It is hard to believe those fifteen years ago today, I met one of the most significant people that I would ever know. She wasn't crying at the time, but I wanted her to so badly. You see, there was this heartstopping couple of minutes after my daughter Kaitlyn was born before she took her first breath. The doctor was doing everything she could to stimulate her, and still we had no response. In the vulnerable position I was in I could see and do nothing. I remember calling "Travis" and he said, in a clearly choked up voice, "It's okay Julie." Well, it wasn't. Shortly after doctor managed to coax some small squeaks out of her, we had people from the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) in our room. This really isn’t how you expect things to go. For just a little while they had her laying in a bed with oxygen blowing over her. There were many silent, desperate, incoherent prayers uttered from the heart that was pretty hardened to God.
The second Apgar score was much better, and a few hours later she was in our room with us like nothing had ever happened. But, she never did really cry. She is the same today. She might open her big doe eyes, and tears may pour out but rarely does she make a sound. Between her two intense and high-strung siblings, she is the quiet center. Our token introvert.
When Kaitlyn was a little girl, she was so cute you just wanted to squeeze her. She was the little Buddha baby, with thick rolls around her legs and a jelly belly. You would never know it to look at the slim, elegant girl that she is today. Kendra and I marvel sometimes at her poise and grace. I don’t know where she got it in a family full of people who are most like “bulls in a china shop”. She was quiet but when she had an opinion, she made it known. Once after dance class when she was about 3 or 4 there was a frustrated mother trying to screw a shoe onto her daughter’s foot, spewing out all sorts of threats as she did, and Kaitlyn leaned back in this big chair looking a bit like an angry Edith-Anne with her eyebrows furrowed, and said “You’re evil man!”
while talking on the phone, and it blew my mind. With a few strokes of her hand, using an ink pen a very detailed face began to take shape. The thing is, she was actively involved in a conversation and not even thinking about what she was doing. I watched as she drew the delicate parts of the eyes and eyebrows, and suddenly a few little lines appeared in the middle of the page that became a nose. This is a great illustration of her personality as well. While my other two let it all hang out, Kaitlyn holds most of it back. It takes time to get to know her, but if you watch closely, little by little the picture starts to become something you recognize.
Fifteen years ago today a miracle happened in our family. Her name is Kaitlyn. We have all been changed by knowing her, and we are so thankful that day that God heard our plea from the birthing center all those years ago. I think He must’ve known just how much we needed her.
I love you Kaitlyn. Happy Birthday. You are a miracle.
Picture at the top taken this past February - and the picture at the bottom here is Kaitlyn on her 8th birthday in 2001. Our friend of a friend, Mrs. Barbara always said her eyes twinkled like she had a great secret!