Throughout the past 6 months, there are days when I have struggled to see the blessings God has given our family. However, maybe going through a truly 'bad' day has taught me so much more about my 'good' days. I just wanted to share a few important things God has been doing in our lives, through Addison's infancy and our hospitalizations, and in our marriage and home.
When we first told Addison would need to be on the Neocate, we were worried about the financial impact on our family. We learned that our insurance would not cover it without a feeding tube, and at 24 calories per ounce mixed, she would be going through a can in less than 2 days. That would amount to 400-500 dollars a month. The special baby food was another 90-180 dollars a month too. Adam was in the process of changing jobs too - the opportunity he has now is a better career opportunity but at the moment it means when its raining he can't work.... for those of you who don't live in the area, its rained nearly every single day. Last week he got about 10 hours of work. While we were stressing about our financial situation, we were first blessed with a very large tax refund. This has provided more than enough money to live on through the spring so even if with him not working, we are able to pay all our bills. What timing! The idea was that we would establish a savings for emergencies, but we figure if God provided the means for us to get through this spring, he will help us through whatever may arise down the road as well. So we are living on that money as needed and that is okay with us.
We also were incredibly touched by one *very* special family (who I will keep anonymous because I haven't asked their permission to publicly HUG them on my blog...).A total stranger read the blog and contacted me, their child was being put on the toddler Neocate and they offered us 20+ new cans of Neocate. They spent a lot of money shipping the package to us and I just want to recognize them and let them know how much stress they have lifted from our shoulders.
Secondly, I want to share that we are blessed with an AMAZING support system of family and friends. Our parents have both spent many hours babysitting the girls and running everyone here and there throughout our many hospitalizations. My mom went all the way to Columbus with us. We have also had several generous family members make financial contributions that have helped us buy groceries, medications that aren't covered by prescriptions, and gas for our many drives to and from appointments. We have had friends bring food over or simply send a card letting me know they were thinking of me. It all means SO much to us and we haven't had time to say a proper thank you to everyone who is thinking of us, and praying for our family.
Third, our little princess baby has THE biggest smile, and most contagious laughter despite everything she has been through. She cries and cries, but when Daddy and Mommy play with her, she will giggle right through the tears.I am inspired everyday by her positive attitude, how she can still trust people when we cause her so much physical pain and put her through so many tests and pokes and uncomfortable procedures. God has blessed her with such an awesome personality.... I believe it will serve her well in the future and carry her through many trials in her life. She brings sunshine into every dark corner of my heart!
Finally, I can't imagine a weaker marriage being able to sustain hope and love through the kind of stress that has been placed on Adam and I this year. We have been exceedingly happy since the day Addison was born we are not the perfect husband and wife, we do catch ourselves snapping at one another occasionally (especially when we are short on sleep!) but God blessed us with the deepest and most supportive kind of love, and it shows no signs of failing us now! Our roles in the family have been defined through this struggle, but somehow they mesh perfectly and our faith has brought an overwhelming peace into our lives. Its our anniversary next week and we promised ourselves a long time ago that no matter how big our family got or how crazy our lives became, we would always take time for us - after all, we are the foundation on which our family is built. This weekend we are going to get away for a few days... take time to focus on our marriage. Even with a sick baby, we need time for one another. We won't be any good for her if we don't take care of ourselves and protect the love we have for our girls and each other. It will be tough to leave her, I want to be with Addison every minute to protect her, but it's exhausting...and as hard as it is for me to admit, I do need to stop and breathe once in a while.
I just wanted to take a moment and give thanks to God for bringing us through this one day at a time and inspiring us frequently along the way. There is hope found in the most unexpected places...