Two years ago today, we had been officially home study approved and waiting for 10 days. I was already growing impatient and wondering what in the world God had planned for our family.
4 hours away at midnight, Mary Elizabeth's mom was rushed into the hospital with placenta previa and in full labor. She was only 26 weeks pregnant and within 5 minutes, sweet Mary Elizabeth was born. She weighed only 1 lb. 4 oz. but was able to breath on her own until they got her to a hospital with a NICU. Amazing huh?
Fast forward two months later, to the day I got THE call. "Brea, there's a little girl in a NICU that needs a home" I heard my social worker say. As she listed the mountain of special needs this baby girl would have, I already knew she was our daughter even though I wasn't sure we could handle a child that would bring so many health issues to our family. I'll never forget calling Jonathan and telling him about her, knowing he wouldn't be open to it, but praying God would change his heart. Most importantly, I prayed that God would allow me to be submissive and not be mad at my husband when he said no. Sure enough, God did change his heart and on October 13 we brought our sweet Mary Elizabeth home. She weighed 4 lbs. 10 oz at 2 1/2 months old.
As I sit here today, I can't help but testify to the miracle that has been performed in her little body. Mary Elizabeth had a very severe brain bleed as a baby (very common in micro-preemies). The bleed caused fluid to build up in her brain and they had to do surgery to put in a shunt to drain the fluid. She will have that shunt the rest of her life. Because of the area where the bleed occurred, doctors assured us that M.E. would have have cerebral palsy. She also had a scar in her eye and doctors told us she was blind in that eye. She was at risk for infections and was exposed to many horrible things the first two months of her life in that NICU. Today I am proud to say that if M.E. has CP, it is a VERY MILD case only on her left side. She walks, talks, runs, jumps, dances and loves on her siblings. She is NOT blind in her eye...the scar moved as she grew and although she will probably need glasses at some point, she sees 20/20 right now. We've had one scare with a bug bite about a year ago, but other than that our baby girl is as healthy as a horse. Doctors are amazed that a baby born so early is so perfect in every way.
Her personality is contagious. She loves to tell everyone HI! that she comes into contact with. Her favorite activity is eating and although she is petite (22 lbs., 31 inches) she eats my other children under the table. She gets so excited at meal times that she claps her hands and yells "THANK YOU!" as you bring the food towards her in her high chair. She has the most amazing eyes, eyelashes and smile. Her best friend is her thumb and her blankee. When you ask her how old she is, she proudly says TWO but when I hold up two fingers, she believes that a sign that I want a high five and slaps my hand while saying "OH YEAH!"
If you can't tell, I love this little girl to pieces. She has changed me. She allowed me to let go and truly trust in God. I've watched Mary Elizabeth break down racial barriers, jump through physical hoops, and melt people's hearts. I am a better person because I am her mother.
Happy Birthday Mare Bear!