Monday, August 17, 2009

Dear Aviana

Every year since Aviana was born, I write her a letter. I have always planned to present her with these letters when she is older. I hadn’t picked an exact day, but when the time was right. This year was no different.

I had origionally decided to keep this letter private, but then realized, the main reason I keep this blog is so Aviana can one day go back and read through every single entry. I tried to stop myself from reading the prior two years of letters, but could not. I now post this note with a tear stained face!

Dear Aviana~

Your 3rd birthday is in a few days and while I normally write excessively about all of the wonderful things you have accomplished over the past year, this year will be a little different. I want you to know, I am so unbelievably proud of all you are, all you have learned over the past year and every single cute thing you have said and done. These wonderful things have previously been written about and are extremely important to us. We have loved witnessing these moments along the way, but this year, I choose to write about what has happened and your incredible spirit.

I will not write again of all of the cute things you have done, but I will write of who you are at your very core! Only you, truly know who you are, but I will venture to describe what I see.

I remember your Aunt Susan called while we were excitedly packing our bags to fly to Guatemala to pick you up. Her mother was visiting from Guatemala and the two of them wondered what exact part of the country you were from. I told them Guastatoya and they said they would call me back. Soon after, the phone rang and they said, “Now, we know this is a generalization, but the people from Guastatoya tend to be independent, extremely opinionated and very strong-willed." I thought “Wow, if this is the case, this little one is going to be a handful.” Little did I know at that time, how important this phone conversation would be!

We met you and over the months got to know you. We did find all that your aunt said to be true. We referred to our conversation often and laughed about it. You never talked much up until just prior to the accident, but always made your spirit known to all. You were a sweet little, fiercely independent, strong-willed, spitfire with incredible amounts of attitude at times.

Once able to speak, you let all of the things on your mind be known. We butt heads many times. I was always a strange combination of frustrated and proud at the same time. I was frustrated to your face, but once I was talking to Dave and able to reflect on your actions, I was so proud of who you were and who you would end up being. Once again, at that time I did not realize the magnitude of how important all of these interactions would be.

The morning of June 17th, Nana called and was overly anxious to get her hands on you. She asked if she could come pick you up for a few days. I had really been loving on you, so we compromised at one day. I packed your Tinkerbell overnight bag and you knew exactly what that meant. No rules and good times with your favorite people on earth!

Nana arrived and we sat and talked for a little while. Once it was time for you to go, I asked a routine question which always resulted in the same answer. Do you want to go with Nana, or do you want to stay with Mommy? While the answer was always, without a shadow of a doubt, go with Nana, this time was different, you plopped your little butt in my lap and said “Stay with Mommy.” I was shocked and may have remembered that single moment for the rest of my life already, but now this simple interaction has a whole new meaning. You changed your mind about 30 seconds later to “Go with Nana,” but I can’t help but wonder, in that single moment, did you know something we all didn’t???

About an hour to an hour and a half later, I was getting out of my car and going into a store. Nana had called to ask a question and then said, “Aviana wants to talk to you, do you want to talk to her?” I remember feeling a slight hesitation as I was in a hurry and just approaching the door of the store. I thought to myself, it is more important to talk to you and said yes. This was one of the best decisions of my life. I next heard your sweet little voice, “Hi, Mommy” I said “Hi, Baby are you having fun with Nana?" You said, "Yes, had yogurt peach." We talked a little more and then just prior to getting off the phone, I said, "I love you Honey." and you said, "I love you, Mommy!" I am more than thankful that I made the right decision in that moment, because within an hour and a half, our simple little lives were forever changed.

You were hurt really bad in an accident and were not expected to make it. I could not believe my ears as the doctor sat and explained this to us. He said they could try surgery, but would only do this due to your young age. He also advised us, this surgery was still a long shot. We have been told many things over the past two months that no ears should ever hear in a lifetime. We have weathered through all of these conversations, but most importantly, you have survived six surgeries to date and are doing well.

You are already exceeding what they had planned for you. You are a survivor in every sense of the word. You have endured so much in your short 3 years of life and are an inspiration to everyone around you. We see your firey spirit every second of everyday. We can actually hear your words, you are saying “Don’t you count me out, don’t you dare!” I have loved you in the past, but have never loved you like I do now. I admire you in every way possible and feel I am lucky to witness one of the most remarkable events of my lifetime...your recovery!

Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey. I love you and will be here for you every step, of everyday, for as long as we both shall live!!

With all my love,



  1. WOW, what a incredible letter that is!

  2. Thank you for sharing, Jen and thank you for sharing Avi's birthday with so many of us! We wouldn't have missed it for the world!

    I have been thinking about Avi all day and hoping that PT, OT and ST went well. It's still a long road, but we're all here to cheer you on, sweetie!!

    GO AVI GO!!

    Janet and Jeff

  3. You are surrounded by so much love and many many prayers....Hugs to you all

  4. First Time Poster, But Have Read your Journey From the Start, First Off What a BEAUTIFUL girl you have, and I Am So Sorry for all that Aviana & You & Your Husband and family have gone through, That Letter to Aviana Was Just WOW Incredible as the tears pour down my face, Praying for a full recovery for your Baby Girl.

  5. That special little girl has an incredible Mother.
    Sending you hugs!!!

  6. ummm, little tear staining going on here too. That was incredible and sending many hugs and prayers.

  7. Hey Jen, The letter is so beautiful and will brng joy in the years to come. To the family and of course to Aviana as well. I cherished every moment with her yesterday and I cannot wait to see her again. Holding her in my arms brought so much joy and I can imagine that you feel that strentgh and wonder every day. We are always thinking of you and your family. Our family. I want so much to come and see you guys many times and that sweet little Angel in my arms for as long as I can. Keep faith and hope and especially joy in your heart because it will help tremendously. We all love you guys so much and you are in every thought and prayer all day long. Read the poems(Miracle, Faith and Believe) and please smile a little for Aviana. Thinking of you all and loving you through the days.

  8. Hi Jen, I'm back. I didn't get to finish. I just want you let me help with anything you need. Support, courage, hope and love. Any time you need someone to be with her at the hospital or at home, please just let me know. I will cherish every second with her, so please let me help. Again, we love you guys so much. Jen you wanted my e-mail. It is My number is 798-9378. Any time you want or need to talk, please call and let me be there for you all. Keep smiling and soon you will feel like smiling. Our happy thoughts are heading your way. Give Dave, Brenda, Gary my love.

    Kelly, Ryan, Brady and Ty :0)

  9. I too have a tear-stained face after reading that beautiful letter to your beautiful girl.

    Congrats on making a new milestone. Remember, one step at a time, one day at a time... Or, one hour or minute if necessary. Each step brings new challenges, but I think your little spitfire Aviana will meet each one with her determined spirit and grace!

    May the Lord continue to surround Aviana, Jen & Dave, and the medical team with His grace and love.

    Tina B.

  10. Aviana is not alone in this fight,GOD, is right next to her. Each of Aviana's breathings is a signal from,GOD, he's letting you know that she will be okay. Trust him!

  11. very very beautifully written. so glad you took that call, it was priceless.

  12. Your letter further affirms that Avi must grow up to read these letters that are written with so much. Go AVI!!! Cheering and praying for you like'll be home soon. Thank you so much for sharing.