I can't even believe we are about to embark on 2013!  We arrived in Seattle at the tail end of 2011 (11-28-11) with the plan to get Carla a new heart.  I honestly believed with all of my heart that we would get "the call" in December and was hoping to be home by April 2nd for Carla's 5th birthday.  But, instead of us going home for Carla's Birthday, Bobby ended up leaving his job in Great Falls and coming here instead.  We just couldn't be apart any longer and it was time to take waiting seriously.  Our family became split, because our son was still completing his senior year of high school and didn't want to leave in the middle of his last year.  So, he stayed with his grandparents and we. missed. everything.  Everything we had planned for, everything that we had prepared him for, and everything that we so deserved to be a part of.  When I think about it, I still cry.  Every time.  But, the good news is that all the work we put in raising our son carried over.   He lost his "first love" ... and made it through.  He went from being a starter on the basketball team to riding the bench (which totally sucked)... but he still lived.  His world pretty much crashed down around him. ... and he didn't have his Mom and Dad there for him.  But you know what, he did it! He Graduated! He moved on from a girl who he put before everything, and he moved on from a sport that he made his number one priority for years.  He just kept putting one foot in front of the other.  He went to work, he started college, is making life decisions, and a couple of weeks ago signed the lease on his first apartment!  Words cannot express how extremely proud we are of our son.  And, the idea of going "home" to a house that doesn't have our son living in it, is a tiny bit heartbreaking.  But, we can't rewind 2012, and I'm sure he wouldn't want us to ... He learned more through his heartbreak and even humiliation than he probably ever thought possible.  And, he is a better man for it.  Funny how that is.  The hardest things in life are the biggest game changers.  And, only a person with great strength of character could have gotten through everything Cody has been through in the last year.

This New Year is a new beginning for all of us!  Carla finally has her perfect heart, we waited 13 days shy of a year for it, suffered through countless ups and downs after the transplant and at one point we weren't even sure if her mind was going to recover from the brain swelling her medicine caused. I think I may have cried more tears than I ever thought possible (and I'm not generally a crier).  But, here we are, 6 1/2 weeks post transplant and Carla is doing amazingly!  Those first 5 weeks post transplant were so incredibly hard ... this last year has been so incredibly hard, but, like our son, we made it through ... I guess it must run in the family ;)

It goes to show you, what doesn't kill you really does make you stronger!  And here's to a stronger, healthier, happier, most wonderful new year!!!  Thank you Jesus for all of our blessings, and all of our triumphs... but we are hoping for no new lessons in 2013 ;)

love, Jen

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