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Various texts from Karen Sue Tolin's website


My name is Karen Sue Tolin (although very few people know that Sue is not my first name). I was born March 15, 1949 the second child and first daughter of the late Lloyd H. Block and Virginia Block.

I have a brother, Phillip 14 months older than I am and a sister, Peggy Losey, 27 months younger. I owe who I am and what I have become to God and my parents and thank them for it.<

My sister, Peggy, set up a blind date and Tim and I met. Our first date was to the military ball (DeMolay/Rainbow Girls-Masonic Order) and the rest is history. Tim and I were married 11 months later (March 29, 1969) on a 48 hour pass from Uncle Sam (Tim having been drafted the previous Jan.) beginning a lifetime of committment and love. To this day Tim still vows that we aren't married it was a dress rehersal but I do have the marriage license to prove it even though he claims he never said, "I do".

Tim is the son of Joan (Tolin) Esposite and the late Jay Earl Tolin. He has one sister, Diane Paul. His Mom and sister live in Dallas, Texas.

The past 30 plus years have witnessed many changes in the lives of two people. We have survived the Viet Nam war (yes, Tim is a Viet Nam veteran leaving for active duty just 3 months after our wedding-leaving us legally separated for that first year), the birth of 5 beautiful daughters, the adoption of 13 beautiful chidren (7 girls and 6 boys), the marriages of our daughters, the births of our grandchildren, cancer  and lastly the deaths of two of our sons.

Tim is a member of the Fraternal Order of Free and Accepted Masons and is a Past Worshipful Master of his lodge. Tim is a Royal Arch Mason and member of the  Knights Templar.  His most recent Masonic endeavor is becoming a member of the Moslem Shrine Temple. We are both members of the Order Of Eastern Star, also. The fraternal fellowship means a lot to both of us although Tim is more active than Sue.

We were licensed foster parents but did not renew our license in Aug. 1997 when our grandson, Jacob, was diagnosed with cancer and our energies were needed and took a different turn. We spent 7 1/2 years-this time. We ARE and ALWAYS will be adoptive parents and an adoptive family. Our children are our gifts from God through the foster/adoption system that no one can ever take away, yet they give us so much.

What has carried us through all of this? The only answer that comes to mind is our faith. We are a Christian family and our family has been built with love by God through birth and adoption. He is our Father and has given us what we have and what we are today. We thank Him for His

blessings of life, family, friends and even death..We have learned that with trust, love, faith, hope and charity WE ARE WHAT WE ARE..and HE HAS MADE US ALL.

On December 31, 1974 at William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mi. our third child and daughter, Bethany Nicole Tolin was born. A preemie weighing a mere 5 lbs 3 oz and 18 inches long our "noonie"  a nickname given to her after sitting up with her and watching Johnnie Carson and The Pointers Sisters were the neenie, nonnie, noonie sisters and with her being our third daughter she lovingly became "noonie". Bethany was born on New Year's Eve which set the plans for all our future New Year's Eve parties as birthday parties for many years to come.

Now with 3 daughters Beth just sort of fell into the groove but made her unique little niche in our hearts, family and the world.

Beth graduated from Hazel Park High School with honors, a member of the National Honors Society, trumpet player- first chair, president of the band and receiving the highest band award given a student at graduation-the John Philip Sousa Award.

Bethany was joined in marriage on Oct. 25 1997 when she exchanged vows with Steven Julka promising to love and cherish as long as they both shall live.

Bethany currently works in the automotive field but this too will change in the near future since their first child is due momentarily and we will become grandparents for the sixth time on/about Aug.7, 1999 (hey, Beth Dad's birthday is the 5th if you want a target date or Mindee's is the 17th if you chose to wait).

Bethany and Steven presented us with our 6th grandchild (their first child) on Aug. 20th, 1999 at 9:14am. Koryn Marie Julka weighed in at 6 lbs. 10 oz and stretched out to 20 inches taking her first view of her world and entering our family and hearts forever.  Our newest addition even avoided all the August birthdays making her own day to celebrate.  On Dec. 7th, 2001 Koryn's baby sister, Emily Jean arrived weighing in at 6 lbs 4 oz. and 18 inches long. Now Bethany has two little girls to follow in Mommie's footsteps.

Bethany has taught us a lot about love and life and we will love her forever...our baby she'll be. The biggest moment that sticks out in my mind is the fact that Bethany always has a hug and tells you, "YOU ARE SPECIAL TO ME" something she learned from a teacher while in elementary school because we don't want regrets after someone is gone that we didn't let them know how special they were to us.

Bethany, we love you and are very proud of being able to say you are our daughter..."YOU ARE SPECIAL TO ME"...love, Mom, Dad, your sisters and brothers.

Brent was born Feb. 5, 1989 at Wm. Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mi. He entered foster care at 20 months of age and was ultimately made a permanent member of our family through adoption in Sept. 1993. His full name is Brent Lloyd Tolin. He was diagnosed with Septo Optic Dysplasia (SOD), pituitary dwarfism, absence of the corpus collosum , "severe mental retardation" and we were told he would never be able to live independently.

He has come a LONG way and makes gains daily. He still has delays in some areas; but, continues to amaze the professionals all the time. Brent LOVES music and is very talented. He has taken vocal lessons through FAR Conservatory of Theraputic and Performing Arts in Birmingham Michigan and has publicly performed numerous times already.

He sang,"Angels Among Us" by Alabama for a telethon, "My Heart Will Go On" for many different occassions, either benefits,dedications and even charity walks. He has "performed" the National Anthem for a benefit hockey game with the Detroit Red Wing Alumni and two years ago had the honor of singing the National Anthem at Comerica Park for the Detroit Tiger vs. Chicago Cubs game.

Brent has also sang for various events for Variety Children's Charities including singing at the ADA 10th anniv. relay celebration in Hart Plaza, Detroit and the past 2 years being a "Variety Child" during the Woodward Ave. Dream Cruise with Revvin With Ford in Birmingham, Mi. 

Since moving to Huron County he has had the priviledge of singing for a nursing home, various churches and the Relay for Life. His love of country music has been a favorite for a long time. We even called him Billie Ray Brent. His other loves include anything that makes music and trucks.

He is always asking questions and loves people. Brent attends Bad Axe Junior High School. He is on Protropin for his growth hormone deficiency and is followed by pediatric endocronolgist, Dr.Bernard Degnan at Wm. Beaumont Hospital,Royal Oak,Mi.

He is additionally diagnosed with hypothyroidism taking Synthroid daily and also, Diabetes Insipidus taking DDAVP. Brent is totally blind therefore, he has a beautiful perspective of the world; because, he can't go around "looking" for the faults in others. Brent is a very special little boy with a fantastic smile , sense of humor and HUGS that would melt anyone. We feel blessed he is OUR son.

Brianna first opened her eyes and saw the light of day at 6:06PM on June 4, 1993 at Hutzel Hospital in Detroit, Mich. She was born on her aunt's (Sues sister, Peggy's) birthday.

Bri was a preemie and had many strikes against her from this first moment. She weighed a mere 3 lbs 13 1/2 oz and was 17 inches long. Brianna's fight for life had begun.

Being prenatally exposed to alcohol and heroine and her birth mom having gonorrhea Bri's biggest battle began...LIFE.

Brianna demonstrated what a strong little girl she is very early and continues to daily. Due to her early birth and the prenatal exposure to substances Brianna has fetal alcohol syndrome, spastic quad cerbral palsy, microcephaly, failure to thrive, nonverbal, legally blind due to congenital glaucoma and could lose total vision at any point in time, mentally impaired, ADHD,developmentally delayed ( I always like this dx and think right why not with all that is in her life).

Bri is ambulatory, in fact before surgeries on her legs and botox injections she did naturally what many a ballerina pays big bucks to do..Yes, she was a very adept toe walker (no toe runner).

Throughout the past 4 yrs and numerous procedures she now walks flat footed with the help of full leg braces and AFO's (even casts didn't stop this little minnie mite-in fact during serial casting at one point she even took the casts off).

Due to the lacking verbal skills and the fetal acohol syndrome Bri is a very bad head banger when frustrated and/or overstimulated. She also grinds her teeth and drives her older siblings crazy.

Even at her young age she knows how to get to us.  Brianna is a tiny package of dynamic energy proving that "Good Things Do Come In Small Packages" with a smile and twinkle in her eye that tugs at any heart that is priviledged to know her.

She is the light of our days and the warmth of our hearts and we are blessed we were chosen to be her earthly parents when her biological parent's rights were terminated and she became our daughter forever and always on July 18, 1996 with a judge's signature on the final order of adoption. Love you Brianna Leigh and thank you for teaching us what life is all about.

WE LOVE YOU..Mom Dad and Your Brothers and Sisters.....

Below is the poem my mommie wrote in anticipation of my homecoming.


Oct., 2000 we heard about you and<

asked what we wanted to do.

PLEASE submit our homestudy our

hearts are already in love,

Our little girl with curls, frills

and bows sent from Above.

Then we received the call we were

NOT chosen,

Yet the spot in our heart for you would

be forever open.

Just before Christmas we received

a call the "other" family didn't work,

Were we still interested and would

we consider another look?

Loved from the beginning never

knowing God's plan,

In our hearts, family and home

forever by His hand.

Such a loved little girl by

so many,

A birth mother's love, care and

comittment goes beyond any.

Heather Renee Tolin is the name

we give,

Keeping names given at birth

and as long as we live.

Now our comittment of love, care

family and home forever,

A big responsibility we accept and our endeavor.

Our little girl with curls, frills,

bows and a contagious laughter,

Will fill our home soon...PRAISE You Master!

Heather Renee as we become family and one,

Yor homecoming and life as a Tolin begun.

We love you more than anyone

can imagine,

Our Master's plan unfolded in His image.

We love you Heather,

mommie, daddy, brother, sisters

and extended family

written for Heather Renee Tolin on April 10th, 20001

by sue tolin

Jessie Kimberly Therese Tolin was born September 25th, 1996 (sharing her birthday with her maternal grandfather who passed away just 3 days after her homecoming). Poppa waited for you to come home safely:) Below is the poem Mommie wrote to her when we brought her home to Michigan to her forever family from Corpus Christie, Texas.

Jessie Kimberly Therese Tolin

It's been over a year, April 2001,

A call, homestudy sent-our journey begun.

A little girl-round little face, big dark eyes & hair with curl,

In need of a forever family and home-"Is this your girl?"

The call came, paperwork started and a lot of red tape,

Our minds and hearts-an answer-an easy decision to make.

Jessie Kimberly Therese Tolin is the name you are given,

After Grandma, your birth name and a special foster mother truly from Heaven.

A very special little girl-lots of responsibility and care,

God gives to us, we're chosen, your life and love to share.

From this day forward a Mommie, Daddy, siblings we are,

A family forever, only God can separate, either near or far.

So accept our care and love so unconditionally we give,

Jessie Kimberly Therese Tolin, today/tomorrow and as long as you live.

You are a very special little girl and we are truly blessed,

We are now family-mommie, daddy, siblings-our daughter FOREVER

praying we live up to the test.

written by Mommie (kst)

May 27, 2002

Just four years ago you left my arms today,

Our beautiful little boy going home..God's plan and way.

Such a little man living so much in such a short time,

Not knowing the lives and hearts you'd touch... more than just mine.

You never spoke a word on this earth but cooed like a dove,

Your face, those big brown eyes expressing so much love.

Joseph Patrick Tolin your given name on this earth,

What you gave us can NOT be measured in monetary worth.

We cried then and many many times beyond and over,

But praising God and thanking Him for you forever.

We love you and miss you our special little angel in Heaven,

We will meet again, the promise we have been given.

When i looked out the back door this am,

What was walking around but a morning dove....our little man.

You come to us in so many ways,

To remind us of your love, God's promise will be ours someday.

Loved more and more each day we are apart,

Physically gone but forever in our memories and heart.

Love and miss you joey,

Go rest high on the mountain is all i pray.

February 18, 2001

it seems like just yesterday,

you left my arms for Heaven to stay.

you'll never know how much you're missed,

the longing arms, lips once more kissed.

we love you and miss you forever,

your precious memory lives...fading never.

joey, jojo, beans you answered to them all,

our home, family and heart never ready for that call.

joseph patrick tolin while here on earth,

lessons taught us, love given not measurable in worth.

today, yesterday, tomorrow and beyond,

we love you, miss you, cling to your memories, our brother and son.

rest in His arms and we will join you some day,

in Heaven reunited a family forever to stay.

a minute doesn't seem so long when here,

but the days, weeks, months soon turn to years.

we love you joey and will never forget,

the lessons you taught us, your love and memories....our Maker you met.

so for now and the past 5 years,

we send our love, laughter, hugs and even the tears.

we miss you baby boy,

but your memory will forever bring us joy.

written by mommie on the 5th anniv. of your death.

On June 15, 1976 (the Bicentennial Year) at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mi. our fourth daughter saw her first day of life. Weighing 5lbs 13 oz and 20 inches Catherine Anne Tolin was born. Katy as she was lovingly nicknamed (actually that is what mom wanted to name her and dad wouldn't let her because,"What would they call her when she was an adult") was a preemie and had some problems at birth but these were resolved. She was born with a blood imcompatibity (she has her dad's blood and her mom's is different) and the cord was wrapped around her neck. It was a good thing she came early-then again Katy is always early. Katy was the love of her sisters lives and they loved playing house with her and making her be the baby.

Katy graduated from Hazel Park High School with honors, being a member of the National Honors Society, and her sister, Bethany was the one who had the honor of inducting her. Katy made her family and parents very proud.

Katy has an aire about her that no one can help but love. When she is ornery the dimples show and she can not deny it.

Katy works for physicians. Katy also is a demonstrator for Partylite Candles and does home demonstrations. Katy is also "mom" to her son Sir Winston McDuff III (a purebred English Bulldog). Katy and her husband, Robert (Rob) Staley exchanged their wedding vows on April 29, 2000. A bicentennial baby to a millennium bride. Thank you Rob for asking for Katy's hand and Duff's paw and welcome to the family. On Feb.2,2002 at 3:22pm Katy and Rob became a family of 3 with the birth of their daughter, Veronica. She weighed in at a healthy 7lbs 1oz and stretched out to 20inches. Roni as she will be lovingly nicknamed shares her birthday with the wonderful weather groundhog.

Katy you are a true blessing and we are proud to say that you are our daughter. You are any parents dream of what they would like their children to grow up to be. We love you, Mom, Dad, Your Sisters and Brothers.

On October 4, 1973 at New Grace Hospital in Detroit, Mi.(the same hospital her mom was born in) our second daughter, Megan Elizabeth Tolin entered the world and our lives. She weighed 6 lb. 12 oz and was welcomed by her Mommie, Daddy and big sister, Wendy.

Being our second born and our second daughter we had a little experience and training under our belts to meet Meg's needs and demands. Megan was a very happy contented baby and loved life almost more than us I think.  She always had a smile and greeted anyone within her sight with it. Megan started wearing glasses (bifocals) at 14 months of age for severe nearsightedness. Megan adjusted to her inability with "gasses on seebetter" showing us what is really important to look for in life-not always the things visible to the eyes.

Megan graduated from Hazel Park High School, in Hazel Park, Mi with honors, a member of the National Honors Society and other organizations.

Megan was married and has since divorced but not before presenting us with three beautiful grandchildren. Jacob Charles Reed, born 4-21-93; and twins, Timothy Joseph Reed and Tristian Karen Reed born 11-4-96. Megan has weathered a lot for her years after surviving an abusive marriage and the cancer diagnosis (wilm's tumor) of her oldest son, Jacob. As I type this we are preparing to leave in 2 days for Disneyworld through the Rainbow Connection (Make A Wish) and watch her son, our first grandchild and grandson have his dream come true.

December, 2001 brought a new addition to our family when Megan married Jason Walters. This marriage also gives us a beautiful granddaughter, Symantha. Welcome Jason and Symantha to our family and we have been truly blessed.

Megan you will never know the inspiration you and your children have been to us as your Mom and Dad. Your dedication and love has taken you through some very difficult times and you have shown us what a strong mature adult you are. We are blessed to be able to say you are our daughter and love you very much. Thank you for what you have taught us and helped us learn through being ours...we love you, Mom, Dad, your brothers and sisters...oh yes, Jacob, Timmie and Tristian say thanks too.

At William Beaumont Hospital on Aug. 17, 1982 Mindee Sue Tolin was born seeing the world for the first time, weighing in at 7 lbs 9 oz and 20 inches in length and our fifth daughter. It had been 6 yrs since there was an addition to our family and we were blessed with the best.

Mindee was the baby with 4 older sisters to love and spoil her (and then ask mom and dad why she is such a brat).

Mindee grew and taught us that even though years can separate siblings; love can join them. Mindee is a very warm, caring young lady that gives her all in whatever she undertakes. With her determination and dedication Mindee is making us very proud parents.

Mindee just graduated from Kimball High School and received the Lichtel scholarship and plans on using it to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse studying at Oakland Community College. During her high school years she was part of the choir and international club.  She had a very memorable high school experience, with some of the highlights being two trips to Toronto with the club (one to see Phantom of the Opera and one a trip to study the cultures). She worked very hard bringing home report cards that any parent would be very proud of. She was the baby of our family until age 9 yrs when Robyn and Raphael became members of our family through adoption. She is an outstanding big sister and an example for teens everywhere. How many teens are infant/child cpr certified and can tube feed and suction a child? Mindee's love is just as beautiful as she is and given so unconditionally (oh yes the little just because gifts are always graciously accepted though).

Her all time love is the Detroit Red Wings and I think she is their biggest all time fan. Mindee asks year after year for season tickets for the Wings and one of these years she may be surprised and receive them.

I think it is safe to say that the Red Wings may no longer be the #1 love in Mindee's life. Her and Tommie have announced their engagement and plan on exchanging wedding vows on May 11, 2002. Welcome to the family Tommie and thank you for loving our "baby" girl as much as we do.

I can't say it enough how SPECIAL she is and what a beautiful part of our family you are Mindee. We love you and are very proud to be your parents and God gave us an extra special gift when he gave us you..love, Mom, Dad, your sisters and brothers

On Jan. 27, 1995 I entered the world. I wasn't born in a hospital but

was rushed to the hospital via ambulance. It was William Beaumont

Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. When I was brought in there were no signs

of life, after complete resuscitation  my fight for life began. I was

born in a toilet at just 22 weeks gestation, weighing a mere 1 lb 8 oz.

My early months were spent in the neonatal intensive care unit where I

received the utmost medical care and love. I went into the foster care

system upon my discharge from the hospital one day shy of 4 months old.

My early months were full of bright lights, doctors, nurses, needles,

surgeries and the like and my first home was a tiny incubator at the

hospital. Thank God for the love and dedication of the staff I did

survive. My hospital discharge summary reads like a medical book

including the following: extreme prematurity, 22 weeks; hyaline membrane

disease; sepsis; bonchopulmonary dysplasia; pneumonia; staphyloccocus;

hyperbilirubinemia; patent ductus arteriosus;retinopathy of prematurity,

stage III with plus- requiring multiple laser surgeries; bilteral

inguinal hernia- repaired and rt. hydorcele....I AM A SURVIVOR.. Today at 5 1/2 yrs old I still have delays, am legally blind, have cerebral palsy, nonverbal- but beginning to try to talk (my very own language), adhd, autism, and constant motion (even though it is my own little world) BUT I give the best hugs in the world and my smile (although few and far between) will melt you. I have already achieved milestones professionals never dreamed I could. The agency found my forever family through the foster parents in the agency. I became Patrick James Tolin on Feb. 20, 1998 never to want for a family of my own again...I am in their hearts and home.

Below is the poem my mom wrote and read to me on

the day i was adopted:


A worker in the agency approached us about you,

We knew in our hearts exactly what we'd do.

Your beautiful blue eyes, blond hair with curls,

You are too pretty they say, you should be a girl.

A little guy...yes problems to overcome,

Look at where you're at and what you've already done.

A little boy full of life and energy-no rest,

Our parenting skills you'll put to the test.

Patrick James Tolin is the name we give,

On this your adoption day and as long as we live.

To love, raise and teach the same,

Mommie, Daddy, brothers and sisters-a family game.

Today, February 20, 1998, with a judges signature you are our son,

From this day forward you are a TOLIN and we're ONE.

Our little boy to watch and grow,

Your parents and family wherever you go.

We love you and just want to say,

We're very proud to be your family on this your adoption day.

It is Jan. 17th, 1991 and the headlines read "Bomb Dropped In Persian

Gulf"..the war is on. Well, in Pontiac General Hospital, Pontiac, Mi. at

5:01 p.m. a baby girl is opening her eyes for the first time to see

the world and take her first breath. Robyn Marie is born weighing in at

6 lbs and 13 oz and measuring 18 7/8 inches. Robyn was a beautiful little

baby and although her birth mom loved her very much, due to being

hospitalized herself for  schizophrenia and other mental issues at the

time and after searching her heart and love no greater than that of a

mother's love, Robyn her choice was to place you in foster care

because she wanted you to have the best.  Yes Robbie when you are 18 yrs

old we will buy the biggest and best bouquet of roses we can find and

you can meet your birth mommie that loved you so much. We received the

call the day after her birth asking us if we would accept her as a

placement in our newly licensed foster home...after saying yes we made

the arrangements to go to the hospital and bring her home. On Jan. 19th,

1991 Robyn  (lovingly nicknamed Robbie) came home and into our hearts.

It was love at first sight and a beauty to behold. Robbie has been loved

by all since that first moment. A very bright little girl with

compassion, love, insight and knowledge well beyond her years. Robbie

continued to grow, flourish and give us the gift of childhood innocence

and love. Robbie has quite a  heritage and  she is  very proud of it and

a natural lust for learning, giving and life.  She is African American,

Caucasian and Cherokee Indian..and very proud of all three. Robbie

enjoys to read and has read since she was 5 yrs old and loves writing

and dancing. She took 2 years of dance lessons thruthe local parks and recreation department. She is in the 6th grade at Zion Lutheran School and amazes all of us with her academic abilities. Her favorite subject is Math. Robbie sets goals and for her the sky is the limit. She charms everyone she meets, is a true blessing to all and became a member of our family forever and always on Sept. 10, 1992 at 8:30am through adoption and the signature of a judge.  Robyn Marie Tolin from that moment on we are the lucky ones to be your mommie, daddy, sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews and grandchild....BECAUSE of YOUR BIRTH MOTHER'S LOVE AND THE GIFT SHE GAVE US!!!!


is the poem that was written by mom (sue) on the day of her adoption

(her and her brother, Raphael were adopted together).

               "ONE MOMENT IN TIME"

Whitney Houston calls it "One Moment In Time",

Robbie and Rof today is the day you become Tolins-ours-mine.

God's given you to us and us to you,

To love you and teach you no matter what you do.

It's taken a long time to get to this date,

But, now proud, happy parents-it's been worth the wait.

We'll cherish this moment as long as we live,

We're now legally a family-our care and love to give.

Robyn Marie Tolin and Raphael Jay Tolin are now your new names,

Given to you this date-no one can take away-no games.

You are each individuals with an identity all your own,

We'll help you find yourselves-even when you're grown.

Two small infants when you were placed in our arms & care,

A big responsibility and trust for us to share.

We've given you our love since day one,

You've given us-our daughter and our son.

We love you and can't say it any other way,

We're very proud to be your sisters, Mommie & Daddy on

                            this your adoption day!

Robbie as this Sunday approaches we look back on these memories and

recall the past 8 years..Yes Robbie you are no longer a baby  but now 8

yrs old and quite the young lady and we are very proud of you and your

accomplishments and love you very much...Not quite so sure where 8 years

has gone; but, then again it seems like just yesterday you were that

precious newborn being placed in our arms. We love you and want you to

know how grateful we are that you are our daughter and we have been

truely blessed.  Happy Birthday Sweetie.....love, mommie, daddy,

brothers and sisters...

It is 8:07 pm on Feb. 7, 1995  at Hutzel Hospital in Detroit, Mich. and a

beautiful little baby girl has just opened her eyes to see the world for

the first time, taking her first cry and receiving her first warm care

and  loving touch from  humans and life. Today started a lifetime of

uncertainty and unanswered questions for this baby girl. In October,

1995 Taz was placed in foster care and would remain there receiving love

and care from a wonderful family.  Being prenatally exposed to

substances there are many uncertainties in her life. She is diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome, static encephalopathy, premature adrenarche, microcephalic, on 3 meds for ADHD, some very challenging behaviors, developmental delays in a few areas (which are being addressed) and a charmer.

Erin (lovingly nicknamed Taz) entered our lives and hearts when we became her respite family and took her whenever the need arose and ultimately adopted her making her a permanent member of our family and hearts.  She is a real people person and loves pleasing you-giving kisses, hugs and smiles that are hard to match. She attends a TMI classroom and attends 5 days a week at the Learning Center. Erin Colleen Jasmine Tolin became our daughter, the latest adoption in our home and hearts, completing a lifetime committment for a forever family made by us to her on  Friday (Dec. 17, 1999) with a judge's signature on the final order of adoption.

She is our New Year's present and we are blessed with the most precious little lady in the world. We love you Taz....mommie, daddy, your sisters and brothers.


Our eyes  first met through respite care, Little did we know then our forever lives we would share.

A little girl, busy, big brown eyes and that smile,

Would capture our hearts forever in such a short while.

Getting to this day has had it's ups and downs,

But, we never lost faith, put to the test and won many rounds.

Not quite 8 yrs ago we sat in this very court with Judge Young,

As she signed the final order of adoption for our first daughter and son.

Today is your day "Taz" where we become one,

A family forever, Mommie, Daddy, Brothers  and Sisters now and beyon.

Erin Colleen Jasmine Tolin is the name we give,

After 3 special women who were a part of you as long as you live.

From your worker, your doctor and your biological mom,

The name you will carry is for them and Tolin the add on.

From this day forward with Judge Young's pen on that paper,

Seals the committment made to you by us forever and ever.

A family are we til death due us part,

Vows made to you today directly from our heart.

We will be with you and behind you no matter what,

Our daughter forever is what the paper will now state.

We love you and can't tell you how  proud we are right now,

Our daughter forever to love, guide and cherish with God showing

us how.

In closing we just wanted to say,

We love you daughter on this your adoption day.

Love, Mommie and Daddy

  Sisters and Brothers

written and read by sue tolin<br>

for Erin 12-17-99<br>

Erin Colleen Jasmine Tolin you are loved so much and with the only love a Mommie and Daddy have we have asked God to direct us in raising you so you may reach your fullest potential. With a lot of prayer and our undying love we have found you a new Mommie and Daddy more capable of helping you with the best supports and resouces only God can provide. We love you enough to let go and let God. Always wanted and loved and a part of our family, home and hearts.<P> .


two years ago today you went home,<

leaving my arms, your family all alone.

the love we shared still exists,

your smile and laugh we truely miss.

bubbers, there will never be another you,

to fill the holes left and the memories we hold onto.

i love you and can't say how my heart aches,

the treasure of your life was a blessing no mistake.

for now and until the day we again meet,

i send my love and pray at Heaven's doors we greet.

love you bubbers and you will always be missed,

a part of our family, my son-our angel-we are blessed.

loved and missed very much,

by mommie, daddy and the whole bunch...

written for bubbers


by mom (kst)

today marks the 4 yr. anniversary of your passing,

from my arms to eternal life with our Father.

bubbers i will always miss your giggle and smile,

no matter how far we are apart nearer NOT farther.

by now poppa should have found you and your brother,

hopefully bringing mommies love from your mother.

son you will never know how much i miss you,

yet my love is always strong and the memories many...not just a few.

on this the anniversary of your death i will await our meeting,

can't wait for you and your brother in our eternal greeting.

love, mommie

Baptist Integis Hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Oct. 29, 2003 (sharing this birthdate with her angel brother, Raphael) a beautiful baby girl opened her eyes to see the world for the first time. Aaliyah was diagnosed before birth with hydranencephaly and hydrocephaly. She weighed in at 10 lbs and appeared to be every mommie's dream of a beautiful

baby girl. She had all her fingers and her toes and a gorgeous face. The inside wasn't quite as complete.

 Through the first year of Aaliyah's life she also was diagnosed with GERD, Asthma, Bronchio Pulmonary Dysplasia, Reactive Airway Disease, allergic to soy, cow's milk, fish, peanuts and eggs, diabetes insipidus, a seizure disorder and developmentally delayed. She was missing the majority of her brain and also where the brain should be there was spinal fluid. In the back of the NICU this little princess laid receiving just 2 oz of formula every 4 hours. They had "dubbed" her as a feeder baby just waiting

for her to die.  She became our 11th daughter through adoption and came home to her very excited siblings at just 2 and a half weeks old.  Her sister, Robyn, named her Aaliyah Michelle. Aaliyah's journey through life has not been an easy one but WOW what a testimony of our Father's Love she is. Her first surgery was a Nissen Fundoplication and Mic Key button at

a mere 9 days old. At 2 1/2 months she had her first VP shunt surgery to relieve the fluid in her brain. She has since gone through 5 more shunt revisions, pseudomonis meningitis, respiratory distress and failure numerous times and even to the OR with the gift of life tranplant team as she was taken off the  vent and they waited for her to die. As of March 2006 she now has a trach and also a med port and she

is back to smiling and still thankful for the ease of breathing.

Daily she blesses our lives and family with her beautiful smile and sparkling eyes.  Since the trach she isn't "telling us stories" BUT WOW the body language brightens our entire home. Our precious Aaliyah Michelle left our hearts, arms and home for the arms of Jesus on Nov. 10, 2006. Forever in our hearts and always in our memories. Fly with the angels baby girl. We are the blessed ones and have one of God's greatest gifts...our daughter...<P>

Aaliyah Michelle Tolin

It all started when we

received the call,

The call that would change

our lives-one and all.

A birth mother has chosen

us to parent her child,

We need to be in Oklahoma City in a very short while.

Plans were made, many

phone calls and flights arranged,

In order to bring you home

forever our lives changed.

Aaliyah Michelle Tolin is

the name your sister picked out,

A more beautiful one I

couldn’t have chosen without a doubt.

You are already loved and

cherished more than you’ll ever know,

Our newest family

addition, our daughter, our care and love to show.

From the love of your

birth mother and there is no greater than that,

We were chosen to do a job

praying for God’s guidance and supplement.

From the hospital and

staff, an attorney and social worker involved,

You became our daughter,

so loved and amazing-not a puzzle to be solved.

Our job is now right here

for all to see,

As we raise you and guide

you into the woman He wants you to be.

We love you and promise to

be here with you through all your days,

Our daughter, Aaliyah

Michelle Tolin-your family forever always.

We love you and cherish

this gift from above,

Given to us from a

mother’s greatest love.

<O:P />&nbsp;Written for Aaliyah

By kst


On September 21, 2002 I entered this world a very tiny baby weighing a mere 2 lbs 3 oz. I spent most of my early life in

the hospital and an orphanage in Brazil. Little is known about my first couple of years other than I am a real little fighter

overcoming many medical obstacles just to get to where I am today. I do know I received so much love and care and am a very happy

little guy with the cutest dimples in the world when i smile. I am still very tiny for my age, weighing 16 lbs at 21 months BUT I

am getting bigger. I still have some medical issues due to my early birth (micro preemie) which include cerebral palsy

retinopathy of prematurity (I am legally blind which makes my eyes cross when I "try" to focus in on things. I love playing with

my toys and have learned how to roll over and then get mad (and let all know it) when i can't roll back over onto my tummy. On

January 20, 2004 i was escorted from my homeland of Brazil to my forever family in Michigan. I am an angel with wings that came

home on wings.  Since coming to America i have been the delight of my family and they say, "I am spoiled".  I prefer to refer to

it as just very loved.  I love being around people and I sure do love all the attention I get from my family.

October 10, 2003  an email came through about you,

I knew in my heart exactly what we needed to do.

The words described a very tiny precious little boy,

Looking for his forever family, Our SON…Our pride and joy.

Our mission began, calls, paperwork, doctor and hospital letters we need,

To make this all happen God’s plan unfolding- our family as one yes in deed!

Gabriel yes we have waited so long and are now truly blessed,

Life’s journey from Brazil for such a tiny little guy to the U.S.

We await you with open arms, hearts, home, mom, dad, sisters and brothers,

Your family forever our promise to you alone like no other.

As we anxiously await your arrival date,

Getting your clothes, toys and room ready so much love at stake.

We are your family, mom and dad and with unconditional love,

Thanking Him for sending you from Above.

You will never be alone and you are our son.

Will all the love we have in our hearts,

We welcome you to the Tolin family never to part.

Lovingly written for Gabriel

By kst


As a long time sufferer  of Anxiety and Depression I started writing poetry as a release, a way  to express my own feelings. Some may find this poetry sad  or depressing, but to those who may suffer from these same disorders, I hope you will find a sense of common ground, and know that you are not alone.

National Institute of Mental Health:

18.8 million American adults suffer from clinical depression. That is 9.5% of the adult population

2003 National Comorbidity Study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health:

- 35 million Americans (more than 16% of the population) suffer from depression severe enough to warrant treatment at some time in their lives.

- In one given period, 13 to 14 million people experience the illness.

19.1 million Americans 18 to 54 years-old suffer from anxiety disorders. This represents 13.3% of this age group. (source: National Institute of Mental


Many of the people who suffer from depression also suffer from anxiety (and vice versa).

My life has been like a lethal weapon, beginning at the moment of my conception.

Always ready and prepared to resolve every emotion and feeling of which I am involved.

At any moment I must react to the situation, to what has been dealt me to meet resolution.

All my life, like anyone else, I have had to choose, which reaction was best to use?

In every situation I have made a decision, never hurting anyone else only myself-the reason.

The trigger is always the last resort, but I have used it in the past solving internal discord.

My brain says I am wrong and guilty using this way, but this does calm the pain, the hurt and the anger momentarily.

I must remain prepared every minute of my life at the point I boil searching for alternatives protecting myself

from life's internal turmoil.

So at this moment I will try to be bigger, writing down my feelings - looking at them - not pulling a trigger.


Sitting here wondering why and how,

Did I ever make it in life this far?

This month’s best includes a long list,

Just for starters our home’s foreclosure exists.

The van is due for repossession,

The electric in a disconnect situation.

The phone has already been turned off cuz no money to pay,

The fridge, and freezer returning to the rental company any day.

This really isn’t a problem as no money for food to fill,

The cupboards are also bare….no overkill

Now why would I get down and consider nothing less,

But curling up and taking a LONG LONG rest.

Sorry I have robbed Peter to pay Paul,

But now Paul is calling and no answer at all.

I still exist in spite of all this and when it is easier,

Just not so sure I can withstand this forever

The comforts of life I guess are not due me,

Cuz the wallet and pockets are also empty.

Shattered Dreams

Sitting here looking back through my life,

So many things dreamed of yet just a mom and wife.

Dreams of being something not a no one,

Making plans for a future, touching many not just some.

Visions of success measured not by money, but a caring,

dedicated, giving person to many.

I sit here and glance through more than 50 years,

happy times, sad times full of laughter and tears.

Someday maybe I will truly find,

the answers to  my dreams I called mine.

Sure looks different from where I sit now,

the visions of a dreamer changed some how.

Dreams and goals of younger years gone,

a failure to myself yet I go on.

Written by kst



As a child I dreamed of being,

Somebody, somebody special not just a thing.

Making a difference to just one since the years from my


To just one other person before I left this earth.

At this point I sit and ponder what I must do,

In the short time I have left seeing my dream come true.

As the clock of my life ticks away,

I search and search within not much time…no delay.

So for today I must try and see were I have failed at all


Because I am nothing….not somebody…invisible to most.

Maybe I haven’t done all I could to be,

A difference made, success, that means so much to me.

Maybe I have asked for too much,

A life worth the living, a human touch.

I exist; I am just another nothing on this earth,

Unanswered dreams searched for while plodding along this


So I will never be something…no matter how small,

A success in life, I have failed the call.

As I approach year number fifty four,

The test of life…..so low…not a measurable score.

So from this nobody hidden within,

Wishing I could find a somebody and realize I win.

So I will end this with just wondering where, when and why,

Never finding the answers I have searched for under the sky.

Written by kst


My road to loneliness, isolation, turning inward,

worthlessness, separation, being ashamed, guilt, sadness, THE STIGMA and

feelings of being "different" started very early as I look back at my life. 

As a newborn I contracted "nursery diarrhea" and was whisked away to the "broom

closet as my mother referred to it, the day I was just a week old. Was this the

beginning? I will never know for sure but I do know that my life has been a life

of rejection, fear, anger, loneliness, self hatred, feelings of inferiority,

self abusive and destructive behaviors and all the stigma that is associated with the diagnosis of

too much "hushed" mental diagnoses - major endogenous depressive disorder and

anxiety disorder with panic attacks. My journey with these mental health

diagnoses has not always been a pretty road to travel. It has had many detours,

but thanks to many I can sit here today and write about it.   


My childhood was marked by years of time spent in my room

away from life because I was a "quiet" person. I had few friends and never

associated with anyone, just went to school and came home and went to my room.

Throughout my junior high years and into high school I had many episodes of what

was described as "sad" periods, "down" times and was sent to a "counselor". I

was just in junior high school when I was hospitalized following my first

suicide attempt and I was diagnosed as being depressed. I was also diagnosed

with anorexia nervosa and anxiety.  

I would go on to attend a community college and study to

become a registered nurse. I would not complete my degree due to a severe bout

with my depressive disorder.  I would continue to be a "a loner" and continue to battle the

"monster" within….depression, anxiety and the eating disorder. I would continue

day after day just very low key and doing what i needed to do. I would get

married and eventually start a family. 

There would be sessions with therapists, counselors and the gamut of

psychiatric "cures". It would not be until the year 1985 that the correct diagnoses would

be made and the correct medications correcting the biochemical imbalance would be found to stabilize my illnesses

that would "free" me enough to become a "real" person and truly function in this

world. I have been a home bound agoraphobic through many years of the anxiety

disorder and panic attacks and would not even leave my four walls. This was a

very difficult time as I was not only a wife but the mother of 4 small children

at this time. It was at this time  that I

found the doctors that truly made the correct diagnosis and found the correct

medications that met the chemical imbalance i lived with and helped me salvage my life and finally live. 

As I look back I still vision the shame people attach to "mental illnesses" but I know they are just

as epidemic as cancer and there is treatment and cures unlike cancer. Through my experiences I pray others will find a sense of

worth and seek help if they are in need. The stigma attached to these diagnosis' should not mark

a person's life forever.  I am now in full control of my "illnesses" and now live daily

one minute at a time with a true compassion for life and its fullest.  

I have realized I was NEVER alone and others walk this path daily. 

Above all Please realize

"You are NOT alone"

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1969 Mar 29