Monday, July 30, 2012

Meet My Readers Monday





SHANNAN

I was first blessed with the opportunity to meet Molly and Vic Jackson when my husband Ryan and I moved to Park City in the spring of 2005. We immediately loved them and Molly became a friend a confident and someone I loved to spend time and talk to.   This was before they had little Lucy and I was so thrilled for Molly when she announced she was pregnant. Molly and I served together in the Primary, she was the chorister and I was the pianist and we slowly got to know each other. I remember the day that she announced to the primary children that she was expecting Lucy, the kids were so excited and I could see the joy in Molly’s face and I was so thrilled for her.  I was able to go to the hospital to see Lucy when she was born and I was in awe over her beautiful blonde curly hair. I have never seen a baby girl with so much hair.

Our family moved to Heber when Lucy was about one but we have remained close to Vic and Molly over the years and have been so inspired over the good that they have done from the heartbreaking trial of losing Lucy.  Molly has especially been supportive of us and our own struggles we have faced over the last two years and I will always be grateful to her for that.  We are the Hoffman family, Ryan, Shannan, Maren, and Kate, and we live in Heber City, Utah.  Our oldest daughter Maren is three years old, Kate is two years old, and we are expecting a new little baby boy in the next two weeks.  I remember selfishly thinking after we had our sweet daughter Maren and expecting our daughter Kate how smooth and perfectly life was going for us. Ryan and I had so much love for each other, we had a perfect daughter, and were expecting our second child.   After our sweet Kate was born, I immediately began to notice that things were different about her. Within a couple of months I was growing increasingly worried that her eyes had not appeared to track and she seemed to have little functional vision.  I contacted my pediatrician in concern, his response was not to worry, that it was a probably a developmental delay.  Over the next few weeks I became more and more concerned and decided to take matters in my own hands. I contacted a pediatric opthamologist at Primary Children’s Hospital.  Upon examination, he could immediately tell something was wrong and decided to order a MRI to help us get some answers. The MRI was conducted in March of 2009 and we were given devastating news. At some point in the third trimester of my pregnancy Kate had suffered a severe amount of brain injury in the womb. The doctors were not optimistic, we were told she would suffer from multiple disabilities and the majority of her mental and physical functions would be affected. The cause of the injury could be many things such as a stroke, infection, or genetic condition, but we were not given specific answers.  

My immediate reaction was intense sorrow and grief.  I could not believe that my perfect little baby would suffer so much,  and it seemed so unfair to me that she may never walk, talk, or do so many things that so many of us take for granted.  But I had no idea at the time how much our family was being blessed. We were being given a little slice of heaven, one of God’s most precious and sacred spirits. I quickly felt the loving arms of Heavenly Father around me and tell me that it was going to be okay, no matter what. Over the past two years we have not only come to accept our “changed” life, we have learned to embrace it and love it. Every little thing that our sweet daughter does brings so much joy to us, whether it be a smile, a laugh, or watching her eyes light up when she hears music. Every tiny development is a miracle to us, and we thank God every day for putting this angel in our life. We love to watch her with her sister, Maren, and the love that they obviously share. Both of our daughters are our greatest source of joy and we are thankful for them daily, just the way they are.   And we are so excited to add a third little baby to the mix so soon.

I remember shortly after Kate’s diagnosis relying heavily on Molly’s blog and words for comfort. And I am so thankful to her for example of dealing with the grief and sorrow and turning it into something that can help  others.   I felt that in my own way I experienced some similar sorrows to what she felt from losing Lucy, and was so grateful for her honesty in sharing her experience.    Our lives are not easy, at times it is very challenging to meet the needs of all the doctor’s appointments, treatments, therapies, and struggles that can come along with raising a special needs child. But we don’t really think of it as extra work, we think of it as an honor to help care for this angel who is in our home.  And for that, we are very blessed!


*Editor's note: The little boy Shannan speaks of is now a one year old! (Shows how behind I am in posting these!) Here is their blog.

6 comments:

  1. What a sweet darling family. I love how the power of love and the trust you young people have in Heavenly Father can be such a strength in your lives. I don't think you for one minute wanted to be a good example to others on how to live full and happy lives in spite of your heartaches but you are to me and I'm sure to many others. I know that feeling of life "turning on a dime" so I appreciate your words of wisdom. May the Lord's choicest blessings come your way, Shannan.

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  2. What a stuuningly beautiful family.

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  3. Nice to meet you Shannan... and your darling family. I love reading Meet My Readers Monday.

    ToOdLeS.

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  4. Shannan is so amazing & beautiful. So thankful for amazing women like her & you - Molly - in my life. Miss you too!!!!

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  5. What a neat family! Love meeting your readers.

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  6. Thanks for sharing our story, Molly! I love and miss you guys, it has been too long since we have gotten together. Would love to plan some kind of get together soon.

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