Monday, December 15, 2008

Two Years Old!


 Happy Birthday Eliana Joy!!!

I can't believe that you are 2 years old! It just doesn’t seem possible. In some ways it seems like a much longer period of time and in other ways it has flown.  The first year was difficult in a lot of ways - feeding struggles, heart failure, open-heart surgery, salmonella, feeding tubes and more.    

And yet, the joy is also overwhelming. I don’t know that I can ever convey what an incredible blessing Eliana is to our family. And not just our family – she brings joy to so many others. I watch people who are just taken with her sweet personality (and she is incredibly cute too!)

When she was born, I wondered how we would handle having a child with special needs.  Would our lives be changed in ways that I didn't like?  Would we ever find "normal" again?  I found that having a child with special needs caused me to depend more on God - the One who could help us.  It meant changing the way that we lived.  It also meant that we would be changed - our priorities, our views and our values.  I'm so very thankful for that!

Eliana is such a joy!  (What a great middle name for her!)  She is loving and forgiving - incredibly so.  We can all learn from her example.  She is curious and smart and funny.  I love her sense of humor, her independence and her love of music.  I love her giggle and her smile and her signs.  I love watching her siblings love on her and have fun with her.  I love the changes I've seen because of her. 

Thank you God for blessing our family so richly two years ago.  I didn't realize then what an amazing gift you were giving us.  I'm so glad that You knew better than we did.

Here are some photos during her first few days. 

This is her first birthday. 

This is a picture of Eliana on Sunday.  

I'll post birthday pictures as soon as I'm able to.  We are planning a low-key party - ice cream and music are sure to be on the agenda. 

Happy Birthday my beautiful Eliana.  

I love you so very much,




  1. Dear Eliana,

    Through your mom's words and pictures I have come to know and love you, too. You are a precious angel who has touched so many lives already. Through examples in your life, we have seen how God is faithful, even in the midst of trials, and we have witnessed many prayers answered. We have all grown in countless good ways by watching the example of your life and your family's. Your beautiful smile brings me so much joy, and I am blessed to "know" you. Happy, happy 2nd birthday!

    with love and hugs, "Miss Cyndi"

  2. Wow, shes getting so big!! (And is so pretty)

  3. Happy 2nd Birthday, sweet girl! I'm so glad that God made you! He is using your precious life to point so many hearts to Him. You're a joy, dear Eliana!

  4. ...from the Smiths

  5. Celebrating with you, friends!


    Hollie and Family

  6. Happy Birthday Eliana! She is growing up so beautifully. I was putting Tyler's new "school" photo in a frame over last year's photo and discovered last Christmas' photo in there too. I see so many changes in him in the past year- the time has flown!

    I loved your words about the joy that Eliana has brought to your lives. Tyler continues to amaze me and hs smile fills my heart with hope for all the possibilities!

    Love to you and your family - Merry Christmas!!

  7. I can't believe our sweet Eliana is 2 years old! Happy Birthday sweet girl!! Leslie, thanks for sharing! Love the pictures! That pic of her in front of the Christmas tree is gorgeous!! What a big, sweet girl!! :)


  8. She looks so grown up, but I guess that's because she's 2!! You've come a long way, Miss Eliana! And there's many more wonderful years to come. Bunches of blessings to you!!

  9. That last one was me... I'm losing it! :o)

  10. Happy Birthday sweet girl!!

    LOVE all the pictures.

  11. I cannot believe it's been TWO full years already! What a big, beautiful girl you have!


  12. I haven't been able to read you blog for some reason. It just hasn't been loading for me. I was so happy to come here and have it pop right up today, and to see these beautiful pictures from newborn to now.

    What a cutie! I'm so blessed by your story, and your life, really. I have learned so much watching you work through the process over the last 2 years.

    Merry CHRISTmas, my friend~

    Lisa Schaffer



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