September 30, 2010

We are where we are for a reason

I spent my first three years in Philadelphia wondering why we were there. Other than my husband's job, there was no logical reason: both of our families live in Los Angeles, we're not big fans of cold weather, and we much prefer the suburbs to big cities. When my husband and I were in graduate school, we used to entertain ourselves by making lists of places we could see ourselves living and being happy: Philadelphia wasn't even on the radar. Upon graduation, my husband received job offers from lots of places, many closer to home and with higher pay. Yet none of them felt right. The only job that did feel right was the one in Philadelphia. I wore sweatpants for two months after he accepted the job; I was that supportive.

With the exception of a few awesome neighbors and friends, things never clicked for us in Philly. Within a year, we began actively looking for a way out. For the next several years, we were presented with several opportunities to escape, all of which fell apart for various reasons beyond our control. By year three, my husband and I were frustrated, annoyed, and confused. Why couldn't we get out of there? And then I found myself unexpectedly pregnant with Cameron.

Sometime early in the second trimester of the pregnancy, I contracted Fifth Disease. My older kids got the virus at preschool and passed it onto me. The odds of me passing the virus onto Cameron was very, very, very low but fetal ultrasounds performed twice a week during the pregnancy revealed that Cameron not only had the virus, but that it was making him progressively more sick.

Two years ago today, at 35 weeks gestation, I checked into the hospital at the University of Pennsylvania knowing that there was a distinct possibility that I would be checking out without a baby. I knew this throughout the pregnancy and the uncertainty of the future is what kept me from buying baby clothes and imagining family photographs that contained four children. I went into the hospital uncertain about the details of how it all would end, but also with comfort in the knowledge that angels would be present in the delivery room, either to help heal Cameron, or to comfort me.

I haven't written about Cameron's birth because I don't remember most of it. What I do remember isn't pleasant: doctors--lots of them--and the silence after Cameron emerged.

"Why isn't he crying?" I asked.

I wasn't able to see Cameron until later that night. By that time, the hospital chaplain had already come to talk with me. Cameron had had two blood transfusions and was in a medically-induced coma in the NICU. It wasn't until Cameron defied the odds and turned the corner several days later that I realized that HE was the reason why we were living in Philadelphia.

While I contracted Fifth Disease by chance, I believe that it's no accident that the world's leading Neonatal Infectious Disease Expert is at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. It's also no accident that one of the world's top pediatric hematologists also works at that hospital. Cameron's condition is so rare that there are virtually no precedents for treating it. To put it bluntly, I have no doubt that Cameron would not have survived had he been born anywhere else. The outcome certainly would have been different if I had delivered him at one of the small regional hospitals at any of the places around the country where we had hoped to move.

When I think of Philadelphia now, I am filled with gratitude and humility. The city sucked some of the life out of me, but it gave me in return a son that I wouldn't otherwise have.

The reason why I'm telling you this story now (besides the fact that it's Cameron's second birthday and I'm feeling nostalgic) is that I've received lots of emails in recent months from readers who feel "stuck" and "trapped" in places both geographical and emotional that they don't want to be. I'm hardly a paradigm of positive thinking, but I have learned from experience of the simple truth that we are where we are for a reason.

Sometimes we get the answer to the question "Why am I here?" right away.

Sometimes it takes four years.

photography by silvina b. photography

Either way, it's worth it.

154 comments

Daisha said...

I love everything you said! What a blessing it for you family to have that little guy. Happy Birthday to him

Jill and Cameron said...

Thank you for sharing that. It was beautiful and inspiring. Happy Bday to your little C-man!!! :)

Sara said...

Tearing up in Philly suburbs right now. But I'd never live anywhere but PA :)

Christine said...

I think there are more times than we realize that things happen for a reason and usually it's only when we're looking back that we can see it. Thanks for the insight and for sharing!

Anita Cramer Wells said...

Beautiful, that made me cry. And hopeful too, since I have issues with where I am too :-)
(And I have to say, Philadelphia is where our car was stolen when my husband and I were visiting as newlyweds, so I have mixed feelings about the city of brotherly love as well.)

Heather said...

Your story gave me chills. I am glad the doctors were there for him.
And I am glad you found a positive about a place you didn't fully enjoy!

Kirsty said...

Thank you. From the South African living far from family in Ohio :)

the thrifty ba said...

thank you for that story. im from south philly and now living in utah. but i met my hubby here so that must be why im here!

A House and Home said...

I am a true believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason, even if it isn't always apparent.

Darcey said...

I'm pregnant with our first (no problems yet - I can only imagine what it'd be like going through that), and feeling very stuck in Alamogordo, New Mexico because of my husband's job. I do hope there's a good reason we're here!

Jeni said...

I usually come here for a good laugh, but today I am glad to say that you made me cry. What a beautiful perspective you have & what a sweet little boy!

MBmom said...

Your first paragraph sounds like a page out of my life's book. We moved from Arizona to a small Vermont village. It was rough, but now that our Vermont days our behind us, I've begun to understand what a blessing being "stuck" there was. It's true, "we are where we are for a reason."

eliana23 said...

Good reminder. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful post.

togetherforgood said...

This is a good post. Thank you for the reminder. And I canNOT believe that little guy is two already.

Russ and Em said...

I needed that so very much today. Thank you

Gina said...

A beautiful reminder. We are currently in Orlando, with all of our family in Phoenix. It's been a perfect fit, and we cannot explain why we love it here. We just absolutely know that the Lord knows us and what is best for us and will put us in the perfect place for us.

Laurie said...

I think this is the first time I've ever cried tears (that weren't from laughing my fool head off) at one of your posts. Thank you for sharing this story. It is SO true! And sometimes we're where we are because someone ELSE is going to need US. I know, a pretty deep thought for 10:00 AM! :) Extra hugs to your special "baby" today!

Donna said...

I was like you, for 16 years, wondering why am I stuck in Utah? I never wanted to live here but my hubby grew up here. I came to like a lot of things about it but still had issues with other things. Then my 13 year-old son died in a car accident. We were here for a reason. The community, our workplaces, friends, and church (of course) were so supportive. I don't think it would have been like that somewhere else.

Janee said...

I absolutely believe this too. As always, loved the post. By the way, how is Florida treating you?

Amy said...

Crying....can't see...love this...thank you for sharing.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

One of your best, Jana. This is why I love your blog. There's great humor stacked up on a very sturdy foundation. Having just made a move myself, I can understand very much what you're saying. In my case, I have an eerie feeling that the reason we came here won't be apparent for many years, maybe even 20, but I'm confident the reason will appear and be crystal clear.

StrawberryBlond said...

Thanks for this post. I'm currently in AZ (almost 3 year now) and hating every minute of it. I am not a desert person (nor a summer person for that matter) and I get way too much of both in this area. I'm missing my home state of GA and the four seasons experienced there.

But you're right. And I'll try to remember that!

Angie said...

We live in Vegas and there are many transplants like us who wonder how we got here. There are relatively few people in our neighborhoods and wards who are natives who meant to be here. It is always interesting to me to see who is able to bloom where they're planted and who can't seem to settle. The ones who accept the lack of control in their lives and settle and thrive seem to find out sooner and with more gratitude why they are where and when they are. Those who can't settle seem to be bitter and unhappy and sometimes lose faith and testimony in their stubborn refusal to bloom.

What a wonderful thing that you can see why you were where you were. Tender mercies aren't the only blessing, recognizing them is sometimes the far greater blessing. Thank you.

McKenzie said...

That story definitely made me tear up, thank you for sharing. Happy Birthday to your little guy!

Kensi said...

Great post. Thanks for those inspiring words. Happy Birthday to your little one!

Amy N. said...

Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing!

Kari M. said...

You're my favorite person that I've never met. Thanks for your post today--happy birthday to Cameron!

Kathryn said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I am expecting a child and of course I choked up throughout it. I appreciate so much your insight. I hope you don't mind if I share.

I never really comment but I always (loyally) read and LOVE your blog.

-cheers from a navy wife who gets to bloom where she's planted over and over.

Ruth M said...

Thank you for the perspective.

brossettelewis said...

Thank you for sharing. We were in a similar boat 3 yrs ago. DH got a ehh job but it changed our insurance to BCBS (that my OB didn't accept) versus the one 99% of Utah uses. Had we not had Blue Cross I would not have had access to a Twin to Twin Transfusion specialized Perinatologist (1 of 10 in US) or access to a Fetal Surgeon in Seattle, or an OB with TTTS survivors of his own... all of which saved my twin boys. There's a plan.

I've wondered about his birth as I had just had my boys soon after your diagnosis and was a fetal issue google junkie... kinda still am.

Happy 2nd Birthday little man.

(Must turn of Ben Folds..The Luckiest and reading this post is making me mom-ish)

Vikki said...

I am glad you are writing about your son's birth, challenges and all. Recording it (warts and all sometimes) is very important; I've been there too. And I agree with you that sometime a destination/choice/timing doesn't seem right at the time but we later see the Lord's hand in it.

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

Such a touching post. I am tearing up, and I don't do that often. Happy birthday to Cameron.

Courtney said...

Wow. What a wonderful miracle. This post could not have come at a better time for me! While I do not have any children, I'm certainly struggling with quesitons of what, "What am I doing here? What am I supposed to be doing? What do I need to be doing right now!?" in a way that's making me feel depressed more often than not. I'm going to keep my chin up today and remember Cameron and that everything happens for a reason ... and at this very moment, we are all right where we are supposed to be.

Kelli said...

Amazing story. Thank you for sharing it. :) And happy birthday to your little miracle!

Amie said...

This brought a tear to my eye! Thank you so much for sharing and Happy Birthday little guy!!

Paula said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I agree, that IS why you were in Philly. Good for you both for going with your gut and moving there in the first place.

We are stalled selling or renting our house though we are long gone from it. I think we've gained enough wisdom and experience not to ask why it's not selling. We know it will happen not to our timing but to God's.

Happy Birthday Cameron!

The Mamma Bear said...

It's funny that you choose to share this story today. I love your smart humor and read (and relate) often. We just moved to a new area a month ago and I have been struggling to find out the "why". It's nice to know it's not just me. Good luck in your sunny new place. I always love a story with a happy ending. Beautiful picture of a beautiful boy.

Laurel and Jeremy said...

Thanks for that! Now Im crying and my two year old keeps asking "Mommy why cry? Mommy hurt?" My hubs and I are asking this same question about Vegas, NV...why are we here? It doesnt really feel like we belong, should be move? Should be just suck it up and see where life goes? Thank you for your perspective :)

Mindy said...

Happy birthday to that miracle boy!
I believe this truth with all my heart and soul. I pray for those who feel they are "stuck" might find the joy in life where they are, and if there is a way out, to be directed to it.

vanilla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vanilla said...

This. Is. A. Beautiful. Post!

Happy Birthday to Cameron, and blessings to you all.

Marissa said...

Happy Birthday sweet Cameron. I remember praying for him 2 years ago. What a little blessing!
Thanks for your thoughts today. We just left the valley I have only known for home 2 months ago for my husband's new job. I have had a hard time with the adjustment but I know there is always a reason and your story is confirmation of that. Thanks again!

Jaimee said...

So true... as someone who has lived in several states, I too believe there is a always a reason we are where we are. The trick is remembering that when times are tough and we want to know why we're there. I found your blog through one of my friends blog rolls and immediately felt connected to you. I contracted fifths disease in my second trimester of pregnancy with my 3rd child in 2008. She will be 2 on Halloween. I went through the weekly ultrasounds as well, but thankfully, everything went fine for us. I'm sorry you guys had a hard time. The Dr.s where we live had to look up what to do for fifth's disease because it is so uncommon. Weird... 2008 must have been a big year for it in the schools that year. We were in CT then. Happy birthday to your little guy!!

Melanie Beth said...

So completely true! Love this post, and so glad that you were blessed to have your little Cameron!

Malinda said...

What a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing.

Happy Birthday to Cameron!

sara said...

Just beautiful. Have a fun day!

Steve and Jamie said...

The last two moves have taken our family to places "off the radar" as well. We're about to make another move in a few months. I've spent a lot of time raging about why we seem to be moving further and further from our families. But I know in my heart that I wouldn't change the last few years. The experiences we've had and the good friends we've met have made it worth it.


Thanks for reminding me that things happen for a reason. Hopefully it won't take me four years to figure out the purpose of this next move :)

Maureen said...

Oh thank you for writing this. I know you usually joke around (which I love) but this post came at a great time for me, as I just moved from my home state of Oregon to Texas. I had planned on quitting my job when I moved, and one day before my final day, my company closed and laid everyone off. I don't know exactly WHY I am here yet, but I know that because of that, it seems that it's happening for a reason. I mean, why else would I get laid off one day before I quit, after working there for four years?
That's a great story you shared. Happy birthday to your little guy. It's my nephew's second birthday today too!

Kristin said...

Tear.. I am a RN at the children's hosp. NICU in AR and everyday i go to work my heart is tugged with happieness and saddness. i see so many little blessings and miracles that the Lord performs. I am so Thankful for you that you had a wonderful outcome in your situation. God Bless!

JACK's house said...

And how did you know that there are people out there (like me) that needed to hear that...Thank you!

Kim said...

Your story gave me chills. I'm so glad you were where you needed to be for your precious little one to thrive!

Molly said...

Thank you for your motivating story!

Karen in NC said...

Crying now....Beautiful post!!

Amalie said...

thank you for sharing.
you made me cry!

janaemadsen said...

oh you're great Jana. I love your little baby... and I am still stuck in Scranton for three more years...

Scot and Evie said...

Man, I needed this... We've been relocated away from family for a year now. I keep asking this over and over waiting for an answer. Very inspiring... Love the photo!
Thank you!

awakenthestars said...

Thank you for this post... it's something I really needed to read today. Happy 2nd Birthday Cameron!

-Mary Grace

DeAnne said...

Amen.
Thank you! I needed to hear that today.

Donna said...

Beautiful. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for writing and sharing it.

Rene said...

My son was born with a heart defect, a rare one, only 1% of babies with this defect are able to live upon delivery. We were in Stockton California and we were sent 80 miles away to San Francisco Moffit Hospital for surgery. I remember the doctor had huge hands(he gave up a chance at the NBA to become a doctor, thank God)He operated on babies hearts that are the size of their fist. Long story short - My son will be 27 this year, married and doing fine, a walking miracle. Babies were sent there from all over the world, sent because the Surgeon was the best in the world. I don't believe in happy coincidences I believe in miracle

becca said...

thanks for sharing a bit more about your sweet boy! Wonderful post today!

Frolicking Night Owl said...

Thank you for sharing this. I came across your post at a time when I really needed to know & hear that other people ask this question too. We are kinda opposite ... we are close to family & friends, but have a stinky job. I ask myself on a daily basis ... why are we here? We'd much rather be in PA right now. :) I know there's a reason we're here ... this too was the only job that felt right. BUT WHY!?!?

Erin said...

Ahhh, that was amazing...thank you for sharing that.

Grace G. McNicholas said...

Jana you are an inspiration to us all. Thank-you for your blog. It's the highlight of my day.

Rachel said...

I love ALL of your posts (they often have me and my husband laughing aloud), but the occasional sweet, serious, reflective, spiritual post is an unexpected blessing. You are a fantastic writer, and you verbalize so well what many of us feel and can't express.

Maggie said...

Thank you! We are just starting our life as a military family, and, I am sure, have many moves ahead of us. I too believe that we are where we are for a reason, big or small. It sometimes doesn't make it easier, but knowing that makes more bearable!

Annie (Lady M) x said...

Aww, that was a lovely story.. it brought tears to my eyes.. especially the bit where you asked 'why isn't he crying?'. I am soooo glad it all worked out.

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time believing everything you write on here because there are times it sounds embellished upon a bit. However, this entry is entirely believable because it is so honest and real.

I needed to read this today as life is a struggle right now and I needed to be reminded that there is a reason for every struggle one is faced with in life.

Cindy said...

Wow, Jana. Really beautiful...And I know a bit of what you're talking about, since I wouldn't have my trio if we'd been living anywhere but here.

Megan said...

Jana-I'm so glad that you feel that sense of enlightenment that can sometimes only come with time and a few miracles!

Jamie said...

Happy birthday to your little boy! Thank you for this post. I was repeating over and over this morning "enjoy the journey" to try to remind myself and it just wasn't working. I know there's a reason for all this and it WILL work out. Thank you for reminding me. :)

Jeannie said...

Amen. I've seen that over and over again in my life, especially with my children. And yet I still have a tendency to complain...

Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing and inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing.

Amy said...

Thank you for sharing. I was covered in goose bumps while I read. I too have learned that our time frame is different then the Lords and we need to be reminded of that sometimes.

EBPitcher said...

What beautiful testimony to the awesome power of God! He brought you where you needed to be. We all should be so trusting that He will do the same for us. Thanks for sharing!

Anna said...

Thank you for sharing your and Cameron's story. It made me cry :) and for me is a reminder to count the blessings we have, even the ones we aren't recognizing...

Jessica B said...

I love this post.
My sister contractrd Fifths Disease in her second trimester too. She is a second grade teacher, and got it from a few kids in her class. I wish her story turned out like yours...
Happy, happy birthday to your little guy. You truly were where you were supposed to be. :)

The Millers said...

Amen. Beautifully said. And Happy Birthday to Cameron, with many more years of happy wishes to come.

Mia said...

Oh Jana, sometimes you write straight to my heart. Happy Birthday Cameron.

larshannon said...

I contracted fifths disease during the pregnancy of my fifth child. Scary stuff, though not as severe as Cameron's. I'm glad both of our babies are with us. Mine just turned two as well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. 6 weeks ago we moved to salt lake city. I have NEVER wanted nor dreamed we would live here, but my husband was offered the dream job. Our new house cost twice as much as our old one and I just hate it. Every day when I clean my ugly kitchen I cry. I said yet another prayer that I am suppose to feel that this is where we are suppose to be, then I sat down to the computer because your blog always makes me smile. today it made me cry in a very good way. I know my Heavenly Father is very aware of me and our six children and I know that this ugly, old, expensive house hundreds of miles from my family and friends is where he wants us. (I only wish it was Orlando- I love visiting there! Hope you enjoy it.)Thank you for your post today and for your blog.

The Stowers said...

I have been having a difficult week and have wanted to break down and cry everyday. Someone has been praying for me (I haven't been) because I have made it through each day. Thank you for such an inspiring, candid and well-thought blog post. I am crying now, and it's because I don't feel so stuck anymore. Blessings to you and your family! :)

Kim Ginsberg said...

Wonderful post and an excellent reminder. I too feel trapped in my current locale. Thanks for the perspective!

Kim Ginsberg said...

OH! And most importantly - Happy 2nd Birthday Cameron!

Jennifer said...

Beautiful. I had the exact same experience there. After being stationed in south Jersey for 7 years, I was bitter and miserable and just wanted out of here. Our daughter was born here in south Jersey, perfectly healthy and two days later, had a stroke and was transported over to CHOP. They were awesome! They had doctors participating in a stroke study and an entire pediatric stroke team. She just turned three and she is doing so well, they discharged her completely from their care. I hate south Jersey, it's expensive, far from my home ( gulf coast of Texas), and too cold for me, but I will eternally be grateful to CHOP and to all the reasons that we are "stuck" here. Thank you for reminding me of this.

Tarcoulis said...

Happy Birthday, Cameron. It's good to have you here.

Bonnie said...

Beautiful story! I believe things happen as they are meant to, as well.

Emily said...

Wow! What a fabulous story and a poignant reminder that to everything there is a plan even if we don't know why until much later. Thank you! And happy birthday, big guy!

Lynette said...

I got goosebumps. Thank you for a beautiful post and a GREAT reminder. :) Happy Birthday to your little boy!!!!

Lindsey said...

Thanks so much for this post. I usually cry from laughing so hard when I read your blog, but this time was good, old-fashioned Mommy Tears. What an amazing story. It's a great reminder that we're where we're supposed to be.

Lisa said...

What a wonderful tender mercy. Happy Birthday Cameron. That picture of you two is priceless.

Megan said...

First, happy, happy birthday to your sweet Cameron (one of my most favorite names)!! Thank you for taking the time to share the details of such an emotional and moving time of your life...there are no mistakes and I am a firm believer that "God works ALL things together for the good of those who love Him..." Romans 8:28

Not only were you in Philly for a reason, but your sweet Cameron has been given his life and you as His Mommy for a very specific plan...God bless you on this day of rememberance and CELEBRATION!!!

Jessie said...

Happy Birthday to Cameron! Hope he had a fantastic day. Thanks for sharing your story, it brought tears to my eyes.

Skubaliscious said...

Thanks for sharing that! I despise SE Tx - but for whatever reason we wound up here...

Happy Birthday Cameron! I followed you throughout the pregnancy and then all the waiting after - it's so awesome seeing him hit two! What a blessing :)

Lisa said...

what a beautiful reminder.

Renny said...

Beautiful! I got a little teary-eyed. I've had a frustrating week. My thoughts as I was leaving school on Tuesday was something like this: "WHY THE HELL DID I COME TO FREAKING VERMONT FOR LAW SCHOOL?!?!?!" I never wanted to come here, it was not my first choice, it was not the best school I got into, I fought it tooth and nail, and didn't even find a place to live until about three weeks before I came out here.
Now I'm in my second year, and a crystal clear reason for choosing this school has not made itself manifest to me, and it can be extremely frustrating at times, being at an incredibly expensive private school.
I'm still not 100% certain why I'm here, but this post reminded me that it doesn't matter if I know, God knows, and thats what counts.
I'm so grateful you have your little blessing. Happy Birthday Cameron!

Lynn said...

Hey Jana, you made me cry! I cannot beleive Cameron is 2 already! We miss you guys and hope life is bringing you joy and happiness in sunny Florida! Give the kids our love.

Wander said...

Oh my gosh! This was a post for me! I happened to click on your link from another blog (cause I thought I WAS the meanest mom)haha.
And here I find this very important topic!

My family has been in Indiana for 10 years (were from Florida) and the last 6 have been a nightmare!
Just today, my teen daughters and I cried about our situation and AGAIN sought out WHY from God that were still here.

I understand He works in strange ways...but how long? How long must we wait?
I want to be in His will and where He wants us...but it seems all wrong where we are now.

I feel encouraged by your words. Thans!

Robin said...

Thank you for this post. I've been feeling post emotionally and geographically stuck for a while. I appreciate the reminder that there is a reason, even if I can't see it right now.

Lainie said...

A beautiful tribute to a beautiful boy.

Mama.Mommy.Mom. said...

Thank you so much for this. It's something I certainly needed to read today.

Stefanie said...

Amen. And thanks for reminding us. :-)

Crystal said...

Some times its hard to understand why things happen, but if we just have faith we will understand the reason eventually.
I am so glad everything worked out for your family.

PS. I love your blog!

NoSurfGirl said...

Wow... it's like you were inspired. This post is so dang relevant to my situation right now, it's downright eerie.

I really needed to read this. Thank you so much. I was deeply touched... I need the kind of faith you've developed.

mamajil said...

Happy Birthday to your little boy!! I enjoyed your post! I always think its so amazing how God orders our steps and makes provision in areas we are not even aware of!! Neat how he positioned you and the right Dr for the right season! What a blessing!

Angi Snyder said...

Thank you for the reminder. We need to have more trust in HIM, and that HE knows why we are where we are. There are no coincidences, and God doesn't make mistakes.

midnight hysteria said...

tears in my eyes and goosebumps up and down my spine ... i know, without a doubt, like you, that we are where we are for a purpose and for a reason, and i know that whatever happens happens for a reason and a purpose ....

general conference for the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints is this weekend ... watch and listen .... a quote from a good friend, nienie, *It will be the most inspiring hours of TV you've ever watched.

I promise.

I am excited.*

happy birthday cameron and mom ... and the rest of the hooligans ... thank you, jana ... inspiring post!

Elise said...

What a sweet post! Thank you for sharing- it's a great reminder. I'm a single Texas girl who, for a job promotion, was shipped out east to Connecticut. My family and friends all thought I was crazy for taking the job opportunity. I started to wonder if I really was crazy when my first rent payment came- practically a morgage payment...but, I've have realized time and time again that this is where I'm supposed to be. Thank goodness God knows better than us- right? :)

Jesus Chick said...

You made me cry, you meanie.

Nellie said...

So beautifully written and what a precious, lovely picture!

Thank you for writing whitty, loving posts and for always inspiring us along the way, even if you don't realize it.

Blessings of joy, peace, laughter and love to you and your family...always!

NewsPhotoGirl said...

What a beautiful post.
My husband was transferred to San Francisco when we were first married and I hated it. I hated the cold weather and the traffic and my job. I was miserable. Then we found out I couldn't get pregnant.

Well, I went to a wonderful fertility center and was able to conceive twin girls. Throughout my pregnancy I had a wonderful doctor who helped me carry my girls full term. When I ended up having a post-partum hemorrhage, those wonderful doctors saved my life.

Now that we are back home in Colorado, I think of San Francisco and think of my beautiful girls and how fortunate I am for everything.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I stumbled on your blog but I know why. We were in the exact same situation. We were moved from Denver to Bucks Co, at the time had a 13 month old son and the closest family was 3.5 hours away. we moved into a nice neighborhood, found a good church but felt like we were unsettled. At 15 months our son had a choking episode that took him to CHOP, after a summer of testing it was determined that he had a congenital heart defect. Had we stayed in Denver he would not have been able to be treated for this condition. CHOP 'of course' has one of the few surgeons in the country that performs the type of heart surgery our son needed. We have since left Bucks Co for State College PA and feel much more settled but I will forever have a piece of my heart in Philly with Dr. Fogel and Dr. Gaynor. So glad that your little man is doing well and was another of the beautiful happy ending from CHOP.
Sonia

Silvina B. said...

What a beautiful, beautiful post Jana...I'm not used to tearing up when visiting your blog, but this one surely did it. Happy happy birthday to that little man of yours. What a gift!

Anonymous said...

PS - now that I have found your blog, I'm never leaving! ha!
Sonia

ModernMom said...

Your post has tears in my eyes. Sometimes we can't see the blessing in our struggle, but it is there. So thankful for your happy ending.

Kelley said...

what a beautiful story and an outlook towards how God really does have a plan!

Kelli said...

Thank you for sharing this story.

Christine said...

That's about how supportive I was when Levi decided to go to Temple! And it hasn't been easy.
I'm so glad you have Cameron, and I'm so glad we crossed paths, even briefly, you've been an inspiration to me! I really heard your voice in this post and it was nice.
... and we just might have found a way out a little earlier than we expected, although I'm trying not to get my hopes up until I know for sure. :)

The Newmans said...

He's adorable and your story is amazing. Seeing God's hand in our every day lives really brings it all into focus. I had a NICU baby born due to my development of HELLP syndrome so I understand those feelings of fear (though I don't know exactly how you felt). Happy Birthday to your sweet Cameron and many more to come!!

Heidi said...

What an amazing story!!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! I just recently had a NICU baby, and it's amazing how that little life can put your whole life into perspective. Happy Birthday, Cameron!!!

isaacsmum said...

Wow, Thanks Jana! That is such a good reminder for me to be patient and enjoy the now instead of always looking for something better.

Angelica Bays, TygrLilies.com said...

jawdrop.
blink.
looking around to see if you are hiding in my closet.

Christy and Brett Bevans said...

I love that you posted this. I had a very similar experience 8 months ago with my daughter. My husband and I moved to a small town and I wondered why we were there. We both wanted out. Then we had my daughter and it all made sense. She was born with a rare condition (that we didn't know about before hand). Through a series of events and a great nurse her condition discovered and her life saved. Any other town or hospital the outcome would have been very different. We have since moved from that town to be closer to family, but I know why we had to live there. To save the life of my baby girl.
Thank you posting this. Happy Birthday to your little man.

Katie said...

You are so right! Everything happens for a reason! Thank you for sharing your story...gave me goose bumps!

Faithineverystitch said...

I came across your blog several months ago and have enjoyed your postings. I stayed with it because of the name. I have the title of the "Meanest Mom on the Block" given to me by one of the neighbor kids, I originally felt connected because of that. Now I feel connected because of the similar life challenges you have shared.

My NICU baby is 9 1/2 yrs old. I had a PPROM (pre premature rupture of membrains) situation. My wonderful neighbor (whom has since moved to PA)cared for my 2 older children while I spent 2 months in a hospital in Salt Lake growing my son inside of me. We live in a smaller town outside of Salt Lake and they would not have been able to care for my son if he had come the 14 weeks early. Instead with my neighbor's help I was able to keep him safe inside of me for 8 more weeks and he came only 6 weeks early.

Thanks for sharing your testimony and love of the gospel.

The Meditative Mom said...

This post gave me goosebumps. I'm so happy that everything worked out for you and your baby. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I live in Philly and sometimes feel the same way; that we are trapped or stuck. Yet when my family complain as well, I try to help them see the positives that we do have in our lives. After reading your post, I am sure you would not have had it any other way. Happy belated birthday, Kiddo, wishing you many, many more. Thank you for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what my husband and I have been thinking! We are in Reading, PA and have been chomping at the bit to get out of here for 3 years. This June we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy... 3 months earlier than his due date. Being here enabled him to get outstanding medical care and we were only 3 miles from the hospital. Who ever would have thought that living in Reading would be a blessing?

Angie said...

I tear up reading this. So happy that everything falls into place for a reason. Since our house is on the market, I will try to remember why things don't happen as quickly as we hope!

Kristin said...

Thank you.

Jess said...

Thank you for writing this. I have been feeling so stuck where we are lately and no I don't feel so bad about it. I am so glad Cameron is okay and the doctors were able to take care of him.

Madeline said...

Wow...Happy birthday, sweet baby boy!

Michelle said...

I love Philly...but I can see why some people don't. That being said, your post was beautiful and I'm so glad you've found your reason. Happy birthday to Cameron and congratulations to you!

Vicky said...

Lovely post. Brought back many memories of our daughter in the NICU. Thanks for sharing :0)

Nicki said...

You are so right! Things do happen for a reason and cliche as that may sound, I remind myself of that everyday! Thank you for sharing and Happy Birthday, Cameron!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post.

Chasing Molly said...

Wow, just what I needed to hear! I wonder sometimes why I am where I am. This post reminded me to grow where I am planted. Thank You.

Jane Weaver said...

Thank you for a great post. I too believe that we are where we are for a reason, though it's usually not quite so apparent to us as your reason became to you. God bless your little boy on his birthday!

Olivia Singleton said...

I just moved from Utah to the Orlando area, and I have to admit I have no idea what I'm doing here. I thought it was where I was supposed to be, but nothing is falling into place. I hope someday I can look back on this experience and know like you do about Philadelphia - we are where we are for a reason.

Tricia said...

This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for reminding me of this very true statement.
Happy birthday to your precious little guy.

Sue said...

I've read many of your posts and rarely commented, but this one made me want to connect with you as more than a reader.

I know what you say here is true, and I love the way you said it. This post is a great reminder for all who read it that Someone Else is in charge.

And what a blessing that is...!

=)

Marydon said...

G'morn Jana ~ This is my first visit, so I was poking around. Yes, you are truly blessed & are exactly where God wanted you to be for this blessed child to survive.

May all his birthdays be moments of joy & happiness as you celebrate.

Have a beautiful weekend.
TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that story. From a person who has been feeling "stuck" and "trapped", and confused as to why I can't get out of my situation.

Leah said...

This post is amazingly beautiful and simple. Thank you.

amysue said...

Thank you for that post, you are such a wonderful mother!!!

Jennifer said...

Amazing

Robyn said...

I feel the same way about the year we spent living in Baltimore. My daughter is deaf and we were turned down for a cochlear implant, until we moved to Baltimore and were talking into trying again. We ended up with the top implant surgeon in the world. Still, it wasn't an easy road...but I firmly believe no one else in the world would have given her a chance, and because he did, my daughter can hear. We moved immediately after her surgery.

K{IR}STEN said...

I am so glad I came across this post today. We moved here 4 yrs ago from Houston, Texas. My daughter was 4 when we moved here to Fleming Island, Florida (just south of Jacksonville. My husband and I are native Houstonians and I am a 6th generation Texan. We had wonderlust and he accepted a promo which was to god to pass up. We were thrilled with our new surroundings and about a yr later, the luster wore off. We miss Houston and family and 4 yrs later, I get impatient and wonder why on earth we are here. I know God has his plans and that patience will need to be a virtue for me. I loved this post b/c it reminded me that there is a reason.

The Pisarzewicz Family said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'll try to remember this daily as I lament my new home...Buffalo, NY.

maria said...

I had this experience too - after leaving my beloved Florida for Iowa (in the dead of winter) and bemoaning the decision for months, my daughter was diagnosed with a very large heart defect that the pediatrician in Florida JUST MISSED (despite the fact that my family has some seriously wonky heart issues, which I had of course mentioned several times). I was so grateful to be with a new doctor, with an incredible pediatric cardiologist, and so humbled that it took something so awful to make me realize "why we are here." Incredibly, Eva's heart healed completely (which it shouldn't have done based on the size and location of the defect) by the next year. Every winter, every time I miss the beaches and my dear friends, I remember that time in our lives.

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Riley, Titan,Boo and Sandy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Riley, Titan,Boo and Sandy said...

My husband and I often wonder why we remain in Massachusetts but I do believe you just may have answered our question...my dad. He needed a heart transplant and we live close to Boston as does he..we have the very best hospitals right in our backyards and never appreciate how lucky we are, thanks for putting it all in prospective. He is 15 months post transplant and shows NO signs of rejections.