Four years ago Melanie and I spent a week coming and going to the NICU at a nearby hospital waiting for our newborn little girl to be strong enough to take home. At first she couldn't even get enough oxygen by herself. Then she still wasn't strong enough to eat by herself. She flunked her hearing test two or three different times. We used to sit by her hospital crib and watch the blood oxygen sensor rise and fall, occasionally sounding an alarm and sending nurses rushing to her side. We used to await the weigh-ins to see if she had finally gained an ounce or two so we could bring her home.
Fast forward four years. I can't believe the miracles I've seen. With a little help, that same little girl, now over three feet tall and almost 25 pounds, opened her fourth birthday gifts. She got all kinds of new clothes, some new Signing Time DVDs and a new doll that she's fallen in love with.
At four years old, she can feed herself and get around with her walker. She goes to school on the big yellow school bus. She makes some of her own choices about what to eat, wear or do with her time. She's even been a good example to her little brother who was born this past year.
I can't begin to describe all the things we've seen as Whitney has progressed and learned over the years. But what I do know is that she has been a huge blessing to Melanie and I. We can't imagine life without her. Happy Birthday, Whitney!