I’ve shared some of your journey here for the past five years. I’ve written so that people could pray and come alongside us, and they have, in ways that I will forever be grateful for. I’ve written so I could process the thoughts and emotions I’ve wrestled with along the way. And I’ve written to document the path of your young life, one few others your age have walked.
Someday you might want to read it all, but today I write this especially for you.
You are the bravest little person I know. Your life has been filled with challenges, but also graced by miracles. You have defied odds and expectations. You have shown resilience and courage that leaves me in awe.
It was nearly five years ago that we found out about your complicated heart, and it was nearly two weeks ago that you had your fifth surgery to repair that little heart in a way we’d originally been told would be impossible.
You have been cared for by incredible surgeons, doctors, and nurses. You have been prayed over by countless people, many we know and many we don’t. You have been, and always will be, loved immensely every step of the way.
But most importantly, you have been held in the hands of God, who has never let you go.
When we saw you in the womb and the doctors said you might not live to join our family here on earth, He was there. He knew the healing He would work in your unborn body.
After you were born, when almost everyone thought there was only one way to repair your heart, He was there. He knew the opportunities we would find in another place, to care for your heart in a more lasting way.
Through every second you’ve spent in the hospital, every decision, every stitch, He was there. And He always will be, no matter what comes next.
Before you were born I clung to this verse as a comfort for the unknowns to come: “The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
My sweet girl, I want you to know with all your soul that those words are true. God has gone before you, He has been with you. He has never once failed or forsaken you. And He never will.
I love you always,
For everyone who has followed Hope’s journey: Once again I thank you all for the prayers and encouragement. Hope’s surgery went as smoothly and successfully as we could have possibly hoped for. Her surgeon was able to repair her own mitral valve and we are so thankful that it did not need to be replaced. She recovered incredibly quickly and we are overjoyed to be home again.