We knew nothing of Holland. We didn't know the importance of having just the right amount of DNA. We were unaware of many of the pediatric specialties we now see. We didn't know directions to Texas Children's Hospital. We had never seen occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, or early interventionists. We didn't know medical terminology or deep anatomy. We hadn't been exposed to sign language or AAC applications. We'd never met anyone with missing thumbs. We didn't know anything about special education, or IEPs, or ARDs. We'd never considered abdominal surgery, head surgery, heart surgery, urology surgery, or vascular or throat anomalies. We'd never taken a child to the ER or waited for them to come out of the operating room. To that day 4 years ago, we'd never really experienced bone chilling fear and worry.
Then came Matthew. With him, we found much more than the innocence we lost. We found love-- all around us and in unexpected places. We learned patience (though, still working on that). We got an education in anatomy, medicine, therapies, and special education. We learned to appreciate the smaller moments. We met doctors and nurses, office staff, therapists, and teachers that care for our family. We were blessed with good medical care at a world class facility. We learned of others' journeys. We received much needed and very appreciated support from family, friends, and even strangers. We began celebrating all achievements-- not just the big ones. We experienced joy like we never knew before. We learned the value of a second, an hour, a year, and now four years.
We weren't sure Matthew would live to see his first birthday, but he did. Then, this past April, we weren't sure he would live to see his fourth birthday, but tomorrow, he will!
We are oh, so, very thankful...maybe not for the innocence lost but for our sweet and amazing Matthew.
|Mattie checking out Ernie's nose.|