If someone would have told me a few years ago that today I'd have a daughter
who was turning FOUR years old, I would have been ecstatic.
But what if they would have told me she was still the size of an 18 month old?
What if they would have told me she knows some sign language, but otherwise is practically non verbal?
What if they told me she can't do simple things like feed herself a bowl of cereal or even help dress herself?
What if they said she's still not potty trained?
What if they told me she still sleeps in a crib?
What if they would have described to me the amount of time we would spend at hospitals and doctors offices over the years?
Not to mention the hours and hours of therapy appointments?
What if they would have told me how upside our lives would be turned in the four years we've spent with this girl?
I probably would have been devastated, scared, wanted to run the other direction
instead of blowing out the candles on her pink polka dot birthday cake.
Good thing it's not actually like that.
Don't get me wrong, all those things are true. Ella can't eat a bowl of cereal without assistance, dress herself, or talk much at all. And potty training seems so far out of reach right now. In a lot of ways it's hard to believe she's four years old today. But that's not what she's all about. That's not what I see when I look at her. I see a little girl who has fought to overcome the odds just to be here today. A little girl whose smile lights up the room. A girl who, no, can't speak much with her tongue, but can speak volumes with her eyes. A girl who snuggles in so sweetly when I pull a blanket up onto the couch in the evening. A girl who wrestles and tackles her brothers. A girl who sits in timeouts when she's naughty (up to 4 minutes today Love Bug! Happy Birthday!!) A girl who loves ice cream and M&M's and tic tic tacs. A girl who loves to love and be loved and does it better than anyone I know.
A FOUR YEAR OLD girl who has turned our lives upside down and placed it back in a better place than it was before. We love you so much Ella Bean and are so glad you came into our lives 4 years ago.
Here is Ella's Year in Review. Note: This song was made for Ella when she was in the hospital with RSV by a nonprofit organization called Songs of Love. The thought of complete strangers writing, singing and recording a song about my daughter is so touching to me. However, please excuse the cheesiness of the song.. We had to fill out a questionnaire about her likes and hobbies and favorite things to do.. and she was 2 weeks old. So what else to choose but butterflies and daisies, kittens and puppies!
Happy Birthday Ella Girl! We love you so much!!!