Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


She's come a long way

With the older children out of town Dave and I have had lots of time to catch up. We have spent many hours talking about things from the silly and ridiculous to the serious. Many of our conversations have centered around our Ashley Kate and her journey. I lay awake last night remembering just where we were a year ago this week and then looking into that crib with my jammy clad baby all tucked in safe and sound. It truly is amazing to see her and all that she has survived.

I thought about going back and reading my journal entries from this week last year, but decided not too. Some things are just too haunting and although I know I would walk away with much gratitude to our Father it just doesn't seem like what I need to do right now. As Dave and I were visiting last week we began talking about the day after Christmas last year and the images were all to real. I have no trouble remembering the events of that day and the vision of Ashley Kate as she struggled to hang on. Dave shared his heart with me and opened up the struggle he had with what he saw and it broke my heart to listen to his words. Dave and the kids along with his parents and my mom had traveled to Omaha to spend the holiday with us. Dave and I had gone to our apartment with the children and his mom had stayed with Ashley Kate. I rarely ever allowed this to happen for fear of trouble with Ash but desperately wanted to tuck Blake and Al in that night. Around 4a.m Ashley Kate spiked a fever and by 6a.m. I was called and made aware. I left for the hospital immediately. She was sick. I knew by the sounds of her voice. Dave arrived moments after I did and as the morning ticked away Ashley Kate only became worse. Things began to go wrong quickly. In a matter of moments the hall outside of her room was full of physicians and nurses. Her bedside was occupied by the pediatric intensivist who was on call and although I was pushed out into the hall Dave held his place at the end of her bed. I watched the monitors from the doorway and I watched my husband from behind. His shoulders shook and his grip tightened on the bed frame. The doctors were hollering for this and that to be pushed, "Now, push it in NOW, I mean IMMEDIATELY!". Ashley Kate's blood pressure had gone from high enough to bring on a stroke to bottoming out so low we were in fear of losing blood supply to her fingers and toes. To that point I had never been so frightened of losing her(although this day would be trumped by one yet to take place in early January). She was quickly intubated and the doctor and nurses worked to stabilize her. This was the beginning of a long battle with sepsis that had its ups and downs. Close calls that would bring us to our knees countless times. I recount this event to share with you the statement that Dave shared with me a few days ago. It was this day we were talking about when he opened his heart and said these words, "I had prayed for Ash. I had prayed for her daily, but when I saw how close she was to leaving us I began to plead. I remembering pleading with God for the first time in my life. I was pleading for her life. I stood at the end of her bed and I pleaded with God with everything in me." I was speechless. What could I say? Was it the prayer of this heartbroken father that pricked the heart of our heavenly Father? I wonder? I had big tears falling from eyes as Dave recounted the day from his perspective and as I listened to his words. What a blessing it is for Ashley Kate to have this man for her daddy. He loves that little pickle so much.

Ash has a long way to go, but when I look at how far she has come I don't fear what lies ahead. We have countless hours of therapy and more milestones than I can keep up with to strive for, but what really matters to this mom is what I see when I look into those twinkling eyes. Her spirit is intact. Inside that broken body is our Ashley Kate and she is alive and happy and thriving. Although she doesn't speak, or eat, or move around the house, she lives. She is so very happy and she is so amazing. You can see her mind working as she figures out new things each and every day. She communicates without the use of words. Her little hands clap when she is happy. Her little eyes reach for me when I get close enough to pick her up. Her little forehead leans into mine waiting for me to say, "I love ya, love ya, love ya." Her little head shakes "No, no" with each and every question I ask her even if the answer is yes(you can see the ornery grin spread across her face when when she knows she is supposed to be shaking her head the other way). Her little fingers grab a hold of ours and she begins moving our hands to do what she would like us to do. Her little face lights up when we start to sing her favorite songs or read "Goodnight Moon".

I guess as I reflect on the past year and all that happened in her life all I can say is that she has come a long way. She has amazed many, shocked others, and stunned a few. More than anything she has blessed us. We are grateful she is with us. Humbled she is ours, and astounded at how the Father has used her. It was a good year. It was a year full of His presence in our lives through her presence in our home. As we say good bye to 2007 we whisper a simple prayer that contains two words, "Thank you."


At 11:50 AM , Blogger CrownLaidDown said...

Thank You Father! Thank You for blessing this dear family with Ashley Kate!

We are blessed across the miles to pray for her and continue to lift up your family.
Love in Jesus,

At 11:58 AM , Anonymous Kathleen said...

Thank you Father! She truly has left her fingerprints on my heart, that was a very touching post Trish.

At 12:20 PM , Blogger Michelle J said...

Trish, i know i don't comment to often but i always read here. I just want to say to you and your entire family that i love you and wish you only the best in 2008!! Little Ashley Kate is my inspiration to keep on pushing!!! So, thanks!

At 12:23 PM , Anonymous becky said...

Not only do we thank Him for all He's done in and through Ashley and your family, we thank you for sharing your heart, your faith, and your journey with us. What an honor it has been to pray for you this year, realizing we will never meet this side of heaven, and yet we're bound together by the common bond of Jesus. Amazing how He uses His body to minister to one another isn't it? Happy New Year and we'll look forward to watching Ashley grow and become stronger every day.

Becky in Michigan

At 1:11 PM , Blogger Daffodil Hill said...

What a beautiful post! I wept while reading it as I know what it is like to plead for the life of your child. Ashley Kate is a precious miracle and a blessing, even to those of us who will never know her in person. Your family has become very dear to me through this journal. I hold all of you close in my prayers. {{hugs}}

At 1:48 PM , Blogger Michelle said...

Thank you Jesus for this sweet angel and her sweet momma who tells her story here in this place. May 2008 be a great year in the life of Ashley Kate Adams!
Love in Tulsa,
Michelle Taylor

At 2:18 PM , Blogger Sheila said...

I have been so blessed by this journal. I read it daily and always pray and think of you and your family. God has answered so many of MY prayers for Ashley. I thank Him today for that. It would probably scare you to know how much I think of you all. I know it is the Holy Spirit prompting me. Please do not stop this blog. I would miss hear about your precious family so much. I can't believe I care so deeply for people I have never met. It has to be our Father. I hope this year brings you even more miracles. You deserve them.

At 3:17 PM , Blogger Fiffer said...

You know how to bring on the tears! THANK YOU for letting us be a part of this journey and sharing your heart so openly. It has been a true testimony to our Heavenly Father to see the way your family has dealt with many difficult situations. I join thousands across the world in praying for a healthy 2008 for each of you, especially precious Ashley Kate. God bless you all, with much love and many prayers, Martha (AND family! My kids & husband care as much about your family as I do.)

At 3:23 PM , Blogger Shari's Page....... said...

I was thinking today about the last year! When you and Ash came home for the first time and how exciting it was. How she progressed and how things were going. A bump in the road came and you ended back in Omaha. Now, you are home again for time to cherish with this little princess named Ashley. I am so excited for you! Thank you for your honesty and all you have shared! I look forward to all the progress that Ash will make in 2008 at HOME!

Prayers and blessings,


At 3:49 PM , Anonymous Courtney said...

What a year it has been for you! Thank you for sharing this special little blessing of Ashley Kate with us!

Praying that 2008 is full of God's blessings for your entire family and that it is a year of good health for Ashley!

At 5:24 PM , Blogger Amy said...

Thank you for your comment on our Allie's blog. We are so glad you found us! ;) Divine intervention seems at hand, I suppose. We covet your prayers, and will pray for your sweet Ashely Kate's continued recovery.
Just wanted to let you know that we got word today that a new liver became available for Allison. She went in to surgery about 20 minutes ago. There truly are no words.
And so we send out 2007 with prayers of Thanksgiving for how our Father brought your precious Ashley Kate through so much this past year, and prayers that He will do the same for our sweet Allie-bear.
Thank you for sharing your heart. It gives us hope.
Love to you and your family. Many prayers for a 2008 full of God's abundant blessings.
Amy (Allie's aunt) and our entire family

At 7:21 PM , Anonymous Prayer Mom said...

Blessed is the family whose God is the Lord. And blessed are children whose parents live in the center of the hand of that Almighty God.

It has been a pleasure and an honor being a part of your family prayer team. Praying for a totally well and financially blessed future.

At 9:41 PM , Blogger Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

Ashley's story continues to overwhelm and amaze me--what a year it has been! I am so thankful that you've continued to share pieces of her story with us, and I am blessed to be able to pray for her and for your entire family.

At 12:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN!!! I feel very blessed to have your family be a part of my heart. For that i thank you.
Dave, I can't imagine all that you have gone through. All that you have both/all gone through! You are one remarkable family! May God Bless you all! Thank you for sharing.

At 11:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we are open to it, we are taught something each day.
Thank you, for through your sharing I have learned much.
You have my continued prayers for a healthy and happy New Year.
Bless you and your special family.
Heidi in CT


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