Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart



Tonight my mind has drifted back to where she was then and where she is now. I watch her laughing and playing with her daddy and I am overcome with emotion. Tears sting my eyes as I remember all that she has overcome. Her discharge papers from January of 2006 still reside in my wallet and they go where we go. I pulled them out tonight and the list of diagnosis was so, so long:

Acidosis (twice)
Bacterium of newborn
Developmental Delay
Failure to Thrive
Intraventricular Hemorrhage
Necrotising Enterocolitis
Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Respiratory Failure
Retinopathy of Prematurity
Short Bowel Syndrome
Post Bowel Reanastomosis
Wound Infection

Wow. The list is even longer now. This only includes the days from her birth, August 4,2005, until discharge on January 20, 2006. Many, many more diagnosis can be added from January 2006 until January 2008.

When I look at this list of diagnosis and then look at my daughter I am humbled. So humbled that the God who created this fragile little girl would allow me to take care of her. If they had shown me this list before I laid eyes on our baby I would have been terrified. I know I would have doubted my ability to care for her. Instead of seeing this list I saw my daughter and she was truly one of the most beautiful things I had ever laid my eyes on. My heart was pierced and there were no lists, no warnings, no "be prepareds", that could have changed my mind. This was the child we had prayed for. This was the baby that visited me in my dreams. This was our child. From the day we knew she was here she was ours. We had no idea if she would be ours for hours, for days, for weeks, or for years, but at that moment we knew she belonged to us and if we had never been allowed to lay eyes on her or hold her in our arms she would always be our baby. Even if only in our hearts.

I have never written of all the amazing things that God did in her life and in ours those first six months. There were so many. I didn't write them down or share them with too many people, but they are etched on the pages of my heart. When I think of those early days I am overcome with thanksgiving, with awe, with appreciation, and with love. Maybe someday I will take the time to share those incredible days and all that they contained.

Overcome is a perfect word. She has overcome so many obstacles and we are overcome when we look into her face. I am so proud of who she is and I would not trade one moment of one day of her life for anything. I love you sweet Ashley Kate and I am overcome each time I look at you.


At 11:02 PM , Blogger Dee Dee said...

God used you to touch my heart tonight, even more deeply than He usually does here, and that says a whole lot. He used you tonight to bless me with how Ashley Kate is and has always been in HIS Hands, and how my own children are as well. Tonight I struggle with my children's health needs, with possible new issues showing their faces, and I come here and God meets me with His own reassurance, through your words and picture. Thank you.
Praying for Ashley.

At 11:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

your posts always blow me away... you have inspired me... my faith has been increased by your story.
continuing to pray for yall!!!

here is another family that needs prayer right NOW!!!

At 11:20 PM , Anonymous Janiece Baldwin said...

And I/we are overcome by this most incredible baby girl, too. I am so thankful you invited all of us to be a part of little Ashley's Story. To allow us to share in the highs and the lows, to join with you in prayer and even pray when you were so distraught that you couldn't find the words to pray is overwhelming. You have given us that privilege and we thank you for that.

There have been many times I have been overcome by emotion, tears and the miracles God has performed in this sweet baby girl's life. He has shown His Greatness in and through Ashley. Wow!

This is certainly a long list of things for little Ashley to overcome but we have all witnessed what prayer has done and overcoming is what God is all about and He gives us His strength to overcome if we just trust and lean on Him.

Yours words, Trish, have inspired and strengthened so many people through your postings and I know God is smiling because He chose you and your family for His glory.

Love and prayers~~~Janiece

At 8:46 AM , Anonymous Jule White said...

Trish~ Your post really touches my heart. God has done amazing things in Ashley's life and you sharing many of those things have touched me in so many ways. Your words are so similiar to mine when I talk about Kate's days in the NICU. They aren't all written down, but I have often said that those memories and miracles are forever etched in my heart! Things that I will never forget.

I have honestly been blessed by praying for your family and for Ashley. My mom will ask me several times a week, "How is your sweet girl doing?" It is funny because I know that she is asking about Ashley. Thank you for allowing me into your lives and for allowing me to pray for you.

Love, Jule White

At 8:50 AM , Blogger Laurie said...

I am overcome with love for you as I read this today. God truly holds each of us in His hands. He chose you because He knew you would be willing to give earthly comfort and care to His little miracle girl as He works out the details. This is what it means to truly be willing to let God use you and work through you. The biggest thing He is using to heal Ashley is love, His and yours. What a blessing your journey has been to expand my faith that all things are possible with God. Bless you all to overflowing today.

Love you, Laurie in Ca.

At 8:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking about Ashley a lot this morning, praying for her with the kids as we were on the way to school as it sunk in that we hadn't even mentioned her health. We were just praying that she (and all of you) were going to have a good day and enjoy yourselves and thanking God to hear she feeling better than when we were there and praising Him that she keeps letting me see her show me how old she is. I love that! In other words, we don't see this list either. We hurt for her when she hurts, but only the same way we do for Blake or Allie. Because we love them and want them to be happy. She's not a "transplant baby" or our "adopted" niece and she never has been. She's just their cute cousin that they pray for and hope is having a good day. She's just Ashley and that is miracle enough for us. All the rest of it belongs to God for His glory, just like you said. -Nikki

At 10:10 AM , Blogger Kate said...

Trish and Dave,
I don't know how I came across your blog, but I have been following your family's story for a couple of months now and have been touched by your endless faith in our Creator and his plan for your family. It is with that in mind, that I pass along another family of faith who is in need of prayer. Tricia Lawrenson has CF and was on the transplant list for 2 news lungs when she found out she was pregnant. The doctors suggested she abort, but she and her husband, Nathan, trusted God's perfect timing in giving them this life and moved forward with the pregnancy. Yesterday, she had to have an emergency c-section at 24.5 weeks. Gwyneth Rose weighs 1.6lbs and is doing well, but mom is still critical. Their family blog is They are asking for prayers from anyone who hears their story.

At 10:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is a miracle! A sweet little miracle that has touched so many lives including mine! What a blessing that little lady is even to those whom she has never met!

I am so grateful to have been able to read about this little miracle from the first day you posted (of course and to hear about (and pray for) her from her Aunt Rae since the day you met her).

What a beautiful journey it has been and a testiment to the power of our Heavenly Father. I know I have said it before but Thanks you Trish for sharing your family with me.


At 10:25 AM , Blogger Morgy's Mama said...

What a testimony of God's love in her life. I can only imagine what gifts and blessings He has in store for her. She's precious, Trish.

At 12:01 PM , Blogger Sun said...

WOW! Praise be to Him! He is HUGE! Wow - I cannot even think of anything to say except wow. As I was reading the list after every diagnosis that was given her I kept thinking...but God. She is failure to thrive...but God. God had a plan and He gave her the BEST people to envelop her in love when He gave her to you guys. What an amazing testimony of His love you all have been. This makes me what to lift my hands and praise Him - He IS God! Sunshine

At 12:04 PM , Blogger Sun said...

I am sorry that should have read "was failure to thrive" not "is"...I was failure to thrive too (when I was 18mths of age) -

She is beautiful and she is thriving inspite of everything. Sunshine

At 2:46 PM , Blogger CrownLaidDown said...

Amen! Think of what our list might look like when God comes to heal us? That is amazing. He is able to make all things abound...and Ashley Kate is a lovely reminder of His goodness. Keepin' on Prayin'!

At 9:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

God chose the right family & the right mommy for that tiny pickle! She couldn't belong to anyone else...well she really belongs to God, but you & your family are her angels on earth! You have raised a gorgeous sassy BIG pickle. God Bless!!!

At 9:32 AM , Blogger Sandy said...

Oh Trish, God bless Ashley, poor little thing. But you know what? I think without the love that you have offered her so far, she wouldn't be where she is today. She truly is a blessing. I check on her everyday :-)

At 9:21 PM , Blogger theragan3 said...

Ashley looks much like my preemie Abraham looked the first few days of his life. God has blessed us with a relatively healthy 2 years- but not without the heartache of thinking of his twin Moses in heaven. Every time I read your posts I come away either crying or praising the Father for His work in your lives. Thank you for your transparency and honesty in your ups and downs. They encourage me more than you know.

At 9:52 PM , Blogger sarahdodson said...

It took me a while to just READ that list. I can't imagine that your precious daughter went through all of that. Wow. She was born into a most wonderful family, and I'm sure she's very thankful to be right where she is:)

At 10:22 PM , Blogger Gretchen said...

You are triumphant overcomers, all of you. And...we are the lucky recipients of God's blessing, faith in Him, through your story. Much love.


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