there are definitely days where I need the encouragement. =0)


Our Family's Spot said...

By the way . . . I love the photos of Abby!!! I love her smile! =0) I would love to know how to make one of those of my son . . . hint, hint. =0)

kristine said...

Brent and Michelle,

My daughter, Abbie (6 years old), and I read your blog several times a day. She likes to pray for Abby during her prayers before bed! I am so blessed and encouraged by your blog, and amazed at work of God being done!!

You have our prayers and hopefully lovingly comments!!


The Sorensen family

(Kristine (mom), Abbie (6 years old... home from China for nearly 5 years) and Grace ( 16 months...home from Ethiopia for 6 months )

McCray's said...

This post literally brought tears to my eyes...

We have a thriving 5 year old daughter...with a nasty brain tumor. We went through surgeries, 2 years of chemo, etc. And it was all so painful. As her mother, my heart broke in a way I didn't think possible. Brent and Michelle, we know you love your precious daughter and want only the best for her. It is very EVIDENT. And so, my words of encouragement to you...Never give up hope!!! Our daughter has been in remission for almost 3 years! And, like I said, she is THRIVING! These nasty commenters are only trying to get a reaction. And it is only proof that satan is trying to get in the way of all the amazing things God is doing in and through you all.

Thank you so much for your ministry. You have no clue how blessed we are that you have allowed us to be a part of it. I will never quit believing in the miracle that that little girl, Abby is!!!!

Know you all are loved!

Dimples and Stars Race Cars and Guitars said...

Love you guys and HAPPY to see Abby SMILE in the pictures...We will be home next week and I will give you a call...BYE BYE HATEFUL COMMENTERS....Hugs

Shari said...

I do not know your family personally, but by your blog and it's content I have figured out who you are, what you stand for, and the love and compassion you have for others. I continue to pray and let's pray for those hateful people. They need Jesus even though it's hard to think that way. They are most-likely lost and need the healing those of us received when we received Him as Savior.

Kelly said...

Good. For. You.

YOU know what is in your heart. GOD knows what is in your heart. That is all that matters.

laura said...

It's SO good to see those pictures of Abby smiling!!! Looks like her spunk and personality are coming back :)

You two are such a blessing, Brent and Michelle, and I'm so sorry to hear about the nasty comments you've if you don't already have enough on your plate! What an amazing and beautiful family you are.

We continue to pray for Abby's full healing. We have an amazing and awesome Father God who is able to give us exceedingly, abundantly more than all we can ask or imagine! Love and hugs to you all!

Vickie said...

I just wanted to say that I read your blog and pray for your family daily. It is beyond my ability to understand why anyone would want to say hateful things to you. I admire you guys so much and I'm so glad to hear that Abby is feeling better and regaining her strength.

Thank you for being such an inspiration to me.

Jman's momma said...

Just adding again how much I think your open and honest struggle through Abby's sickness and treatment is being used for good.

You have talked before about keeping in mind that we never know what people may be going through. I need that reminder all the time. Being able to follow along with your family to see that as you guys are in the trenches you are still helping others. Your pain has been used and will continue to be used.

I am so sorry you have had to deal with the added pain of nasty commenters.

Laurie said...

So sorry you have had such yucky people to deal with. The new pictures of Abby are just AWESOME! So nice to see her beautiful smile! I think that just shows you heard the Lords guidance in your choices for Abby! Praying for a fast, smooth 2 years!

Just'N Angel said...

I love Abby's head scarf! She looks wonderful! Praise the Lord! Looking forward to more posts and encouragements. Thanks for the update on Abby's progress. Praying for you all!

DJ Holly Rock said...

I keep writing sentences and deleting them because I just don't have words. I read nasty comments like these often and I always end up in tears and I they shouldn't shock me like they do...but they DO. How can people think like this? I would do ANYTHING for my kids...ANYTHING. If they only had a 1%(or less) chance of surviving I would do everything in my power to make sure that they are that 1%.

Abby is always on my mind it I'm so glad to see that smile tonight.

fmattso said...

First off Abby I love the Easter egg bow hat you are wearing!! Soo stinking cute!! Lovin the green too! It happens to be my favorite color!
Brent and Michelle,
I think it is high time for Satan to get a good old fashion Butt whoopin! I have come to care about your entire family as well as some of the other blogs I read and I gotta say Satan is picking on the wrong people! I prayed for the last ugly commentor and I will pray for the new ones! They need to get rid of Satan and find Jesus! I may have to come visit my sister soon just so I can "accidently" hug all of you! So glad that the next rounds of chemo will be a little easier. Take care! Still praying!

Denise said...

I am so sorry you are getting comments like this. I honestly believe that some people do this just to get attention or something, I have seen horrible comments on Youtube posted about people who have passed away. As for the people who think they are helping, they don't understand that they are not. When my children were in the NICU we recieved many comments and requests like this from staff. Telling us to let our babies go, and that they would be better off. Sadly we did end up letting two of our triplets go. I am sad, but know they are in heaven with God and Jesus. As for my Elijah I am so thankful I didn't listen. He is such a blessing and a miracle. I knew when to let my Lucas go, God let me know it was time. He never told me to stop care on Elijah, actually I firmly believe he told me not to! I wonder if people who comment like this have children and if they do I wonder if they have sick children. Have they ever held their children in their arms and had people say "let them go". If they have I don't think they could ever judge someone who is going through what you are. I lost one child in the womb, and held one child in my arms while he took his last breath, and I fought for one because I knew God was going to heal him. I look at my children now and I know if I were in the same situation that you are I would do nothing different. I think you are wonderful parents, and your children are lucky. As far as the comments made about your adopted children, they are blessed to have been adopted by a loving Christian family. God bless you for what you do, and I pray he comforts you during these times and that he completely heals your little girl!

jody said...

wow, what a waste of time!!!! totally kidding-it is always incredible to me what people will say when they can hide behind their computer screen, but would never say to you if sitting in your living room. i think i would walk the earth and back to get whatever treatment my child might need to prolong her life (or in this case, SAVE it, hello??) and so if that makes me a selfish mama, well, then so be it-it is also what makes me, and y'all, a GOOD one!!! can we just all take a minute to stand back and realize that abby is a stinkin' MIRACLE??? i mean, more than once i prayed in tears to God and asked friends, too, to pray b/c she was barely clinging to life, and here she is, smiling and entering the "maintenance" phase of her treatment. a MIRACLE! and thanks for letting me be a part it through your blog!!!

Anonymous said...

Michelle and Brent,
I am so sorry that people would leave comments about you being selfish and prolonging her suffering. Absolutely uncalled for, mis-informed and cruel. As a parent I would do exactly what you do interms of treatment. Abby is a survivor and god's plan is to have her here longer on earth, that is clear to me. These people really should know better than to leave comments like that. I think they are plain mean people.
Ok, if we were talking about prolonging the life of a 96 year old that would be completely different.

Wish you all the best, and I am so happy Abby is doing better. I was in shock when I read about her a couple of weeks ago. So worried for you.


Michelle said...

Hi Michelle And Brent,
Well Obviously, we have never met but any friend of the Bakers,... it just goes without saying that I trust that you are good,hard working, God-fearing, people. I have learned so much from your blog. I am quite addicted to it actually! :) I check on Abby and your family many times throughout the day.
I do want to say thank you to Brent for protecting your wife from further hurtful comments. It is awesome to see that kind of love actively demonstrated.
Abby's pictures are beautiful and as I've said time and time again, I hope to be in Kansas by the summer time and hope to meet all of you soon!
Praying for a restful night for all of you.
Michelle Mann

Angie said...

You guys are awesome!!!

as written by Barbara said...

It IS good to see the many smiles and twinkles in the eyes of Abby again. Soon it will be rested faces on her Mom and Dad!
Prayers and Blessings for your entire family,
Barbara Lyman :-)
Marysville, WA

harmonysong said...

I have nothing to add to what you said! Great responses and I trust those who continue to read will do so because we care about and love Abby.

Love the new pics! Precious little girl with a smile to light up all the internet! :)

Leonard Family said...

I LOVE these pictures of Abby!! It's great to see her smiling! She is such a precious lil girl!! Praying for Abby & the whole family!!

Stacey said...

I have been praying specifically for you. I have been up at all hours of the night praying for you (and the Blocks.) You are constantly on my heart and now I know why. I pray that God would comfort you and strengthen you right now. I pray what the Bible says in Romans 12:9 for you. "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. I pray that you are able to cling to what is good and ignore all the yuckies from people and from Satan.
I hope those yucky people go away!
Take Care, God Bless YOU,

purplemoose said...

Man, you have GOT to be kidding!! That just makes me want to cry that you get nastiness. Cancer is ugly, chemo is horrid. I'm sorry you've had to deal with nastiness on top of that! On a HAPPIER note, your little girl is adorable and it is great to see her smiling again! I pray that this week is better for you all.

Joyce Williamson said...

Dear Abby, Michelle and Brent,
We are so Happy that Abby is feeling a little better and hope that continues. Her pictures are so beautiful. Actually she is so beautiful-ha! She has such a great smile......
Sorry you are having to deal with such mean spirited people. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. That's an oldie, but goodie. lol
Perhaps these people are just jealous because your Family has so much love and strength and they don't.
Unfortunately, there will always be people with negative attitudes and dispositions. Misery loves company......
I think you are doing a service for so many of us, as well as needing us for support and Prayers.
These people do not deserve your time and energy.
Praying that you all will rise above this issue and continue your outreach.
We continually Pray for Abby for complete Healing on this earth. Please give her hugs and kisses from Nick and I, as a matter of fact we send them to all of you.
Love and Prayers,
Joyce and Nick

Lisa said...

I love Abby's hats! The Easter one and bright colors look good on her! You can see it in her eyes that she is feeling good! I wish they would've had those hats with bows when I was going through treatments! Maybe it would've helped strangers from mistaking me for a boy!! The earrings never worked! haha!
Praying Abby continues to do well & heal& that all germy germs stay away!Good thing summer is coming! Hopefully the heat will knock out the germs that have been reaking havoc all winter!

Anonymous said...

You know that when you are doing God's work (and doing it really good)it is then that Satan steps in and tries to stop you. I applaud you and Michelle for NOT letting Satan have control.

Nobody but the two of you and God will know what decisions to make and when to make them. I think you have followed in God's will in all that you are doing for Abby.

I once had to help make a decision about putting my Mom back in a hospital and on machines or keeping her at her home. It was one of the toughest decisions I ever had to make, but with God's leading (after much prayer and listening)we kept Mom at home. We had some people disagree with us, but we were all at peace so what they said didn't matter.

You and Michelle have that peace that you are making the right decisions and I pray that you won't let anything these "bottom feeders" say ever get to you again.

There are so many people that love your whole family and support you (me included) and pray for you daily.

God is pleased with you and Michelle - two of His good and faithful Christian servants.

Love and prayers,

Ann Stegall
Wake Forest, NC

Jonathan Jay said...

Brent and Michelle,

I generally don't comment on your posts because I know you get so many and I have not been online much so am generally reading your blogs while in bed but really wanted to say something about this blog.

Being someone that has been going through chemo, radiation I know exactly how hard it gets. The pain is not fun, missing out on life and the rest of the world is not fun but the fight is worth it. And I can promise you that years from now when Abby is all better she is going to be grateful that you never gave up on her ability to fight, that you held her and gave her strength through the pain and helped her to fight and beat her cancer.

I know you know this which is why you help her to fight and help her to have life...because as hard as 2 or 3 years of chemo and pain will be made up for in the years she has in the future to live, to laugh and to love.

It is our parents that get us through the hard times, that never give up on us and that never let us "just die" and for that I say thank you for posting because having life is worth the pain of getting to that point.


Erica said...

People are just cruel. I think they are out in rare form and have too much time on their hands lately. We've had a fair amount of them in recent days as well. The delete button is our friend.

Praying for all of you. Praising the Lord for Abby's progress.

Kelli said...

I think your "go away" message is clear and I'm glad that you posted it. It honestly floors me when people say such ridiculous, ignorant things such as what I've recently read here. I don't know why anything surprises me anymore, but it does.

I'm relieved to hear that Abby is doing better, although I know that she still has a long road ahead. She is in my prayers, and know that even if I'm not always hanging out on the Riggs Family Blog, you're not very far from my thoughts. If I'm ever near the great state of Oklahoma someday, I hope to have the opportunity to hang out with you guys in person. I'll be sure that it's a different season, however...I can certainly do without hailstorms! Wow! Hope nobody got caught outside in that!

Kelli Bosarge

The Adoption Journey of Baby King said...

I had been waiting anxiously for an update on Abby. Iam glad to hear she is healing. I hope your rest comes soon too.

I wanted you to know I would be doing the same thing you are. We struggled for years with my now 17 year old son and found out at 7 yo he was misdiagnosed for the first 7years of his life.

Now that Abby is in remission it would seem insane to me to stop any further treatments as then all she went through was for nothing.

I look forward to reading your blog and reading others stories. They all tend to bring tears to my eyes, but also open my eyes to be so grateful for the wonderful life I have been given and to keep fighting for my childrens needs and to love them more and more each day.

Laurel said...

How could anyone possibly see all the pictures you post of Abby, and think, "Why don't you let her die?" Hello! Do they not see the absolute JOY radiating from your dear daughter's face???

We ALL have painful times. We ALL have days that we are not looking good, feeling good, doing well. That does NOT mean that it is time to put us out to pasture.

My son was in a coma for a week, with 100+ third degree burns covering his body (from bacterial meningitis). Should we have unplugged all the meds., tubes, ventilator, and dialysis ... just to make sure he wouldn't face anymore pain? NO!!! By the Hand of God, he survived, and 3 years later is the most amazing, joy-filled little guy imaginable.

Praying for you all!

mama of 13

Kathrin said...

She is so cute! I am glad you have her home - and shopping!
We are thinking about you.

Casey said...

Thank you for opening your hearts and your lives to Sami, Landis, and Abby. God is truly using you as an instrument of righteousness in their lives. Thank you also for opening your lives to us. For allowing us to pray for you and your children and for sharing the sustaining grace of our beautiful, amazing Savior in your trials. Your witness is truly a blessing to me.

Sarah said...

Brent & Michelle,

I am so sorry that there are people out there who are hurting so much in their lives that they take it out on others. I recently reminded my husband of that when someone hurt his feelings at work. This person yelled at my husband and told him he was worthless when my husband was genuinely doing his best to get the job done. I see these nasty commenters in the same light. I'm sure you already know this and have thought about it, though.

Regarding the hail: wow. I miss Texas/Oklahoma storms. Yes, sometimes they are scary, but they're so much more entertaining than the perpetual drizzle we're prone to in Germany.

Finally, gotta love those last 4 pictures of Abby. She's such a treasure!


Lisa said...

AMEN Riggs Family! You guys have enough on your plate as it is. People need to get a life, or get saved, really is what is wrong with them. LOVE the pictures of Abby at the end of the post. Anyone can tell you are a loving, hardworking family just trying to do what God would have you do, and whoever cannot see that has their own issues. God Bless.

Jennifer said...

Beautiful post on such an uncomfortable situation.

On to other things: Your daughter has such an amazing sparkle in her eyes. I love that. I hope you enjoyed the photo I sent of Abby's name at the beach. I truly thought of her every step I took. :D

Amy Spahr said...

i just wanna say God bless you guys!! be encouraged that your suffering is not in vain. God is a redeeming God and He will fight for you.

Sweet Joni said...

HA ^5 Brent! Posting those Absolute Adorable Pics of Abby at the End ... WHO could even give a nasty comment! :D I Luv the light green on her!

Michelle ~ thanks for explaining a bit more of what Abby has ahead of her (even though you don't have to explain or justify to ANYone) ;) May you get Well RESTED soon! I so know what lack of sleep can do!

Happy Tuesday!

Sig said...

What a waste of time about those comments...Just kidding!! ;)
Truly, I was SO happy to read this post. I told Michelle from the very beginning I had no doubt Abby would get through this. God moves mountains!
About not treating Abby. My jaw hit the ground when I read that. Surely, no one really thought you would do that?
My FIL was diagnosed with prostrate cancer over 2 years ago. It spread to his bladder, lungs, brain. Name it, it invaded it. Even i told my mom she should "consider the options". When she said no, I thought it was awesome. Scary, but awesome ). The Drs gave him 3 months, tops.
Well, it has been 2 years and 4 months. Yes, his life has been really hard, but he is glad to be alive (and giving my mom a hard time :p)
You cannot possibly tell someone to not treat if you have not experienced this personally.
Welcome to the maintenance stage Abby, me thinks you are gonna breeze through it!

The Engelhardt 4 said...

Abby looks good in lime green. I just love smile. Keep the faith (as my grandpa says during hard times). We love you, pray for you, and have a TON of handmade pictures to send your to find the time to get to the post office!! LOL.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry Brent and Michelle that you have to read so many untrue and ugly things. Just know my heart hurts for you, as what you both do is out of love for your children and more importantly, doing what God commands you to do. I can only imagine the ugliness that surrounds the heart of those that type those words. God help them!!!
You both have beautiful hearts, and Brent, thank you for choosing to delete, delete those negitive and hurtful comments and sparing your dear wife and family the heartache of reading them. You are an amazing guy. Im glad you didnt just choose to elimate this whole blog thing or stop giving out ABBY updates, because that wouldve been a very sad thing for us. Keep in mind, Ive only been on your blog for a few months or so....and I see how you strive to live as Christ lives, and allow the world to see Christ in your hearts. God Bless you! God Bless you!!

Michelle, thank you so much for are a sweet lady. You are an amazing mother and wife. I pray you both get the rest you deserve soon! If I lived close Id run over and lock you in your bedroom with your blankie and enjoy the energy and fun that comes with kids. :)

Abby, you are soooooooo beautiful!!! Im glad you are healing... remember how much Jesus loves you for smiling that big smile. It brightens our day!!! You trully are a miracle....

Heidi C., IN

Anonymous said...

I have never posted here and I am not a regular reader. I am however the mother of an 11 year old that has been fighting cancer for 7 years. talking about ending treatment is something ALL parents of children with cancer talk about. We ALL know there is a line and we are well aware of how these kids are suffering. They are also FIGHTING and if they are fighting we can too. The people giving you these "helpful" ideas cannot have a clue how this treament works. So to all of them, believe me we KNOW there could come a time when we could have to stop treatment.....we are WELL AWARE and WE will know when and if that time comes. Good luck to you and Abby and your family.

Carrie S said...

We pray for sweet Abby and your family every night. God is directing your paths and we are not to judge. Much love for your family and we pray for continued strength and comfort through all of this. My sweet daughter was born in Guatemala, and I am awaiting another precious child of God from Ethiopia; I can't imagine receiving the ill thought comments you have. May God give you continued strength to delete the meaness and keep witnessing and sharing with those who love you.

Alyson said...

Awww what a beautiful and sweet little lady! :0)

Abby and your family are in my thoughts and prayers everyday!!


Alyson - Mommy to Evan and Avery (severe PPHN)

Recovering Noah said...

How wonderful to see Abby smiling!

I know the next two years will be hard, but I'm so glad that Abby's back home. And shopping, too! Now there's a way to put a smile on a girl's face. :-)


Robyn said...

I am continuing the prayers for Abby and your entire family!!

Elaine said...

Brent & Michelle,
It just breaks my heart to hear that people are still leaving negative comments. You are wonderful people who love their children very much. Who knows a child better than her own parents. I am so glad to see that you aren't letting it influence you in doing what your heart tells you to do. Abby has come along way and will continue to do so. I wish only the best for you and your family. You can just see the love that Sami and Landis have for Abby. All you mean people GO AWAY
Elaine from MT

Shari U said...

She's a beautiful little girl and it's wonderful to see her looking a little better. Only you know what's best for your daughter and I have no doubt that you are doing and will continue to do whatever is in the best interest of Abby. God bless you all and I pray things will get easier.

LQS said...

For Brent,Michelle & Family I pray;
Dear Father,
Give strength to the weary,increase their power. Even though they are tired and weary and may stuble and fall they do HOPE in you LORD.
Jesus, renew their strength.
Allow them to soar like eagles so that they can run and not grow weary,and walk and not be faint.
Grant them YOUR peace and YOUR rest today. (Is.40,29-31)
We love YOU Father,Amen

Svetlana said...

You and Michelle are awesome, i am glad that Abby is doing better everyday.

Jennifer said...

Michelle & Brent,
I am so sorry to hear that people actually say such STUPID things to you. You are right they can STOP reading and find another blog. It had never even occured to me to judge either one of you, only to continue to pray for ALL of you and for Abby's healing! I think you both are amazing people and appreciate the window into your wonderful life! Still praying here for all of you...glad Abby is "better".
P.S. Brent, Michelle CAN read this one :)

Susan said...

I am surprised to hear you are receiving such comments! These people obviously have no clue about cancer treatments for children or the high cure rate for leukemia. To think that it is better to let a child die than to provide life saving treatments causing temporary suffering is ludicris. Who wouldn't save their child? More than that, what child wouldn't want to be saved? My son underwent experimental treatments for weeks at a time over the course of a year that involved traveling far away. These treatments caused intense pain. Yet every morning, every round he got up and went to the hospital. Not once did he beg me not to take him. He knew he was going in for the "pain" as he called the treatment (antibodies) but he willing went each time because he knew it was fighting his cancer. The same goes for all the other children undergoing the same treatment.

These treatments saved some children's lives. It extended my son's life, but did not save him. I regret nothing. We had such good times, even when out of town for this treatment.

People love to make judgments, but this is one area that if you haven't been there yourself, you have no right to judge. God forbid this should happen to you.

Lynnette Kraft said...

I'll never understand people who think they have to make a difficult situation worse than it already is. I guess there is one big ugly word to explain it - SATAN! His influence on, already sinful man, is huge. He wants to destroy all the work that God is doing through Abby. Lions prowl and get ready for attack. You are experiencing those attacks.

But you won't let it get you down will you! No, you've been through too much to give in to those lies. You're fighting back!

I read this verse this morning. I hope that it will give you just another reason to keep doing what you're doing.

Psalm 23-24 "O love the Lord, all ye saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord."

Mandy said...

I love the new pics of Abby. She has a twinkle back in her eyes! We continue to pray for her and you.

I'm so sorry you've had to deal with nasty comments. It's so sad. Obviously these people have never had to care for a sick child.

You two are such strong people, I know why God gave you to Abby! (and to your other children!)

Debbie T said...

Hugs to you all! Glad to hear Abby is doing better. You all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. And by the way, I think you're all pretty amazing! DebbieT

naturelover010 said...

I read your blog daily. I am sorry that you and Michelle have to deal with the nasty comments. Obviously those folks with the nasty comments do not know what they are talking about. Abby is looking great. Your family looks great. Your blog is growing by leaps and bounds. I have been watching the number of followers, and it increases daily.



Anonymous said...

Dear Michelle and Brent,

Glad to hear Abby is home and through the worst part of her chemo. Hang in there and don't let a few mean spirited people get ya down. Having flown home from Ethiopia with Michelle and Sami, any fool could see the genuine love and concern Michelle had for Sami.

God Bless,


Anonymous said...

I am sorry that you have gotten some nasty comments. I am proud of you for stand and putting a stop to it. You are so right to not waste your time with negativity. You are to busy and too blessed!

Anonymous said...

I CANNOT believe the gall of some people who have the nerve to question your decisions about Abby, your motives in adopting or anything else. I wonder if it's the anonymity of the internet that gives people the idea that they can say anything they want and get away with it? Would they have the nerve to say these things to your face? Do you ever get negative stuff said to you in person? (Maybe I should have saved that question for Q & A Day.) It's your blog, Brent and Michelle, I say good for you for trashing the negative and hateful junk.

Melanie said...

I have been loitering on your blog for a while now. There have been MANY times that I have disagreed with your opinions. But good grief, I have a heart/conscience/soul, and know better than to voice it! I come back and read because I more often times find inspirational words. You've reached an immeasurable number of people by living as you have. Don't change a thing.

Bubba&SistersMom said...

Amen!!!! Many, many blessings to you both. May you have a wonderful day, a full nights sleep...and a fun filled day with your busy brood. And, by the way...Sami looks stunning with her crazy hair. That girl is beautiful!!!

Stacey said...

I couldn't help but think of this verse while reading this post:

"Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake." Matt 5:11

I am awed at your grace each time I read your tough answers to tough questions, comments, and issues. Thank you!

James, Dawn and Family said...

GOD bless you for your strength, perseverence and for always putting what Abby's needs first. Thank GOD she was adopted into a family that knows our LORD! Abby will have a great testimony of love to share her entire life.

Holly said...

I've been a quiet reader. Just a "non-commenter" but quietly praying for Abby and the family. But this one I wanted to respond to. I've been the recipient of emails such as what you are talking about. I don't understand why people feel they need to make those kind of comments when they may not, probably, even know the person(s) personally. I'll add to my prayer list that you would be shielded from those comments. My husband is the same way, and unlike me, able to let those comments roll off his back without any more thought.
All that to say, any parent would do whatever they needed to do for their child. Whether that might be painful, ill producing, long lasting chemo treaments or letting a child go. As the mom of 3 preemies, I've spent my time doing those same things. As a friend, I've watched several friends this year battle miscarriages and children with life threatening illnesses and I've sat and watched these parents deal with the losses of their children. It is so hard. but we do what we do out of sheer love for those God has placed in our care.
Abby is beautiful--with or without hair--and she will continue to be in my prayers. Thank you for letting strangers share in your journey and in the lessons God is teaching you through all this. My heart has been touched by folks I don't know but pray for!

The Pyrat Family said...

years from now when Abby is grown and healthy and strong.. All of this will be worth it! the decisions you are making for her right now are not different from the decisions that every other good parent across the world is making.. our children want ice cream for dinner but we make them eat their brussel sprouts, Abby wants to go to the beach but aside from the fact that she is recovering from cancer.. IT IS WINTER!!! so she will have to wait until summer like all the other children in the northern hemisphere!! blessings on you! and Abby I am glad to hear that she is in the healing phase of her treatments! she really is a blessing to us all. and the people who spit out hateful words on these comment boards are obviously dealing with a personal struggle against God.. We will have to pray for them.

FinlaysonFamily said...

What a beautiful little girl you have! I have been following Abby's story for sometime and my family and I always remember her in our prayers. I appreciate the way that you handled the nasty comments and I am glad that they won't appear here any longer. God Bless and keep your eyes on the Father! ~ Angie F.

Holly said...

Dear Michelle and Brent,
Gee, you wasted all that time writing this post about nasty commenters and you could have been eating cookies or taking a bubble bath! ;+) Well, now that you've done it....why don't you try eating cookies IN the bubble bath?
I'm sure you deserve it.
Brent- YOU DA MAN!! Thanks for loving the Lord without apology and for loving and protecting Michelle and the kids. Apparently I missed some stuff as I had no idea people had said such IGNORANT stuff....Sami adopted to be a slave? Oh COME ON. That is about the most ridiculous thing I have EVER heard in my LIFE! I suppose you had your biological children to make them do child labor to raise money for your doughnut habit? I just hate it when that happens, but hey, you gotta pay for your doughnuts somehow...
Geesh people.....any of you who have been around awhile reading the Riggs' posts and still THINK that they are making Abby suffer or that Sami is their really have perception issues.
Have you seen Abby's smiles? Looks like a little girl cherished to me.

Anonymous said...

Well said! I will continue my prayers for your family.


Holly said...

You are SUCH A TREMENDOUS BLESSING and a breath of fresh air in this crazy, politically correct, everybody-is-afraid-to-say-the-truth world! Thank you, thank you, thank you for ALL you do, and of course you get rude comments. The Bible is so clear that that will happen when we are doing the right thing for God! I praise the Lord I found your blog. It brightens our day and strengthens our faith, and your Abby is such a tremendous blessing as well. We continue to pray for her every day. The whole family loves her!

Have a wonderful day,
love, your friends,
the Gilliam family

Diane & family :) said...

Our family continues, nightly, to raise up Abby's name to our Father who knows her so very well. Abby looks wonderfully healthy and happy in these photo's you have shared. I am sorry for the pain you have had to carry during this time of suffering for your sweet daughter. There is really no way any of us this side of the screen could possibly know what your difficult choices and options have been. Not even a family who thinks they have walked this road. Each child/adult is so very different. And, none of us would know what we would do, unless, God has asked us to journey this similar walk as your family. I praise you for walking through Refiner's Fire. I praise Him for not instilling fear in us, you have chosen Life for your Abby, not to fall into fear and despair, and her smile radiates Life.

Thank you, Dear Jesus, our Father in Heaven,. for hearing the voices of all your children who pray for Abby and the many other prayers we raise in Your name. Father, you have promised to never leave us or forsake us, and, you have and continue to reveal your love for all of us, your children.

Chelsa said...

love the pictures of abby! what a sweetheart. praying for your sweet family.

i know what it's like to lose a precious child and i hope that you don't have to deal with that. hopefully abby lives to be old and gray :)

thank you for sharing your lives.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that you have to go through this experience with your daughter and so sorry that you have to explain yourself to obnoxious, inconsiderate people. I had cancer at the age of 28 and four months before my wedding day. The day after my surgery, my family and I had experienced similar inappropriate comments from "caring, concerned" individuals who care more about their animals than their family. The worst part for me was seeing my mother's face--how sad and devastated she looked after these comments were made. The individual who made the comments is actually a family member who lives a very sad existence. I, however, feel very blessed that my family and doctors did everything they could to help me. Twelve years later, I still thank God and enjoy every day. You do not need to explain youself to anyone. Enjoy your family-Every day is a gift. God bless you!

Kara and Darr said...

So glad to see Abby smiling. I'm so thankful you are able to ignore those rotten comments. I think you are doing an awesome job with your family. I love Sami's crazy cute. Slave for Abby??? What?? Why would anyone say such a thing. She truly loves Abby. What a great big sister:)
Best wishes,

Kristi said...

Very Well said, Michelle. I would just like to add that I find it really hard to beleive that anyone writting a negative comment would be a Chritian. Not because they had a negative comment, but because as a Christian one would know that God was the only one who could tell Brent and Michelle when it was time to stop treatment. God would have made it clear to them, and they would have then followed His directions for Abby.Praise God that is not what he had planned, but only God knew the plan for Abby.

I did see one of those comments a while back about letting Abby go and I sooooo wanted to post then a big Nanana booobooo because Abby is better... I am sure that is child like but seems fitting..LOL..

Abby looks beautiful in those pictures..

Always Praying

Leslie said...

Way to go Michelle and Brent! I commend you for not letting the stupid and just plain mean people get to you BUT I also commend you for not letting them get away with it! People are people and sometimes people are just well...STUPID and MEAN! But, I also appreciate you viewing the ugly comments as an opportunity to educate and inform. Sometimes stupid people are really just insensitive folks who are ignorant of the situation you are facing - especially those who have never walked a step, let alone a mile, in your shoes. God bless you for your tolerance in some things but total intolerance in others. Blessings to you all!

Alan and Lynne said...

Dear Riggs Family: I love ya'll. While i have only left a commnt or two I have to say that I am here every day. Your site is awsome. I love serious life magazine. I don.t think you exploite abby. I love her pictures. When she smiles I smile. When she is not feeling well I think she looks like a angle. I am appalled with people that would judge. You are doing just what God would want you are sharing your love and life and pain with others. Do these ugly people know how much time and effort it takes from your already depleted energy to share with us? Kudo's you you for your life and your magazine. Love Always lynne a great admirer.

Lynn said...

I am so sorry that you have to deal with rude comments on your blog. I wish the best for you and your family. I love the pictures of Abby on this post. So happy to hear that Abby is doing well and able to be out of the hospital.

Three2Five said...

Honestly I rarely leave a comment but I follow your blogg reg. and my husband and I pray for your family and the other families mentioned on here daily. I just have a comment about the sad fact that people leave hateful comments. I hope you find encouragement in the fact that satan is trying to use these hateful people to discourage you from doing what we all benefit so much from. You can take even more encouragement From the fact that you are not going to let it stop your family from ministering to the thousands of people who have been impacted by your story. I am sorry that people are so hateful and cruel but thank you for being transparent anyway.

Mare said...

Excellent post! It's good to see Abby so happy...I just love that smile!

My prayers will continue for you all. God is so good...He has blessed so many beyond our wildest dreams...don't you think?!

Abby's recovery...and your humble, honest writing inspires so many of us....AMEN!

ManyBlessings said...

Hugs to you guys.

God bless your precious family. :)


Anonymous said...

I have only posted a few times.... but GOOD FOR YOU, and excuse my language, but "screw" the negative posters. Abby is blessed to have parents fighting for her. Even though I am not a frequent poster, Abby (and your whole family) are in my prayes every day.

God Bless

Anonymous said...

It saddens me that people seem to think they should try to inflict more pain on your family. I loved seeing the pictures of Abby she looks so much better than previous pictures and ready to take on the world. Go Abby!

Melodie Brunell

Anonymous said...

Brent and Michelle,
I am so sorry that you had to go through this from people , how cruel, but as sad as it is, the world is full of that type of people. As far as letting Abby go...i don't think anyone that is a loving parent, can ever let go, even if you know they would be better off (im just being VERY honest)we want to hang on to our loved ones forever if possible, but we know it isn't. I could never be honest in saying that i could just give up and let them go, call it selfish or whatever, i call it LOVE. It hurts to see them suffer, fight to live, and then go , but we never want to give up.
Keep on doing exactly what you are doing, loving and caring for your children,and trusting in God for the answers (NOT PEOPLE FULL OF EVIL RECOMENDATIONS)
I am so glad to see Abby smiling so big, your children are beautiful and seem so happy, i am so thankful they are in the home that they are have to be doing something right. It would be wonderful if all the little children in this world had a home like yours. The both of you are to be admired, never doubt your parenting, or let what others say or think upset you (the devil tries that same thing to doesn't he) so just throw all of them in the same bag,and don't give them a minute of your precious time to waste on them or their comments. God Bless your family.
Mammaw in Ky.

Dawn~^i^Brandon^i^, Jordan, and Seth's mom said...

As I have said before....I am HONORED that through technology of the "blog world"...I get to pray for Abby and your precious family!

And WELL SAID (written) on the comments...sometimes people really shock me!

Wishing you well, and always praying for your sweet family!

PS ~ I just LOVE that ring tone. That should surely brighten anyone's day! Laughter IS contagious...especially little ones!

Dawn Hastings

Mary (in MN) said...

Day late on my comment, but it's incredible what some people can come up - Sami as a slave, stop treating Abby, etc.., what is wrong with people?!?!?! And even if a person really thought that what the heck are they doing making the comment to you?!?!? Perhaps people should take the advice of my mother, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all!!" It's really quite simple, if you don't like what you are reading find something else to read!!! I for one was captivated by this blog (all aspects of it) from the first time I read it, that is why I continue to read it and check multiple times a day for a new post!!

I will continue to pray for Abby and healing and for the rest of the family!!

Thanks for sharing your family and your faith with all of us!!

Jennifer said...

You are awesome and have had it so keep doing what you are doing; you know it is right for your family and your little girl. Love reigns all.

Amy said...

Oh I am so proud of you Michelle and Brent! You tell 'em- GO AWAY mean and nasty comment people! Give Abby a great big kiss from us- and tell her we LOVED the pictures!! Love you guys! Amy

Anonymous said...

Dearest Michelle, Four yrs ago, I adopted my dtr, as a single mom, from China; I am also a registered nurse who has worked in palliative care for the last 14 yrs having End of Life discussions w/ pts & families on a daily basis. I so appreciate the very painful and difficult road you walk each day. Trying to balance burden against benefit in treatment options and in life & death decisions is so overwhelming. I will cont to pray for peace in your heart & wisdom as you journey w/ Abby & for your entire family. God bless each of you & know that you remain in my prayers. Mardee

TracyC said...

I can't even think of words to describe how horrible I think it is for people to be leaving nasty, cruel comments for you. You both are doing an amazing job with Abby and the entire family. Your blog is a source of encouragement to me. We here at our home are indeed praying for Abby. I guess we will be praying for the cruel people too since they actually have to live with themselves. Keep up the good fight!

Penny said...

So glad to hear an update on Abby, I hate that with all you have going on you need to spend time with nasty people. I hate that you had to spend your limited time on the top part of this post.

As I got angry about you having to deal with all of this I got to the bottom of the page and saw her beautiful pictures I decided it was all worth it!!! Just look at her face!!! Well I guess you get to all the time, but for me. She lights the screen..... what a gift from God.
I am glad to see that her treatment is going to be changed a bit and pray that she handles it without so much pain....
Keeping you in prayer.......
love that smile.......

mommyandthethreeboys said...

It just rattles my brain that anyone could be hurtful towards your family. You have been a wonderful blessing in my life. I want to thank you for that. I think you set such a good example.
I have never felt that you have anything BUT genuine love and concern for your children.
Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. I continue to pray for you every day.
Much Love,
Amber (Las Vegas)

waitingarms said...

Wow! I am so sorry that with all the trials you have had to endure with a sick child, some "caring", heartless people still find it in themselves to compound your pain. I am so inspired by your family and your faith and I can truly tell you that I have a renewed dedication to fully live out the christian faith. You are a light in a very dark world and I at times find myself asking what Brent advise would be, when I am a crossroad and need to make a decision. Thanks for being shinning examples as parents and fellow children of Christ. May God continue to guide you and give you an extra measure of strength. Praying that Abby's maintenance phase does not have any more complications.

living4him5 said...

Amen Riggs family, AMEN!!!

BTW... Abby looks adorable in green!! (and every other color for that matter).

Love the April fool's gag!!

Praying for you always!

Amanda said...

Brent & Michelle-

Oh my goodness, Abby looks so happy and gorgeous in those pictures! Thank you for being so open about your faith and your family. It has encouraged my life and I know that you have blessed others as well.

I am constantly praying for sweet Abby, who is stronger and more courageous than I will ever be. She is such a little fighter and I know that God has an awesome plan for her life.

Again, thank you for being honest about things that most people wouldn't even address. You are truly spreading the love of God to people who need to hear it.

Amanda from Texas (finally de-lurking!)