Sunday, August 23, 2009

Strength through trials...(and this clinical trial)

I just wanted to do a quick post about how grateful I am for some of the blessings in my life right now. Obviously, it has been a rough few months for us. Our lives changed forever on June 23 when we found out about Kaitlyn's spina bifida. That first week I spent reeling with the newness of the diagnosis and coming to terms with the changes we would be facing. But since then, I feel that my Heavenly Father has blessed our family so much. First with strength and knowledge that we were capable and able to face this new challenge. Then with appreciation and gratitude that I get to be the mother of 3 amazing little children that I am crazy about. Kaitlyn will be a special little girl, just like my Damon and Audrey are special little ones. We are so grateful for the blessing it is to be parents. Since then, we have had the opportunity to make a difference in Kaitlyn's life through a surgery that only about 75 women in the country have had since 2004. It feels amazing to know that we had the blessing to intervene in the middle of this pregnancy to help our little girl. During all of this, I have had a husband who has been available to take care of me and keep me company. There is no one I would rather spend time with, and we've been so lucky that he has been here. Also, we have such incredible family support. Without my family in Hurricane, and Kendall's in Corona, there is no way we could have participated in this study. Our children have been in such loving and capable hands. They have rearranged their lives to care for Damon and Audrey, and have brought them to us so that we don't have to go for months without them. And before that, when we first came out here, my cousin Ariel and many friends in our ward back in Texas helped care for our kids for that first week when we weren't yet sure whether we'd qualify for the surgery. Also, when Kendall went to Texas to interview last week, his Aunt Donna dropped everything at the last minute to come stay with me, and we are so thankful that she was able to come out. Tomorrow night, my brother Mike is driving our babies to San Francisco to stay with us for the long haul. We appreciate the sacrifice he is making, to bring them to us and help us to take care of them in the Family House. I have never felt so much love and support in my life as I have these last 2 months.

At first I thought that I would never be able to get through the rest of this pregnancy without crying every day, and fighting off depression, but I have since felt so much strength and appreciation for the blessings in my life. The more we have learned about spina bifida and met children and families dealing with it, the greater appreciation we have that this will be something our family can manage, and that everything is going to work out. Many others we know are dealing with so much more difficult circumstances. Since we have been staying here at the Family House, we have met some amazing people who have been coping with cancer, and I am so astounded at their strength and courage. We have also had friends who have lost children, and I marvel at the grace and faith they have shown during the most devastating of times. I truly do believe that our Heavenly Father will not give us more than we can handle, and that he will be there to comfort and support us through whatever new challenge we are chosen to face. I appreciate so much the prayers that have been offered for our family, and have felt overwhelmed with love from all of our family and friends. So thank you all for making this experience a little bit easier for us to handle. We are so grateful.

11 comments:

  1. shelly, your faith and strength is completely inspiring. little kaitlyn is a very lucky little girl coming into a family that is overflowing with love and gratitude. I hope you have the physical energy to enjoy your little ones... get your rest!

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  2. We love each of you, and pray for yours and little Kaitlyns well being everyday! Keep on trucking, the end is in sight!!

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  3. You guys are amazing. Thanks so much for your example.

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  4. Shelly, you are so strong. Kaitlyn (and Damon and Audrey) are so lucky to have you for their mom. I'm glad you get your other babies back!

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  5. You are such an example of courage, strength and faith. We continue to pray for your precious Kaitlyn. I am so glad that you will be with your children again. Thank you for sharing your testimony with us.

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  6. Shelly,

    Thanks for all of your beautiful words. I'm grateful to have you as a friend! I'm so glad that Damon and Audrey will get to be with you again soon.

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  7. Lots of Love from Texas. We miss you guys and look forward to the day we get to meet your sweet Kaitlyn! What an incredible job you are doing!!! Keep your eye steady on the goal, God has a great plan for you guys!!!

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  8. It is so great that you recognize all the blessings you have received despite being in the middle of such a trial. It was good to see the pictures of you and the kids and see the smiles on your faces. Keep being positive and there are many prayers being said for your family every day. :)

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  9. You are inspiring! We miss you.

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  10. Shelly, your posts always make me cry. I love you!! Call you soon, and I finally sent out your care package, so you can look forward to it, by thu or fri at the latest:) miss you tons!

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  11. I finallllly got my internet up and running after a major rehaul of my computer, much needed after a summer of problems. And then I read your tender thoughts, Shelly, and I am in tears. You are such a dear, sweet member of our family, how can we NOT pitch in and show that love back to you, Kendall, Damon, Audrey, and little Kaitlyn! We are excited to meet her when the time is right, but in the meantime, we know you are in the best of hands. We are so grateful to your family and Mike especially for his sacrifice during this critical time. You are always in our prayers. We love you oodles and lots! Kiss those smooshable cheeks on Damon and Audrey for us! ~Mom & Dad in Corona

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