Monday, September 14, 2009


Today is Hope's 4th Birthday. Four years ago, Hope and I both came scary close to losing our lives through a complicated delivery that ended in an emergency C-section. I remember the feeling of pure relief and joy that swept over me when I awoke and realized both Hope and I had made it through the ordeal. I was able to see Hopey for ten seconds before she was carted off to NICU at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital where she stayed for her first 4 weeks of life. She had the most fabulous NICU nurse, Vickie Caldwell, who took such good care of her and also offered emotional support to me, the mom of a new special needs baby girl. Vickie reminded me many times that Hope might have Down Syndrome and a heart defect, but above all else, she was a baby.

In God's way of continually showing His presence to us during this journey, Vickie Caldwell "just happened" to be at the hospital last Wednesday while Hope was having her heart catheterization. She wasn't working as a nurse that day, or I wouldn't have seen her. Instead, she was at the hospital visiting another baby who was having surgery. Accident? I don't think so. I haven't seen Vickie in four years.....I send her a photo of Hope each year with a note of thanks, but that has been our only connection....until last Wednesday.

After getting the shocking news about Hope's new heart complications, we were sent off to see our little angel who was just waking from anesthesia. Understandably, our hearts were heavy and our spirits low. Next thing I know, Vickie is standing by my side with her arm around me. Isn't it amazing how God shows up? I don't believe in coincidences, do you?

Hope's 4th birthday celebration has been alot of fun.....last week, before Hope's procedure, several friends came by to celebrate with us. Big sister, Lydia, dressed up like Elmo, Caleb was Burt, and Natalie was the Cookie Monster. It was so much fun.

Tonight, we are off to "Build A Bear". Caleb, Lydia and Natalie have each saved money to purchase Hope 3 bears for her birthday. They plan to pray over a little heart before having it sewn into the bear they choose, and then they will each record a personal message for Hope that will also be placed in the bears. I have no idea what they are each planning to record, but they have put alot of thought into it. "Build A Bear" was totally their idea for their little sister. They want these 3 bears to go into surgery with Hope on October 12th, so in a way, she will feel them with her. I know she is going to love them.


  1. I really enjoyed the photos of Hope's birthday celebration....I know she was so excited! You can see the joy on her face...

    The idea of the bears is precious...What loving siblings!!

    (And no, I don't believe in coincidences either! God knew you needed your Vickie!)


  2. I can't wait to come and paint something on the love shack wall. are you around on wednesday? and guess what... Sonja is an artist. Coincidence that she wants to give Hope a gift to honor their mutual birthday and you have invited us to decorate her love shack? Another detailed provision from our detailed God! Love you, sister! Ondrea

  3. SO LOVED the build a bears made with love from Hope's siblings!! What a loving family God has given you, Melanie. Brings tears of joy to my eyes!!