A view into the life of a family who encountered a different future than expected, but has become all the richer for it.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Come And Gone

Another Christmas has come and gone. It's hard to believe how much we anticipate the wonderful Christmas season and how quickly it passes by us. Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. I love the music of the season, all of the holiday movies that come on TV, the special church services and especially the Christmas foods! I especially love the fact that families make such an effort to be together during the holidays. It is truly a wonderful time of the year and when this season comes around it makes me sad that we cannot have such a holiday more than once a year.

I took a few photos during the holidays that I wanted to share with each of you. I can honestly say that I felt very blessed this year. To know that Victoria could not been with us, had God not intervened ... well, that made "God With Us" have a little deeper meaning for me. God was truly with the Messick family this year and I cannot be more thankful!

Enjoy the photos and Merry Christmas to all!

This is a photo of our Christmas tree right after "Santa" dropped off all of the presents!

Here are Elyssa and Natalie helping Victoria open one of her gifts.

Elyssa and Natalie really enjoy their Dora chairs!

Here is Victoria with her Grand Daddy!

Opening gifts at Mee Maw and Paw Paw's.

This is a great photo of me, my sister, my sister-in-law and Victoria while at my parent's for Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Reflecting On The Year

Tonight as I sat at the computer I came across something I meant to share with you a little while back.

On the computer desk sat the 2008 Rileigh & Raylee Angel Ride Foundation program book from their Angel Ride & Concert event that took place on November 7th of this year. We were invited to be special guests at this event, but were not able to go because of previous commitments. The Angel Ride Foundation is very special to us because when Victoria had to be flown via jet to UAB because of her need for immediate heart surgery back in May, they gave us money to help offset our expenses while staying in Birmingham. They were a huge blessing to us.

To our surprise, in their event program, they displayed the letter of thanks that we sent them after Victoria's surgery. I attempted to scan two pages from the program so you could get more of an idea of what the Angel Ride Foundation does and also, so you could see the letter from us that they printed in their program. Just reading over our letter to them again brought tears to my eyes. God has been so faithful this year and I cannot begin to express my thankfulness for His continued grace.

PS - If you click on each image in this particular blog entry, the image will be enlarged so you can read the scanned material.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In The Palm Of My Hand

I've already begun to see in Victoria such a sweet spirit. She is very loving and always seems to have a smile on her face. She is very tactile (loves to touch things with her hands) and is always reaching for my face or touching my clothing and hands. One of my most favorite things that Victoria does is wrap her hands around my hand when I reach and touch her face. I wanted to take a video of this so you could see how sweet she is. I just love that little girl so much! Even though she has been on the brink of pneumonia the past few weeks, she still has a smile on her face and wants to show affection to me!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Breakfast With Santa

A few days ago we had the opportunity to participate in an even called Breakfast With Santa. It was held at Bel Air Mall by JC Penny and was sponsored by AIDB (Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind). Breakfast was provided by Chick-fil-a.

There was face painting, goodie bags for all of the kids and a free ride on the train and carousel. All of the moms were also given a $20 gift card redeemable at any store in the mall! Yee Haw! I really enjoyed that!

The kids were able to have their photo made with a Santa that does sign language. Here is a photo of Victoria with Santa. It was neat to see the kids communicate with him. There were all sorts of kids there. Some had Downs, physical deformities, and most seemed to have sight or hearing issues. There were parents, grandparents, friends and siblings there of all of the special-needs children. It was a really heart-warming experience for me.

On the way to the mall, I told Mark that I was feeling emotional. I had never been to an event for special-needs children before and I was feeling myself want to cry. Never in my life had I pictured myself being a part of such a community and going through all that we have the past year or so. Don't get me wrong, looking back I see how much of a blessing Victoria has been to my life, it's just that her coming to us in the way she did definitely has been life-changing. There have been many challenges and many emotions felt in the process. Anyway, the trip to the mall was a nervous one for me. However, after we arrived and I had a chance to settle into the situation, I started enjoying myself.

We were really blessed to meet a couple at the breakfast who has a Downs baby named Hollis. Hollis was born on March 10th also, so he and Victoria share the exact same birthday! What a cool thing that was! Hollis is a cute little boy and he also sees the same Vision Specialist that Victoria does. Actually, the specialist, Jennifer, introduced us to this great couple. We are hoping to carve out time to spend with them. We really feel that God ordained for us to meet them. We pray that we can be a tool that the Lord uses to minister to them and vice versa! God is just like that, isn't He? He gives us exactly what we need when we need it! We had so much in common with this couple because of our situations so we look forward to seeing them at more events in the future.

We are thankful for such wonderful services that are available to Victoria such as, AIDB. They are a huge help to us and her! After finally attending my first special-needs event, I can say that whatever fears I dealt with in the past melted away when I saw how much love was shown for each child at the breakfast. God is still teaching me so much through the life of my sweet, little Victoria Jayne!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Music

My brother, Alan, and I recently recorded a song that he is going to use in his Christmas Dinner Theatre at his church. I thought you might like to hear it! I love to hear Alan sing and was privileged to sing with him for this event. The song is called "The House That Hope Built." Click on this link to hear the song: http://www.box.net/shared/ovgik3dpqi . The lyrics are included below. Hope you enjoy it!

PS - The photo above was taken when Victoria was about to be born in March 2008. Even though I look terrible, Alan and Mandy look great! They were there during such a pivotal time in my life and I'm so thankful to have them in my life!

House That Hope Built

Verse 1
There was frost out on the window and snow lay on the ground
But inside the house was darkness no comfort could be found
No laughter warmed the season for each heart was cold with grief
No one felt like gathering around the Christmas tree

Verse 2
A miracle then happened a knock heard at the door
Brought back the vague reminder of what this day is for
They had gifts of love and healing but that was just the start
They brought Christmas to our house when they brought Jesus to our hearts

Come inside warm yourself by the fire of God's love
No matter what we have it's always more than enough
For all the empty places life has left are being filled
All because the Savior lives in a house that hope built

Verse 3
Now every Christmas season I can't help but give
The light I have to someone else wherever darkness lives
I have to keep on ringing out the news that Christ has come
‘Cause I can't help but tell you all the things He's done!

Come inside warm yourself by the fire of God's love
No matter what we have it's always more than enough
For all the empty places life has left are being filled
All because the Savior lives

O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore Him

For all the empty places life has left are being filled
All because the Savior lives
In a house that hope built
In a house that hope built