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!!
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.
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 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