To say that 2011 was “eventful” for our family would be the understatement of the year (in my humble opinion). 2011 will be a year that I will say changed me more than any before, and probably any after. I have learned so much about love, life, and what it means to trust in God. In retrospect, 2011 was a year of trials and miracles for our family.
May 11th is a day that forever changed us. It will always be the scariest, happiest day of my life. The rest of May through August is quite a blur. Those days were the darkest days of my life. During that time I am certain that God was carrying me through it all. For the better part of 6 weeks, every time I laid my head down to sleep, I was very uncertain that my little boy would still be with us when I awoke. We also didn’t know the extent of damage that living without adequate blood and oxygen had done to Harper. We didn’t know from day to day if she was going to have brain damage. Living like that did something to me. Having to watch my son’s little body shake from the machines keeping him alive was almost too much for anyone to endure. To this day, I’m still not over it. I’m not sure I’ll ever be. Because of that, I may always be protective of these babies.
This is why I am unapologetic about keeping them both isolated until I feel comfortable otherwise. I’m just so thankful that our family and friends are so understanding and supportive. It is the very reason I keep this blog updated. I am so grateful that so many of the people we love, love our babies and they’ve never even met them.
I became a mother in 2011 under the most extraordinary circumstances. It was not the way I planned on becoming a mother, but I’ve learned that the plans WE make just might not be as wonderful as the plans God makes for us! I learned to trust in God in a way that I didn’t know was possible. I experienced a peace from God that transcended all understanding. For the first time in my 29 years of living, I truly feel like my life has purpose. Mark and I experienced love, support, and prayers from our friends and family that we will NEVER get over, but will forever be grateful for. I learned how if felt to love two little people unconditionally. I fell in love with them the moment I laid eyes on them. I realized that God’s love for all of us was even deeper than the love I felt for Harper and Henry. Realizing this made me want to live a different way than before. In 2011, our young marriage was tested in a way that we never expected, and only by the grace of God I can say that those trials made us stronger.
In a way, I’m sad to see 2011 end, but I’m so excited to see what this New Year will bring. I’m not one to make resolutions and really stick with them, but I’m praying that in 2012, I will love others, and trust in God the way He has commanded us to do.
Please know that despite everything, Mark and I choose to see the JOY that this year has brought us and not dwell on the pain. We are thankful for this year because of what this year has taught us. God is real, and He is good! Even in the darkest of times, He is with us!
If you have made it this far through this long-winded post, I pray you find JOY in the year to come, despite the hardships that this life can bring. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Below is a little video that Mark and I did for Harper and Henry. It is terribly long, but so was the past year for us. This is our 2011 through pictures…