This year totally snuck up on me, which is unusual but an awesome thing!! Normally, I kinda dread this day to be honest. In the past, I would see it coming up on the calendar and cringe inside. The anniversary doesn't mean anything to anyone but us. We don't talk about it with Chloe because she's doing AWESOME and is rockin' life one day at a time. But for Joel and I...we remember, reflect and give thanks. It's cathartic for us. That's why I write on here every year, I hope to print these out for Chloe one day as a type of journal, an encouragement to see how FAR God has brought her and all the amazing things He has done in and through her!! So much more to come too! :) I truly love looking back at the year and seeing all the wonderful things that have happened and even the challenging things too. Pictures are my favorite way to do that...
This is Chloe at our FAV place, Camp No Limits in Maine!!
She learned how to paddle board for the first time and
looked like a pro out there :)
Rock Climbing (with a flower in her hair)
Made it to the top and rang that bell!!! :)
Camp No Limits, Maryland
It is my all time fav time to spend with Chloe, watching her challenge herself and grow and be with the people who "get it" and are just like family to us!!
This past fall, Chloe tried Soccer and had a blast!!
It wasn't the easiest on her leg but that didn't stop her :)
She loves her animals!!
This spring, she fell in love with Softball!!
Wow, she's a powerhouse - they call her Slugger :)
They love having a Dad who loves to play sports with them!! :)
Chloe's last concert at elementary school,
playing Violin and singing in the Chorus!
Spring 2014 school picture - time is flying too fast!!
Chloe's 5th Grade Graduation
We are oozing with pride over the precious girl God has allowed us to call ours!
She is our Sunshine and brings so much joy and laughter to our lives!!
It's been 8 years since -- our lives changed, our family faced the most heart wrenching of circumstances, our darkest day, we wondered how we would survive and what her life would be like, we cried and we worried every day...
It's been 8 years since -- we saw God spare our daughter's life, we had a legion of people surround us with care, love and prayer support, we saw Chloe leap over every hurdle in front of her, we looked into those sparkly eyes steely with determination and knew everything would be ok, we celebrated her walking again, we forgave and received forgiveness, we loved abundantly and received love abundantly...
We call it an "accident" but we believe in a God who lovingly orders all our steps. Did He cause Chloe to get hurt? No. Did He allow Chloe to get hurt? Yes. Do I still wonder why some days and wish things were different? Yes. I am human - I am a Mother. However, I have seen amazing things in and through my daughter because of this journey, I have seen her experience amazing things because of this journey, I have been blown away by the things that God has allowed to come into our lives because of this journey.
In the past year, Chloe has been to 2 Camp No Limits - (learned to paddle board, beat the rock wall, rode a mechanical bull, faced down the super sized swing, challenged herself to the ropes course, went tubing) had an awesome time at Pirate Camp in FL - (learned how to sail, paddle boarded, caught a sea urchin). She played soccer for the first time, had an awesome first CNL fundraiser and was given a Kingsville firemen's helmet and a chance to say Thank You in person, made a group of school friends who truly accepted her for who she is, played softball for the first time, got a newly designed prosthesis, finished her Patriot program and enjoyed a field trip as an award, got excellent grades, graduated from 5th grade, is looking forward to another awesome summer and transferring to a new school in the fall!!! :)
What can I say in response to all this? God is good. All the time, God is good. And I believe that with all my heart, it gives me joy on the good days and hope on the difficult days. I have come to see that all things come through my heavenly Father's hands and that they are good, intended for my very best. That is true also for Chloe-girl, who belongs to God as well! I will continue to claim that truth for her until the day she is able to claim that for herself.
So today, I'm going to be JOYFUL and THANKFUL because I have so many reasons to do so...
~ A Tribute ~
This year we grieved the loss of a dear friend, the Orthopedic Dr. that operated on Chloe after her accident. Dr. Arabella Leet was a precious woman who loved Chloe from the minute she met her and Chloe loved her - we all did! I don't know if I could have received the words, "we couldn't save her foot" from anyone other than this sweet lady. We knew without a doubt that she had tried everything she could and we could be at peace with her decision to amputate. Dr. Leet walked with us through many difficulties, trials, surgeries, procedures and healing. She championed and cheered Chloe every step of the way, often calling Chloe "her hero". But Dr. Leet was our hero, one that is truly and deeply missed. It broke our hearts to hear of her too soon passing. A large piece of Chloe's history went with her, no one else knows the details surrounding this date. The world was better with her in it, we are better because we knew her and loved her and called her friend. With all our hearts we want to honor her life by living our lives to the fullest, loving and encouraging those around us! I know it would make her so happy to see Chloe thriving and living with zest, spirit and determination...we love you, Dr. Leet xoxo