We recently celebrated the momentous occasion of Andrew's very first birthday! How far he has come in the past 12 months! I really cannot believe a whole year has passed already...while some days have been long, the months sure go by fast. :)
We weren't expecting or prepared for Andrew's early arrival, and it's been a learning experience as we were plunged into a world of medical terms and procedures that we had never heard of before. Now, after a year, it's all familiar and routine much of the time, and we're slowly but surely moving toward normality. Getting off his feeding tube and learning to eat by mouth are the main challenges left.
Andrew is doing so well for what he's been through - he's crawling now, getting faster and faster, gaining weight, and getting into everything as he explores with growing curiosity. He's a sweetie...but also a little mischievous stinker. :D
We had a little family party to celebrate his birthday, and I decorated with a jungle theme since he has so many little jungle animal toys. We gave him his own cupcake to destroy, and he was not sure what to think about that! As he's not used to putting food in his mouth, we had to put just a teensy bit of frosting on his lips to try to get him to actually taste it. Buuuut...he preferred just grabbing handfuls of cake and trying to throw them. Haha!
Here's a collage I made of each monthly picture to show his progress:
I'll close with this poem that Andrew's Uncle Alex wrote for a Christmas gift:
The Early Child
By our time he came too soon;
Much, but not long, awaited.
Like an early phase of the waxing moon,
He appeared only half-created.
It was a startling voice that first declared
The news, "The baby is here!"
A gift that caught us unprepared
Awakened blind wonder and fear.
Away from his mother's longing arms
He was rushed in mechanical haste;
His first day on earth seemed to lack the charms
On which waiting parents' hopes are placed.
A pound and a half was all his weight
When first he came before our eyes;
Four months before his expected date,
A corncob's length described his size.
From the moment of his fragile birth
Each hour was a fearsome trial;
As prayers of alarm ascended from earth,
Tears of God's children were placed in His vial.
His nascent lungs could utter no cry
As he lived enclosed in a heated bed;
Yet in his life we could hear the compassionate sigh
Of the voice that raised Lazarus from the dead.
And this sigh was echoed by God's earthly flock
In a tender love that never faints.
With heart-throbs of pity his cradle to rock,
He was warmly enwrapped in the prayers of the saints.
And so he grew, and so he thrived;
By arduous steps he gained his breath.
Through the darkest of paths he safely arrived
At the end of the valley of the shadow of death.
So we know that his coming was not too soon,
By God it was long awaited;
His every feature by the wise Sculptor hewn
And his birth from eternity dated.
For each baby that's born in traditional time
Lives, for nine months, a miracle concealed;
But in this one who came before infant prime
Was the miracle of life plainly revealed.
Strange and wondrous are the ways of God,
Who calls the day out of night;
Through the weakest among us on this sin-burdened sod
He chose to show us His might.
For we know in the form of this tiny child
Lies the entirety of the human race,
For we, though with thoughts of our own strength beguiled,
Lie helpless like babes in the divine arms of grace.
Happy Birthday, Andrew! We love you so much and are grateful to God for sparing your life and helping you to thrive!