Saturday, May 12, 2018

Taking Steps

When I was about 3 months pregnant with Baylor, barely even showing a bump, my brother in law's father approached Christian and I at a Thanksgiving party and said that he had a word for us.  Keep in mind that this is someone we see maybe once or twice a year, someone who barely knows us. He is a pastor and a faithful man who loves the Lord with all his heart.  He told us that the Lord told him that Christian and I were being called in the ministry of something having to do with special needs children. He said that he believed that in our future, somehow or someway, we would deal with children with disabilities.   At the time, Christian and I smiled politely and thanked him for his words...we weren't really sure what the heck that meant!  We had never, ever considered or even had it cross our minds...special needs was so far off our radar.  I never even once considered that the child I was carrying at that exact moment would have any disabilities or challenges.  We totally just took that moment for granted and moved on.  

Fast forward to about 6 months later when we have a preemie with health issues and it becomes clear to me that Baylor is different.  I begin to think back to that word from Mr. Steve, but again I tuck it far away.  To be honest, special needs children in general has always made me uncomfortable.  It is not something that anyone really knows how to deal with and even when I just see a child who is different, I usually just smile and move on quickly.  It's just human nature...different makes us uncomfortable.  

At 10 months old, I absolutely knew Baylor had something wrong.  Call it mother's intuition or a gut feeling, but I knew without a doubt Baylor had Cerebral Palsy.  After an MRI confirmed that Baylor did indeed have moderate to severe brain damage, I knew our lives would never be the same.  Those spoken, prophetic words were front and center in my heart and mind.  

Here we are about 8 months after the original diagnosis and our precious Baylor is doing wonderful.  He makes strides every single day and his progress has baffled many professionals.  Baylor has beat every odd and he is doing things we didn't think we would see for many more years.  I have no doubt that Baylor will still struggle every single day to do things that others are able to do freely, but I also know he will rise to the challenge.  Everything he does...he does with a supernatural sense of joy.  He never...ever gets discouraged or lets his disability get him down.  He smiles all day long, whether exhausted, behind or even hurting...he continues to smile.  Seriously...he is the happiest little guy ever. 

So with as much progress as Baylor made, I have many different feelings that arise.  Extreme happiness that my little man is doing so well, excitement that Baylor is overcoming the odds, but also some guilt and sadness for the many others who aren't able to overcome their disability as well as Baylor.  

Lately Christian and I have been discussing what exactly God has in store for our story.  We honestly don't believe Baylor is the end to what God wants to do in our family...we strongly believe he is just the beginning...the catalyst that will propel us into further action.  We are seeking God's guidance because we know the knowledge and resources that have been given to us when it comes to cerebral palsy are something that we need to take and use for God's glory.  What does that look like...we aren't really sure.  Does that mean we begin some sort of foundation or group for local families who are walking this up-and-down roller coaster that is CP?  Does that mean we begin a walk or race to raise funds and awareness for this illness?  Does that even mean that one day we adopt another child, perhaps from another country, who otherwise wouldn't have the resources to deal with the disability?  We honestly don't know...but we do know that we have to take steps towards God's ultimate plan for us.  Please pray for us as we research, pray and learn more about where Baylor's incredible story will lead. 

In the meantime of trying to figure out our next steps...we are rejoicing over our sweet man's progress.  He is a fighter in every sense of the word and he amazes us daily with his attitude and determination.  I am so proud to call him mine.  

Love you Baylor are my hero.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

My Happy Place

We took our annual "us only" beach trip which is always something I look forward to all year long.  There is just something about the beach that makes me relax and soak in the sweetness that is my family.  I just love watching my children experience the thrill of the ocean, the waves and the sand.  It is honestly getting more fun now that they are getting a little older.  Aubrey absolutely loved the water...we couldn't get her out of the waves.  I just love her braveness and adventurous spirit...she definitely is my child...lover of water!  

The boys enjoyed the beach too, just not quite as much.  The only way we really could keep them satisfied was to give them lots of snacks.  Baylor was content to just stay in his inflatable pool, free from the sand.  HAHA!  

These crazies are so sweet, so special and so much fun.  I just eat up every single second with them and the season of life we are in right now. I wanted nothing more in life than to be a mom, and these three make my dreams pale in comparison to my reality.  I am just so blessed and thankful for these memories and the special moments I will remember forever.

Random facts about our beach trip...

We listened to the Greatest Showman CD at least three complete times on the ride there and back....Aubrey and Weston can belt out every single song.  

Not to mention, Christian played the Greatest Showman on the beach and Aubrey and Weston were doing the songs and dances...musical theater style on the beach.  No shame.

Christian, Aubrey and Weston went crabbing and caught a crab.  Weston named it Max Moots and then cried like a baby when they let him go.  He apparently wanted to bring his new friend to show and tell.

A few ladies came up to us on our last day and told us they voted us "the cutest family on the beach" award.  We were very honored...we took our accomplishment very seriously...even if they were kinda tipsy.

Baylor took his very first steps in the sand...he wasn't a huge fan, the uneven ground made him unsteady but he did take a few steps!  

Christian bought a wagon that could carry all of our beach things... chairs, toys, towels, umbrellas, etc.  I honestly don't think I have seen Christian so excited. I could have offered him a million dollars and I don't think he would have traded it for that cart.  He couldn't believe how fabulous the cart made it to get to and from the beach. Total game changer for him.

We went to eat one evening out by the bay and they had a pirate ship that came by and shot a canon, had real pirates and even squirted them with water.  Well Weston Hayes did NOT like the fact that they squirted him with water.  He was very upset and highly offended.  Oops!  

Baylor Jace has discovered Mickey Mouse on the television/phone and he is obsessed.  One morning he woke up (he was in our room in the pack and play) around 6 am and was standing in his bed yelling "mickey...mickey"!  It wasn't really funny at 6 am but it was later. 

My Aubrey Lane is such a friend maker. She is so sweet and friendly...she can make friends in any situation.  She met a friend on the beach and it was just too precious. They played together for hours.  I laughed because she met her on the beach and they played for a while, but then she saw her later at the pool and Aubrey went up to her and said, "hey it's me Aubrey...I'm the girl from the beach, I just have a new swim suit on, I just wanted to make sure you knew it was me!"

These were just a few special tidbits I want to was such a great thankful we can make special memories!  Back to life...back to reality.  Bye Bye Beach...see ya in a few weeks!!!