Having a baby in itself is more work than two young people have ever experienced, and when you add a diagnosis of HLHS it multiplies greatly. Kristin and I are strong people. We love the Lord and we face each day with a renewed strength because of our faith in Him. However, there is no way that we could do this alone.
God has blessed Kristin and I with the most amazing parents that anyone could ask for. I am going to be the father that my dad taught me to be. My dad never experienced the love of an earthly father because his dad died when he was 3. However, he learned to rely on the Heavenly Father and through that he became an amazing dad. It's not fair that Luke will never see his papa Sexton on this earth, but as Luke will learn as soon as he takes his first breathe, life is not always fair. My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer 2 years ago right before his retirement and passed away 9 months later. However, I am confident that Luke has already met his papa and they are best buddies. Papa will always be his guardian angel and protect him throughtout his life.
My mom should have been a high-flying acrobat. She can't stay still and has more energy than a kid. One of my dad's nurses use to say that she was like a rat on acid...get the picture? She is the most humble person and will give anything she has to her kids or anyone in need. I am so thankful that she is able to live close to my sisters and help them with my 3 nephews. Without a doubt, she will always be there for Luke and he will be spoiled by nana real quick. If anyone knows how to take care of a sick loved one, it's her...we will be able to turn to her during the good and the bad times.
What can't I say about Kristin's parents? We are beyond blessed to have them in our lives. I never dreamed that I would have a father-in-law and mother-in-law that I was so close to. Raymond is beyond amazing. The man can do or fix anything in the world. Kristin will not even let me hang a picture because she knows that her dad will get it perfectly square...I'm serious...haha. He has a heart of gold and he backs down from nothing that he truly believes in. The past 4 years he has shown me more than he will ever realize, from correcting my golf swing to finishing a basement, and everything in between. Luke is going to gain so much wisdom and knowledge from his papaw. I don't have very many of the skills that Luke's papaw has but I pray that he gets them all. There is no doubt in my mind who Luke's best friend will be.
Arletia is the hardest worker I have ever met in my life, and I don't mean just around her house. I honestly believe there is not one second that goes by that she does not think of Kristin and how she can help her out. She lives for her daughter. They are just like every mom and daughter and sometimes it's comical, but at the end of every day they are best friends. Arletia's passion to be the best mother she can be has certainly transitioned to being a grandmother. From the time we told her Kristin was pregnant until now, she has not stopped preparing. Kristin and I will get home from work and she will have cleaned the house or washed a load of laundry just because she wants Kristin to be able to rest and not have to worry about wearing herself out. She doesn't do it because she doesn't think we can't do it ourselves, but she does it because she loves us and wants to help us out. When Luke arrives in less than 2 weeks I am certain that he will be her everything, because he already is. He gets new clothes, books or toys every day already, so I can't imagine what it will be like when he is actually here. After the first surgery and we are settled back at home, Kristin and I will have to go back to work. However, I am completely at peace with that because I know he is in the best hands in the world while his grandma is taking care of him.
I don't want to imagine what life would be like without the love and support of our families. I know they are the people they are because they put God first in their life. Our parents agree with us that without Him we are nothing. So, as our journey continues to unfold, we thank God for the help he has provided us and we want to say,
Dad, mom, dad, mom...We love you, we thank you and we can't wait for Luke to meet you!