Did you all see my mug on the front page? I’m not big on getting my own photo taken, but when it comes to a good cause, you can count me in!
You all know our family’s story from this crazy past year of our lives. We actually just celebrated the one-year anniversary of that horrible doctor’s appointment we had. A day I will never forget. The day we were told that Baby A had a 10% chance of survival. The day we were told that if we tried any intervention we could lose both of our babies. Those things just stick in your mind.
What an incredible difference a year makes! Now we have two precious eight, almost nine, month olds. I read somewhere, a daily calendar of inspiration I think, that said ‘while I respect medical professionals, ultimately God is in charge.’ At that moment when I read it, I was carrying those two babies, trying to be optimistic about the unknown, but scared at the same time, it really struck a chord with me. I now know with 100% certainty that we were meant to have BOTH of these boys. I think about that quote often.
Last year, two people that I knew well were participating in their respective schools’ dance marathon; I knew instantly that I wanted to give a donation to both of them. I thought, I don’t know what’s going to happen with these babies and we might benefit from what the Children’s Miracle Network (the organization that the dance marathon benefits) does. Sure enough, we did.
We spent ten weeks in Iowa City and we were given weekly parking passes for four of the weeks. They were courtesy of the Children’s Miracle Network. You may not think having to pay for parking is a huge deal, but it really added up, especially when we were spending so much time at the hospital. That was a huge help!
We were approached by Emily Morgan, who does a lot for Iowa State’s Dance Marathon, to be a Dance Marathon family. We agreed. So, on January 21st we will head over to Iowa State and meet families much like us. I’m sure it will be a very memorable experience.
It’s funny how one thing in your life that turns it upside down can in turn open up a whole new world to you. There are three organizations I know of that our family will have benefited by all because of Blake. The first is the Ronald McDonald House. That place is the best! I can’t say enough good things about the one in Iowa City and I never go through the McDonald’s drive thru without emptying whatever change I have in my vehicle into the Ronald McDonald box.
The second is what I talked about earlier in the Children’s Miracle Network. The third is a “someday” thing in the Make-a-Wish Foundation. We were informed by the hospital that Blake would someday get to make a wish. Whenever that happens, I know it will be an awesome experience for our entire family. We drove down to Jolly Holiday Lights (a fundraiser for Make-a-Wish). I felt better leaving there knowing that not only had my kids loved it, but that we made a small difference in some child’s life. A child just like our own.
I don’t think you ever really think your child will be born unhealthy. I think we sort of expect them to be healthy, because that is just the way most kids are. Some people out there know what it’s like to deal with a child who has health issues and some people will never know what that’s like. Everything you deal with in your life makes you the person that you are today, no matter what it is. Blake’s situation turned our world upside down, but it is what it is. Blake is who he is. The one thing I know for sure is that I’m so grateful for things like the Dance Marathon and the Children’s Miracle Network, because they have done small things that have made such a big difference for our family, but that’s just the way I see it.