Two years have flown by with a quickness.
Two years ago today, I was excited to welcome our fourth child into the fold of our family. As a family, we prepared for the new addition of a beautiful baby girl who we could cuddle, love on and cherish as the last addition to our brood.
The boys were so excited that they researched YouTube how to change a diaper. They were relieved to know that they would be getting a baby sister, because they learned that girls are easier to change than boys because of the possible pee stream. Gia was so happy that she would finally have a sister. She had been listening to me all her life, telling her how important it was that I had my sisters…and how rich and beautiful my life was, because of their constant love, attention and presence.
When Gellibean was born, we were not prepared for the fact that she had Down Syndrome. My pregnancy was uneventful up until about the 36th week, when my doctor mentioned in passing that my daughter might have Duodenal Atresia. (YES. I did just say that my doctor mentioned “in passing” that my daughter MIGHT have duodenal atresia. I will write about this. One day. When I’m not so angry at her. And when I can write about it for a purpose…like for patient rights and the responsibility of doctors in this country.)
When the shock of my daughter’s diagnosis wore off, Nino and I were faced with the reality that our then, hours old baby would have to go into surgery-something clicked. It was like a switch. While I had been wondering what kind of life my child would have with special needs and was busy being completely wrapped up inside my own head with the overwhelming emotions of guilt and sadness, the prospect that her life could suddenly be taken away helped me realize that God was teaching me a lesson.
My experiences with Gelli have often opened my eyes to the great many wonders that He wants me to learn or observe. I can only realize this because of the gift of her extra chromosome.
Evangelina means “God’s Gift.” Gianina wanted to name her baby sister Evangeline from the very start. Diego gave her the name “Gelli” when we were taking about nicknames from another name we were considering, which was Angelina. (Miguel chose Angelina.) We ended up combining these two names after she was born for one of the most important reasons.
We knew that God gave her to our family for a reason. It was through “God’s gift” of my daughter, that I was brought to my knees in my faith. And as it has always been shared by others-when you are brought to your knees in your faith, God is giving you an opportunity for your faith to be restored into something MORE than it was before.
I have learned a great many things since Gelli has come into my life and given me the chance to be her mother. One very important lesson I learned on the day that Gelli was born is that “health is wealth.” I realized very quickly that our health is of the utmost importance when raising our families and caring for our children. Our world can stop on a dime if one of our children is sick and we are helpless to do anything about it.
While I will save the details of Gellibean’s party for another post, I did want to share another lesson that God has taught me through my daughter. I prepared for Gelli’s 2nd celebration with a few things in mind. I wanted to keep it under budget, (I’m a mom of four kids. I’m always on a budget.) I wanted it to be super special for Gelli and for her guests, and I wanted personal touches and details all through out the party to signify the love and attention I try to give her every day. I was able to do all of this and more with the help of some very special people.
I have learned that there are just some people who can bring out the best in others. While, I know that Gelli certainly brings out the best in me, (and challenges me to look in the mirror sometimes, even when I’m not ready to) I also realize that she brings out the love and generosity in others as well. Friends and friends of friends were all so generous, and open, and loving, when it came to helping make Gellibean’s 2nd birthday celebration special for her.
I’m sure I will experience many more life lessons through out my time with all of my children here on this Earth. I hope that I can continue to learn from each experience, each person, each moment, as I did in the weeks preparing for Gelli’s birthday party. There are good people out there. People who are willing to do so much for my daughter. And knowing that makes me think that maybe, just maybe she will understand just how much love there is for her, not just in my heart but in the hearts of others as well. I do know that the love everyone has show my daughter as we prepared for and celebrated her birthday was so overwhelming that it brought me to tears.
Tears of gratitude. Tears of Love. Tears of Happiness.
First Wives Club (@nappyKAYE) says
<3 Happy Birthday, Gelli! You are loved!
Angel Cristobal says
Happy Birthday Gelli! You are blessed to have a wonderful family, they are blessed with your presence and the joy you give. I almost cry when I was reading this blog entry. Nothing is really impossible with God.
Aw. Thank you so much Angel. I cried too, when I was writing it. And when I read it again…ha ha ha. Emo much?
Nina Currao Veale says
I loved your post. I am a friend of your Mom’s and I have a granddaughter on the autism spectrum, not too severe but noticeable. God Bless the parents out there who are put on this earth to raise special needs children . I pray more parents have your peace as they raise their beautiful babies.
Thank you very much Nina for visiting! I think we can all achieve a sense of peace if we really try. My life is not peaceful ALL the time and of course being the parent of a special needs child is not easy, but I choose to focus on the GOOD in life. Life is too short to do anything else than that!
What a beautiful post Mish! God works in mysterious and amazing ways that always brings purpose and meaning to our lives. Gelli is a wonderful blessing! Thank you for sharing her with us.:-)
Aw. Maricel, your love and generosity is exactly what I’m referring to in my post. Thank you for loving Gelli and for being my friend.
Vanesse Stora says
Gelli melts my heart…I can’t wait for the day I meet her.
Oh friend. I can’t wait for the day that Evan and Gelli are running around playing with each other, while you and I are having a glass of wine. I miss you like crazy and I am so glad that our friendship has remained true through the years. I’m so lucky that I have you in my life.
kathy quiano castro says
you’re a great mom michelle and you inspire me. happy birthday to gelli! may your beautiful family be blessed even more.
Aw. Takes one to know one Kathy 🙂 We inspire each other! Thank you for the blessings and the wishes for Gelli 🙂
heart felt birthday post 🙂 amiel found me crying while reading this last night… Very inspiring, Gelli is really blessed to have you guys around her 🙂 happy birthday baby!
Thanks Kathy 🙂 I think we are even now? I was crying like a baby when you texted on Saturday night! ha ha ha. Namaste.
grech racal (@grechie20) says
A very happy birthday Gelli! This is a wonderful post and I am sure, you and your hubby, are wonderful gifts to her as well… Enjoy the birthday party… whether it is simple or bongga… God bless your whole family…
Aw. Thank you so much for your kind words Grech. Simple is always good. I like simple! Bongga is fun tho, isn’t it?
Run Around Girl says
Aww this post made me teary-eyed. Happy birthday Gelli! And you’re an awesome momma Mish!
Aw! Thanks Pam!! Hope you’re feeling good!!!
Peter Ames Ressa says
Happy Happy Birthday my beautiful Evangelina! Papa loves you very very much.
I will see you on 09/19.
All my love,
Can’t wait to see you Dad 🙂 Love you!
Your family, especially Gelli, lucky to have you, as well, Mish!:)
Thanks for stopping by Tina 🙂 And for your kind words. xo
You are one incredible woman. You really make me want to take a trip to meet you and Gelli, of course Diego and the rest of the family. 🙂
Aw. One day 🙂 One day we will have all the kids together. But first-a trip with you me and Michelle!!! yahooo!
One day…Connor and Gelli will definitely meet. And I know we will be there to witness it Natalie 🙂 I’m still dreaming of Bali!
Pearl Paguio says
Gelli is so lucky to have you as her mom, I don’t know but while i’m reading this I can’t help but cry. God bless your family!