Those of you following my The Story of Us posts, we interrupt the continuation of that story to celebrate our sweet Cheridan today! Because celebrating our sweet little turning 7 today is worth the interruption!!
At the Moms Meet WOW Summit this past weekend, I met a passionate author, Lisa R. Cohen, and, as she was autographing the copy of her book, Grace Is Born, for Cheridan, I had an emotional breakdown in the middle of the vendor booth. She had asked me to describe Cheridan so she could personalize the autograph. As I cried, and told her who Cheridan is, she gently reminded me that Cheridan was born knowing … and to remember that always. What a gentle reminder I needed in that moment!
I told my friend Melissa that I didn’t know why I became so overwhelmed (and even as I type, the tears are brimming). Melissa told me that I am just so thankful for who she is and overcome with gratefulness for the journey she has made in her short life. She was right! For those of you who don’t know our beautiful girl, allow me to introduce you!
I had an emergency ultrasound when I was 28 weeks because I couldn’t feel her moving but the heartbeat was strong and there were subtle movements so all was well. Turns out that what we believe (because we can’t really be sure) is that she got trapped under the cord and was unable to move freely though she was not in distress enough to lower her heart rate and raise alarm.
Cheridan was born the morning of October 14th, 2009. I give credit to her older brother for her entrance to the world: he was 11 at the time and had scared the bejeezus out of me the night before, lol. She was named after her grandparents: Cheridan Evelyn Elizabeth (Cheri – my mom; Danny – Steven’s dad; Evelyn – Steven’s mom; Elizabeth – Steven’s Grandma)
She was born with severe torticollis (a very stiff neck) and severe hypotonia (very low muscle tone) which we believe came from not being able to move freely those last weeks in the womb. The very short of her seven-year journey is this: she’s a fighter! No, she’s an AMAZING, RESILIENT FIGHTER!! She started intervention services when she was 6 months old and has had a plethora of compassionate, caring, patient, persistent, motivating therapists, teachers, administrators and doctors pushing her to be the best she can be .. not to mention siblings, parents, grands and every other friend and family member along the way.
Today she turns 7 years old. She loves to read, enjoys dancing / music, never turns down an avocado, is getting pretty good at ‘hitball’ and wants more than anything just to be included in whatever you’re doing! She has a loving spirit and is super generous with hugs and high-fives!! She’s smart as a whip and though she has a rough time getting her mouth to tell you what she’s thinking, you need only to look into her eyes and know exactly what it is!!
One day I’ll tell her story in more detail, but today, today I will sit here and type, in tears, as I praise God for every new word she has learned this year; every laugh she has had; every moment of patience we have gotten through; every new obstacle she has overcome and for every moment of joy and love she brings to our family!
Happy Burk-ay, Sweet Cheridan … we love you so much!! 27, Always!!