God doesn't give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people and then gives them strength. Raising a child with special needs doesn't take a special family, it makes a special family.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wow I can't believe it's been so long! It seems like the month of December flew by and here we are about to begin a new year.

As 2011 comes to a close, it's a perfect time to reflect on the year that's gone by so quickly. At the start of this year, I wasn't really sure what 2011 would bring, but I knew it would bring change. That biggest change was Brenden starting school, and I'm sure you remember how much of a nervous wreck I was. Looking back all that worry was for nothing. He loves school. He has come so far in so many ways and I am so thankful for his teachers.

We also celebrated an important milestone in 2011, when in August, Brenden had gone a full year with no surgeries, no hospitalizations, and no trips to the ER. That was the first time since he was born. We actually only made four trips to UVA in 2011, which is pretty amazing. The first two years of Brenden's life, there were times we made 4 or 5 trips in a month, sometimes 2 or 3 trips in a week. So only four times in a year, is huge for us. Not to mention all the gas money we saved!

We celebrated healing of the instability in Brenden's cervical spine and in the coming year, we hope to celebrate the healing of the cyst on his spine. Just a few short months until we go for another MRI, so join us in prayer for God's continued healing in Brenden.

In 2011 Jonathan graduated with his Associate Degree in Criminal Justice and is continuing on to earn his Bachelor's and will likely go on to earn his Master's. When we first met, he told me he always regretted not pursuing college, so he is able to fulfill a long time goal.

I was blessed with the ability to run my first half as well as my first full marathon. I plan to continue running to benefit the SBA as it allows me to do something to benefit so many close to my heart. In the past three years, I have headed up over $11,000 in fundraising efforts for the SBA and hope to continue making a difference for the future of SB.

This past year little Miss Madelynn has become quite the little firecracker. She has definitely developed a personality and is turning into quite the diva. She's very into everything girly: makeup, hair bows, baby dolls. She's very opinionated with what she wants to wear....and doesn't want to wear. She climbs. On everything. She jumps. Off everything. She loves to help with dishes. She loves to sit on the bathroom counter while I'm getting ready. Apparently she gets her attitude and dirty looks from me, but I'm not quite sure I buy that. She loves Brenden and is always ready to lend him a helping hand. The last thing she does before bed every night is run out to give him hugs and kisses. I just had her a shirt made that reads "I may be his little sister, but I'm his biggest fan." So very true.

This past year I have had the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of so many families preparing to join us on the SB journey. I started this blog because Jonathan's cousin had one to keep family updated on their journey of adoption. I always loved reading hers, and thought it would be a great way for me to keep family updated as well. I never imagined to fall so in love with blogging, but it has allowed me to share our story. It has saved the lives of unborn babies diagnosed with SB. It has given hope to other families and that's really become my main focus. I hope and pray that 2012 brings even greater opportunities to reach out to other families.


"The Popham's" said...

Michelle, I am so thankful for your blog, it brings me joy!!! I hate that I didn't see you guys over Christmas!! Happy New Year!!!! Love you all!

Uncle Larry/Aunt Barb said...

2011 a year of many firsts and now 2012 is here and we are excited to see where God leads us. I am like Gina, I love the blogs , it keeps us connected !!!!!