Tuesday, January 27, 2015

One Whole Year

Dear Tiny,

Last week we celebrated a huge milestone - a full year since you came home to us! It feels like you've been a part of the family forever, little one, but I can also VIVIDLY remember the unbelievable emotional roller coaster we were experiencing this time last year. And I'm pretty thankful we're not back at that point. 

From learning about you on a Friday (right after I had picked your sister up sick from school) to meeting you two days later and then you spending your first night two days after that, it was a whirlwind. We were - and remain - so incredibly thankful for you.

Your sister was smitten with you immediately and loves you even more now that you can interact more with her. The two of you have the funniest relationship and she has been teaching you funny faces - including the infamous "duck face" - since you were only a few months old. These days I find y'all watching movies, having staring contests and playing with the puppies. A lot.

You spent the one year mark getting some unexpected tubes in your ears. Bless your precious heart, you've had serious sinus issues for almost a year and the constant fluid build up was beginning to affect the function of your ear drums. Thankfully, you have suffered no hearing loss and came through the surgery like a champ. Just like you've weathered every other medical issue thus far. 

You also finished last week with a follow-up ROP exam and your eyes continue to look GREAT. You seriously could not be a more textbook perfect micro preemie, little one, as you have fought like crazy since the moment you were born. And, when Daddy was looking at your medical records the first night we met, he could not believe how little intervention you needed in the NICU. Apparently that doesn't happen very often. And he would know! :)

I think back to last year and how I could not wait to pick you up in the evenings and let you sleep on my chest until I had to get up and make dinner and, honestly, nothing much has changed about that except that you don't care to sleep all that much these days. (We also spent a lot of night feedings watching Bravo reality shows but let's keep that our little secret.) Each day this time last year was wrought with crazy emotions as we fought to keep you safe and found. And, while we're not at the finish line just yet, I could NOT be more thankful it is within sight.

Had we known all of the craziness that would occur along the way, I'm not at all sure we would have even believed some of the events possible. But I know this with every fiber of my being - every single person in your family would do it over and over and over again just to ensure your safety. From the very beginning, we knew we did not want to let you go. But - more than that - we prayed with all we had that God would allow us to save you from what we knew would be a toxic environment. And He has protected you at each and every turn.

You, my darling, are the answer to more prayers than I can count. You are constant motion. You love life. You do everything BIG. And, at 15 pounds, I can still snuggle you like an infant. Even as you begin to walk. And talk. LOUDLY. :)

I will forever be thankful for you and your sister. You have each saved me from craziness in ways you'll hopefully never truly understand. And my prayer remains the same - that we will be able to protect you moving forward. All the while loving you as well as you deserve.

My darling, precious girl - THANK YOU for being a constant reminder that God does not forget the greatest desires of our hearts. Even when we have given up on those desires ourselves. You will forever be one of the greatest surprises known to our family and I can't wait to see how many more mountains you will have conquered this time next year.

All my love,