Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Thank You...


If someone would have told me 3 years ago that Annabel would still be alive and that she would accomplish all the things that she has, I probably would have laughed and said thanks for being optimistic. Here I am and it is all happening around me. For all of you out there that do not know me, I am Annabel's older sister Tara. I have had the pleasure of spending the past two years babysitting Annabel during the day as my "job". My family laughs at me but I know they are jealous. She is the best friend that anyone could ask for... We watch cartoons, eat snacks, and take naps together on a daily basis. It's the perfect life! Now that she has started school, I am missing the little things with her... like when I rub her nose she makes the funniest pucker face, if I sing to her she laughs out loud, and her mid-morning bath that she smiles and kicks in. These are things that we were told she would never be capable of. Children communicate in their own way, you just have to pay attention and give them a chance to express themselves. My mom has been posting blogs from her perspective so I figure I should give it a go as well.
When Annabel came to us I was terrified.... there was not an owner's manual or to do list attached with her! All the doctors would tell us is to love her and care for her each day because she is going to die. Ok thanks for the advice doc?!? Days, weeks, and months went by and there was no dying going on. I didn't know what to do or how to act so I just watched from afar as my mom did her thing. In the beginning, I was so scared that she was going to choke and die that I had convinced myself that she was choking every time that I fed her. Finally my mom sat me down and said that if she dies it is not my fault and all I can do is love her while she is still with us.... well, I took that to heart and have been doing it everyday since.
I just want to say to all of you out there that have had the opportunity to give birth to a child with a genetic disorder... THANK YOU!! Thank you for going through with it no matter what the doctors told you, thank you for not giving up on a life even if it was for moments/days/months/ no matter what the length of time. These statistics the doctors are using are inaccurate and so the more survivors that are documented, the better chance that you are helping another pregnancy down the road. If the doctors are basing these children solely on statistics then they don't have a chance, but if we can get them to identify with them as human beings then they will might be more optimistic. Life is too precious to let days go by without hope... Annabel is living proof of this. I have never seen a child as happy as she is from the moment she wakes up until the time she goes to sleep. I am all too grateful to God for bringing her to my life. Hopefully this page with bring insight to those looking for help, hope, information, advice, or anything else you may need. There are plenty of people out there that are willing to help and I truly appreciate it. My final thank you goes to my mother who has put Annabel's needs before her own and fought to give her the best life possible over these past 3 years and as many as it takes in the future... thank you to all of the people that have become a part of "Annabel's Family". She thrives off of the love that she receives from everyone around her. God's path is not always seen yet it is already set forth... have hope and follow your heart!

Thank you,
Tara

8 comments:

Annie said...

Annabel is an angel, that's for sure...but so are you, Tara, and your mom. You are all an inspiration. I'm so proud and blessed to know you. Thanks for letting Katie & I be a part of your lives.

Annie

Cathy said...

I could not be more proud to be your mom. Your strength is amazing.I am not sure many 23 yrs. old girls would have committed like you have. You bring so much joy to Annabel's life and I know you are blessed by hers. Again, I love you!
Mom

Anonymous said...

Tara,
I can't imagine this being said better. I love reading your perspective. And you are such a great example to my girls (and boys).
connie

Laurie said...

Hi Tara,

I just found you through a very dear friend and have read about this sweet little blessing. You are such a wonderful big sister and help to your mother. I am proud of you and the love Annabel is surrounded with in your family. The blessings go both ways here don't they?:) You have such a "mother's heart" for your sister. I will be a regular visitor here and pray for your family. Annabel brings such HOPE to Trisomy 18 babies.

Much Love, Laurie in Ca.

Kim said...

Tara-Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone had such a sister!
I agree that it is wonderful to be the one home eating snacks, watching cartoons, napping with, giving baths to a child. I am blessed to do that with my 3, too. Nothin' like it.
God bless you. I think it must feel incredible to have that sweet girl love you like she must.
Kim

Kenzie Stanfield said...

Tara-

I can't tell you how much I LOVE reading your words... about how much you treasure your time with Annabel, how much love and care you show her, how you guys are truly showing her the love of Christ! Thank you for your encouragement of us moms who have confronted this T18 diagnosis and have treasured every moment of the journey... like you said, for us just a moment, but for others, so much longer!

Thank you for being such an awesome sister, daughter and friend!
Love,
Kenzie

Anonymous said...

Tara:

You are just as amazing as your mother, what a Godsend for Annabel. Her life is a reflection of your dedication and love for her. God Bless You, you are very special person.

Edie

Kathy said...

Dearest Tara,

What an amazing young woman you are and so very wise beyond your years.

Annabel is so blessed to have you as her big sister and your mom is so blessed to have you as her daughter.

I thank God that you all have each other and all your extended family and friends to share this beautiful journey with Annabel.

May the Lord bless and keep you all.

Love,
Kathy (from Michigan)