I promise to post again tomorrow about how things are going, but tonight I’m going to blog about something else.
Today my little girl, Joanna Lynn, turned five. I posted on Facebook that I didn’t know what happened to the time?! There is no way she could be five already! She has turned into this amazing little girl who surprises me daily with things that she says and does. Not to brag or anything, but she truly is incredible!
On Thursday, I picked the girls up from school and I found out that Joanna was going to be Student of the Week the week of the 29th. There is this big packet that Joanna and I have to do together and then I also had to pick 6-10 pictures of Joanna and her family from baby years until now. So, Thursday night I got on my iPhoto and started looking through all of Joanna’s past pictures. I am in absolute awe of how much my little girl has gone through in the past five years. In five short years, she has taught me so much, and here are just a few of those lessons.
The day Joanna was born, I learned what it meant to truly love someone the moment I met them. She left me after my first 15 minutes of seeing her, and I learned that I had to let go and let God take complete control.
In the next few weeks of Joanna being in the NICU, I learned just how strong this little girl was and how much of a fighter she was and would continue to be. She was so beautiful and calm. The nurses fell in love with her and always told us how quiet and easygoing she was for a baby. (Just like her father.)
Right after Joanna's intestinal surgery, Trent and I found out about Joanna’s heart condition. Then just about 10 days later, Joanna and I had to say goodbye to Daddy as he went back to Iraq. Again, I learned about the power of prayer, as I wondered how on earth I was going to do this by myself.
Joanna started seeing her cardiologist and went through so much testing over the next 9 months. We fought for every ounce that she gained, as her heart was burning more calories than we could get into her, praying that she would be strong enough to have her surgery. At 9 months old, she was finally strong enough to have her open-heart surgery. Probably one of the scariest moments of my life, watching her be carried away. But did my little girl cry, nope! She just held onto her stuffed puppy, sucked on her pacifier in her cute little strawberry jammies, and went willingly with the nurse. But she showed her mama’s feisty side later that night, after surgery, in the PICU. She was pulling out tubes and ventilators like crazy! Then later on during her hospital stay, she pulled out her IV! She is her mama’s child. :) Nobody messes with a Rhea girl! She was ready to go home in just 5 days. Amazing how she always bounces back so quickly.
She was now finally able to live and play and not worry about getting sick. With her heart fixed, she could play with other kids, go to regular daycare, and just be Joanna. And boy has she lived!
She has taught me to soak up the sunshine!
To clap our hands and rejoice in the beautiful days our God has made for us!
To let the wind blow through our hair.
To stop and kick our feet up every once in a while.
To smile and love our family as much as we can.
And to simply enjoy life! Thanks to my, now big girl, Joanna for teaching me so very much. Happy Birthday, sweet girl!