Friday, January 27, 2012

My One-Year-Old Miracle

One year ago today, at 9:41 a.m., a squishy, pink, screaming little boy with a bum heart came into this world and changed my life forever. Needless to say, it's been emotional reflecting this week on the events happening one whole year ago in this family... yesterday while my kids napped I re-read my whole blog, reading about the day Caleb was born and the crazy days that followed, and each time I read about one of those glorious "ups", and excruciating "downs", fresh tears rolled down my cheeks.  What was perfect was that Caleb woke up while I was reading and I went and held him and just cried and cried and then suddenly burst into laughter because I was totally overwhelmed with joy.  I'm sure it was a very strange way to wake up from a nap, with his mother having an emotional outburst, but in a sweet and perfect way, as if he understand what was happening, he started laughing right along with me and then like a little miracle, Caleb started clapping as if he knew that we had SO MUCH to celebrate and that really that's what his crazy mommy was trying to communicate. It was precious.  I just squeezed him and kept laughing and crying and we sat like there for quite a while until baby boy had had enough already and wanted his bottle, thank you very much.  I think this is the most I've ever laughed and cried at the same time, but there's no other response I can think of that fits better how I feel today.  We have gone through so much in the last year, so much hurt and disappointment and fear and pain... and yet here Caleb is, one year old, growing into a little boy who is sweet and joyful and getting bigger (and more mischievous) every day.  I am bursting at the seams with thankfulness today.  I am so convinced that God is REAL and that He is GOOD... and not just because He has kept Caleb alive, but because He was so obviously with us in those dark days.  He is good because He is present, He's with us, lifting our heads and giving us strength that couldn't have come from anywhere else.  What a day!  What a day to celebrate and laugh and cry and be amazed at this crazy life we've been given!  

Can I ask you a favor?  As if I haven't asked you for more than I can ever thank you for... your prayers, encouragement, and support are greater gifts than you'll ever know... but I have one special request on this special day.  I want Caleb to know how many people have been following his story, how many people have prayed for him and thought of him.  Would you take a moment to write something to him?  Please, whether it's a response on this blog, a message to me on facebook, an email to kakinnaird@hotmail.com, anything you want to say long or short, just take a minute and tell him that you've prayed for him.  I am going to print off all the messages and posts that come in and keep them in the box of things from this year.  Send a message to Caleb and let's overwhelm him with the amount of people who love him!  If you have ever said a prayer for my little boy, please take a moment to let him know that, and when he's older, we can show him your precious messages.  It can be your birthday gift to him. 

Happy Birthday Caleb!  You and your heart are a gift to me more precious than I'll ever be able to tell you.  You have made me a stronger, wiser, more humble woman and I love you more fiercely than you will be able to understand, until hopefully someday God blesses you with your own children.  I am praying for you today, that God gives you many, many birthdays, and that you will not only have a strong heart that keeps amazing us all, but that you will have a spiritual heart that loves God with everything you have.  You have a beautiful story to tell and I pray that God will use your story to help others see Him and His love.  I love you, baby boy.



23 comments:

  1. Dear sweet baby Caleb,
    Within your one year of life, you have changed more lives than I have in my nineteen years. You have certainly changed mine. You're a strong, courageous, tiny little warrior, and I am so thankful for the journey God has brought you through. I want you to know that just one year ago today, I was praying fervently for your little heart. I prayed that the Lord would give you and your amazing parents strength and peace. And I want you to know above all else that the Lord DOES provide. He's provided endlessly for our family, and I hope you never doubt His power. I can't wait to see what He will do with your life! Happy birthday, sweet boy!
    Love,
    Kenzie

    ReplyDelete
  2. Caleb, You are sooo blessed to have such faithful,caring, wonderful parents!! I was one who worried about you so and followed your mom's blog closely. God has a very special plan for your future I just know, but He has already used you in your first year of life to touch many people that you may never meet or remember meeting. God let me see you on your mom and dad's first outing after you finally came home from the hospital after your birth, which was at Applebees! You looked so happy and healthy:)Happy Birthday Caleb- continue to pursue your heavenly Father throughout your life, may it be a long and happy one! Janet Schmeisser

    ReplyDelete
  3. happy birthday, caleb! i've been reading your story and following your journey into this world, and you are definitely blessed to have such a loving family!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello Caleb,
    Happy 1st birthday!! I have prayed for you the moment we knew about you and have deeply felt that God has a special plan for you. You were born into an amazingly loving, down-to-earth, funny, encouraging, God-loving, wanna-be-like-Jesus family! You don't see me often, but I think of you a lot - and pray for you a lot. I am Tutu's sister. She shows me pictures of you all the time and tells me silly stories about you too. She sure does love you - and I do too! I can't wait to see what God has planned for you!
    Lots of love,
    Aunt Julie

    ReplyDelete
  5. Happy 1st Birthday Caleb!!! I've been praying for you since we found out about your heart condition and am blown away by your amazing progress!! God surely has His hand on your life and I can't wait to see how He uses you to further His kingdom. We are extremely lucky to be semi-related to such a wonderful family and hope to see you when you visit South Bend in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Caleb,
    Happy 1st B-day. I had the privilege to meet you this last Christmas 2011. As with your story I felt a blessing to see this blue bright eyed little boy. I'm sure as you grow you will see how GOD has surrounded you with love and dedication from two loving parents and family. I will continue to ask our Heavenly Father to bless and nurture you in health as you grow each and every day. I know the tears of joy your mother shed, as I have had my own struggules with raising two boys. (Fully grown men now). There is something to be said to a mother who faithfully recongonizes the strength that comes from prayers. May God Bless you richly in the coming days and years.

    ReplyDelete
  7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CALEB!!!!

    I first heard about your story on facebook, from your mommy's friend Tiffany Thompson. Tiffany posted a link to this blog and that is when I was able to know the entire story of you and cried and prayed for you and your family during this last year. I know that God has great things in store for you!

    God Bless,
    Rachel

    ReplyDelete
  8. Happy Birthday Caleb! I've loved you since the minutes I laid eyes on you. You went from being a little tiny little boy, to a healthy handsome boy. My family and I had prayed for you many times, and let me tell ya, God works miracles! I love you, big boy!

    With Love,
    Your big cousin Gracie.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Happy Birthday Sweet Caleb! I have been blessed to see you grow this past year. I have prayed for you from the moment your mommy and daddy told us the news. I love when you smile your toothy grin, and laugh at your big brother Jonah. I love you Caleb!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Happy Birthday Baby Caleb, Our family remembers you in our prayers and thoughts throughout this last year. We loved seeing you smile at family gatherings and can't wait to see you and Jonah run after Grant soon:) Have a wonderful birthday.
    The Bowen family

    ReplyDelete
  11. Happy birthday Caleb! I also have been following your story...even before you popped into the world. Was my privilege to pray for you then and now. You have no idea, little one, how much your life and its struggles have impacted bunches and bunches of people. Your family is so brave to have shared your story with us. I look forward to reading about many more blessed birthdays.
    Marcia Slaven

    ReplyDelete
  12. Caleb,
    You are a very special little boy. Witnessing God work in your life and in your family's life throughout your first year has been incredible. The obstacles you have overcome awe me, and it was humbling to see the incredible strength of your parents as they leaned on God to make it through each trail. Your sweet spirit and your sparkly eyes and happy smiles bring such joy to so many of us. I feel blessed to be able to watch you as you grow. Happy birthday, sweet boy.
    Love,
    Jenny

    ReplyDelete
  13. Montie & Patty HaleJanuary 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Happy Birthday Caleb! I feel I have known you for almost a year and a half on your first Birthday. Before you were born our Saturday Morning Men's Prayer Group found out about your heart condition. I promised your Mother that we would pray for you as a group every Saturday morning. We prayed for your family, the doctors and the nurses that would be caring for you when you came into this world. Prayer is a powerful thing. It can make you love someone that you don't even know. I felt a strong sense of duty to lift you up in my prayers. You see, your Great Grandfather, Jim Cox, was a big part of our Prayer Group for many years. He was a Prayer Warrior. He taught me how to pray and how to be a praying man. His influence remains alive and well to this day. I can remember him praying for his family almost every Saturday. His love for his family was only surpassed by his love for Jesus Christ. He would be thankful for the Blessing of the strength given to you and your family by our Precious Lord and Savior.
    Fight on Little Man!!

    Isaiah 40:30-31
    Montie and Patty Hale

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy Birthday Caleb! I have thought of you many times over the last year and prayed for you also. I think your mom and dad are pretty special people along with the grandparents! :) Although we go to the same church I really don't know you but I know our maker and he has made you a modern day miracle. It has been a blessing to witness. If you would ever doubt your parents faith just look back on this time in your life. Your mom and dad were AMAZING to watch. Because no matter how hard it got their eyes were lifted up...watching and waiting on God's answer to their prayers and ours. And no matter how God answered, with a yes or no, they knew you and your family would be alright. I pray one day when you grow up you will be able to say Thank You to your parents for loving, trusting, and believing that there is only ONE TRUE GOD...and he holds our past present and future in his hands. To thank them for their steadfast prayers and never giving up. Amazing and wonderfully made...Caleb! Enjoy life to the fullest! Happy First Birthday!!! Ginger Mills

    ReplyDelete
  15. Caleb, Happy Birthday buddy! I'm technically a little behind but since I started this message earlier in the day, I believe it still counts :) You are such a joy to your parents. A little bundle of Katie in male form (sorry Daddy, I think Caleb favors Katie's side of the family pretty strongly, ha). You have been prayed for all of your life by so many people who love you and we couldn't be happier than to celebrate your one year celebration of life on this earth. May God bless you and your family and may you eat lots of yummy cake :) Love you Caleb!!

    Rachel Frederick

    ReplyDelete
  16. Caleb,
    I will never forget the day you were born. Sitting in the hospital waiting for you. We were keeping an eye on the weather because we had a terrible ice storm!! I was kindof thankful for that storm. I got to spend the whole week with you in the hospital and didn't have to miss any school!! I think God taught me what is was like to pray without ceasing!! You are a tough little man!! So, thankful for you, Jonah and your mommy and daddy!! I am so glad I get to be your Tutu!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello Caleb! Gift from God! Happy happy 1 year birthday to you! I am so glad to know that you are doing well, and its such a comfort to see Gods love in action in your birth and growth! You are a beautiful little man and you are blessed to have such wonderful parents who love you so much! I hope you get to enjoy some cake today! Take life slow little buddy!Enjoy every breath!
    I havent met you, but one day I will! Loving you and your mommy! all the way from Canada!
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  18. Happy Birthday! I've been praying for him and am so excited to see the progress he has made. God is so incredibly good. Prayers from Cookeville, TN from an old friend of Dick and Amy. - Phil A.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Happy Belated Birthday Caleb! I have never met you, but have followed your story on Facebook and your mother's blog. I have prayed for you and your family throughout this past year. I praise God that He has brought you through so many trials in your first year of life. I pray, as the song says, for "Many more" birthdays to you!

    -Corenda Koby

    ReplyDelete
  20. Happy Birthday, Caleb! It has been an amazing journey to see your first year of life. What a joy it is to see you in the nursery each Wednesday evening with your chubby, rosy cheeks and sweet little smile. You don't know this yet, but you were blessed with awesome parents and the neatest big brother a guy could ever hope to have in life. As you grow old, you will come know and appreciate what a blessing it is to have godly parents and to know the security of a home where God is placed in highest regard and is in the center of all activities. You are loved and prayed for by so many, and it is an honor to be a part of your life.

    Much love,

    Miss Tanya

    ReplyDelete
  21. Happy Birthday Caleb! Our family first heard about your special heart, shortly after we began attending First Baptist. We have been praying for you ever since. I have loved watching God work on your heart and the hearts of those around you. We serve an awesome God!

    The Baker's

    ReplyDelete
  22. Happy Birthday, Caleb! I have prayed for your little heart too! I have never seen you in real life, and I can't believe how handsome and strong you are getting to be! I pray that your heart grows strong in many ways, and I want you to know that you were blessed with awesome parents!! I have heard many stories about you and your family from my mom, who is good friends with your grandma Cindy.

    Loved the pictures, Katie! Mom just sent me your blog link today :) Hilary (Conklin) Wilkinson

    ReplyDelete
  23. Caleb, there are many who have followed the ups and downs of your first year, and prayed you through some rough patches. I have been privileged to be part of that journey. I've been thrilled with how you've fought through the challenges of your first year. And I've been very proud of your parents whose faith and perseverance have risen well beyond their age as young parents.

    You've helped me see life and the purposes of God from a new perspective. I see more clearly how precious each life is to God, because I see so clearly how precious you are to Him as a unique, living soul. And I wonder at His lofty purposes as I see His plans for you unfold, and the unexpected ways that He receives glory through your life.

    Truly you are special, and a treasure. May your heart know the delight that you've brought to God and others.

    Scott White

    ReplyDelete