A Decade

I wrote this post for Miss Haley 5 years ago. 
My Haley:
Joyful, determined, passionate, strong
loving, energetic, intense, loyal and crazzzzy!
Most of all, you desire to honor God in all that you do!
What an example you are to me! 
Happy 15th Birthday, beautiful girl!!
written 10-23-08

You came into the world ready to take it on with a vengeance. Since that fall day, ten years ago, not one thing has stopped you from enjoying every moment of your life.

Hours old..before you were transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center

Miss Haley, you took three days to make your entrance into the world...those 72 hours of waiting in that hospital room are as vivid to me as if it happened last week. I remember your brother and sister visiting with your two grandmas, I remember what friends stopped by and I remember the McDonalds that Dave and Amy snuck in because I could not eat one more cup of jello. When you did decide to come that late Friday afternoon, you decided to come in 2.3 seconds...once again, you did nothing even remotely similar to what your siblings did..which is your trademark...YOU ARE YOUR OWN PERSON! (and we love that about you) When it was discovered that you were not going to come in the world naturally, you were stuck and needed a little help.....we were quickly wheeled into the operating room and the doctors were removing you from your warm home of nine plus months. This c-section turned out to be blessing. A pediatrician is routinely called for emergency cesareans and we needed that doctor that day. Within an hour of your birth, it was evident that your little heart, the size of your baby fist, was not working properly and you were whisked away before I even saw your chubby cheeks. Thankfully, your daddy was with you every minute. I knew the moment your dad came into my room a few hours later that something was wrong...he had no baby, bundled in blankets with pink skin in his arms. That was the day that I truly knew from my gut, the meaning of PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING. By the time I had received the news, prayer chains across the country had started. You had relatives in five different states covering us and bathing us in prayer! At one point in this journey, your grandpa received an email from a pastor in China that heard about our family and he was praying for you a world away. You were taken to a hospital about an hour away. Grandma Rita and Dad were with you for the next three days as doctors assessed you and made plans for your open heart surgery at a mere ten days old. The saddest part for me.... I was left behind to heal for a few days from surgery. I was never left alone and blessed with nonstop visitors, in fact, they let Mamaw sleep in the bed next to me. One nurse was thoughtful enough to snap some Polaroids of you so I could look at you.. I slept with those pictures...sometimes it felt like a dream, like maybe I didn't really have a baby...my arms were empty and my heart was broken. I missed you and those were three very long days without you and daddy. On Monday morning, mamaw picked me up and we headed to meet you and hold you for the very first time. As I walked into that NICU, I so clearly remember, the smell and sounds and I remember exactly where your little bed was..You were HUGE compared to your nursery friends. They don't see 8lb. babies in the NICU very often. I picked you up with so many wires attached to you and I held you, smelled you and cuddled with you for hours. ...you were mine and I had waited way too long to hold you! The next two weeks were long and scary. Dad and I were able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House across the street. It was wonderful to be so close to you. Sometimes, if we couldn't sleep, we would walk over and peek in on you at midnight, or we would go to the prayer chapel and pray for you. We knew that you were in God's hands and all your days were ordained by HIM, we gave you to HIM, knowing that HE was in control. Most days we would just sit and hold you, bath you and soak up every minute with you. On the day of your surgery, Mama, Papa, Grandma Rita and mom and dad met at 6:00am to pray over you one more time and anoint you with oil. We followed you and your team of doctors and nurses to the surgical floor and as they wheeled you through that last door, I was sure my heart had ripped right out of my chest. They repaired your small heart in just about 4-5 hours and we were holding you that night. You made it through surgery with flying colors!Within days of surgery, you were home and we were a family of five...finally!

This is just a small part of the story that God has written for you Haley. He has chosen you and you are called by HIM! I am excited to see how God is going to use you and what avenue you take to serve HIM in the future! You are a blessed girl and I pray you will never forget how your story began! Remember, you are a fighter!

Haley you have brought us laughter, laughter and more laughter into our home! Your curiosity, your creativeness, and deep thinking, challenge me daily and keep me on my knees...seeking the ONE that created you!

My first time holding you...3 days old

The day after your open heart surgery

We are so honored and blessed to be your parents!

Happy 10th Birthday Little Girl!


auntierobann said...

As I sit up listening to the quiet outside this still night I am glad I stopped by to read Haley's story. I've heard you share it several times, I've seen your scrapbooking, but there is something about reading one's heart in words that just moves emotions. "Heart"warming thanks for sharing with the world.
love u and most certainly love "H"

palmerfamlyfive said...

I am amazed at your beautiful ability to put words together, to speak your heart... and be moved in mine! Thankful for Haleys friendship to my own 'decade old girl' So glad that God brought you and Darren back into our lives!

Apron Strings Aflutter said...

(Still kicking myself for not jumping in the car and coming to your side that night.) So amazing how God's hand was on the entire situation. I cant believe its been 10 years! Happy birthday, sweet girl!

lookin4sprouts said...

Happy Birthday sweet Haley!!! Miss you and love you lots.....Mikayla

Laurie said...

Oh my dear friend, Tracy ~ What a gift you have in putting things into words, in having a strong godly foundation and family unit, and in sweet, little Haley. You know I can relate to that child that brings laughter, challenge and profoundness to our lives. You KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt they were placed in our lives with a strong purpose to be fulfilled! This is a beautiful story about a beautiful girl with a very happy ending...and she's just beginning!
Today is Nov. 5, 2008, and our country has chosen a direction I may not have taken, but a story like this puts everything into perspective...God is on the throne, He is sovereign and He has a plan for each and every one of us! Before I read this this morning I was reading in Psalms and ran across a verse I had underlined and written down. It's Psalm 138:8 ~ The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, oh Lord, endures forever!
Love you!

Tracy: said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy: said...

Thanks for your encouraging words, I am blessed indeed with RICH friendships:

Robin; you are such a dear friend and have helped point out Haley's incredible gifts to me over the years, you loved her from the day you met her when she was 18 months..auntie robin!

Marcea, We are soooo thankful you are in our lives again too. God's so creative ; )

Nicole; Sister, you WERE there for me every step of the way, you may not have been there with me physically, but I remember talking to both you and Bur that very evening on the phone for quite awhile...I felt the LOVE ; )

Laurie; You do "get" my Haley, don't ya...What powerful words YOU wrote, love the scripture. Love you!