Two

It’s the age all preemie parents cannot quite fathom when they’re holding their tiny newborn in the NICU.

As monitors beep and whoosh and hum, you hear the doctors say, “By two, your little one will catch up to his or her peers…by two, you won’t have to adjust his or her age for development…by two, most people won’t even know he or she was a preemie.”

Two seems forever away when you’re just celebrating one more ounce gained, one more millimeter of milk digested, one more day before you get to go home.

And yet, here we are. Already and finally at two years old. What a victorious birthday today is for you, my son.

Many of the little and big miracles I could not even hope to dream of during those early days after your birth have already come to pass.

You’re a miracle by God’s great design.

And tonight, as I gaze upon your sweet, sleeping frame, everything becomes blurry. And all I hear is this broken, whispered prayer spilling forth from this momma’s full heart before the feet of an Almighty, merciful God…

Thank you…thank you…thank you for the gift of this life, our son, Your son. Thank you for giving us the privilege of raising this child for You. Thank you for deeming us worthy to walk this road, to grow our faith in the very best way. Thank you for being Emmanuel God, for showing us the Father’s heart, the power of prayer, and the strength that comes from leaning on brothers and sisters to believe in the impossible.

Thank you for Your promise. And thank you for not giving up on us when we didn’t believe…when we were close to losing all hope…when we forgot Your promise. Thank you for Your faithfulness to our family through every valley and mountaintop.

And most of all, thank you for the gift of Your son. By His death and resurrection, we have new life. We have hope for healing. We have faith to believe in the impossible. We are children of the living, Creator God. And because of that greatest gift, we are the family we are today.

Four surgeries, 10 weeks in the NICU, countless doctors appointments, and many, many prayers later…here you are, sweet boy.

You are living proof of the power of prayer. You are everything God promised us when He said that you would be a child full of joy.

Your appa and I are so blessed to be your parents in this pilgrimage. We love you, baby boy. Happy birthday 🙂

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We’ve Come a Long Way // An Update on Josiah

I can hardly believe it’s already July and this is only my fourth post this year!

Actually, well yes, I can believe it.  Because despite all of my good intentions and the many blog ideas that are recorded on my phone, my days are now mostly filled with this kind of fun…

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Don’t even get me started on the time I found him in the living room, in his birthday suit, playing with his diaper…the diaper I had just put on him about 30 seconds earlier.

Thank the good Shepherd there was no poop in that diaper! 🙂

Speaking of poop, a lot has happened since my last post about Josiah‘s progress after his last surgery in January. Read more…

Celebrating Our Miracle // An Update on Josiah

Hi world!

I know, it’s been a long while since I’ve posted anything.  Is it just me or is 2018 flying by?

We’ve had so many beloved family and friends asking about our not-so-little-anymore miracle boy and his progress post-surgery.  Now that we are nearly three months post-op, it’s due time that I sent out a little update.

Long story, short…he’s doing REALLY well!  PTL! 🙂 Read more…

The End & The Beginning // An Update on Josiah

A year ago, I could not fathom how we were going to get through 2017.  We were just about to leave the NICU after 9 weeks, knowing that we would make the hospital our second home with the multiple surgeries and follow up appointments Josiah would need.

Yet, here we are a year later, three surgeries down and only one more to go.

It was only possible by the grace of God and by your prayers.  Truly.

And as we head into this last surgery, we are anchoring our souls on that truth once more.  That His grace is truly sufficient enough for us and the prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective.

So, what does this last surgery look like and what does it mean for Josiah? Read more…

Josiah’s Doljanchi (Traditional Korean First Birthday Celebration)

The older I get, the more I am learning how to appreciate and truly enjoy my Korean heritage.  Two factors also help – the fact that I married a guy who was born and raised in South Korea and…my very, VERY Korean grandmother. 🙂  For those of you with a Korean g-ma, you know what I’m talking about!

Anywho, last month was our little boy’s first birthday!  And I spent weeks and weeks waist-high in glitter, hot glue guns, polyester filling, and beans.  But it was completely worth it.  You’ll see what I mean below. Read more…

Dear Son, Today You’re One…

Last night, I started to remember the hours that led up to your sudden entrance into this world.  I pulled up the note that I still have on my phone where I documented every hour that I was feeling what I thought were Braxton-Hicks contractions.  Looking back, I should have realized I was in preterm labor.  But in the hazy fog of pain, my brain just couldn’t even fathom the idea that you would be born at 29 weeks.  So early…too soon.

Every time I drive past the hospital where you were born, I remember your dad speeding down the highway at 3:30am…and that’s when I realized you were coming.  November 20th would be your birthday.

I still remember the moment you were born and the nurses found your heartbeat.  You were alive.  All 2 lbs and 6 oz of you was alive and ready to fight for survival.

They asked us what your name would be.  Daddy and I looked at each other and we knew exactly who you were meant to be.  Josiah.  It was God’s promise to us – “Jehovah Has Healed.”

Those early weeks in the NICU were a blur.  Every day we stepped into your little hospital nursery we didn’t know if it would be a good day or a hard day.  We definitely had our fair share of both.

But eventually we fell into a rhythm in the NICU.  And your little corner of the hospital became mommy’s bittersweet sanctuary.  It was my season of sitting in the refiner’s fire.  It’s where I started to learn that sometimes we don’t know the answer to “why?”  But in that tension of what is and what truly is, that is often where we find the greatest treasure.

And then, after 9 weeks in the NICU, you finally came home!  And that’s when it really started. 🙂

Those newborn days of over-exhaustion and total inadequacy.  Of looking at myself in the mirror and realizing that motherhood simultaneously ruins you and rebirths you.

But also realizing that the whole “the days are long but the years are short” and “babies don’t keep” are all true.  One day, this would all be a thing of the past.  And it made me try harder to treasure each moment, to mentally capture exactly what I felt when you first laughed, to breathe in your scent after a nighttime bath.

We had our everyday days.  Days filled with playing outside and learning new things.  And we had our hard days.  Days in the hospital, surgery after surgery, realizing that this was also a part of our reality.

But looking at you now, all I see is a sweet, smiling miracle.

Son, your life is living proof that God is good.  Every breath you take and every ounce you gain is living proof that God loves to do the impossible.  Every moment you learn something new and every time you continue to defy the odds and medical expectations, you are living proof that God has the final word.

So, thank you son.  Thank you for coming into our lives and turning everything upside down.  Thank you for giving your daddy and me the greatest year of our lives yet.

And I pray for the day that you begin to realize all this for yourself.  That you ask us about the story of your birth and how you came to be.  That you start to understand that your name holds God’s promise for you.  That you can read this and know just how truly blessed you are and how much you have blessed so many just by being alive.

Above all else, on this first birthday, I want you to know that everything we have been through this last year we would do it all again in a heartbeat.  Every joy and every trial has been more than worth it to witness the living miracle that you are.

So happy birthday, my sweet, sweet son.  The best is yet to come.

Love,

Momma

P.S.  I’m still banking on you saying “mommy” first.

 

 

Still Here // An Update on Josiah & Our Lives

Hi world!

(Stay tuned – or scroll down to the end – to see a cute, little sneak peak of what we have been working on with Josiah lately!)

It’s been a LONG time.  Almost three months, I know.  It feels like a lot happened these last three months, but then it also just feels like not much has happened because one day just blurs into the next and then on and on for eternity.  I guess that’s how one could describe motherhood. 🙂

Anywho, I am way overdue for an update on Josiah’s most recent surgery.  Long story short, the surgery itself went well.  It looked like we were smooth sailing until we went to see the surgeon again for our first post-op appointment.  At the time, there was a significant tear near his newly created anus which led to concern that the colon had retracted back in and that everything had not been brought down low enough.  All we could do was wait a few weeks for the new tear to heal and then we would take next steps.

It’s easier to talk about it now because it’s several months removed and the prognosis looks much better now than it did back then.  But you better believe those weeks of waiting and thinking the worst (that he would have to go back in for additional surgery, that his colon wouldn’t be functioning properly, etc.) were hard.  Really hard.  I don’t think it’s been that hard since our initial days in the NICU.

We prayed.  We wrestled with the Lord.  We cried.  We worried. Read more…