Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Happy 8th Birthday, Nate the Great!

Eight years ago today, unbeknownst to us, a teeny-tiny little boy was born fifteen weeks early and with a host of medical issues.  

When Nate was a few days old we received a call from our adoption agency.  Would we consider adopting this tiny little one?  The odds were against him.  He was very small and very sick.  He needed a LOT of medical care.  He would be in the NICU for a long time.  He had so many medical needs.  His future was unknown.  But he needed a family.  Would we consider becoming his family?  

I'm not sure how long Brent and I talked about it - not more than a couple of days.  I know we prayed together and separately.  We prayed and then we prayed again.  We were worried.  We were so afraid that if we said yes and this sweet boy didn't make it that our hearts would break.  We weren't sure how his future medical needs may impact Tyler and Emmalee.  Given Tyler's special needs we weren't sure it was the best idea to commit ourselves to bringing home a little one whose needs were so complex.  So we prayed again.  And we received the answer that our hearts already knew.  This miracle baby was meant to be in our family.  We put our trust in the Lord and prayed that he would help Nate to grow and thrive.  

Nate faced an uphill battle during his nearly four months in the NICU.  He had several set backs.  He had heart surgery.  He had brain bleeds.  We were told at one point that they weren't sure he would make it.  And through it all we prayed and prayed.  Our family and friends prayed.  And Nate thrived.  He beat the odds and a few days shy of turning four months old he came home.  

I am constantly amazed at how far this sweet little boy has come in eight years.  He has struggled in many ways and the path hasn't always been easy.  But I remember the days of worrying that he would never walk or talk.  The days when we were convinced he was deaf.  The days we prayed he wasn't blind.  Those worries are gone now.  Yes, Nate has challenges....Autism, Fetal-Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, a colostomy.  He also has a super silly personality.  He's extremely loving. He is very smart and sometimes shocks us with the things he can do.  He loves school, loves to play music, loves to watch tv, loves his family, loves life.  He is the sweetest little eight year old ever!

There are so many things I love about Nate.  I love that he sleeps with his head completely covered but his feet uncovered.  I love that the silliest things make him laugh. I LOVE his laugh -- it is so contagious! I love that he loves music so much.  I love that he gets super excited when he sees me after school as he comes off the bus.  I love that he is pretty easy going and doesn't mind going with the flow for the most part.  

I am so thankful that Nate is part of our forever family.  I'm thankful every day that Heavenly Father answered our prayers and helped us to realize that this amazing little boy was meant to be with us.  I simply can't imagine our family without him.

Happy Birthday, Nate the Great!  We love you!!