Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Looking back at 2011

2011 was a year of great change, enormous obstacles, tragedy, and laughter.

In February, we discovered I was pregnant.  During the next few months, we learned that we were carrying a baby boy and that he would have Down Syndrome.  We learned of a hole in the baby's heart that would later heal on its own.  In October, we gave birth to Josiah.  We quickly became involved with several Down Syndrome Societies, Early Intervention, the Down Syndrome Clinic at our local Children's Hospital, and a new group of friends.

Carl, after having had a horrific history of back pain and ulcers, had his first cortisone shot in February.  His back pain kept him from participating in most activities for the better part of the year.  In Sept, we learned that the cortisone shot had begun a chain reactivated an ulcer that had been surgically repaired years ago.  The result.....he almost died, had emergency surgery, spent 3 weeks in the hospital, and returned just in time to witness the birth of Josiah.

Our son Jesse turned four.  He started preschool in February, enjoyed summer activities with family, and returned to preschool in Sept.

Our son James turned two.  He enjoyed summer activities with family, and began potty-training.

Both older boys said good-bye to an uncle and embraced a baby brother.

In Sept, my brother Scott died unexpectedly of a drug overdose.  He was 50 yrs old.  My brother Jeff and I both spoke at his funeral and we adjusted to not having an older brother any longer.  We watched our parents bury their oldest child.  We celebrated the good memories and mourned what could have been.  We celebrated our first Thanksgiving and Christmas without Scott.

Some would say, it's been a bad year for our family.  I don't see it that way.

*     We were given the gift of Josiah and we couldn't be prouder to be his chosen parents.

*     We've watched our older boys grow, learn, blossom, and embrace life.  We couldn't be any prouder of them.

*     Our family continuously demonstrates their undying love and support.  We are extremely lucky.  I thank God, everyday, for blessing us with our family.

*     Carl was given a new lease on life.  He was blessed with doctors that intervened, at just the right time.  He was returned to us.  For that, we are so blessed.

*     My brother Scott finally found his way Home.  His torment ended.  He found peace.

*     We have 3 beautiful boys who remind us, everyday, that life is a journey that must be embraced with love and adoration.

The focus can never be on the 'bad' moments but rather the knowledge gained from enduring them with grace, dignity, and an open heart.

Happy New Year!


  1. So much to look forward to in 2012! (Saw your post on