On July 4th, 2005 at 7:53am on a Monday morning, our daughter was born. And here she was this morning, Monday, July 4th, 2011 at 7:40am.
I remember the first 2 years of her life rather vividly. What a sweet time it was as a family of 3, being able to enjoy her to ourselves and digging our heals into the virgin territory of parenting. Every joy and every difficulty with her was a thrilling new experience.
Unfortunately, after Marcus was born and especially after his diagnosis, my memories with her get blurred. I feel sad in thinking that age 2 to 4 are the lost years with Audrey because I was neck-deep in the muddy trenches of trying to figure out our new life with Joubert Syndrome. It was not uncommon for her to ask, "Are you crying, Mommy?" or "Are you sad again, Mommy?".
She had to tag along to every therapy session and almost every doctor appointment. When other kids her age were taking classes or spending the day at the park, she spent 7+ hours a week watching different people play with Marcus to help him in his development. She was also there whenever the doctors gave us disheartening news and was the closest eyewitness to how we handled it all.
It wasn't until she was 4, when Marcus started pre-school, that I got to redeem some of that time with her during our one-on-one times. I cherish that year and in retrospect, am so thankful that we had that time together before she started school herself.
She is experiencing something Mike and I will never understand for ourselves: being a special needs sibling. And though I can worry incessantly if she'll be okay in the longrun, and wonder if all of this will burden her young heart, I'm drawn to the One who calls me to trust Him when I'm anxious for Marcus as well.
Although we'll try our best, we have and will fail her as parents from time to time. But my heart is comforted that Jesus will never fail her. She is complete in Him, just as Marcus is complete in Him and they will both find in Him the greatest love ever known. I'm desperate for God to snatch my children and call them His own and meet them in their greatest times of need.
I hope that Audrey's automatic citizenship in the world of special needs will be considered an honor to her someday. Praying that God will have used all of this to draw her close and to grant her a tender heart towards the weak and lowly of this world.
Whew! I started out writing this post about how much fun we had celebrating her 6th birthday and then it got all deep! But now that I got all the serious stuff off my chest, I'll write my next post about how she enjoyed her special day from 5am till 10pm. Plus, it's her Daddy's birthday tomorrow (or is it today now?) and there's even more celebrating to be done.
Until then, here's me and my girl. Happy Birthday, my love!