Bringing in the New Year
Well the count down is on for us here in Omaha, NE. The kids has so much fun sledding today that their "dad" aka "the biggest kid I have" has made a promise to let them SLED into the new year. Is he crazy? The answer to that question is YES!!! Blake is so excited he can't stand it. Only 1 hour and 45 minutes to go. At exactly 12:01 a.m. we will be freezing our tails off, flying down the snowy hill on a piece of plastic, giggling and squeeling uncontrollably, and making a memory in the hearts of our 2 oldest children that I pray will last a lifetime. I really love our life!
When I think back over the past year my heart floods with memories that bring me to my knees and fill my eyes with tears. God has really been working in our lives. The year started for us with great hopes that we would soon bring our tiny Ashley Kate home for the very first time. What an amazing feeling it was to buckle that sweet baby into her car seat on January 20, 2006. As I pulled into our drive way I cried tears of joy knowing that she was finally home where she belonged. The next few months were full of hope as we started working with a new team of doctors to try and get our little one to grow. As we approached the month of April it was finally time to realize that our Ashley's liver disease was advancing to the point that we were facing the idea of transplant. On May 1, 2006 I turned 32 and was told by a team of doctors in Houston that in their opinion my daughter had 3 to 6 months to live. I will never forget the flood of emotions I experienced that day. My heart ached like never before and my eyes burned with tears. I don't know if there is a word that can describe what it feels like to know that your child is going to die. On Memorial Day weekend we took our Ashley before our church family for the first time in her life. As we held her in front of the body of Christ our Pastor dedicated our child and her life to the Lord. We came honestly and boldly before the throne of God and willingly gave her back to Him. That morning as I sat and wrote the first page of Ashley's story for Pastor Tom to read to our congregation I realized that I would not walk this road alone. For the first time in my life the sacrifice that God the Father made for me as He too watched His child die became real. I knew that I had a Father in Heaven who knew exactly what it felt like to lose a child. I also realized on that day that my church family would not allow David and I to go through this with Ashley on our own. They were standing with us, loving us, supporting us, and praying for us. On June 7, 2006 we stood before the judge and celebrated "Gotcha Day". Ashley Kathrine Adams was officially ours not only in our hearts but now in the eyes of the law. There are no words appropriate to describe how good it felt to know that she would never be without us. We were her family. We were her parents. We were blessed. On August 4, 2006 my sweet Ashley celebrated her 1st birthday. It was such a sweet moment in our family. We had been given 365 days to love this little girl and our hearts were full of thanksgiving. On August 20, we boarded a plane with our youngest daughter and left our Blake and Allison back home in Texas alone without us for the first time in their lives. David, Ashley and I came to Omaha for her transplant evalutation. After 3 weeks of being apart from Blake and Allie, I finally came home with Ash. She was listed on the National Transplant Registry and now all we could do was wait. Over the next 20 days we watched her laugh, we watched her grow, we watched her play, we watched her grow tired, we watched her begin to slip away. Each night my heart and my burden for my Ashley grew heavier and heavier. Doubt and fear began to slip into my mind. Each night I dreaded for sleep to come because of the nightmares that were sure to follow. I would walk from room to room watching my 3 children sleep and beg God for the chance to have them all live. On Sept. 26, 2006 we got "the" call. UNBELIEVABLE! It had only been 20 days since her listing and God had provided. I can't tell you what I felt that morning as I ran from room to room trying to pack the 5 of us as quickly as I could. I thanked God for His provision and I begged Him to please, please not let this be my last day as her Mommy. I loved her. I needed her. I couldn't let go of her. That night we handed our daughter, our precious gift from the Father, the child we prayed for, to the surgeon and watched her be carried away from us. We had no idea if we would ever hold her again. At that moment I learned to trust the God of the universe. The next 3 months I have spent sharing her story(our story) with the world through Ashley's Journal. There have been hard days. There have been scary moments. There have been sleepless nights. There have been celebrations. There have been heartaches. There have been moments of praise. There have been realizations of just how BIG our God is. There have been memories made.
As I sit here tonight and watch this year end all I can say to you is that I know that God is real. I know that He loves me. I know that He loves my Ashley. I know that He loves you. I know that He will be with us tomorrow as we allow her to go back to the OR. I know that He has a plan for her life. I choose to approach tomorrow with the hope that He has given me. We will walk into this new year as a family of 5. We will walk into this new year with all of you. We will walk into this new year ready to see what He will do in her life and in ours. Thank you for sharing your time with us. Thank you for walking along side of us. Thank you for crying with us. Thank you for celebrating with us. Thank you for loving us. May God bless you and Happy New Year. Trish