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Updated: Dec 13, 2018

What am I thankful for?

This. This child. This scar. And all that this photo represents. These photos were taken 8 days apart. He looks like a completely different child. Amazing.

Today Nolan is one week post-op for open heart surgery. There were weeks we felt we would never get to this side of his surgery. Now here we are a full 7 days later.

This past week has been the hardest week of my life. We have seen a lot and endured more than we thought possible.

This past week has also been the best week of my life. Just 7 days ago my son was in heart failure. His little body was working so hard daily to stay alive.

Today, he is 7 days post op and doing great. Yeah we have a LONG way to go, but 7 days ago a doctor held Nolan’s heart in his hands. Nolan is already doing so much better than before surgery. It is truly amazing.

I am thankful for this journey. I know that might sound crazy but I am. We have no control over what has been going on and much of it are the hardest days, but in every bit of darkness is a glimpse of light and I am thankful right now we are past the hardest part of this road. We also have met some amazing people that we never would have met without these exceptional circumstances.

I am thankful for our family. This week we saw children laying alone in recovery rooms. Our family made it possible for us to be with Nolan every second. They watched Stella, cleaned our house, fed us and much more.

I am thankful for our friends. They have checked on us countless times, gifted us with love, meal, laughter, magazines and more items than I have space to name.

I am thankful for the nurses that took such amazing care of Nolan, and also took care of Joel and I. They do a thankless job and it is not lost on us.

I am thankful for Dr. Kanter. He saved my son’s life and made it look easy. This man is truly an answered prayer for thousands of families and children.

I am thankful for all of the staff at CHOA. There are so many people behind the scenes and working around the clock. Thank you to the ones that we didn’t see or meet but that we know had a hand in our stay.

I am thankful for Joel. I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else. I am lucky to have him and Nolan is lucky to have the best dad in the world.

Finally, but most importantly, I am thankful for Nolan. He made me a mom. He has taught me more in the last 6 months than I ever knew was possible. I am thankful for his sweet smile, infectious laugh, and all his sweet cuddles.

These last 6 months and especially the last week has shown me that life really is about perspective, and guess what? We are blessed. Though the challenges and victories, I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you find a million and one things to be thankful for today and everyday.

There is always more to be thankful for when you take a second to stop and look.

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I am thankful for you, Laina. I am thankful you are such a caring, loving, courageous Mom - you have looked at the lessons, learnings, and happiness throughout the 6 months of Nolan’s wonderful life. Your writings tell beautiful stories. I am thankful you are my niece. I love you.❤️ Leah

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