Because of Elvie’s recent surgery, we will be spending Thanksgiving at home in San Francisco, celebrating as a family of four. This is the second year in a row that we have stayed at home to accommodate Elvie’s needs, and I couldn’t be happier or more thankful to do it. Last year, we were simply grateful that she was at home instead of in the hospital, healthy and maintaining the baby chub we worked so hard to help her put on. This year, we have a whole new reason to be thankful for the little girl that keeps us in our own cozy kitchen for Thanksgiving dinner.
If you had asked me 20 months ago, on the day I first saw Elvie’s photos and received her detailed medical information, if within two years she would be walking normally and have a mostly typical body shape, I never would have believed it. The complexity of her birth defect led us to believe that we had a very long road ahead of us. Instead, we feel like we have been witness to a miracle — to many of them that have added up to Elvie having a more normal life than we believed would be possible for her so soon. We now know that she will have one more surgery in a few months, once she is fully healed from the one she just had, and that will be the last one for quite some time. We are thrilled and grateful.
The icing on the cake is that Elvie has done so beautifully with her recent surgery, which was far from minor. Within three days, she was able to stop taking pain medication, and after four days, she was allowed to come home. At home, she has been happy most of the time, despite being in a rigid brace for 21 out of 24 hours each day. We are so thankful for her quick healing and her good spirits. Despite being at home for a small family celebration again this year, we can’t help but feel that the celebration is just as big as it would have been if we could travel to be with family and friends. We have two healthy daughters at our table. We have hope that things will go well in the future. When we sit down at the Thanksgiving table as a family of four, we will be able to look at Elvie and know how blessed and lucky we are, not just on Thanksgiving, but every single day she is in our lives.