On January 27, Caleb turned three. His birthday was celebrated with Batman cupcakes and more than a few happy tears from Mommy... you can't blame me, considering that there was a time I didn't know if Caleb would ever have another birthday.
In February, our family was invited to a New Castle boys varsity basketball game because the team and coach wanted to honor Caleb with an award, on behalf of the community, for outstanding courage and strength. Caleb got to ham it up as the crowd cheered for him.
In March, our family was invited back to the Ronald McDonald House for an event for their board of directors and donors. The event featured Caleb's story and Dr. Jeff Sperring, the President and CEO of Riley was a guest speaker, along with yours truly. We got to stay all night in our old apartment and my boys thought it was a vacation. The RMH staff treated us like we were coming home for a reunion and it was great to see them all again, and great to stay in what still feels like our second home. We had a special surprise when Dr. Mark Rodefeld, the surgeon who performed Caleb's heart transplant, came to the event. It was really special to see him again, and I know it was special to him to hold Caleb in his arms, knowing the part he played in Caleb's amazing story.
On March 27, Caleb was officially SIX months post-transplant. As that date approached, and flu season ended, and Caleb continued to do so incredibly well, we began to let him venture out in the world more. We have just gone back to church and Caleb joined his little Puggles class, which he absolutely loves. The first time I dropped him off at his class, I couldn't believe we'd arrived at a point in our life where he could join in with what other kids were doing. We also have taken him to the Children's Museum, both the one in Indy and the one in Muncie. Watching him run and play and simply wander around with wide eyes will never get old to me... I hope he always approaches new experiences with the kind of enthusiasm he has nowadays.
And mostly we have just been enjoying normal life. Day after day of just being a family, together, in our home. Healthy... happy. As winter is finally giving way to spring, our life isn't starting to feel routine. Instead, there is a growing excitement for the amazing experiences that are ahead. And by "amazing", I mean things like playing in the dirt and going to the park, watching fireworks from someplace other than a hospital rooftop, and anticipating our first vacation as a family of 5 (the beach in May... YAY!).
These six months since Caleb got a heart transplant and we have returned home have been a very quiet season for me. And I've been trying to enjoy and savor it, even when it has seemed boring at times. I'm aware that another new season is about to begin. Our seclusion is over and God is stirring in my heart that new things are around the corner. I've been invited to speak at a few events (mostly churches, although speaking at the RMH event was a blast) in the next couple months, and I have discovered a growing passion to share my heart with others. I hope more opportunities to do that come my way.
So much to look forward to... I wish time would slow down. My babies are getting too big too fast. Jonah has his first loose tooth and starts kindergarden this fall. Caleb is in the "I'll do it myself!" phase and not only wants to dress himself, but has strong opinions about which super hero jammies he's putting on each night. Then there's my baby girl... Lucy rolled over today for the first time. Sigh. All this stuff, this normal life stuff, this is what I waited for all those months. I still can't believe this is my life.