I promise that I haven't run away to some far off island in the middle of the ocean (yet!). Just when I thought that this year couldn't possibly get any crazier, it did. My wonderful sister-in-law, Renae, is a labor and delivery nurse going back to school to become a midwife. Last year she took time off work and came and stayed with me for the birth of my son. And not just a little bit. She stayed for three weeks. I was horribly grouchy most of that time and she still stayed. Luckily for me. She made such a tremendous difference in my birth experience and my life. I was overjoyed to have her share in that time with me and our family. Thanks Ian, for letting her stay with us.
Now Renae has given birth to her own precious little baby. Adalee was born on July 20th, seven weeks too early with a condition known as Trisomy 13. The prognosis might seem discouraging but little Addie isn't worried. She has been approaching each day with such joy and exuberance! She weighed just over 2 pounds at birth and she has steadily been gaining weight over the past couple of weeks. She had a PDA (a congenital heart defect) that has healed on its own, a substantial hole in her scalp that is closing up without plastic surgery and after a brief time on the ventilator she is now breathing well on her own.
I can't begin to explain how much we all love this beautiful little girl. She has shown such strength and love in the short time she's been with us. I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with her and her Mommy and Daddy this past week. It was a very humbling experience. Ian and Renae are so proud of their daughter and with good reason. She is perfect. Adalee has brought our family closer together and closer to God. She has touched each one of us so profoundly there aren't enough words in the universe to describe it. I can only say that for me, being near Addie feels like standing in the palm of His hand and feeling His breath on my face.
Please say a prayer (or two or a hundred) for Adalee's continued journey. Please pray for her health to continue to improve, specifically that her brain continues to instruct the rest of her body to function normally. Pray for the health of her Mommy and Daddy, to guide the hands and hearts of her caregivers while she stays in the NICU and that everyone who meets her continues to be so blessed.
Here are a few pictures of Addie. Shared of course, with her parents permission.
Adalee has her own Bible verse. This is not it. This is a verse I came across this morning that reminded me of her.
You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the Living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come into the presence of God. (Hebrews 12;22-23).