Our year began with the birth of our daughter, Sadie on January 19th, and then quickly took all sorts of unexpected twists and turns to places we never even imagined. She was immediately hospitalized due to lack of oxygen, which despite amazing technology, resulted in some permanent brain damage. At one point we were told our little miracle would not survive, and we prepared ourselves to say goodbye. But here she is about to celebrate her first birthday, and although she comes with her own set of challenges, we can't help but feel blessed when we look at her. The fact that God chose us to be her parents is nothing to scoff at. This deal we got is not for the faint of heart!
Top ten lessons Sadie has taught us this year:
10. The government, while a huge, slow-moving organism, does do good things. We are thankful for their early intervention program that has provided Sadie with therapies.
9. The Foundation for Blind Children Infant Program is run by and attended by people I cherish and love and admire, even if some of them don't know my name.
8. Mama knows more than the doctors sometimes...like when I know my child isn't having seizures.
7. Drugs, while usually bad, can sometimes be very good.
6. Not all kids fall asleep in the car!!
5. Our marriage and our friendship is stronger for coming through this together.
4. It's worth it to just buy another bouncy chair.
3. Sleep is NOT overrated!
2. We have amazing friends and family.
1. Never underestimate the power of prayer.
We have also had the privilege of attending and participating in many events because of our involvement with Phoenix Children's Hospital and The Foundation for Blind Children. I have told Sadie's story on the radio, we met an MLB pitcher, we almost got to meet an NFL quarterback, we've seen the inside of the new hospital, we attended a reunion of all babies in the Neuro-NICU, and I will be running a half marathon in January to raise money for the hospital. I can't wait to see what opportunities 2011 will bring.
More than anything else we have learned many many things this year. As we were not prepared for this lifestyle, this year has been one big cramming session about neurology, development, and resources for the disabled. The brain is an amazing organ, Sadie's especially, and I imagine that 2011 will only bring us more education.
Speaking of education, I got a new job this year teaching online school. 9th grade English. It's the perfect thing for me to do in that it allows me to be home with Sadie, and permits flexibility in our schedule. It's been a little overwhelming these first few months, but as we finish out the semester, I feel somewhat prepared to start the new one. The best part about my new job is that I work with a wonderful group of people, who all love their jobs. I feel like joining the Arizona Virtual Academy has been like being welcomed into a big, loving family.
Brian still works for Starbucks in the Foodservice Dept. and not a day goes by that we aren't thankful for his job. He also gets to work mostly at home. Even though he often spends the majority of his day out and about town, or travels to another state overnight, he gets to enjoy a home office, and Sadie and I get to enjoy Daddy more than a lot of families do.
Thank you for praying for our family this year. Thank you for crying and rejoicing and celebrating with us. We can't wait to see what 2011 brings, and we can't wait to share it with you!
Brian, Christie, and Sadie
Brian, Christie, and Sadie