A sparrow when I'm broken, and eagle when I fly.....

Welcome to my world. I am an ordinary wife and mom who has been extraordinarily blessed by an amazing husband and house full of beautiful children. My prayer is that you will be somehow blessed by our family's story. It is a tale of God's grace and forgiveness...His loving kindness and patience with us His children as we strive & struggle everyday to bless His name with our lives

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bittersweet Birthday Photos



October 23rd was Jonathan's birthday. Here I am with tiny newborn Jonathan the day I met him three years ago. What a glorious day. Even looking at this photo three years later I can hardly believe what our great God did when He gave us Jonathan as a son. Here is Jonathan two years ago with his creme puff 1st Birthday Cake. What a grin he had! He was doing so well at one year old. He was almost all weaned off of oxygen support and close to finished wearing the helmet to reshape his skull. One of the cool things for moms about having a child with Down Syndrome is they stay a "baby" a bit longer. You can see here in the photo that he was being propped up a bit with towels in the highchair...he wasn't quite able to sit up perfectly yet.



Here is our boy last year on his 2nd birthday. He had become ill the previous January and was diagnosed with aplastic anemia. Jonathan and I had spent most of the previous ten months in and out of the hospital. He had gone through so much suffering by the time his birthday rolled around. We were waiting for his bone marrow transplant at this point. I wept with joy and worry this day. I hadn't realized that a big part of me doubted he would survive to make it to his 2nd birthday. It was a wonderful celebration. We went all out on presents for him. I searched and shopped online for every sort of wham-a-dine top rated musical toy ever made. Those toys sure came in handy the next six months. He loved those toys so much. This year the end of October we went to Goldendale again just like we did last year with Jonathan. Last year we were trying to make some good family memories before Jonnie and I left for Seattle for the long haul of the transplant. This year without Jonathan we went because it is our "happy place". We have such a great time up in the woods. It is nice to remember being there with Jonathan. This photo is taken the first time he pulled himself up to standing....one day after his 2nd birthday in Goldendale. We all were so excited and clapping and whooping for joy for his accomplishment. He was pretty thrilled too!


It doesn't seem like enough to just ever have two birthdays does it? I am thankful for the two we had with him though. Our new son Gezehegn's birthday was two days after Jonathan's. Next year when he turns four he will have his first ever birthday cake with us. Our adopted children who came home at all ages had their first ever birthday cake and party after they joined our family. I know that in most parts of the world birthdays aren't celebrated the way we do here in the U.S. I do imagine that the birth mother's of our adopted children that are still living remember those special days as they pass each year. I think of them on our kid's birthdays and say a prayer for them....hoping they know the gift we have been given with their child. Do they know how thankful we are?! I imagine that Jonathan's birth mother remembered his day this year with sadness and some regrets too. I hope somehow she knows how amazingly wonderful he was. How happy he made us and everyone who met him. He may have only had two birthdays, but those two years were full up to the brim with fun and joy. If lives are measured with the love created and shared in them...Jonathan's life was a full one.

3 comments:

MP said...

I have read the different blogs you have written about your precious one but this was the first time I have really seen pictures of him and I was overcome with emotions. He is sooooo beautiful. How truly blessed you are. How happy he must be, to be running around heaven laughing with complete joy.
Gods Blessings on you and all your precious family.

Carolyn T said...

Julee,
What an incredible love you all have...Your momma heart is such an inspiration....and Jonathan....how could his angel face and smile not be an inspiration to other families to be blessed by a child with Down's Syndrome....God designed for him to live on in so many ways....What a vessel God has in you to continue such a beautiful legacy.....of love and commitment....Bless you heart and your family as I am sure the grief is difficult especially at pivotal dates....You are all so loved! Your lives and Jonathan's have had impact that is indescribable, all for HIM and HIS kingdom!
Love,
Carolyn

Dolores said...

Much love to you and your family, Julee.