Wow! Another month gone by and I have failed to write anything - documented it all with photos but failed at the written part. Photos seem to be my life these days - taking them, cleaning them, scanning them, uploading them... I'm a photo junkie and there is no rehab setup for someone like me! Probably a rehab for every other addiction under the sun but none for "photo fascination". I will do my best to make up for my lack of entries after I take a photo of myself in a straight jacket!!
Our photo scanning is picking up all the time and we are meeting really fun people and helping them with some great projects. I am still making time to work on our scrapbooks and enter stuff at the fair. Everyone has made fun of me entering the "Spam" contest but the grand prize was a trip to Hawaii. That was my only shot getting back there and unfortunately, I fell a little short(or a lot short if you want to be realistic)! Poor Angie was SO disappointed. The sweet thing is - it wasn't because we didn't win, it was because she knew how sad I would be not to get to go back to Hawaii. Angie has heard me talk of Kawaii so much she is sick of it! She was so worried that I would melt down to a pile of tears after the judging - she just looked at me with such sympathy! She came up with every phrase she could think of to comfort me - it really made the competition worth every can of Spam we had to eat to find a recipe good enough to enter! My brownies(actually my sister JoAnna's recipe) took 3rd place and my family tree took 2nd place so I will be bringing home ribbons this year and that was fun! Finn slept through some of the fair but managed to slurp down her bottle during the Spam judging. It was a fun day. Kawaii will just have to wait a bit longer for my return...(I'm always on the lookout for a contest or a briefcase full of cash though, so if you hear of anything...)
Finn had her first Swim Class yesterday. SHE LOVED IT!! (see the Smilebox below for all the pictures)I wasn't feeling well so Angie stepped in for me. We have got to find a warm pool this summer to get her in. She moves so well in the water and she's light enough for us to hold her! It is nothing but pure joy to see her so happy. She enjoys the simplest of things - something I am learning to do through her eyes! What a blessing that is. My friend Cindy has been after me for years to simplify and enjoy...I think I get it now.
I still find my moments of grief amidst the joy that I can't quite put words too. I wonder what Finn would be doing at this age if all had gone as "normal" with her birth. Would she be talking by now? Would she be running or still holding onto my fingers to walk? Would she be trying to sing the nursery rhymes we recite? Would she be able to hug me and say mama? Would she be climbing at the park and sliding down the slide by herself yet? It's sometimes hard to see healthy babies and kids doing all normal stuff - hitting their milestones etc. Life and the daily tasks come so easily for them. It is so hard for me to watch Finn put so much effort just to roll over a quarter of the way, never quite getting that extra bit to push herself to half way there. It's grieving for the things she was supposed to do - the dreams we all carry for our babies. Since I've never had another "healthy" baby, I wonder what it would be like. At the same time, this is all I've known and I wouldn't trade a second of it. Finnley is such a blessing and a reminder that God listens to our prayers - all of them. She is our daily does of miracle...
I look back to see what progress she has made over the last year and she has made huge strides in her development. She smiles through rigorous daily therapy and countless appointments and I am so amazed at her sweet disposition. Finnley teaches me each day that you can keep going with smile as long as you have somebody to love.
One of her therapists told me that parents seem to always strive for what the doctors have told them their children can't have. Like if their child is dependent on a feeding tube, the parent does everything in their power to get them to eat real food, even if it's physically impossible. It becomes almost a mission of sorts. Until I had Finn I would have wondered why that was so important. Their child is staying alive with the feeding tube, what's the big deal? The big deal turns out to be that someone is setting limitations on your child that has defied all odds and overcome so much in their short little, blessed life. Heavenly Father has been with her from the beginning and it's not my place to interrupt the miracles He wants to work in her life. My doctors have told me all of the "She'll never" and She wont's" - and it just propels me further to be open to great things happening. On some level, I know they are right(about some things) but on a gut level - how can I miss one opportunity to research another study, find other therapy, medication, diet, or an exercise that could give her one extra bit of something. My baby is worth every ounce of effort, no matter how hopeless others may see it. The Lord is her strength as much as He is mine- giving in or giving up are just not options.
So I may cry in private and mourn in a way for "what could have been" but when I come back to the "teething induced damp spot" on my shoulder, I remember what a blessing is that wet my shoulder is wet. Finnley is here - when they said she wouldn't be - praise be to God for that mighty miracle... Cherish the healthy ones in your life - they are miracles too!