Monday, December 7, 2015

Emma Grace -- Our Story of a Miracle

This sweet girl is a miracle.  Her name is Emma Grace Whittington and I have the privilege of being her aunt.  I say that I am her favorite aunt because when she visited in September we were able to take a ride on a real live firetruck AND eat at Golden Corral all in the same day.  Those are pretty big things to our Emma Grace.  She was even given a special patch at the fire station and now has her very own Golden Corral apron, pin, and nametag.

Now, I'm not sure that she would say that I am her favorite aunt, but I know for certain that she is one of my very favorite little girls in the entire world.  When you meet her, you love her.   I promise.

Emma is smart and funny and a friend to all that she meets.  She is a special little girl in lots of ways.  You know, we all say that our children are special and unique -- but Miss Emma Grace really does take the cake because she is the only person in the world just like her.  And she baffles doctors every day.  How cool is that?

When Emma Grace was born, her mommy and daddy (my brother and sister-in-love) were told that she would only live for a month.  Doctors told her parents to go home and love on her and take care of her and enjoy her for the next month.  After a month, they decided she wouldn't live for a year.  And after a year, well . . . they just didn't know what to think.  Now Emma is 12.  Yep, you read that correctly.  Our super-special girl is 12 years old and she walks and talks and dances and shares JOY wherever she goes.

I received this email this week and I wanted to share it with all of you, my dear friends.  As 2015 draws to a close, there are several ways that we can all help  each other be our very best self.

Dear friends and family,
As you read this email, I want you to go back in time with us about 12 years.  Imagine sitting in a sterile doctor's office with your spouse and 3 week old baby and hear these words.  "We are sorry to tell you that your child has a rare chromosome abnormality, so rare that we are almost sure there is no one like her in the world.  We are going to try to give you some helpful literature to read at home.  It will be very important for you to make appointments with a neurosurgeon, a cardiologist, a urologist and and ophthalmologist.  Your daughter will probably never walk or talk.  We wish we had more information for you.  Enjoy your time with her."
That was our story and that was a moment that has been forever etched in our minds and hearts.  We cried more than we knew was humanly possible . . . but . . . not long after the shock of this appointment, we made 2 unspoken promises to Emma Grace:
1. We would try our best to make her life as normal as possible and 
2. We will celebrate EVERYTHING.
Over the years we have celebrated a lot!!  We celebrated the first time Emma drank out of a straw, the first time she sat up, the first time she stood,  the first time she walked, the first time she talked, the first time she wrote her name.  We also celebrated the first time she rode the school bus, the first time she jumped in the swimming pool, the first day of middle school.  We have celebrated A LOT in the past 12 years.
Today we invite you to celebrate with us.  Help us celebrate the awesome place where Emma rides every week, Horse and Buddy.  Horse and Buddy is a nonprofit riding program that serves over 100 individuals with special needs in our community.  Horse and Buddy thrives off of the generous donations it receives from supporters like you. Since Emma has been riding, we have noticed a boost in her confidence and drastic improvement in her agility and skill in riding.
Please consider making a donation in Emma’s name this holiday season.  You can click on the link below and make a donation online.  
Please make sure to mention Emma Whittington when you make your donation.
For those of you who wish to send a check, please make your check payable to Horse and Buddy and put Emma Whittington in the memo of the check.

Checks can be mailed to:
Horse and Buddy
PO Box 675
Apex, NC  27502

Thank you for celebrating with us,

Kathy and Rick Whittington

I ask that first and foremost you pray.  Pray for Emma Grace and pray for her mommy and daddy; Pray for her therapists and pray for her special friends.  Pray for families everywhere whose normal is just a little bit (or a lot) different than mine and yours.

If you feel so led to be a part of the Buddy Derby, that would be great.  Your support will help extra special children have extra boosts of confidence and every single penny makes a difference in the lives of others.

Our Emma Grace is a one-of-a-kind miracle and we treasure her.  Isn't it wonderful to be able to see first-hand miracles every day of our lives?  Thank you for reading and loving our girl alongside us.

Because this day has GREAT potential!
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