Sunday, November 27, 2011

In Awe

I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving! We did. We hosted it this year and it really was perfect :o)

I have something to admit...with every single one of your donations, I have found myself in tears. I am so incredibly humbled by your good nature. 

Your thoughtfulness extends way beyond that though, I am not sure I can accurately explain this, but I'll try. Your generosity affects me so deeply because it means that Aviana has affected you at such a level. She can't say a word, or show affection like the majority of us, but what you have shown me is ~ you too, feel her little spirit and her life means a great deal.

In addition to that, with the receipt of each donation, you have provided us with a much needed hug. I am sure you have noticed, I have been feeling pretty down here and there lately. I have wanted to do something like this for a long time, but at the inception of this idea, I needed to do it. I needed something to warm my damaged soul. I needed something that would push me in a forward motion for the good of others, which in turn, would also repair my heart. 

As much as I love this little girl, the truth of the matter remains, this hurts! This whole life with her in this way is unequivocally the most unwavering pain we have ever experienced. The amount of progress we are witness to is as minuscule as can be, and has a way of wearing us down. We are constantly running uphill. There is not much in my caretaker life that is an instant, or even distant, pay off in regard to my spirit. Many accumulate these progressive feelings at work, with their healthy brained children, or in other endeavors. These are very lacking in my life with Aviana. Things do not feel as though they are moving forward, and against our greatest efforts, are often in reverse. Thank you for trusting and believing in me for this idea. I honestly appreciate it greatly!

You could have provided no greater gift for our family than what you have thus far. I am in awe, and so thankful for the family I have found in all of you!

We have been so very busy with the care packages. Thank goodness we have a guest bedroom, we are filling it up quite nicely! My mom and I have been canvassing our local area and collecting as many donations as we can. I have been diligently following the requests of these very companies in written and follow up form. 

So far, my mom and I have collected agreeance from two Starbucks locations, Taco Bell, Target, Noah's Bagel, Icing on the Cupcake, Cookie Connection and a few others. Many more are still in the works and are looking quite positive :o) To me, there is nothing as beautiful as speaking to someone who actually takes the time to see your heart. The very best part is being met with kindness!

This is our first year, and I have to say...we have been pretty successful, more than I envisioned and especially with being so late in the game. In light of this, we have decided to extend our efforts to the UC Davis PICU as well =D Aviana spent her first month in their Trauma 1 PICU and then her third month in the Pediatrics Floor PICU.

Because we are going to be making more care packages than we thought, we have decided to assemble them all at once and complete one drop off to each of the hospitals. We are planning on delivering the packages sometime between December 17th and the 22nd. 

Our local basketball team is the Sacramento Kings and now that Dave has been blessed with his long awaited season, he is going to contact them to see if one of the players can assist us with the deliveries! I can't wait to see how that turns out : )

I am including a card within each care package, which will list the name of each and every one of you who has graciously donated. I want for the families to know just how many people care about them.

If you would still like to donate, all of the information in order to do so is located here :o)

On another note, we finally chose a name for our fundraising efforts and I wanted to share it with you today. We have decided to affectionately call ourselves...

Aviana's Elves

These are the kinds of gifts that keep on giving!

Thank you so much!

Your donations mean the world to us!   


  1. It sounds like the elves are VERY busy!

    I love the name. And glad to hear that some companies are coming through.

    A lot of families will be blessed by your efforts!

  2. This is a very encouraging post, thanks so much for sharing. It's really awesome to read about the great things you're doing and how you're able to think about giving to others when you have so much on your plate already. It's really inspiring!

  3. Thanks for sharing how much this is blessing your family to be able to help others you can so relate to. I think most of us who wanted to give, wanted to do so as much for you and Dave. As more proof that giving to others blesses ourselves, I am greatly rewarded through my small donation, to know that you are encouraged. May God continue to encourage you, as you continue to faithfully love and care for your beautiful Aviana. And yes, she has touched many lives. She is a continual reminder that no matter what a human being can do or offer to others, they are valuable and worthy of our love and respect. I'm sure your hearts break for her daily, and that it is extremely difficult to face the challenges now, and as you look to the future. But every little thing you do for Avi, that we do to love and nurture another human being, is noticed by God. We can't understand all that happens in life, but we can know that when it all boils down to it, it is our love and honor for others and for Himself that He notices. We can get so wrapped up in what we think life is...but I believe it all comes to those selfless little things we do to comfort and encourage others to believe they are worthy of God's love, too.

    Not meant to be a sermon, but hopefully can encourage you that all the little things you do each day to make Avi's life better are closer to the true meaning of life than what we can so easily get distracted with in our affluent culture.

    Sorry, I'm probably not using the right words, but I hope this makes sense and encourages you, as you walk through your day.

    I hope you'll take some pictures of Aviana and her gift bags. Elf hat, or not!

    Nancy in the Midwest

  4. what a PERFECT idea SS!

    I was just telling my hubby (we've had some very sad family drama that, means, essentially, my Mom is no longer, ever again it appears, going to present in my life. I'd been holding out hope...but..nope...I'm not the daughter she wished for.)

    ANYWAYS! phew. heavy stuff.

    I was telling Jim that I feel like I need to do something "crazy good for somebody else" to get all this JUNK out of my head...

    and've gone and done it for me (wink)

    You are a person of immense compassion Jennifer...

    Heck..I would have said that even after you told me "I hosted Thanksgiving and it was perfect".

    I get sweaty palms and start slowly backing away if an Auntie approached me about hosting :) (I use the 5 kids, 3 dogs, 5 birds, 2 gerbils, 1 sugarglider, 3 puppies, excuse... it usually works :)

    I love you.