Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Art of Thanksgiving

For us the holidays will be more meaningful than ever. As all of you know we have had quite a year! Although our newest family member brings us tons of joy it has been a rocky journey. Looking back on the year brings me mixed feelings. Yes, I feel joy, love, and all the good things, but also a lot of pain, doubt, and tragedy. My pregnancy was not a time full of blissful anticipation, there was a lot of pain and worry. I remember envying surrounding pregnant women at Babies R Us as I registered or watching families with young kids running and playing outside and feeling like my life would never be that carefree (which is foolish of course! Who is to say that these people never had any of their own problems!) At one of my showers I remember my Aunt Kathy telling me that you've got to pray for strength because Satan tries to rob you of your joy. She doesn't know this, but those words really resonated with me. "Robbed" was exactly how I felt. In fact, it was consuming. There were times when I felt so robbed and entitled to what I didn't have that I would forget about all the miracles that God was doing in Carson's body, all the prayers and support from my surrounding community, all the mercy God was showing us, and all the things He provided I never even knew I needed.

Even today it's easy to slip back into those familiar feelings of doubt and mistrust. I don't know what Carson's future holds, and what issues we'll need to overcome. But I do know that being thankful is not circumstantial. It's a choice. Will I decide to feel robbed of things I think I deserve? Or will I choose to be thankful? When you focus on the blessings you realize just how thankful you can be.

Through Carson, God's gift, I have new convictions and passions. He has shown me a world that Carson's story can bless. God is good. This year I am thankful for so many things.
Photos taken by photographer, Ashley Malefyt. Check out her adoption journey at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

10 months old

I have to apologize for being late on some much needed posting. Everyone knows that the holiday season is a busy time, but with Carson on the loose it makes it even busier.

We are beginning to prepare ourselves for our first "therapy" session at the Conductive Learning Center. This place is difficult to describe, but it's kind of like physical therapy with a different type of approach. In fact, it is quite controversial especially to doctors and some other therapists. Yet I've heard a lot of good things about it particularly from parents whose children are enrolled. During December Carson and I will attend a 3 week intensive program. We'll be there every morning for 2 hours, which I'm told is tiring (for both parent and child) but also productive. Since it is a group session we'll get to see Carson's friends, Greyson and Whitney, and their moms of course:) I am excited to begin and hoping I won't be disappointed!

This past weekend we also journeyed to Livonia for a Spina Bifida Conference. For the first time ever we spent the night away from Carson. I was incredibly nervous that he would freak out, but he had a great time with his Grandma and Grandpa. I was told when I returned that he loved the bakery. Hmmm, I wonder what they fed him?

Anyway, the conference was great! It gave us a chance to meet and hear from new people. Some of them were adults with SB and it was incredibly encouraging to hear about their lives and careers. We ate lunch with a woman, Katie born with SB, who was married and gave birth to a healthy child three years ago. We had a great time traveling with Andy and Leigh. It was fun experiencing our first conference with them as we have gone through so much together already!

This past week we visited a new eye doctor. We had mixed feelings about our original doctor and upon leaving our appointment we were so glad we trusted our gut! Our new doctor found that Carson's current lens prescription was not near as strong as it should be. We'll be receiving his new glasses next week and hopefully we'll finally start to see some improvement! She also concluded that the eye patching is not necessary at this point.
Halloween was tons of fun with our little guy. We hope you enjoy the photos!