Thursday, December 16, 2010



When we brought Brooklyn home the other day, the first thing Emma did was kiss the stitches on her head. She didn't grimace like I did; she wasn't scared. She just gave her sister a little love because, well, that's what big sisters do... especially when they haven't seen their little sister in a few days.

When Kendall saw the shunt for the first time, she said, "That's so cool" and giggled. She gave her "Brookie" a quick hug and skipped off to play.

I know they don't totally get it, but in many ways, they get it so much more than I do.

They teach me so much, these little ones.

Love. Acceptance. Peace.

This isn't easy, but it doesn't have to be complicated.

I am learning that life isn't always about totally "getting it" because let's face it, sometimes "it" just doesn't make sense at all. And many times, "it" just isn't fair.

"It" is about finding the love, the joy, the giggle.

And then trusting that in time, the understanding will come.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Isaiah 55:8-9

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Home Safe and Sound

Right before the first snowflake fell last night, we pulled in our driveway, rockstar in tow.

We are home. Thank you, God!

At first I was a little nervous about going home so quickly, but the neurosurgeons convinced me that because Brooklyn was doing so great that it was actually better for her to recover in her home environment -- it's more comfortable and it's healthier. So just 24 hours after her surgery, we were on our way home. We even got home in time to tuck the girls in bed. What a blessing.

Brooklyn is doing really well and doesn't seem to mind the shunt. Jeff and I are still getting used to seeing it. We expected it to be smaller and unnoticeable, but it is actually quite large and sticks out of the back of her head. As she gets hair, you won't be able to see it, but for now, it does take us back a little. You can also feel the tube as it travels down her body to her stomach, which is a little strange. It all still makes my knees a bit weak.

BUT it is helping her. Her head size has already come down, and the veins in her head aren't nearly as large and dark as they were. Her soft spot is truly soft and she seems to be the same old Brooklyn. I tell you that nothing brought more joy to our hearts than seeing her smile yesterday morning...her way of telling us that all is truly well.

There is a bit more to worry about now that she has a shunt, but assuming things continue on the path they are on now, Brooklyn should have a BETTER quality of life moving forward.

I do have a lot more to share, but I really want to enjoy my family today, so that will all have to wait a little while. I just wanted to let you all know that we are home and say THANK YOU so very, very, very (very!) much for all of your prayers. You have no idea what a comfort it was sending our daughter off to surgery knowing we had an ARMY of warriors praying for her. Your many prayers not only covered and protected Brooklyn, they covered and filled Jeff and I as well.

We are humbled, blessed, and forever grateful to all of you. May He bless you as you have all blessed us!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Brooklyn Update: Surgery on Friday

So after 4 months of waiting it out, the time has come for Brooklyn to get a shunt. We were hoping she wouldn't need one, but her head size is continuing to grow and has reached a point where we need to intervene.

Basically, brain and spinal fluid is slowly collecting in her head, which is causing it to grow at an increasing rate. The good news is that she has never exhibited any negative symptoms due to the slow build-up, but if we don't stop it at some point, there could be complications for her down the road. It is also a good thing that we waited as long as we did because her body is now older and stronger, which decreases the chance for infection.

So the decision was made late yesterday to have the surgery this coming Friday. A shunt will be placed in the top of Brooklyn's head that will drain all the way into her stomach. Jeff and I feel confident that this the right thing to do, and trust that God will protect Brooklyn throughout this major surgery. What a peace to know that He is in control!

So far, it looks like the surgery will be at 3pm on Friday. We ask that you pray for complete success during and after the surgery and that there is no infection or adverse reactions to the shunt. Sometimes, the brain can go into "shock" after the surgery, which could cause seizures, so please pray that this does not happen. We also ask that you pray for Emma and Kendall, as Jeff and I will be at the hospital for about 2 days.

We also found out yesterday that Brooklyn's foot surgery wasn't completely successful, so she will have to have another larger surgery right before her 1st birthday, which means more casting. This was a little discouraging, but our orthopedic surgeon said the serial casting we've already done was completely successful in correcting her knees and her hips. Her feet also look sooo much better, so this is (hopefully) the final step in making them ready for walking! :)

Please know that even though the end result is not what we prayed for, Jeff and I feel God's hands in this, and we know He is still guiding our journey. In fact, God slowly prepared my heart for this news in the last few days, and Jeff is actually feeling relief. Please pray that His peace continues to fill our hearts. We never thought we'd be taking our baby in for brain surgery, but we also feel so grateful to live in a day and age where they have so many ways to heal and help our Brooklyn.

Also be encouraged that our little rock star is thriving and doing all of her baby jobs very well! She is growing like a weed and is smiling all the time. Jeff has even gotten her to giggle a few times! Her personality is really starting shine through, and we are loving every minute of it! :) Through Brooklyn, God has shown us what a precious miracle children truly are, and we feel so blessed to have a renewed perspective on life.

As always, thank you for your prayers!!! We will keep you posted on Friday's surgery.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Foto Friday: Jammies in 3D

I think it's funny how much people say the girls look alike. Honestly, I only see the differences. BUT I do see a lot of Emma in Brooklyn...much more than I ever saw in Kendall.

Anyway, I thought I'd let you all be the judges. Here are all three of my little ladies in my all-time favorite jammies. Granted, Emma is only 6 weeks old, so it's not quite a fair comparison, but you get the point.

Have a great weekend everyone! Hope you get to hang out in your favorite jammies!

Brooklyn, 3.5 months old

kendall pink

Kendall, 3 months old

emma pink

Emma, 1.5 months old