on August 16th, 2010 at 11:25 am my sweet, beautiful baby girl was given to me. she has been the most sacred, life-changing gift i have ever received in my entire life. my number one love language is gifts and the Lord knew that when we He put her in my womb miraculously in November 2009. some things in life, that we need more than anything cannot be planned, nor can we prepare for the effects they will have on our hearts. my daughter is a gift that has literally changed every facet of my life to the ‘nth degree.
you always hear parents talk about how quickly their kids grow up and how crazy fast it all flies by. of course it’s too true, but i don’t think you can really understand like i have this year. this time last year my baby had open heart surgery when she was only 4 days old.
August 20th, 2010 i sat in a waiting room gnawing my fingernails to the bone and drinking copious amounts of coffee (to nurse my spinal headache from my c-section) while my baby was hooked up to a bypass machine with her chest bared open for 6 of the longest hours of my life.
August 20th, 2011 we shared our pink tutu’d, rainbow feather headdressed Princess-miracle with 30 of our dearest friends and family, as she opened copious amounts of pink presents and we ate cupcakes and celebrated her beautiful life.
this year has literally been the most life-changing year i have ever gone through. Sparrow not only survived her first , but also her second surgery; with radiant, flying colors. She also recovered from what we thought may be permanent damage to her vocal chords – now singing and squealing and jabbering and cooing and saying “Mama”, “Dada” and “Noah”.
She has gone from needing oxygen support 24/7 to crawling, knee-walking, wrestling, giggling, and playing peek-a-boo for the past 8 months without oxygen support AT ALL.
Sparrow came home from the hospital with a feeding tube down her nose. We spent 4 months feeding her milk through a tube every 2-3 hours, (not a bottle) because her vocal chords were damaged. and now she holds and drinks her own bottles of 8 ounces of milk 4 times a day! her sweet cheeks are proof of her good eating habits.
what have i learned through all of this? good question. if i let myself sit long enough and just stare at her i start weeping. she is literal, actual living proof that the God i serve is faithful. that He is GOOD. that He is loving and longs to give His children the desires of our hearts. i told my mom this week about a difficult, but sweet memory i have. one night, probably 3 am i sat with my baby watching my hard-earned breast milk flow through her feeding tube, down her throat and into her belly. i caressed her gently as she slept through the feed. She was probably only 2 weeks old and my arms ached to hold her, but i couldn’t because the feed would get interrupted and it was so important for my heart baby to gain weight. until this moment I had kept my heart locked away in a little box, not quite sure whether to give it to her because i didn’t know if she was going to make it; if i would lose her and with her loss, lose myself. but on this night, i couldn’t control my emotions anymore. i couldn’t be strong. i gave in and really fell in love. the floodgates opened and i began weeping. I cried out to the Lord with the most desperate plea i have ever made in my life
please let me keep her…..you can’t have her. i need her now. i am in love with her….please God, let me keep her.
and He did.
life is full of unanswered questions. millions, billions of them. no, i don’t know why my baby had to be born with 4 major heart defects. i may never ever understand the why. but i do know that God is good. He has given her life and health and joy and the sweetest, silliest personality. He has given me a baby girl that i never dreamed i might have. Sparrow is living proof of a God that loves. she is my miracle.
Happy Birthday my darling bird. May you soar higher every year and may your wings grow as far as your dreams. I am more in love with you every day that passes and your song fills my heart to overflowing. I am beyond thankful that you rekindled my heart back to Jesus and that your existence has caused not just me, but so many others to trust the Lord and seek Him and believe in hope. you are a dream come true, Sparrow Song. you are a testimony. you are my enormous miracle.
this past year time has not necessarily changed me…..it has unfolded me. i feel like i have matured. i grew up this year, not knowing i needed this much growth. hidden places that were tucked up and folded away have been unfolded to reveal maps and muscles, pain and healing, hope and fear and above all else……LOVE. i am more of me because of what i have endured this past year. i have unfolded.