Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

January 30, 2015

7 years.

This morning when I woke up I could hear Josh talking to his brother, I wasn't coherent enough to really know what they conversation was about but they were chatting, not fighting; an important distinction these days.  As I lay there trying to get up the courage to get out of bed and face the day I couldn't help but be transported back 7 years. 7 Years ago today I went to the doctor for an ultrasound and we booked an induction date for three weeks from then. I remember being so scared, having a date made everything that much more real. Tim and I talked in the car ride home and I remember both of us saying we weren't sure we were ready yet.

Less than 24 hours after that appointment we were in the OR having an emergency C-section and meeting Josh for the first time. As they wheeled me into the OR Tim and I were praying that he'd make it, we didn't care about anything else, we just wanted him to live.

Just a few years later he was turning four and as I said goodnight to him on the eve of his birth my only prayer for him was that he would talk to me. I didn't care what he said, I just wanted him to speak.

Today is the eve of his 7th birthday and I look back and see all those answered prayers wrapped up in the gift of this amazing little boy, who lives life to the fullest, who laughs, who brings joy, whose love of humour brings joy to our home and laughter to our lives, who is braver & stronger than most of the people I know. He did live, and his words I love you each night are beautiful reminders to the faithfulness that God has shown us through out this journey. Just this week he stood beside his friends bedside after his friends surgery and he bowed his head, clasped his hands and prayed for him... then laughed at me because I almost cried... this is Josh. Fully in the moment and always seeing humour in life.

Watching Josh light up this morning because 'It's pyjama day'! Seeing his smile when he describes 'the perfect cake' (which I have to bake - scared) is a soothing balm. I have often heard people say 'I don't know how you do it?'... my reply it seems is this:

I wouldn't want to not do it, this child is who he is because of where he's been. I am who I am, because of where Josh has taken me. Our story is not a sad story, it's a story of overcoming, it's a story of joy and miracles, hope and love. There is no greater joy in my life than recognizing the gifts God has given me, and the top three are Tim, Josh and Kaper. I wouldn't choose another way, I wouldn't pick another kid, I am sitting front row to a thousand miracles!

Since I am fully aware of what tomorrow (his actual birthday) is going to look like, I decided to write his birthday post today, on the eve of.

Josh,

One day when you look back on your life I hope that you too will see the many ways that you have touched our lives, and the lives of those you love. My prayer as you grow is that we continue to see the miracles and healing comes your way. I pray that you continue to grow strong in your faith, that you attain each dream you set for yourself. Daddy and I believe in you and know that you have what it takes to do anything you want to do (even be a scientist who makes hamburgers walk). We are so proud of who you are, and all the things you can do. We love you,'all the way to space' ;)

Mummy xoxox

January 28, 2015

Hope

Of approximately 96,000 adult CHD patients in Canada, only 21,879 (23%) are being followed in one of the 15 centres. The other 77% are considered "lost to follow-up

I have told you about this exciting new phase in my life, the stage in the game when I put my words into actions and begin to make some change. Before Christmas I announced the birth of Joshua's Hope, a charitable organization that will focus on the future of Cardiac Care, for kids and adults alike.

Money raised by Joshua's Hope will go directly to the Labatt Family Heart Center at Sick Kids in Toronto. There it will be used for the highest priority needs for the center, with a focus as I said on the future care of these kids.

On Monday our logo was finalized by Andrew Haughton, my amazingly talented brother in law. Tuesday and Wednesday I attempted my first ever go at a website... and now the fun begins!!

I am so thankful to all of you who have been such an amazing team of supporters as I have gathered information and experience through out this process, without you I wouldn't be here and I am fully aware of that. I deeply appreciate all of you. Thank you.

In a few days time we are celebrating Joshua's 7th birthday... that alone is a miracle. It seems fitting that all of this comes together in time for that big celebration. 7 years of joy and laughter, tears and heart ache, fear and worries, but above all those are love and hope. Hope. Nothing can happen, nothing can change without Hope.

click below to check out the new website!

January 13, 2015

Life does...



January is almost half over... I don't even know how that happened so quickly. On Sunday I realized that Josh's birth is literally around the corner! I remember when I was a kid and the years seemed to stretch out before me and days passed like eternity. Now I feel like I am in warp speed... Yesterday I was walking the dog passed a car (an empty car, on a seemingly empty street) when the car suddenly started by itself; I actually caught myself looking for David Hasselhoff! That was when it hit me... I am quickly getting older.( and if you know what I am referencing then you too are getting older my friends) This new year marks the end of my thirties, come May I will enter a whole new decade of life, a new phase, a new chapter and I do so with so much excitement! My twenties were not so much fun, but my thirties were the best years of my life and it makes me look forward with anticipation to my forties.

I have so much to be thankful for. Looking back I can how God used the pain of my life to shape me, to change me and to bring me into this new person who is so ready to get old and face new challenges. It gets busy, life does, and it has challenges, life does; but when I can see how the things I have learned along the way can bless others then I am once again just so grateful. To know that a purpose came from the pain brings peace, and sometimes that has to be enough.

I am late in wishing all my readers a Happy New Year, but I do, I wish you all the joy and peace that comes with life, I wish you hope, strength, endurance, growth and laughter, even tears that move you to healing.

May God go with you into 2015;
Laurie