I just deleted the many words I had written days ago for this post, explaining these matters on my heart that I want to share with you. But it never felt complete. It was full of technicalities and big words that sounded clunky and cumbersome, and far away from being authored by my hand. So, I begin again, aiming to use words to their fullest and for simplicity and honest to come at the forefront.
Why is it that just as it seems I may have finally figured out life, our journey takes a left turn and I find myself completely unpacked and unprepared for the journey once again? I'm sure anyone reading understands this disappointing sensation. Yet, it always sneaks up on us, surprising us and upending all our plans, and my well put together outfit. Of this most recent twist in our lives, let me explain.
Henry was born two years ago with only three toes on his right foot. His first three toes never separated and share bone, muscle, skin, etc. This genetic condition is called a Complete Complex Syndactyly. The first two years of his life, everything seemed to develop normally and his condition only incurred upon us small inconveniences that we embraced as 'Henry quirks,' (for example: not being able to find summer sandals easily because he can't wear flip-flops.) Our sweet boy is known by his love of adventure, discovery and climbing...so much climbing...and as his 'condition' has never hindered his development it has been generally unnoticed and we were on track to believe it was simply a cosmetic issue.
That all changed during a 2-year appointment in which his gate was analyzed in depth, in an effort to just double-check his development. What we expected to be short visit to Children's Hospital in Denver, with the worst case scenario being perhaps a little physical therapy, became an ordeal of x-rays and hours and a diagnosis we did not expect. With bones fused and an abnormal growth pattern, Henry's condition could begin causing him significant and crippling pain at any time, and corrective surgery was recommended at our earliest convenience.
I cannot explain the deep sadness we have felt since that day. While we are deeply grateful, and can not overstate our awareness of the blessing that continue to befall us in this situation, (mainly that his condition is correctable and we live in a city where he will receive the best possible care,) no parent wants to see their child in pain of any kind. Henry's pain may not be comparable to that of the many children we meet at our appointments at Children's Hospital who are overcoming much greater trials and tribulations, but for our son, we have been devastated. We have wrestled in the dark places with the Lord of why this burden must be placed on one so young, and why he must experience this pain, which seems to senseless. At the same time, we are continually searching how to communicate to Henry his endless worth beyond this issue and the visible scars he will carry for the rest of his life. There are so many burning questions and so few satisfying answers.
So what can we do but put our plans aside, trust and move forward with what we know for sure?
Henry's first surgery will be November 8th. His recovery will be long and arduous for one so young, but we expect him to make a full recovery faster than expected, knowing that he will be anxious to be back exploring the world as an almost 3 year old, by that time.
Everything else this Fall has been put on hold. Our hopes and dreams for a new home, travel, and my work. Yes, I will be taking a sabbatical from client sessions from October 1st through the end of the year. Oh, I have a few bookings here and there already that I will keep and I hope to continue working on my Fine Art Collections I'm sure I'll continue to blog, though perhaps infrequently.
I know the Lord has put it on my heart to take this time away to take care of my boys. Drew has his own mountains to conquer in his career in the month of October that will make family time very limited. Then I'll take November and December to support Henry through this time, bring him back up to speed and get us through the holidays. I plan to come back in January, but to what, I have no idea.
I can't lie that most days I look into our Fall and feel the weight of crippling fear. Drew and I have not always walked through seasons of his work being busy with much grace for one another. Having a young child undergo a several hour surgery and stay in the hospital is an unknown and very scary for us. And I selfishly worry that I will have no business to come back to in January after loosing all the momentum of the Holidays, which is my busiest time. Yes, I am very scared. Yet, this is my leap of faith. This in my road for the rest of the year. I asked for a clear path and I can not say no to it when I don't like what it holds for me. So, I'm jumping. Trusting. Trying to be brave. Trying to be gracious. Trying to have faith. Trying to not do it all on my own strength.
In the end, we humbly ask for your prayers. We ask for your grace as we kind of go off the grid later this year. And I thank you in advance, especially to all our families and friends, who are already walking this road with us, for all your love and support.
This new journey is just beginning. More to come...
PS - Until October, I am still actively booking and would LOVE to be busier than ever! Look for NEW Fine Art Collections coming soon & September mini-sessions, announced next week! Oh! And stay tuned for families, babies and births coming soon to the blog! If I could just get my blogging act together... ;)
Now, enjoy this small taste of an iPhone collection of Henry photos I've been working on all summer. I love them because they show that obviously, nothing is going to hold this precious boy back from enjoying life to it's fullest!