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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Forever Family Day Ivy Joy

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In early January as I unsuspectedly headed to Boston from Arizona for Ivy's 5th open heart surgery in just 10 months, the dream of celebrating 1 year of family with Ivy Joy seemed just that, a dream. 

I didn't know if she would be with us to celebrate a year of family.
And if she was, I didn't know if we would be back home to celebrate. 
Honestly, I had know idea what her creators plan would be, I was just trusting Him to get us through, one day at a time.
Ivy had suffered so much this first year home, and she had overcome just as much if not more!
She had been so very strong, but had her tiny body had enough? Could she really do this again? It felt obvious to me that God had taken her this far for far more good than I would ever be able to comprehend. And that although it had been a road no one would ever choose, He certainly did equip us and He certainly had blessed us. 
This year has been the toughest and also the most amazing and beautiful year that anyone in our family has ever experienced. And as we celebrate one year of Ivy Joy being in our family, we also celebrate one year of being the family God created us to be all along. Sisters holding each other up, grandma stepping in to help every single time we uttered the words, siblings supporting each other, supporting their parents, overcoming the feelings of fear and choosing the feelings of Hope.
Mom giving up everything to be everything Ivy needed during her fight for life. Dad, fiercely  loving on his family, keeping things running smooth at home every single time we were pulled back to the hospital for another procedure and another surgery. All of us, one big family, strung so tight with Love and Hope and Strength, all because the tiniest one of us was the strongest of all!

And now she has Life!! 

                           She has Hope 

               But she has always had love!!!

She was created for a BIG purpose and God has proven time and time again that his work was just beginning. 

She gives others hope. She teaches us to appreciate every milestone and every obstacle. Every smile and every tear. All our happiness and all our sufferings. 
She teaches us to embrace every day because we never know if it will be our last! 
We are all in this life for a temporary time and it could be any one of our big happy family that could be living their last day. Ivy taught us that it's ok. We have today! And today is a gift! It's not owed to us, it has not been earned, and it is not a promise! It is a gift! We are so grateful for 365 gifts so far! We love this child so very much and we are so grateful that God chose us to be her family!

                           To have a sister to play with
                                                    To laugh with 
                                                   And grow up with

To be in our crazy family of 
9 (counting our son~in~love)

There is no rhyme or reason why or how Ivy could have survived through this year without believing in miracles, in God, in Hope!!

 Nor is there a way to understand how or why God chose this imperfect family to parent this perfectly wonderfully made little heart baby with so many issues going on with her heart and so many more that would follow after that first surgery.

 But one thing we do know.
She is ours! 100% made for each other, made to be our daughter! 
 4 months ago this child had a 20% chance of surviving her 2nd open heart surgery due to the condition of her heart and her pulmonary hypertension. She barely survived a heart cath in October and needed a week to recover from it before they attempted to repair her heart once again.

 But here we are! 4 months later she has survived 4 more open heart surgeries and is thriving like she has never been near death. But we all know she has. Too many times!
Like she has never seen a hospital or an operating room. And boy do I know we have been there way too much! In fact, we have been home from the hospital 12 days and still, every morning she tells me to call and order her food tray! Call, order food mommy. Order oatmeal! 
She loves life. She smiles and laughs all day long and she never stops talking. And if someone else tries to get a word in? Forget it! She wins! Oh my goodness is she bossy! 
She loves her family with all of her core. She watches for every sibling to come home and calls out to her daddy with the biggest voice and the biggest smile when he walks in the door. She is so happy when we are all together and will count everyone (starting with 7... ?) and then name everyone while pointing as if to say, look, everyone is here in one place at the same time! She loves all things girly, loves jewelry and her hair pretties so much that she begs to sleep with them on. She loves to go bye bye and she loves to eat everything! She tried chopsticks for the first time ever tonight and she was a natural. She was determined and she figured it out in just a few tries! 

She does not like rain or wind or being cold. (See, Gods hand in this again! He knew her family needed to live in Arizona!)

 She loves to copy her sister Lexi, all day, every day. She cries in the car as we drive away from Lexi's  school saying, Oh no! Lexi!! Lexi, don't worry, be right back!

She loves her life! Finally! After fighting for that life for a year, she has something so big to celebrate, so big to embrace, so much to look froward to! 

Like growing tall enough to reach the pedals on her bike. And chasing butterflies, and traveling to places with sand and ocean!

Ivy Joy, happy one year forever family day! We love you so much baby girl and we can not wait to see the sparkle in your eyes continue as you experience even more firsts this next year. 
Mommy, Daddy, The Bigs and Lexi

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Courtney said...

Happy Forever Family Day! You have so much to celebrate on this special day!

Anonymous said...

From France, following your life and love story since a few monthes, Happy birthday little Ivy Joy and forever family !!! Enjoy the sun of Arizona and be so happy ....

Big Happy Family said...

Happy Family Day Ivy!
You look so happy and healthy a year later, you can just see what all that love has done, and that beautiful beaming smile says it all.

Paige said...

Beautiful!! I am so happy for your family and this precious child we have all come to love so dearly!! Happy one year sweet IvyJoy!!!

Tina Michelle said...


Aus said...

Happy Gotcha Day!! And as we begin the Year of the Snake may you find nothing but Health, Wealth, and Happiness!

(and so glad that she's home too!!)

Gung Hey Fat Choy - and hugs -

aus and co.

Kristi said...

Thank you for sharing this past year with your blog-friends! We have hoped for, prayed for, and loved Ivy from our neck of the woods and will continue to do so! She is thriving and it's incredible! She, for the very first time, looks completely HEALTHY!!!!...there's such a difference in her face, her coloring, the sparkle in her eyes, her smile! I feel great about her future and am thrilled for you all.

Big Happy Family said...

Happy Family Day sweet Ivy!

Rae said...

Happy Forever Family extra special one for sure!!

Rae in Canada

Anonymous said...

Such a blessed posting! I can TOTALLY see Ivy getting stronger with each picture. The furrowed brow is being replaced with eyes that twinkle and a mouth that smiles wide! She is just blossoming! So, so happy for you all. Beth

Anonymous said...

Forgot to say....the one where she is holding her daddy's hands and she is in her Chinese outfit....she looks like Superwoman! She looks so strong and healthy. I love those little legs showing muscle and filling out. Such a wonderful sight.

Kathy Pierce said...

I have the biggest goosebumps EVER from reading this! I have followed your blog ever since I notarized the papers for your family to get Ivy Joy!! I have cried, smiled, prayed, and everything in between for your family during the last year. I agree that Ivy looks so different now. She is thriving and you can tell she is loved! Not just by her family, but by myself and everyone else who has been blessed to know about this precious gift from God known as Ivy Joy. My faith has been renewed while I've watched this little angel pull through like a champ! God is good! Your family is a blessing and I thank you so much for sharing your life with us, Kathy Pierce

Jane said...

Thank you for this wonderful post! It sure brightened my day.
Jane in TX

Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful post ,Mary, Wow ,Our God is SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!! Praise God from whom All Blessings Flow__ thank you for sharing IVY JOY with all of us!! Ivy looks so wonderful!! yours is the one perfect family for her!! Blessings,Cathy in Illinois!!

Anonymous said...

She looks the healthiest she has and so happy. I am the Nana of two precious China dolls with special physical needs and God has used them to bless our whole family so much! You, my daughter and all mothers who have listened to Gods call to adopt His precious children are my heroes. Thank you for teaching this "older" person so much about faith! You have been and will continue to be in my prayers.


Suzette said...

Amazing the miracles our Heavenly Father has done and continues to do. So happy that we have gotten to see this miracle unfold even if just online. Hearing the precious prayers our little Lia has prayed brings tears to my eyes to think how much they have been through in their short little lives. Praising Him with you for this amazing healing for Ivy Joy!

the beatties said...

Such beautiful pictures - thank you for sharing them with us all. Happy forever family day, Ivy!

Ladyblog said...

such an awesome anniversary date for a very special little girl! I see some fullness coming back to those cheeks of hers! It's such a blessing to see her getting healthy and enjoying life!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, Mary! Tears of JOY!! ~Holly

jennifer said...

Happy One Year!!! about squeezing alot into a year!! Holy Moly!! Hoping this year is a little "boring" compared to the last :) What a blessing Ivy's life is!!

Paula said...

So, so precious! Love seeing Ivy so happy and growing stronger by the day. Happy one year anniversary! What a blessing!

Mother's Heart said...

Happy Gotcha Day. I hope one day soon she will realize how many people in the world fell in love with her and your family. I pray she will know just how much she was prayed for by complete strangers. I pray she will truly know God's hand in all of this, He touched so many of us watching your family and sweet Ivy.

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