I have known from the very beginning that God had great plans for our Annika Grace. The moment I received the news that she might have a genetic disorder (ok, it may have taken me a couple of moments to wrap my brain around everything) I knew God had a reason for placing her in our lives and I could not even imagine what was in store for all of us. As we started to plan for Cri du Chat awareness week I have been blown away by the love and compassion we have seen from our friend, family and community.
We started with Annika Hatch day at the baseball game last week. The night before I felt and overwhelming anxiety in my chest and I prepared to put my tiny, 15 pound little girl out there in front of everyone and I was just not sure I could handle it. Luckily God has surrounded me with people who constantly remind me to turn my eyes to Jesus in all circumstances. So, as soon as I called my sister and started to freak out she stopped me and said, "Let's pray." Right then and there she prayed for all that would hear about Annika and the plans that God had for her and I remember that it was not about me. He is greater than all my fears. The ball game was fantastic and we brought awareness to the rare disorder.
|Gayle and John on Annika Hatch Day|
|Madelynn and Chris at the baseball game|
I have LOVED seeing the pictures of everyone in their Team Annika shirts. When we first got them Madelynn wanted to wear it everyday. Again, I am touched by the amazing love that has been shown to us. My sister and Beau created these shirts to show their love and support for the niece they love so much and it gives me great pride to wear my shirt around and have people ask me about it. I can't wait to get all the pictures of people in their shirts and make a book to show Annika all the lives she has touched and how loved she is. Many people wanted the money from shirts to go toward Annika and because of this we were able to pay for her entire hospital stay (at least the bills we have received so far) in full. Again, I am so grateful and humbled buy the love people have shown us.
On Sunday May 3rd we had a walk here in Bloomfield to raise awareness for Cri du Chat and we had such a great turn out. It took my family a bit to get started and as we rounded the corner and began walking up the street and I saw all of our friends and family there to show their support I just felt my heart fill with love and thought, "This is just one of the small ways God is using Annika's life." I can't even imagine what is to come. My absolute favorite part of the day was sitting around on the grass at the fire station with all of our friends and just enjoying life. God used her tiny life to remind us the importance of friends and the importance of slowing down and taking time for each other. I can't even say thank you enough for all people have done for us. My heart is full.
|The love of a daddy and his little girl|
|Sitting around and having fun|
|Big Sister Madelynn having fun|
|Nothing like a good Popsicle after a walk|
|The Bloomfield, NM 5k for 5p- Group|