I remember sitting next to Emily's bed in the ICU during one of her hospitalizations. Emily was sleeping and I was reading.
In the bed next to us was a newborn baby boy; he was scheduled to have his first open heart surgery the next day.
His nurse had been Emily's nurse when she was a newborn waiting for her first open heart surgery.
That nurse was my saving grace while we were in the ICU our first time around and I was happy to know that another very traumatized mommy had one of the best caring for her son.
I'm not nosy by nature, but I am observant.
I listen and I am aware of details, and it wasn't long before I learned some of the baby boy's story.
His dad was in prison and had been for several months.
His mom had three other little kids and spoke very little English.
She was from out of state and had come here when she realized how sick her baby was.
She didn't have any other family, and had, up to that point, spent very little time with her son.
Her baby's heart condition was serious, and his future was still uncertain.
Michelle, the nurse, tried to explain to the mom what she should expect after surgery and I could tell the mother wasn't understanding much.
I imagine the language barrier was ten times worse due to the stress she had been through that week.
Michelle asked if I had any picture of Emily that she could show this other mom.
I had my computer with me and opened it and showed this young mother what she could expect.
Because of incredibly strict laws I could never find out what happened to the baby boy, but I've thought of him often.
I've hoped that his mom has been able to take care of him...that's he's had love...that he's had all that he deserves in this life.
* * * * *
This morning we had two speech therapists come to work with Emily.
Tomorrow we will have three more therapists come to work with Emily, and to evaluate her.
As the therapists were leaving this morning, one of them said, "You are great parents and we truly appreciate you and what you do for Emily."
It's not the first time a therapist has told us that.
After I walked the therapists to the door I said to Jason, "I wonder what they've seen that prompts them to thank us for being good parents."
And for some reason my mind turned again to the baby boy in the ICU.
I won't even begin to judge or guess what his life is like.
All I can do is hope that he's been as loved as Emily is.
* * * * *
I've said it before...
I'm incredibly humbled to think that Em came to us...that she is our daughter...that Heavenly Father trusted us with her care...
But mostly I'm just grateful that she's in our family...because we love her enough to get her through anything.