Sixteen years ago we were told that our unborn baby might not live past the first year. A chromosome test came back positive for Trisomy 18. This chromosome disorder causes babies to be born with deformities of their major organs and most die. Yet, we chose to trust God and believe that no matter what, He would help us face it. And God was faithful. Emily was born a healthy 8 lb., 15 oz. girl.
Her life has been one of overcoming. Within the first year we discovered she had multiple, life-threatening allergies to both food and environmental things. Anyone who has dealt with a child in the midst of a full-blown, anaphylactic reaction knows how frightening that can be. I remember riding in the back of an ambulance with her, watching her face and eyes swell to the point that she looked monstrous and hearing her gasp for breath and praying that she would be okay.
Hard times have been part of her life but rather than let them break her, she has grown and stretched and become mature. Trials and struggles have shaped her and even though they have been very difficult to deal with, they have made her who she is. She has been in the midst of a few traumatic experiences that many will never have to face yet she persevered through them. In fact, if I could sum up her life in two words they would be strength and joy.
She struggles when she feels hurt and when she messes up, she is so repentant. Her heart breaks when she realizes she has done the wrong thing. She stays sad for quite a while and I miss the joy in her. I do know that these tough things are ways we learn and God uses our mistakes to change us and shape us into His image.
Emily will be 16 years old this May. It's so hard to believe that my little one will be leaving the nest in a few short years. I'm so proud of the young lady she has become and we love her. She does indeed have my heart.