Thursday, May 6, 2010


I wrote this post a year ago in honor of my mom, and wanted to post it on here for journaling purposes (it is already posted on our care page).  I also know some of you are new to the blog so you might not have read it anyway.  And no matter what, this weekend is Mother's Day, and there's no better time to honor mothers and grandmothers everywhere... oh, and I added a few new pictures just for fun!
I think it is quite obvious, for people who have been following our journey for a while, how much we love and adore Andrew. How amazing we think he is. That we believe he is only here with us because of the grace of God and the miracle that HE gave us. He allowed us to keep Andrew with us. He held Andrew’s heart in HIS hands while the surgeons worked for 12 hours to keep him alive. He gave me the greatest honor imaginable.

He allowed me to be a MOTHER.

I was fortunate enough to have been blessed with an amazing mother myself. I am her only child, and we have always had that special “mother-daughter” bond. Many people who know my mom and me would say that we look exactly alike. We act the same. We laugh the same. We even think alike, because often we will say the same thing at the exact same time.

Mom and I have this special relationship that is almost more sister-like. We have always been a close family, and I always knew I could tell my mom anything (although, if I really wanted something I’d know to ask dad first!) Many nights when I would come home after being out with friends, she’d be asleep in my bed, the lamp softly lit, with her book and glasses placed carefully in her hands. She always wanted to hear about my night, no matter what time it was. (Ok, maybe this was a ploy because she knew I’d have to wake her up… so she’d know if I was late getting home!) But seriously though, I have learned more than I could ever have imagined from my mother. She is a giver. The most unselfish person I know. She thinks of others before herself and she would do anything in the world for me.
My mom has this neighbor. She is a single woman with no family and she is often lonely. I remember many times my mom has been kind and offered friendship to this woman. But one evening I remember in particular. We were having some family over for dinner. It was around Christmastime and mom had cooked a scrumptious dinner (I didn’t mention that my mom is also the BEST cook I know…although she doesn’t enjoy doing it!). I’ll never forget her fixing a special plate of food and taking it over to the lonely lady next door. Before she even ate herself. There are many moments like this one that I have watched her kind heart in action. And it has made a lasting impression on me. She has taught me more than she knows. I strive to be just like my mother. Sure we are “alike” already in so many ways. But I want my HEART to be as big and kind as hers is.

And I can only hope that I am the same mommy to Andrew as she was to me.
  My mother’s hand is on top of mine, and Andrew is holding her thumb… Beautiful.

I don’t know if there are even words to describe the kind of grandmother she is to Andrew. She has not missed one moment of Andrew’s life. She has been there from the moment he was born, through every surgery and procedure, never leaving his side. Many nights in the hospital she would be the one to hold him all night to give Craig and I a much-needed break, not sleeping more than a few minutes herself. Back when Andrew was a baby and got sick one night when Craig was working and I was alone, she got right in the car and drove to be with us (and believe me, this happened on more than one occasion!) Andrew and his Ga Ga have an indescribable bond.
It is so fun for me to watch my mom being a grandma to Andrew. He just adores his Ga Ga. He wants to be with her all the time, and he gets sad when she leaves. He’ll stand at the window, his little face pressed against the screen and just say in the saddest voice, over and over, “Bye Bye GA GA!” We are so blessed to have her live so close to us, so she can spend lots of time with us! Not a day goes by that I don’t talk to my mom to tell her some funny Andrew story (or ask her a “cooking question,” right mom?! Ha!). And two days rarely go by without seeing her in person! We often laugh because we almost see each other more now than when I was in high school and living at home! I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This weekend is a time for us to honor mothers.  And grandmothers.
 Mother's Day Weekend 2009
I had a desire to be a mother long before I was actually ready to be one. I have loved children my whole life (thus, teaching seemed the most appropriate profession for me!) But deep down I knew that being a mother was going to be my true calling. When the time actually came (you know, the traditional “I met and fell in love with a wonderful man, got married…” it was just the next natural step) it didn’t come easy for me. Most things in life had always come pretty easy to me, and I was not prepared for this bump in the road. I would say it was the first of many lessons I have learned that have made me a better person today than I was then. It has given me a greater appreciation for things, and made me realize even more the miracle that Andrew is. God definitely used this trial in my life to teach me to trust HIM, and to cherish the child that HE would give me one day.
I so desperately wanted to be a mother. I would watch other mothers with their children and just be so envious. It became hard for me to attend baby showers, or even go in baby boutiques. I couldn’t walk through the children’s sections of any stores without tearing up. And seeing another pregnant woman was like feeling my heart being torn in two. I could barely handle it. This went on for almost 2 years. Two long, excruciating years of negative pregnancy tests and failed attempts at fertility drugs that were doing crazy things to my body (just ask my old students who would have to sit with their winter coats on while I blasted the fan on myself with our classroom door cracked open in the dead of winter!  Ha!)

I longed to carry a child. To feel what it was like. I couldn’t begin to imagine the feeling it would be to KNOW there was another little person, inside ME, alive. With a tiny heart beating. But reality was setting in that it just might not happen for us. I refused to believe that God had not intended for me to be a mother. And when I finally let God take over and I began to trust in HIM, that is when He blessed us. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling I felt when our doctor finally called with the news. Pure JOY. It almost felt like I could walk on water. I am positive there is no feeling like it in the world.

Then there was the part about being a mother that I wasn’t prepared for. The “heart” mommy part. I wasn’t prepared to not get the chance to hold my son the moment he was born. For them to place him in my arms as I kiss him gently.
  This is the first time I held Andrew- he was already one day old.

I wasn’t prepared to see him so tiny (3 lb 13 oz to be exact!) lying in that little bed with only a hole in the side for me to touch him. I didn’t know that getting to just hold him in my arms was going to be such a task, dodging tubes and wires and oxygen machines. I wasn’t prepared to watch the doctors wheel my son down the long hallway for his first of many open-heart surgeries. I definitely wasn’t prepared for how that was going to feel.

Hadn’t I already learned my “lesson”… to cherish this precious life inside me more than life itself?

That was only the beginning. God wanted to teach me more.

And He did. So much more. So much more than I could have ever hoped, or imagined, or dreamed of.

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers...and grandmothers... especially my own.

We love you, mom!


Traci66 said...

I am here via Friday Follow and decided to follow you. I hope you will check me out. I am #112 Traci66 on Mr. Linky or I am having my first giveaway aldo, it is on my right sidebar at the top. I hope you will join in on the giveaway. I also have several more giveaways lined up. Happy Friday-Traci

connie and adam said...

You and your mother do look alot a like. You are the perfect mother and a strong one too. I am glad that God gave you a chance to be that mother. Thank you for your advice on adam's blog. Happy Mother's Day to you.

Denise said...

Following you over from Friday Follow!

Stop by and enter my giveaway:

Mellisa said...

As a NICU nurse turned stay at home mom, I was touched by your brave little man's story! I am following you from FF! I hope you will stop by my site and follow me too! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

Evelyn said...

Happy Friday Follow. Your story was very touching, thank you for sharing.

Marice said...

following u from FF! Feel free to visit me here:
Life Can't Wait and Up Now and What's Next


Something tells me you are and will be a fantastic mother.

Happy Friday Follow. Following you now on GFC as Thrifty Canucks #95

Please check out my blog and follow if you can

Momma Teri said...

Visiting from Friday Follow.
We now follow you publicly through google friend connect. Please visit Mom to Bed by 8 and do the same.

Ron Cooper said...

Happy Mother’s Day!

I’m now a Friday-follower! Please follow back.

My latest postings are, “Simple Gesture,” “Smiles,” “Spring,” “A Feast,” “Love Lifts,” “Wake Up to Serve” and “Soul-itude.”

Stefenie said...

Hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day Jen! {{{HUG}}}


ShannonLeideker said...

What a beautiful post!

The Carter's said...

That was beautiful Jen! Happy Mother's Day!!

Erin Burton said...

I love all the pictures on this post... how sweet and special to have! LOVE IT!

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