Ladybug Secrets

Ladybug Secrets:
Don't let the small stuff bug you. And Spot new opportunities.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wishes Can Happen

This story is about a girl, a doll and a bike.....and it is a pretty amazing story!  It started last year right before Brooke's surgery.  She kept telling me she was dreaming of an american girl doll.  I basically told her to keep dreaming, but that we would see.  Well I knew that was impossible so we went on a hunt for a doll kinda like an american girl.  First stop Toys R Us, then Walmart, and at 8:45 Target.  We raced to the toy section and there was Mary Lynn, a lovely american girl look-a-like for a quarter of the price.  She even came with 2 outfits and her very own book!  Brooke was thrilled.

Brooke has loved this doll very much for a year.  A few weeks ago, she told me she wanted to give Mary Lynn to her "best bud" Danica.  Danica has Chiari like Brooke, and they have become very close.  Brooke is broken hearted that she is moving so far away from her friend.  She told me she wanted her to have Mary Lynn to remember her.  I reminded Brooke that this was her favorite doll.  And she said "I know and that is why she needs to live with Danica, because I know she will take special care of Mary Lynn."  How could I say no?  So I pulled out this much loved doll and brushed, then washed, then brushed, then attempted to style her hair.  Mom's will understand this!  And on Wednesday, Mary Lynn found a home with her new mama.

Ok I said this story was about a bike too.  Brooke has also been dreaming of riding a bike, but this is not possible for her.  I started researching adapted bikes, and found out Ernie's Bike Shop makes them.  I called and on Monday they told me they would build one for Brooke.  I asked the price, and tried to contain my surprise when they said $450.00!  Well again this was not possible.  As much as I wanted this special bike for my ladybug, we just could not swing this.  So i posted on facebook with my sadness, and if anyone ever heard of a cheaper place to find them.  I was immediately contacted by friends who offered to look into building one for her!  I was super excited, and then on Wednesday...Wishes Can Happen called.  They wanted to purchase the bike for Brooke!!!  A friend from church had turned Brooke's name into them!  So the same day Brooke let go of her treasured doll, someone gave her a beautiful gift!

But gets so much better!  On Thursday we went to see the bike!!! Ernie's did an awesome job and it is a beautiful blue bike with a large basket on back, and pink and silver hand streamers!  They had to adjust a few more things, so we left the bike there.  I was supposed to call Cindy, wonderful Wishes Can Happen lady, and tell her about it.  I called and gave her details.  She said they had already contacted Ernie's and would take care of the bike.  Cindy wanted to know if Brooke needed anything else.  I mentioned a helmet.  She told me oh of course they would get her a helmet, she meant anything else?  I just stood with the phone in my hand, what else could we possibly need?  I was so thankful for this gift!  Then she said "Is there a toy you would never be able to buy Brooke, that she really wants?"  Sooo I told her the story of the doll.  I felt guilty asking for more, but she jumped right in and said...Done!  She asked which one she wanted.  I told her she dreamed of Julie, because that was the name of her Godmother.  :)

Ok very cool, right?  Well it gets better!  On Friday, Cindy calls me to say she met with the board.  I thought she was going to say the doll was just too much.  Imagine my complete shock when she said, "We would like to send you to the American Girl store in Chicago or Washington DC!"  My response, "What?" then "Are you sure? I mean really?"  These are the things that happen on TV!  I am so excited but have not told Brooke yet!  We are waiting to pick a date, and then I will tell her.  She only knows about the bike.  I am so, so happy for her!  Her year has been so long, and she has been so brave.  Each day I watch her struggle with things, and she always keeps the positive attitude!  Her little heart is always thinking of other, and I am just so proud of her!  This is a huge blessing which I am humbled, thankful, and excited by!  Thank you to all who have been a part of this, and all those who continually pray for my bug!

Friday, August 12, 2011

One Year and Counting....

A year ago we were in New York where Brooke was recovering from brain surgery.  I am so thankful for the journey our family has been on over this past year.  This may seem like a strange comment, but we have grown so much as a family.  Last year we believed her brain surgery was all we could handle...and yet this has probably been one of the hardest years we have faced.  Brooke had many ups and downs after her surgery as did our family.  With Brooke's surgery came great debt.  My heart goes out to families who have multiple children with Chiari.  I am not even sure how you manage.  But then I guess you just keep going.

Brooke made great strides, and many looked and saw a perfectly normal girl.  But many of Brooke's symptoms stayed the same.  Our amazing Dr.B listened and encouraged us to proceed with a 2nd surgery on her spine in April. So 6 months after my baby got through brain surgery...this brave bug was back in surgery again.  And for the 2nd time she made great strides.  But we still have many battles to fight.  Brooke still has slight instability in her neck which probably lead to spinal fusion as a teen.  She still has a severe bladder and bowel issue that will lead to surgery in a few years.  And every time she says, "Mama why can't I ride a bike?" my heart drops a little.  I know this is something small, but it brings joy to a little child!

2010-2011 has been a roller coaster ride for us all.  Between the surgeries, financial crisis, job loss, and now moving, I feel like I have not rested in a very long time.  I am so very thankful for the people who have helped with benefits, and helping us to stay in our home!  I am thankful for all the prayers that have sustained us.  We know this new job for Tim is a true blessing, and we are thrilled to have it!  It was an answer to pray as now I can stay home with the kids.  So when Brooke is having an off day, we can just hang out.

I want to write more about our move and will.  Tonight I just want to be thankful that we survived this year.  We have grown as a fam...and life is continuing on.