Two posts in one day! Crazy, right?!? Well, not really crazy. Just trying to keep my mind continuously occupied and busy while away from Claire and Duke. So as I took a nice walk on our dirt road through the farm today, I had time to really reflect on some things. I realized that while sitting in the hospital day in and day out, sometimes I just don't think about things like I used to. Meaning two things - I don't get the daily walk in where I used to give myself time to just clear my mind and think about things. The other meaning being that I see things in a totally new light.
My sister and I were talking the other day about God's plan for us. I can't remember how we got started talking about it, but I think I remember talking about when we found out Claire had Tetralogy of Fallot, people kept saying "It's not either of your faults. It just happens." Or things like "God has a plan and he will not give you more than you can handle. He chose your family do deal with something like this because He knows Claire will be well taken care of and loved."
Sometimes both of those statements make sense and sometimes they don't. But through all of this, I have learned that I cannot understand everything and that everything does not have a clear answer (which is hard for the accountant in me!). Julie mentioned how God places specific people in our lives at certain times and we don't even realize it or know why. She gave me the example of one of Claire's nurses, Susannah. Susannah and I went to Meredith College together (we won't mention how long ago that was). I believe her sister was 1-2 years older than me and Susannah was 1-2 years younger than me. So we weren't in classes together or anything, but I do think we may have lived on the same hall one year (I could be wrong).
Anyways, I knew Susannah and she was so nice all the time. Very involved in MC and all the things that went on there. Little did I know that several years later, on the day I delivered Claire, Trent would be wheeling me into the ICN at Duke and one of the first faces I saw was Susannah's. I wasn't sure if she even recognized me from so long ago - plus the toll of a week long labor was evident on my face and body. But she did and she was already signed up as one of Claire's primary nurses. God knew almost 12 years ago that Susannah would be taking care of Claire one day. How amazing is that?!?
So after thinking about this for a long time, I have really started trying to reflect on all of the ways God has made our path for us over the years without us even knowing it. So here are just a FEW of the people and things that God had put in our plan years ago before we even knew what we'd be going through now (know that this is not everyone!!! Just a few out of many!!):
- Our other favorite nurse, Marie, was Claire's nurse on day 2. My mom was back with me at the time and saw Marie's name badge and her last name rang a bell. My mom asked her if she was related to any one in New Bern where we are from and she was! Long story short, my mom had Marie's great nephew (or nephew - I can't remember) in her preschool class a few years ago. He was one of her favorite students! So we connected on that note. Also, this great nephew's mom was a principal at a local elementary school in our county and Trent had worked with her on several occasions teaching the kids at the school about organic farming and farming in general.
- Before we even made it to Duke, one of the doctors where I work came over, sat down in my office and basically said "This is serious and you need to go out of state to either Mayo Clinic or Vanderbuilt." Us, not being the travelling kind, thought "oh no!" But he went back and made phone calls and called me back and said he had found out the best pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon was at Duke! So we needed to go there! That put us in the right direction.
- Kellie Z-M also helped us out in so many ways. Kellie and I grew up in the same small town and were the same age. I went to public school through 4th grade so I am sure Kellie and I saw each other at school. I remember we rode the same school bus at one point (I think she was either the first to be let of each day or the last to be picked up - but I could be totally wrong!). Anyways, we never really hung out together but I think we had some of the same friends and we knew who each other was. Kellie's son was born a little over 2 years ago with CDH and I followed his journey on his blog at Duke and beyond. So I knew what they had been through. So once we figured out we wanted to go to Duke, I emailed Kellie and she set us up with a coordinator at Duke to arrange all of our appointments and meetings. She also told me names of doctors to insist on getting because they were awesome - and she was right! Just having that connection made it so much easier for us to make the transition to Duke.
- Our families have been lifesavers like always. Of course God put us in the right families! But both of our families have reached out and helped us so much. They have sacrificed time, money, work, sleep, home, and alone time. Our families go way back to when Trent's mom was Julie's kindergarten teacher. Trent's mom also worked at that same school when my Granny Rose (whom Claire is named after) was the secretary there. She's often told me how Granny Rose was so kind to her when she started out as a new assistant. And God definitely put Trent in my life early enough to keep me grounded and secure. At ages 14 and 15 we met through mutual best friends at the time. Who knew one of those awkward cotillion dances would be where I met the love of my life!?
- Leslie G. has been a friend of mine since high school. One of my dearest friends even though we now live several states away from each other. Who knew that she would show up in my hospital room at Duke a day or two after I arrived. She will never know how much that visit meant to me and Trent. It was unfortunate circumstances that brought her to Duke to visit a family member. But through a friend of both of ours, she heard we were at Duke and sought us out. She stopped by several times that week I was in labor and offered sweet prayers with us. She was even there visiting only a few hours before Claire was born and we didn't even know it! The peace she brought to us was priceless.
- Our new church, Pollocksville Presbyterian Church, has also played a huge role in our lives from several years ago. I think the first time I ever went to that church was for a friend's funeral 10 years ago. Little did we know that we would end up joining the church that we now love so much. It's funny - we actually joined the church the week before we became pregnant. It's like God had to get that part of our puzzle in place before we could start our family. We had grown up in our own separate churches, but we needed something that was different and where we could grow as ourselves. Who knew that little "Chasing Daylight" steak cookout postcard would be our invitation to where we would eventually call our church home.
- And now we have met so many new and different people through our blog, through churches, and through Duke ICN/TCN that we will never forget. Each one of them has played an integral part in us being able to be strong for Claire. It's been comforting to connect with other parents and families going through similar trials and rewards that we go through day to day. Although you don't want anyone to have to go through something scary like this, it's nice to know you are not alone.
So it's easy to see that God does have a plan for everyone and if we just stop and think about it, we can start to see His plan take shape in our lives. These are only a few of the things I can think about where God reveals His plan in certain situations. I know there are many more out there that I have yet to uncover. A lot of the time we get caught up in the moment we are living in. It's especially easy to do now when we basically live day to day without a plan. Well, without our OWN plan that is.......
The Scott Family