Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Eli is ONE!

I am filled with emotion.

Today our sweet Eli turns one.

What's this you say? It's my birthday??

Oh my gosh!  You're right!

Heck yeah!  Let's celebrate!
It’s hard to believe how far we have come in this last year and how far Eli has come in the last year. Some days it feels like it has flown by. Other days it feels like this has been the longest year of our life.

In the last year, Eli has withstood countless trips to the hospital, dozens of tests, and suffered more than most of us will in a lifetime. Through all of this, he has done it with a smile. Eli is without a doubt, the happiest kid I have ever met.

Sitting in the delivery room last year, I had no idea how our life would change. All I knew was that I was scared (who am I kidding, I was terrified!). We had no idea what Eli’s feet would look like, no idea if he would be able to pee, and no idea what life was going to be like raising a kid with a disability.

After 10 long hours of labor and nearly losing our sweet boy, at 7:52pm Eli finally made his appearance and all the fear/worry/anxiety melted away. He was perfect and I loved him just the way he was :)

Although this year has been heartbreaking at times I wouldn’t change a second of it.

Eli has changed us; changed our community; changed how I see the world. And changed how I view God.

These are things you can’t put a value on and could never accomplish without suffering.

Dear Eli,

The moment you were born, I knew I was forever changed. I think my heart grew two sizes. I couldn't believe you were mine! When I looked at you, I couldn’t see a single thing wrong with you. Your feet were the most adorable perfect feet I had ever seen.

Daddy and I were baffled by all the doctors and people who were coming in to look at your feet. (Doctors were even bringing in their students to learn from you.)

We knew you were special.

Everyone told us how cute you were. But we already knew that. Barrett’s are completely adorable after all, so that was a given ;o)!

You and your sister are my greatest accomplishments.

You, Eli, have taught me to suffer with grace. Through your suffering you have brought people to their knees, helped them reconnect with God after they had lost a connection years before, through the unceasing prayers for your healing. Through your suffering, faith has been restored in modern day miracles.

You have taught those around you what sheer determination will get you. You have shown people what hard work will do. You don’t know what it means to give up. Each day you keep pushing on, working harder than the day before to meet that next milestone.

You have taught me to love more unconditionally and more deeply than I ever thought possible. Your sister loves you SO much. I think you have also taught her to love without reservation. Isabel is so protective of you and loves taking care of you! I pray as you two grow up together that never changes.

Through your suffering, you have taught Daddy and I to hold on tighter to our marriage (and each other) and not give up when things get hard, to accept help from our friends, to be humble, and above all trust God more.

Every milestone you reach is cause for celebration. Through you, we have learned to step back and appreciate the little things and not take those moments for granted.

Daddy and I know God has big plans for you little man. We know this year is just the tip of the iceberg.

We are both honored to call you our son. We are SO proud of you and love you more than we could ever thought possible.

Happy First Birthday Eli! You make our hearts swell with pride for all you have accomplished in just one short year!

I love this kid so much sometimes I think my heart might explode!
And finally a super sweet card from Isabel to her baby brother:
For those of you reading at home a translation :): Happy Birthday Buddy Bear

Dear Buddy Bear, I love you so much and I think you are sweet. I love to play with you and it's very fun! I also like to read to you.

And snuggle with you. Sincerely, Isabella PS. Happy Birthday!

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