My sweet baby,
There have been nights I’ve cried myself to sleep. I’ve wondered why you, why not me. I’ve begged God not to take you, to let you heal and enjoy life as any other toddler would. I’ve seen days I couldn’t eat because the fear of something happening to you made me sick to my stomach. I lost 14 pounds my first trimester of pregnancy from the unbearable nausea that wasn’t just from morning sickness. But as much as I’ve worried, as much as I’ve had to be strong, it’s nothing compared to the strength I’ve seen in those two precious little blue eyes.
The strength and resilience you’ve displayed throughout your life has been nothing short of amazing. You’ve overcome more than most people go through in their entire life.
You’ve been put to sleep for surgery five time. Five times all before age two. With each surgery, post anesthesia wake up got worse. You would fight and cry. And so would I. Only one of us was aloud back at a time. I always said I was going to let your daddy go back because I didn’t have the strength to fight you and as I got bigger it became increasingly difficult. But just like clockwork, when a nurse came out and called for the parents of Allie Stephens, I went running. Running to hold my baby. Running to comfort you from the fear of waking up in an unusual place and from pain you’d been through.
One MRI and biopsy, one debriedment surgery, and three applications of ACell with dressing stapled over. I wondered many times why you had to go through it. Selfishly, I wondered why someone else’s kid couldn’t go through this instead of mine. Why one of those bratty, rude kids couldn’t be in your shoes, while you ran around like a normal kid. But that was my lack of faith. My lack of trust in God.
As we approach our appointment for Andie’s DNA testing, I can’t help but thank of you as a hero. A hero to others who may have similar problems. But more importantly, a hero to your sister. Because of all the testing you’ve encountered, we know exactly what to look for in Andie so that she doesn’t have to go through so many tests. And if, heaven forbid, Andie does have it also, we will know what works and what doesn’t because of you. Because all you’ve pushed through!
You’ve been a blessing from God since the day you were born, no doubt. But God had purpose for your life bigger than what we ever imagined. You’ve showed doctors and nurses all over a child’s faith as you asked to pray anytime you were hurting.
Tonight I rocked you to sleep, but didn’t take you to bed. Instead I held you. I held you and reflected on your journey through life so far. I’m eternally grateful that I get to watch God’s plans for your life unfold before my eyes.
I love you more than you could ever know!