Wednesday, November 21, 2012


so the days following 'perfect sunday' were a little less than perfect.  monday morning started with shilo having some sort of episode, and off we drove to the happiest place on earth: a children's hospital's emergency department (whoever said it was disneyland has clearly never spent time in the emergency room with their kids).
as all parents know, by the time we got there the episode ended.  so the visit started by me trying to explain to two nurses and a resident that i brought my daughter in because her head was to the left.  it went well, and they didn't think i was crazy.  like at all.  (sometimes sarcasm through a screen is hard to pick up.  they did think i was crazy).  to add to the 'there's nothing wrong with your kid' stream of thoughts, shilo, who rolled all the way from back to belly, with no assistance, for the first time sunday, was rolling continually every direction possible in the crib.  finally i physically made the face shilo was making for a few hours that morning.  neuro was consulted (for shilo, not me).
at this point it seemed like people were starting to believe me. so after lots of three letter test, and a little under 36 hours later, we returned home.  shilo did not have a stroke.  she doesn't have aai.  her eeg showed no active seizures.  so really we have no answers.
however, i am glad, happy, thankful, and all those other good emotions, beyond words, that we are not spending this thanksgiving in the hospital.  because last year we did.  and it was fine.  but this year, i want to blend up some awesome turkey and trimmings and push through shilo's tube.  i want to go around the table, each telling what we are thankful for.

but last year, thanksgiving was a great day.  i hadn't seen abigail in ten days, and she hadn't yet met her little sister.  jason had gone home the day before, and came back thursday with abigail in tow.  it was our first day getting to be all together as a family of four.
the day is one that will long play out in my mind.  i have an image of exactly where i was when abigail caught sight of me, and ran the rest of the way to me.  i remember abigail's first reaction to meeting her sister.  i vividly remember eating our thanksgiving meal in the cafeteria of the university of kentucky hospital.  and i remember how very teeny tiny our little was (around four and a half pounds at that point).

first meeting

thanksgiving feast.

nothing better than styrofoam plates and plastic trays.

too big newborn sized clothing.

shilo's middle name, jendaya, means 'thankful.'  we love name meanings, and when we were praying about a birth mom who was having a little girl, and scheduled for a c-section on november 25th, our adoption attorney, and good friend, told me that this little girl's name would mean thankful.  so that was what we prayed for her, well before we knew she would be our daughter.
and she came earlier than the 25th.  and she is our daughter.  and we are thankful for the love and joy she brings to our family.  we are thankful for the choice of life, in a situation where lots of doctors push for termination.  we are thankful that we were chosen to be shilo's parents.
and just this week i finished the book 1000 gifts.  and this book sort of fit perfectly with life and my heart right now.  i've wrestled often, and shared openly, over sick children, and dying children, and a good God.  and this book sort of journeyed me through some of my emotions and made them raw and real, and rubbed some healing balm on them.  it reminded me how important it is to be thankful in things big and little.  and it reminded me of my little, and how much she is teaching me about being thankful.

i don't have a list of 1000.  i am considering it.  but i do want to end with a list of things i am thankful for.
*an old home full of beautiful woodwork, and lived in blemishes, that remind me of the others who have called this home before us.
*screaming that ensues whenever papa arrives home.
*friends who are always willing to take on our big when i need help.
*a husband who loves me and laughs with me often.
*a big girl who is quick to call on Jesus when something is wrong.
*a little with round pudgy fingers that search for my neck, even with her hearing aid, so she can feel me sing.
*a van that makes getting littles in and out easier, and has no payments.
*a garden that grows fresh food for our family to enjoy.
*a cocoon that will reveal a butterfly (or moth) in the spring, being watched by a big.
*drumming with a little, who loves to feel the music.
*listening to a big sing, and watching her dance.
*a house that overflows with joy and love.
*learning to rejoice in 'first' bigger than ever before, even if they are months later than a typical child.
*getting papers strewn about with random letters because a big is learning to write.
*a papa who dances with his girls.
*a friend who says kind words when she doesn't even know how much i needed to hear them.
*a blender, so shilo can eat the same things that we are.
*the wrinkles that i am beginning to see on my face in pictures.
*the gift of getting to be a mama, even when my children are not flesh of my flesh.
*the way my husband kisses my forehead when i am sad.
*how my big thinks that i look amazing when all i have done is put on a dress.
*the way my little's almond shape eyes crinkle, and her whole body wiggles along, when she smiles.
*how much my two daughter's adore each other.
*being able to see my big's tummy mommy in her every time she smiles or laughs.
*warm baths.
*for a life that feels full and beautiful, even on hard days.

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