I can't remember when I first started wishing.....probably as a young child. My first really big wish was when I was pregnant with my first child. I was extremely young (a whopping 21 years old) and nervous. I really wanted (and wished for) a daughter, and of course, a healthy one. Well, I got a daughter, but the "healthy" aspect of my wish alluded me. My daughter was born with a really rare, genetic disorder. So rare, that she was only the second known, American patient with the disease. I was devastated. My college career came to a screeching halt. I had to care for my handicapped child, attend therapy sessions, attend doctor's appointments, attend college, and my marriage - well, it failed. I felt terrible. That's when I found out who my friends were, how great my family was, and how big my God was. I found immeasurable grace in the ashes of my life.
The road was and has not been easy. Some days are better than others. Lauren is now sixteen years old. I cannot believe that I just typed that sentence. The gutsy part of me wants to shout at the top of my lungs with joy for all the little things that she has accomplished over the years. These little things have really been huge to us, especially with the bleak diagnosis that we were initially given (she wasn't supposed to live to be a year old). We have been asked by several people why we had never done a program like "Make A Wish" in the past. Some of my friends with children who have special needs have done this program with great success. I always held back. Admitting that Lauren has a terminal diagnosis (whenever terminal may be) was a hard thing to do. I really didn't feel that we would qualify. But my ex-husband did. And last year he pursued this avenue. I am grateful that he did.
Which leads me to the point of this post. Next week, well we are going here. You see, my daughter is the BIGGEST Phillies fan you could ever imagine. And her wish was to meet the team.......just so happens we are meeting the team at Spring training....in Tampa, Florida. There are many surprises in store for Lauren (and I expect us, as well). The generosity of this program is amazing. All parents and all siblings are included in the wish. I have some secrets just bottled up inside waiting to tell you all, but they will have to wait until after our trip. I promise, I'll make DH take some fabulous photos. I am so excited for Lauren. And mostly I'm excited and proud to have a daughter who believes that wishes (and miracles) can come true. To read more about Lauren's story, please visit here.