Friday, September 16, 2011

Celebrating My Daughter



I have a special post to share with you today.  Some of you might recall that I had some family issues earlier this year that made me very sad and worried.  With my daughter's permission, I am able to share more of that with you today.

In January 2011, my then-12 year old became very angry and moody ALL the time.  It was so unlike her.  At first we thought it was her age, becoming a teenager and all that goes with that territory.  Then she started skipping breakfast, which I fought her on nearly every day.  Then her lunches came home with more and more food in the lunchbox, until entire lunches were sent home untouched.  As February rolled in, I knew something was very wrong.  She looked thinner and thinner all the time, and spent a lot of time alone.  It used to be that she and her 9 YO sister were the best of friends, but she retreated inward, ignoring her little sibling.

In late February, she was diagnosed with restrictive-type anorexia.  We sought the best care we could find, and that's not easy when your child is only 12.  Many state laws ignore anyone under 14 years old.  Ultimately, we wound up at Woodland Forge in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, an eating disorder treatment center.  We are deeply grateful that we found it.  The doctors there helped bring our little girl back.  After intensive therapy, months of recovery, and pain and anguish for our entire family, she is so much better. My husband and I were a tight team that helped form our daughter's recovery plan, and had the loving support of our entire families and close friends.  My blogging friends have also been a tremendous source of prayers, support and love for me, which I needed to be strong for my child.

To show just how well she is doing now, let me tell you this.  As school has just recently begun again, our daughter found out she'd be having Health class in her first marking period.  One of the topics to be learned is Eating Disorders.  After class, she approached her Health teacher and told her that she had just gotten better about a month ago after having anorexia.  Her teacher was so pleased and touched that our daughter shared it with her.  Then, our daughter offered to speak to her entire class about her personal experience. (!!!)  Her teacher was shocked and so excited.  When my daughter told me, I had goosebumps, tears in my eyes, and pride swelling in my heart. 

My daughter gave her presentation just the other day, and had the complete attention of every 8th grader in that class.  Many asked questions, all looked sad, and some came up to her afterward to express how brave they think she is.  There's another Health class in the 8th grade this marking period, and my daughter offered to talk to those kids, too.  As I write this, she is scheduled to give her talk.

Last night we had Back To School Night at the middle school.  My husband and I had a chance to talk to the school nurse and the Health teacher, who had such excitement on their faces as they told us how proud they are of our daughter.  They are amazed that she wished to talk about this in front of her peers, especially because they are a young group of kids, maturity levels being what they are in that grade. 

I wanted to make a special card to show our profound love, pride and amazement for her.  I have no "Proud of You" stamps, so chose this Verve sentiment instead.


I got the layout inspiration from the Featured Stamper at Splitcoast, llwright.  I kept the layout and hearts, but changed the color scheme, dressed up the card a bit with lace and punching, and of course, that special sentiment.

Thanks so much for joining me today.  I really appreciate you taking time to listen.  :-)

Colleen

Stamps:  Celebrating You - Verve
Paper:  Certainly Celery, Sahara Sand, Lovely Lilac - SU; white - PTI; designer paper - Nana's Kids Nursery Boys - DCWV
Ink:  Versafine Onyx Black, Versamark - Tsukineko; Sahara Sand - SU
Punch:  String Lace border - Martha Stewart; Full Heart and Large Oval - SU
Other:  Big Shot; Heart of Hearts Embosslit - SU; venise lace; white rickrack - Wrights; Filigree and Ice brads - SU; dimensionals

53 comments:

NanaConnie said...

Blessings on all of you, and prayers of thanks for your daughter's ongoing recovery. Beautiful card.

Denise said...

Colleen, this is a beautiful post and I am so happy that your daughter is recovering and showing her strength in such incredible ways. I hope that you also take a moment to celebrate yourself as a mother - your keen eye and unfailing love are also things that should be acknowledged. HUGS

Ann Schach said...

Congratulations to both you and your very brave daughter! Your card is a beautiful tribute...

Michele Gross said...

Oh Colleen! I have tears-very happy tears for your family! I'm so thrilled that she has come through this and can share so openly. What a blessing to have such an awful storm finally end. Hugs to you all and big prayers of thanks too!

Julie Ranae said...

Oh Col...what a journey you and your family have been on with your sweet Haley....I am so happy that our team was able to be a part of the journey, offering prayers and hugs all along the way. It is now a part of the story you all will share from now on and I have a feeling, Haley will be a real blessing to someone else very VERY soon!

lynn said...

beautiful card for a deserving young lady:) she'll never know just how many others she helps with each speech-congrats to her and her family!

Savannah O'Gwynn said...

It just brings tears to my eyes what God can do and can bring us out of! He has taken her from the pit and brought her to a place of peace and sharing! It's great to know that your daughter is brave and wanting to share her story. Praise GOD for the good works and blessings He shares!!! We are praying for a continued growth in this recovery!

What a beautiful card--she will def. cherish this!! Did you give her some lip gloss as an extra treat??? I know she loves the Candy Corn! HUGS to all!!! Many blessings!

Marisa said...

I'm crying tears of joy, relief and pride for you and Haley, Colleen!!! Please tell Haley I am sooooo proud of her for courage to share her story. Being able to vocalize all she has been through is such a HUGE and healing step forward. I know she will be touching the lives of other girls if not immediately down the road as they remember her talk.

A huge hug to you and your hubby for the way you have surrounded her with love, found the best card for her and fought for your daughter - such a sign of tough love which I know one day she will thank you for.

My prayers continue to be with her for a full mental recovery and knowledge that she is a beautiful girl just the way she is and if someone doesn't think so they aren't worth knowing or dealing with. Praying it strengthens her character and sense of who she is too :) SO many wonderful things to celebrate.

Love the card - great colour combo and the double hearts with the filigree brads on them are great! Love the touch of lace and border punch up top too. (((HUGS!!!)))

Dale Morin said...

Your post was very moving. Congratulations to your daughter! I can see why you are so very proud of her. The card is lovely.

Lisa said...

Oh Colleen...a lump in my throat as I read and tears in my eyes. So happy that things have turned out well for you and you daughter. You and I have only just become blogging buddies;I had no idea your had been going through such a difficult time. I want you to know I will keep your sweet one in my prayers. God is working through her so that she may help others with her brave talks of this struggle. Blessings to you,your family, friends and most especailly to your brave young girl.

Linda B said...

A beautiful card... a beautiful story... praying for you all.

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness I forgot to tell you that your card is precious and I know it will mean the world to her~ HUGS :)

Jinny Newlin said...

Colleen, you all have come so far, and I am beyond thrilled that your daughter has rose above, defeated, and is now helping others overcome! AMAZING! God is good! And what a BEAUTIFUL card to celebrate such an occasion! TFS!

Stella said...

This post made me cry....so beautiful and such a heartwarming and loving tribute to your daughter. I am impressed that you all came through this extremely difficiult time with so many things to worry about.

Your card is a jaw dropper.....
Love and hugs!
XXX

Anonymous said...

Oh, Colleen. What a wonderful step in Haley's healing. Your post will touch so many of us grown women, and Haley's story will touch (and help) so many young women. God bless you all, you wonderful family, you! XO Gail XO

Fiona said...

Hey Colleen it is so great to hear the developments in your family life! SO happy to hear she is doing so much better and is prepared to take on a group (or 2 ) of her peers about it. That is so awesome :)

Julie Day said...

What a touching story! It brought tears to my eyes. What a blessing she is and how amazing the power of prayer! So happy that she has defeated this and is able to share her experience with others :) Will continue to keep her in prayers. God bless her!

Love the card, beautiful colors and design, love the lace! Perfect card for her :)

Linda Callahan said...

Your daughter is one brave young lady! I am sure the love and support she received from her parents guided her through it all. It is wonderful that she can help others - wonderful news about her recovery :)

Stacy said...

Wow, what a fabulous & brave daughter you have raised. I'm so glad things are going well and love the fact that she is teaching what she has learned through this.

pam124 said...

Colleen, it is so uplifting to hear a story so tragic turn out to be a blessing to your daughter, your family and others. I bet you couldn't have imagined this back when this was all going on. Your card is BEAUTIFUL and a real tribute to your very special daughter! She doesn't know me, but tell her zee fruitcake is VERY PROUD of her!

Especially_For_You said...

Wow, this is an absolutely gorgeous card! I'm also your newest follower. :)

Please feel free to stop by and enter my blog candy giveaway! :)

Ashley
http://especiallymade.blogspot.com

Holly AKA KopyKat said...

This is so beautiful, the post and the card.

Bonnie said...

Oh, Colleen, thank you so much for sharing this with us. Haley is such a special young lady and an inspiration for all of us. God's continued blessings on all of you.

LeAnne said...

Oh Colleen, thanks so much for sharing your family's story. I knew there were some issues and now I feel much better knowing that your daughter is taking something she experienced and using it to help others. What a great accomplishment in her life and yours! The card is wonderful, too....I wish I could give you all a big hug! TFS!

~Tammy~ said...

I see I am not the only one who has been brought to tears! As I, as well as my family, have prayed for Haley as well as for your family strength during this difficult time I am overjoyed with this news! I know how this tore you up! Nobody wants to see our children suffer! You are one fantastic team~

This just warms my heart to hear the strength, courage and bravery it took that precious girl to stand before her peers! What a fantastic role model! Sending your big big hugs! I am actually in PA this weekend, so I am not too far away, so the virtual one does not have to stretch as far! :-)

Oh, I need to comment on the card: Love the crochet trim (always will) and the layering of the hearts! Fabulous pp! So sweet! Celebrating you is right! Amen to that sentiment! :-)

Heather S. said...

Joy, joy, joy! Thanks for sharing your heart. Haley, many prayers have been answered and you and your family will continue to be uplifted as you continue your journey. How wonderful and brave beyond your years to share your experiences to help bring more awareness to others. Hugs all around!!! (PS - fabulous card Colleen!)

Marlena M. said...

Colleen, thank you for sharing this...I am sure it will inspire mothers to PAY ATTENTION to what is going on with their kids...we can get so distracted with our own STUFF.
Wonderful card and very encouraging story! I am so proud of your daughter! *even though we haven't met face to face*...BLOGGY PROUD. ;)

Bev J. said...

Congrats to you all-she is a brave girl.

Jaclyn Miller said...

Oh Col, this totally made me shed some tears! Mostly because God is so good. I love that He has taken a difficult situation and made it into something to be shared with others. I'm so proud of you, your family and most of all your daughter for growing up into a beautiful young woman! BIG hugs to you and yours.

Carol (Gingerbeary8) said...

A day of joy, a day of celebration. God is good and has answered prayers. I will spend my day rejoicing. Everyone is put on this earth for a purpose, I think Haley found one of hers. What an inspiration she is. She is well on her road to recovery as the main fact that she recognizes she was ill is half the battle. Amazing girl, amazing family, amazing story. My heart is filled with the utmost jubilation on reading your story. May God continue to bless you all.

I can see this has ignited your inspiration and you have created a beautiful card for this momentous occasion. It's absolutely stunning Colleen!

Bear hugs,
Carol

Jacqueline said...

Hi Colleen,
I also had the tears in my eyes, just like my sister Stella. Wish al the best for now and the future. You may be proud for your daughter.
Much greetings and a big hug for your daughter,
Jacqueline

Leslie Miller said...

Oh, I could just cry -- with sorrow for what you've all been through, but also with joy for it having come to such a positive end. Your daughter is very brave and she has a beautiful soul. You've made her an absolutely lovely card to express your pride and joy. Thank you for sharing this story, Colleen.

Linda R. said...

Just like everyone here my friend this post really touched me.. I was tearing up the whole time.. I am so happy everything turned out for the best.. What a brave daughter you have raised.. I just know you have to be so proud of her. And it sounds like she has the best Mom and Dad ever. Your card is just gorgeous.. Thanks so much for sharing...

Hugs, Linda

Donna Bowman said...

Such a sweet and beautiful card Colleen!! I'm so glad your daughter is doing better now! Hugs Donna

Maria said...

What an awesome story filled with such blessing and inspiration! Am so pleased and proud of your daughter! And, I know that you and family are very proud of her also. Haley will most definitely become strength and hope for another person. No man is an island. We are all here to help one another! Thanks so much for sharing this amazing story! take care, hugs!!:-))

nwilliams6 said...

Wow Colleen - this brought tears to my eyes! I am proud for you both - what a brave girl. I watched the video of you making cards this morning - you are sooo pretty - I bet your daughter is beautiful too. Thanks for sharing all this - I know it isn't easy. The card is gorgeous!

Emily Keaton said...

Colleen, what a wonderful story. I am so glad that your daughter has come so far. You and your husband have contributed SO much to her recovery, a true testament to the power of love. Kudos to all of you for your teamwork in her healing. I know how much it means to you that she had the courage to not only talk about her ordeal in front of her peers, but to do so so eloquently. You have every right to be proud and to celebrate your amazing daughter with this card. I'm so happy for all of you!!!

Stacey G.- 2 Craf-t-4u said...

The card is beautiful Colleen! I love the colors, as well as the lace, punch and hearts! Just perfect for your daughter! I am so happy for your family! That is wonderful how far she has come. Sharing her story with others is a wonderful step in the healing process. When her story can help someone else, she will see the power in that, and it will help her if she is ever tempted to go back. I never went back, but when life is tough, that sometimes is where my mind goes. But, helping someone else often stops it. I really am happy for you and hope she continues to do so well!

E.T. said...

Your daughter is truly very very brave. I would have never survived this at age 12. Kudos to her and you guys for the suppost. Gorgeous card for a beautiful girl!

Ruby said...

Ah Colleen, your post brought tears to my eyes and goosebumps. Haley is such a brave girl and I know that you couldn't have been more supportive parents through this whole healing process. As I've said to you before having an 11, going on 12, year old, I cannot begin to imagine the anguish you've been through and I'm so so happy for you all. I often think about the turmoil you've been going through and I'm so pleased that you are now coming out of this the other side. What a brave girl your daughter is, she must be making you so very proud. How lovely that she let you share her story, I truly hope she goes from strength to strength and that her experiences can help others like her to make the progress she has. Wow! xxx

Ruby said...

ps - gorgeous card too lol ;o)

Pauline said...

Colleen, what a beautiful card for your beautiful girl. I am so glad for you and your family that your daughter is well again, and what a brave girl she is to share her experience of this awful disease with her peers. You have every right to be proud of your girl, with the love and support of your family she has come through. And be proud of yourself too, take care, xxx

Vicki Dutcher said...

Colleen - I just am seeing this post! So happy to hear your wonderful news and that your daughter is doing SO AWESOME!! Be proud of yourselves (you & DH) for getting her the help and giving her the support she needed! She will always remember how the 2 of you stood by her and will always stand by her through out her life -- God bless you and your family!! :)

Gibmiss said...

hI COLLEEN
YOU MUST BE SOOO PROUD OF YOUR DAUGHTER.....I AM SO GLAD SHE IS WELL....THIS IS A TERRIBLE ILLNESS CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE....SENDING YOU ALL LOTS OF LOVE....
hUGS SYLVIE #XX

Virginia L. said...

Aw....Colleen, my eyes just got a little wet after reading this touching post! What a JOURNEY for you and your dear daughter! She is so brave and is willing to share her battle with her peer. SO awesome! At a time like this, only you and your hubby can make a difference and it really shows! What a remarkable turnaround!Sending you hugs! Your card is so gorgeous and I'm sure she will LOVE it!

Benzi said...

Colleen, what a beautiful card with the most wonderful story. I am so happy Haley is doing better and I can only imagine the relief in your family. And, for Haley to want to speak about her trials is such a blessing and must be so healing for her.
This really calls for prayers of Thanksgiving. God Bless you and your family.

Nance Leedy said...

Oh Colleen, I am just seeing this post from your Paper Players entry. How proud you must be of your daughter and her amazing strength and bravery. A true role model. But she couldn't have gotten there without the love, support and encouragement of her parents. Congratulations to you all! And this card is absolutely lovely and, I'm sure, one that your daughter will treasure. ((hugs))

Kay said...

Colleen, I am overjoyed for you and your family! It is not easy to get the right diagnosis and treatment. You are blessed! Your card is a beautiful tribute to a girl with a beautiful spirit and heart.

chilli pip said...

What a moving post Colleen. We follow peoples blogs and read their profiles but have no idea of the personal challenges they are facing at home.
Our children face so many different challenges and issues and I am so pleased you were able to offer her the love and support that she needs.

Your love for her and pride in her "recovery " shine through in your words.

Take care

chilli pip said...

sorreee great card as well

Tara Bilbao said...

Colleen, what a beautiful card and post. It really brought tears to my eyes. What an amazing young woman your daughter is to be able to share her struggle with others. I am hoping your family has been strengthened and brought closer together because of this experience. She is so fortunate to have such a wonderful mother!

Payne Holler Cards said...

oh my...it's so hard on young girls with the pressure to be toooo thin. what a blessing you and DH were able to find the right place to help all of you! She is such a wonderful testimony to others now and will be a real help to her younger sister when she starts to feel the same pressure...God bless you and your family! Hats off to Haley (-:

Andrea Ewen said...

Now that I've met your daughter I can see what a special young lady she is. I know how proud of her you are, and you should be, for her wisdom and ultimate courage to share her story. You've got quite an incredible family and I'm so glad that I've gotten to know you all. My hope is that we will remain friends for years to come!

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