Happy 3rd Birthday Pierce!

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Dear Pierce,

Do you believe in redemption? That beauty can rise from ashes?

I do, because I've witnessed it in your life.

Over the past three years, we've watched you grow. We've seen God time and time again rescue you from dire circumstances, and we've seen Him use you to defy the odds.

In your life, we see that God uses what the world deems as weak or unworthy to shame the strong. And we've been reminded that the labels and diagnoses that people so often fear mean so little in comparison to the future glory that is coming.

If I could go back to this day three years ago, surrounded with all the trauma and pain, I would tell the doctors, the nurses, the blog readers, and all of the doubters; I'd tell them this: that our God is a mighty God. Nothing can change His plan for your life. I'd tell them that the same tiny baby that they are doubting, he will change the world. He will impact so many in a way that we could never have imagined. God will take this chaos, use it to captivate people from all over the world, and then use it to fulfill His purposes. He will redeem and make this mess beautiful again.

We are so thankful that your story did not end three years ago as so many predicted. Today, you are full of life, love and happiness.

Your smile is contagious.

Your determination and persistence point us to the sufficiency of God's grace.

Your sweet disposition teaches us to find joy in all circumstances.

Your empathy and care for others who are hurting and sad is beyond our comprehension. It not only reveals that you can identify because of your struggles, but also shows us your capacity to love.

And your struggles, they do not define you, but rather are being used to teach you that your dependence is solely in Christ.

We are so, so thankful for you. And so proud to call you our son.

We love you, Pierce.
Happy birthday.

Mommy and Daddy


Conductive Education Recap

We are now home from Michigan and so thankful to be back in our normal routine. We're also so grateful for the 70 degree days vs the single digit temps in Michigan!

Our trip to the Conductive Learning Center was so incredible. Everyone on the staff was just amazing. Their desire and passion to see kids with CP thrive is awe- inspiring to watch. We really cannot say enough about this place. It really is a neat environment for the kids to be in- to be with and learn with other kids who struggle in the same or similar ways as they do. Pierce really seemed to just take it all in and everyday asked to go to "skoo" (school). Our little socialite loved the classroom setting!

As a parent, it was incredible to see kids with greater limitations than Pierce performing advanced tasks (like walking with a standard walker- no seat) because the Conductive Education has taught them to adapt in incredible ways.

Sadly, Pierce was only able to attend a portion of the sessions due to being extremely sick (dang preemie lungs). We tried taking him back to class after he was feeling better, but it was clear that the pneumonia had zapped his reserve energy and he just wasn't quite ready.  And so the decision was made to head home a little early with the intention that we will be coming back soon. We were sad to cut the trip short, but knew it was best because we have so much to work on at home and we knew another sickness could land him in the hospital for even longer. We are also so thankful that the program director was so flexible and understanding towards the situation.

Even though Pierce was sick, I (Lindsay) was still able to sit in and observe the class without him which allowed for a great opportunity to pick up new tips and ideas of things we can work on at home. Already we have a new found routine, incorporating parts of the school routine- unsupported sitting, walking and potty training (yes, Pierce has successfully gone in the potty quite a few times!!!)  into our daily life. And just tonight, we watched in awe as Pierce fed himself from a fork with no assistance! (Let's hear it for those fine motor skills!)

Thank you so much to all of you who prayed for us during this trip- especially when Pierce was in the hospital- it means so much to have such a strong network of friends/family who love us and are rooting for us.



Conductive Education Week 2

Friday marked the end of our second week of Conductive Education. Unfortunately Pierce was not able to attend any of the 5 sessions this week due to illness.

Last Friday he started running a fever, which quickly progressed into a cold and then of course moved to his chest. For a kid with a compromised immune system (here's to catching up by 4!) and damaged lungs, chest colds are very dangerous. We immediately started his steroids and went into watch and wait mode. On Monday we had to take him to the ER because his fever was still dangerously high. They were able to get a baseline chest x-ray, but since his breathing was still ok, they sent us back to the hotel. We thought we were on the upswing, but Wednesday night he took a turn for the worse. Every preemie momma dreads watching the pulse oximeter and seeing your child's sats fall. Once it was obvious he was going downhill, we took him back to the ER and from there he was quickly admitted.

We are so thankful for the team at Helen De Vos Children's Hospital- each and every person we encountered was truly incredible in coordinating Pierce's care. We spent 2 days at the hospital, but thankfully today we are at home (well, the hotel) resting. Pierce seems to be improving since they up'd his steroid dosages and we are hopeful he truly is getting this virus behind him.

We'd like for you to pray for us as we consult with Pierce's doctors and therapists to make a plan for the remainder of camp. We are only halfway through and would hate for Pierce to miss out on this wonderful opportunity. On the other hand, we are also very aware that a virus so soon after this one could put him at even more risk and land us in the hospital once again. (We loved Helen De Vos, but will be happy to never go back!)

Please pray for wisdom. Pray that Pierce will be protected from illness for the remainder of the trip. And pray that this whole experience won't drive me to be like this when he's 16:
Courtesy of "Bubble Boy" :)

Thanks to everyone who prayed for and are praying for us while we are here. It means so much to have such an incredible support system. Y'all are the best!

Nik, Lindsay and Pierce