Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Olivia's Fairy Tale

With all that's going on these days it's very easy to get seriously sidetracked but hidden between her sisters chemo treatments and blood transfusions the most amazing Heaven sent angel girl exists..

 With God as her editor, Olivia has written her own beautiful fairy tale and we feel abundantly blessed to be the main characters. I could never put into words the complete joy this miracle girl has brought into all of our lives. Thinking about the last 5 months of our lives, one would think that our days have been consumed by the agonizing fear that only a cancer diagnoses could bring but honestly, because of Olivia, only continued faith and hope occupy our thoughts! This entire fiasco was perfectly planned and it started with the birth of Miss Chloe Bea. The timeline of events from the day of her birth leading up to these seemingly endless hospital days were orchestrated by God with the most impeccable timing. Had Chloe not graced our family, our hearts would have never lead us to Olivia. Had Chloe been born with the "perfect" number of chromosomes, our hearts would have never led us to Olivia. Had we discovered that Chloe's mutated cell was producing those defective platelets just one week earlier, our hearts wouldn't have allowed us to move forward with Olivia's adoption and this amazing little girl...

...would still be alone.  The thought of that breaks my heart.  Nothing about the last 28 months of life for the Herrington family is a coincidence. The good, bad, and the ugly; it was all part of a heavenly fairy tale with the most glorious of happy endings... Olivia's story has touched endless lives and sharing her with the world has proven to be an inspiration for many more Fairy Tale endings...  Enjoy her incredible beauty...

As for Miss Chloe, what can I say?  She's doing great and spreading happiness throughout the world, LITERALLY!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween:)

Happy Halloween!  It truly was a happy day.  A tad nontraditional but happy none the less.  Surprisingly, there was not one single moment of sadness today.  Sure, it stung a little waving to my tiny gnome through the window as my elevator door closed, but catching her 2000th kiss and seeing her smiling eyes peek above her mask made it all okay somehow.  Chloe is  my strength, my rock, my complete and total sunshine.  She is the reason that I am able to catch my breath every morning as I drive into that hospital parking lot.  I learned from Chloe early on in this seemingly impossible journey that not even something a huge as cancer stands a chance in Hell when it comes to the joy that this beautiful angel spreads.  She is contagious, addictive, unbelievably unforgettable and her wicked dance moves are not be reckoned with.  She has danced her way into the hearts and souls of pretty much every staff member at Kaiser. From the house keeping crew to the oncologists, she has truly changed lives... Including mine.  Her spirit cannot be broken so I have no choice but to hang on and ride out the storm with my girl and ya know what????  It's proven to be the most "perfect storm".  Scary and completely unpredictable but absolutely perfect all the same.  Believe me, I have had serious words with my main man upstairs.  I have thrown myself on the floor of that hospital room on several occasions and pleaded with him to find some other way to execute his "plan".  Any plan that involves his most perfect creation violently vomiting blood can't be a productive one.  Right?  Honestly, I haven't even come close to being able to answer the, "why my Chloe Lord", but I have made peace with the fact that Chloe is exactly where she needs to be for exactly the right reasons.  I'm confident that it will all be crystal clear soon enough and I'm willing to wait... So is Chloe!

She is doing great!  She handling the Chemotherapy like the warrior she has always been and she is blowing everyone away with her strength.  Round 3 is starting on Friday and on Monday we will be officially halfway there!  Sadly it looks as though we may be in the hospital through February but that's okay.  We are doing just fine!

Miss Livvy Mae is absolutely amazing!  She is growing up so fast and reaching those milestones like a rockstar!  She will be cruising around in no time and I don't even want to imagine life with the two of them running through my house!  I can't wait!!

Halloween took on a whole new meaning this year...  Witnessing Livvy enjoying her very first Trick or Treating experience tonight was an incredible gift.  Wow!  Think about her last Halloween:(  I did and it brought tears to my eyes.  Happy tears!  My sweet, sweet cheetah Girl!

 Hopefully I'm getting back into the blogging groove!  Time will tell:)  I do have a Facebook page called Chloe's Corner that I do daily updates and post TONS of pictures on.  Please find us and join in!  

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Quick Update

Let me first apologize for falling of the face of the earth.  Life these days in our newly discovered world of cancer is extremely time consuming.  As most of you know (at least those who still wander back to my blog) our precious Chloe Bea was diagnosed with Leukemia while we were in Ukraine.  She is currently going through intense Chemotherapy.  We are in an isolation room in the hospital for the next 5 months:(
 She is amazing and handling the chemotherapy like the warrior princess we all knew she was!

Now for Miss Livvy Mae!!!  To say she is thriving would be a huge understatement... She is absolutely the joy of our lives!  3 months ago she couldn't hold her head up without support and today she is crawling around the house and getting into everything!  

 Chloe and Livvy are the best of friends and we cannot wait for the day when we bust her out of this hospital!


I promise to try and update again soon..

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Through her eyes....

"I was blind but now...... I SEE!!!!!"

Amazing Grace!

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Our 3 prestigious clubs... And Chloe's very special BIRTHDAY WISH... (at the end of the post:)

On July 9th, 2010, we involuntarily joined the first of 3 clubs. On this truly incredible day, our lives, and the lives of so many people that love us, changed forever. Chloe Beatrice Herrington made her entrance into our family and honestly, since that day, every single one of us has had an extra pep in our step! She is a bright spot in this world that nothing could ever make dim. Not even you, Cancer!!!!

So, you may have guessed that our first club is Club Ds (Down syndrome).God is the only one who decides who the members of this amazing club and thankfully he chose us:) The lifelong friendships we have made in the short 23 months that Chloe has been on this earth is more of a blessing than I could even begin to explain. Our family quadrupled overnight! There are many qualifications that he has set in place for the members of Club Ds but the most important one is unconditional love and we have learned the meaning of that kind of love1000x over with Chloe! She has expanded the size of our hearts in ways only God himself will truly understand. We have come to realize today, that he used that unconditional love to guide us directly through the gates (literally) to the membership office of our next club...

Yep..... That's right..... Welcome to Club RR (Reece's Rainbow). Again, this is a club that wasn't in our future family plans. We've been members for over a year now and we have come to understand how this was a club that has had a special place reserved just for us since the beginning! It's through Reece's Rainbow that we have made even more friendships and watched our "family" grow by leaps and bounds yet again! Without the love and support from our RR family, this Heaven sent Angel wouldn't be sleeping next to me at this very moment:)

Club RR is also in desperate need of new members.... There are honestly lives of countless beautiful children depending on this membership to reach max capacity! If you haven't already, please take a second to check out this beautiful club and see what your missing:) If today isn't your time to join, please consider helping out a family that is trying to raise their dues. Here are a few families very near and dear to my heart. They are in a race against time to save the life of their child: The Jaco family lives here in Sacramento and they are working like crazy to bring this beautiful baby boy home!
The next family is the Sheffield Family, also a local Sacramento family. Their sweet boy "Vinnie" needs to come home! He is 4 already and so desperately needs the love of his Mama..
Another Family is the Morse Family. They are in the process of adopting Princess Xenia. Xenia was was my first true love on Reece's Rainbow. Her Mommy and Daddy have already made one trip her country and have now fallen hopelessly in love. Sweet baby is in need of heart surgery, so time is not something Xenia has on her side:( They are still about $8000 short on funds for their final trip to bring Xenia home. Each one of these families, along with many others working with Reece's Rainbow to bring their babies home would do just about anything to complete their life saving mission. Please help if you can! You all stood strong next to us and watched our beautiful "love story" unfold before your eyes. Wasn't all that hard work worth every single cent?

We think so and we're doing everything we can to make sure many other babies have the exact same glorious, happy, fairytale ending:)
So now for the 3rd Club..... This club is one that every parent lives in fear of joining. A club that turns your world upside down in a split second. A club that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. A club that you read horrendous stories about and say over and over to yourself, "But by the grace of God go I". A club that brings the strongest man to his knees in prayer. A club that has nothing to offer except complete devastation. A club that has even the most faith filled person questioning God and his plan...... This club is Cancer and I can't wait to pay our fees and anxiously wait for our membership to expire. I've heard it said so many times that we have become part of an amazing new family. We have already had families reach out to us and offer their love and support. We're truly feeling comforted and much less "alone" in Chloe's fight but I can't help to still wish we never became members in the first place...
As the days inch closer to Chloe's 2nd birthday it takes every ounce of strength to not fall apart. We should be be planning a party fit for a princess but instead the days are filling up with blood tests and bone marrow biopsies:( We plan on celebrating her birthday (July 9th) at home, quietly, with just us. We're saving the huge party for the day Chloe is officially Leukemia free... Who's coming??
Chloe does have a birthday wish however...... We have come in contact with a very special Mother who has fought along side her incredible son and helped him fight Leukemia and kick it in the behind. Jodee is working hand in hand with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by riding in a 100 mile bike ride in an effort to help find a cure and support cancer research for more effective treatments. Chloe's birthday wish is that all of you that would love to do do nothing more than celebrate her birthday with her make a donation to Jodee's Team in training in Chloe's name! This would mean the world to us as well as all the other families battling Leukemia. Please visit her Team Page and support Chloe fight through this remarkable woman!
Happy 4th of July!!!!

Love, Chloe<3<3<3
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Understanding "The Plan"

Olivia is home and it truly the shinning light in what suddenly has become a very dark time. She is thriving beyond our wildest dreams and watching her transform before our eyes is a gift.

Now for the darkness:( While in Ukraine, some of you will remember that our sweet Chloe Bea was having some trouble keeping her blood counts where they belong. In the weeks since we've home she has been closely monitored by an amazing team of Oncology Doctors. Poor baby girl had a bone marrow biopsy a few weeks ago and the results were not what we had prayed for. She has been diagnosed with MDS which is a form of blood cancer that is evolving into AML (Leukemia). Children with Down syndrome are predisposed to Leukemia and thankfully, Chloe's incredible Dr has always payed close attention to detail when it comes to our princess. We can honestly say that she is responsible for saving Chloe's life! Catching this disease in it's early stages is key and it is why Chloe will have better than a fighting chance... She's a rockstar and will blow us all away with her strength through the next year! Let's hope that Mom and Dad can be half as brave:)
Several blog posts ago, early on in our journey to Olivia, I talked about our Village. I can tell you, our Village has heard our devastating news and has gone into full swing! Prayer chains are connecting around the country, meal plans are being set up, family is making travel plans and even Leukemia walks are in the works! Lee and I are in awe and once again realizing how amazingly blessed we are.
Chloe is scheduled for another biopsy on July 5th and will start Chemotherapy soon after. We will be spending much of the next 6 months in the hospital. She will get to come home after each treatment only if her blood counts are perfect. There is concern with infection during the days after Chemo because her little body will have no immunity and with all of children at home there is a huge risk.
We are asking you all to storm the heavens with prayers for our beautiful girl.. We are going to put this all behind us for the next few weeks and enjoy our summer with our family. We have a lake vacation planned and Chloe's Doctors encouraged us to not cancel.. So we will happily go and you bet we will cherish every moment and not take one ounce of this precious life for granted...
Thank you for you continued prayers, support and love. Now enjoy some pictures of our Angel Girl:

Love to you all.....
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's never too late....

How could it be that the most perfect baby girl could miss out on her first birthday party? Not on my watch!!

Olivia's 1st birthday was on February 9th. but we celebrated it today and it was magical!

To think that this is where my sweet baby spent her first birthday breaks my heart:(

Nobody scooped her up on the morning of her birthday, kissed her all over and told her that she is loved more than life itself, but today everything changed! Today was Olivia's day. She was the most important princess in the universe and she knew it!

Today, wasn't "officially" Olivia's 1st birthday, but as far as we were concerned she deserved a do-over and we were all so excited to indulge. Well, maybe not all of us.....

Little miss Chloe Bea was having difficulty coming to terms with the fact that her universe was expanding and there was now another princess sharing the center with her...

She quickly recovered and soon realized that nothing could ever steal her thunder. Especially because soon it was cake time!

We sang Happy Birthday to Olivia and let me tell you I had a hard time getting through it. So many emotions, so many different reasons. How could her mother walk away from this most beautiful gift? Did her parents think about her on her birthday? Do they still grieve? Do they wonder about her? Do they care? If they could only see her now...

What would they think? Would they see her amazing beauty? Would they be sad when they realized that she is truly perfect in every way? Would they be sad when they realize that she is the most cherished baby sister in the world? (Olivia has 4 older biological siblings). Would they realize that cheated their own children out of having a baby sister that would have changed their world in ways they could never imagine?

I don't know where Katie is and yes, Jack is wearing a crown! See how happy he is?

All in all, the day was absolutely perfect, just like it's Queen:

Sweet dreams:)
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, June 11, 2012

If I can.......

Finish this sentence: "If I can do this......................."
Anyone can!!! So cliché isn't it? There is an amazing amount of truth to this and believe me, I have said this to numerous people along our journey to Olivia. Who would have ever thought that this spoiled rotten country girl could leave everything comfortable behind and set out on mission across the world based on faith alone? Looking back at my life and understanding how perfectly God was preparing me for a moment that would literally change the direction of the world. Dramatic, I know, but think about it..... Olivia was born into a world that didn't think she was worthy of being loved. She lived the first 15 months of her life laying alone in a crib waiting for her miracle, for world to change, for her Mother... No matter how you slice it, the world did change direction the day Olivia broke free from the walls of her prison. A life was saved and even though it was just one, it enriched the world in ways we may never understand, but God understands, after all he planned it:). So in a nutshell..... EVERYONE is capable of saving a life and making a change. What would have become of Olivia if we had listened to the voices that told us to "Just send some money somewhere." "Just let someone else save her, she's so cute, someone will adopt her." "Wait a year and see where you guys are financially." the list goes on and on and it terrifies me to think that we almost listened and deprived the world of this:

Olivia brings unimaginable joy to our family and we are happier, stronger, so filled with love and completely complete! Here's some proof:

Check this out... My beautiful girls are poster children and quite possibly will save the life of an unborn child....

We had an incredible evening on Friday! This time last year all three of these amazing children were wasting away in orphanage #5 and on this night they sat side by side surrounded by people who love them more than life itself! I couldn't begin to put into words the emotion felt by all who witnessed this reunion. Unbelievable!

This is Micah Ray, Olivia and Misha Chellson.. These sweet children will have a lifelong bond as will their Mama's! I love you Shelly and Melissa:)
I'll wrap this post up with just some food for thought. Please, please, please, if adoption has ever even entered your mind, even if for a moment, revisit it! If you think your husband will never come around, he will!!! If you can't imagine raising the money you will need, you will!!! If you think your loved ones won't understand, they will!!!! Listen to Gods calling, he has a plan:).
Remember..... "If I can do it, ANYONE can!"
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