3 Years of Answered Prayers

Saturday, January 15, 2011

There were many nights when we sat bedside with Evie wondering if she would see another sunrise. I vividly remember wishing I could see her at 3 years old. Something about that number meant something significant to me. I wanted to see her as a stable, energetic child who had survived infancy and toddlerhood and the rough start she had. If only….. If only I could see what she’d be at 3, then I knew I could get through another vigilant night of wondering and waiting. Im so glad I wasn’t allowed to wish away the past two amazing years with her, but Im emotional realizing we have “arrived”. That seemingly unattainable age is upon us. Evie will celebrate her 3rd birthday tomorrow.
And what a year she’s had! Sorry for the long post, but I’ve been reflecting on all the answered prayers and poinient moments in this past year and wanted to share…

Mommy left Evie for an entire week with Grandmoni in January while I traveled with C to India. An amazing week, but a stretch to be away from my girl! Evie also scored her first black eye this month….not a good color on her!
After three winters of expensive Synagis shots to vaccinate against RSV, Evie received her very last $3,000 injection in February. Glad to see those end!

Thanks to our wonderful “Miss Sarah”, Evie finally started talking in March and added impressive words like “mine” and “chocolate” to her vocabulary. Very special friends came to town this month too. After praying for a little heart-transplant friend in Michigan for 2 years, we finally got to meet the amazing Princess Lindsay. So grateful for the community and precious friendships we’ve been blessed with on this heart journey!
April meant it was time for our 6 month check up with Cardiologist in Charleston. A little set back this month when we were told Evie’s aortic root is begining to dilate and that they will have to keep a close eye on growth possibly meaning more surgeries in her future. April meant our lake was officially “open” and Evie discovered a love of water. She was a little fish all summer!

We breathed a huge sigh of relief in May when we waved goodbye to pulse-ox and apnea monitors and packed up oxygen tanks to send back to home health. A huge, victorious step to not need those anymore! Summer fun like strawberry picking and slip n’ slide with Daddy fill our afternoons! Blissfully happy to have such a life-loving little girl!

Evie was a guest at Dream Night at the Zoo in June. A special evening for chronically ill children and those who have survived major medical crisis. Such a special family evening and a tremendous honor to meet so many other amazing kids that night!

Evie was gifted with a beautiful plush new blanket in July to replace the tattered one she’d had since birth. Amazingly, she made the switch!

What a joy to see Evie walk down the aisle (hiding behind her bouquet of roses) as a flower girl in my brother’s wedding in August. Such an honor! Evie also started gymnastics class this month and loves her weekly playtime in her pink leotard with her sisters!

September held great things. Special guests came to visit from MO. Sweet-heart friend Maggie Jane and her baby sister who was named after our Evie. The three girls had such a precious week together and their momma’s looked on with grateful hearts and a few tears!

At the end of the month, our family was blessed with a beach trip by a ministry that provides vacations for families that have sustained the death of a child or had a long-term taxing medical crisis. We had an amazingly precious week watching sunsets and dabbling our toes in the tide!

For the first time ever, Evie cooperated for an ECHO in Charleston without needing sedation in October. Such a big girl!

Evie made a special announcement in November and proved her ability to step up as a big sister by potty-training. Woohooo….we’ll be diaper free for….well….about 7 months.

After three full years on multiple medications, we finally discontinued the last one in December. Its a beautiful thing to see our medicine cabinet clearing out that was once enough to stock a small pharmacy!
It’s been another year of gifts and answered prayers baby girl. We dont take a single one for granted and look back with such gratitude at all God has done in your short 3 years. I love that you come up to me out of the blue sometimes and say, “Mommy….’member when I ride in helicopter with Jesus?“. (How could I forget?) Or when you look at your scar and say “Look, God fixed my heart”. Im so glad He has been near to you precious girl and held you when I could not. May your grow to know and love Him even more. We pray that your story of grace will bring HIM glory and that your sweet life bring honor and joy to your Father’s heart! We love you dearly our little Evangeline Shalom! Peace be yours!
Happy Birthday Angel!

  • Kelly says:

    Well, I’m crying like a baby! God is so good! I’m so glad that you guys have been able to come so far. Mandy you have a precious family and I’m so excited to see how God will continue to use it!

  • Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday my big girl!!! I am so proud of you and thankful for you!!
    Miss Sarah.

  • Faith M. says:

    Happy Birthday, Evangeline! I am so glad that you and Maggie share such a special bond, and our Evangeline is blessed to be named after someone so very special. We love you and your family so very much. Have a wonderful day celebrating, big girl!
    Mandy, I know how much this day means to you. Our “if only we could make it to…days” are at Christmas.
    Lots of love,

  • Happy birthday Evie! That was such a fun post to read. I’m tearing up at how far she has come. Amazing!

  • Crystal... says:

    Beautiful. I am totally crying. What an amazing little testimony and encouragement she is to so many…. and she is only 3!!! I cant wait to see how God uses her story in the years to come.. Blessings to all of you!!!!

  • Lacey says:

    Sweet Sweet Evie. So beautiful, and such a miracle! I still can’t believe she went home with that heart defect and survived! Miracle girl indeed!!
    Oh and I wanted to ask you how you got your links to have the little flower in front? Is it part of your header?

  • katherine says:

    Wiping away tears of thankfulness to God for His continued hand on your life Evie. Never forget sweetie that

    Our God is Greater
    Our God is Stronger
    God you are higher than any other
    Our God is Healer
    Awesome in Power
    Our God
    OUR GOD!

    He has had his hand on you from the beginning and I pray will continue to bless your life.
    I love you so very much sweetie.

  • daysease says:

    OH! So blessed, and praising the Lord with you!! Congrats on the news of your coming little one. So very glad for the Lord’s blessings and provisions for you and your family. 🙂

  • Zoe Love says:

    How awesome! What a blessing and a big birthday to hopefully add to the years ahead!

  • Happy birthday you precious, precious Evie! Lots of love and BIG hugs on your special day! 🙂

  • Mary B says:

    This is my first visit to your blog, but I have thoroughly enjoyed walking around. What a blessing you have that your got to see your daughter reach the age of 3! The beach picture is beautiful and I am impressed that you got her to trade for a new blanket!!

  • Mandy,

    I remember God orchestrating Evie a long time before she was born–do you remember that night we were at TGIF here in Kiev, and you told us you were expecting, and that you really wanted to have this baby in the States so you had a nice, happy doctor? God did all that arranging Evie’s birth in a place where she could be saved.

    when I told Vitaliy about Evie’s problems years ago, he said, “If she’d been born here, she would’ve died ten times already.”

    Thank you, Lord, that you had a plan and you worked it out so perfectly.

  • Josie says:

    Crying as I read. “My little siser” has had such a full year…such a full little life. She is a little miracle. Give her a birthday kiss from Aunt Jo.

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