One of the most unexpected and welcomed consequences of writing so openly about our journey, has been the connections we have made with other heart families, both here in New Zealand and all around the world.
I want to introduce you to Ruben. He lives in New York and has a VERY similar heart to Albie, born with TGA, a VSD and all kinds of Pulmonary Stenosis. We don’t know too many other kids like Albie, so when Maddy, Ruben’s mum, emailed me after finding the blog, we were super stoked.
And THEN something even more magical happened…..
They were coming out to New Zealand to visit family, and visiting Wellington, and staying just one suburb from us, AND as keen to meet us as we were them.
So one sunny morning, a family of three from New York, met a family of three from Wellington. Our conversation started the moment we opened the door and veered wildly all over the place. There was so much to talk about and no clear place to start. So we just jumped in – reeling from snippets of what had happened in our boy’s pasts, to our thoughts about what might happen next, to delighting in what Albie and Ruben were up to right there in front of us. No awkward silences, It was all so good.
We had cheese, crackers and cake inside, then ventured out into the wintry sun. And it really wasn’t the cheese and the crackers and the cake and the sun that made it all so special. I am struggling to find the words to really explain why it was so good, but I will try. I suppose for me, that morning, I just felt my whole soul have one big, slow exhale. Like, we don’t have this all alone. I wanted to mine Maddy and Sam for all they knew and felt (and hope I didn’t freak them out in my labrador levels of excitement). How good it was to connect with another family, with another boy, doing the same thing. And to find that they’ve got this covered too.
Ruben is divine and it was some crazy kind of special to see them side-by-side. Here you are, you two wonderful, wonderful boys. Two boys with such big battles behind them and ahead. Real-life heart brothers.
I took a great myriad of fantastic photos – without a memory card in the camera. Epic fail.
All of these photos were snapped after I realised, once the boys were nice and tired and wriggly. An un-awesome way to capture a super awesome day.