March 21, 2002 I woke around 8 a.m. Riley and I had spent the night at my parent's house because Scott had to work late the previous night. I just wasn't feeling the best, so we all decided it would be best for Riley & I to be there. Earlier, the evening before we had taken Riley to see Bear in the Big Blue House Live at the Coronado theater and then Scott went back to work. My Mom had a meeting at the church in the morning and kept asking me to get up out of bed if I wanted to shower before she left. Riley was just 2 then and needed supervision; no showering while she played or watched TV. Finally, I mustered up the motivation to get out of bed. As I sat up my water broke and thus, our journey into our life with Shelby began. About 5 hours later she entered our lives. She came out of me as fast as you see her run around these days. We took our baby home a few days later, clueless as to what the next week would bring. Oblivious to what inner strength we all had that was going to be needed very soon. Shelby's first 10 weeks of her life were hell for us as her parents. We spent alot of that time crying, researching, asking questions of doctors and wondering if our baby would make it or not. "Transplant" was a word introduced in to our vocabulary that we only thought happened to "other" people. Not us; not anyone in our family.
Fast forward to 2008. Skip over all those awful memories that no parent wants their child to have of IV's, "sleep medicine," countless x-rays, blood tests, hospital stays, taking daily medication, broken bones, and more doctors visits in 6 years than 10 people have in their lifetime. Let all those wonderful memories of fun, joy, and excitement flood over you. Shelby is so special. I feel so honored that we were chosen to be her parents. She's not an easy kid by no means; challenging, yes, wonderful, yes, brillant, yes, beautiful, yes, a gift from God, YES. She is so strong, brave and very forgiving of all that she has had to endure. She knows no other way of life. All these experiences I wish she never had to know have and will continue to form her into the person she is. Tough as nails with a gentle, HUGE heart. God has big plans for her. She already is a child of our church congregation. Everyone's faith has been poured into that child. It has lifted her through many tough times and continues to hold her up in the good times. Quoting the African proverb: "It takes a village to raise a child," is so true of Shelby's life. Thank you to ALL who have been a part of that.
6! Wow! What a huge accomplishment with all this kid has been through!!! SIX, SIX, SIX, SIX!!! Cool! We celebrated at Coco Keys with Shelby's best friend Kate, our friends TeriJo & Anika, and, of course, me, Scott, Riley and Avery. Lots of fun was had by all and, thank goodness, baby A was in a great mood. We kept getting compliments on what an adorable baby we have! She didn't like the water much, but liked watching all the action going on. She was a trooper especially since we were there during her prime nap-time. In the evening Shelby picked out a birthday supper of mini corn dogs, french fries and garlic bread. She also chose chocolate ice cream and the most chocolatey cake there was at the store. I think I still have a sugar buzz going this morning! We also watched the movie, Enchanted, per her request.
Enjoy the pictures of my beautiful 6-year-old's birthday.