Dear NICU Family

One year ago today we said "goodbye" to one big room that I was terrified of at one time.

More than a room, really. It was a room that was filled with YOU! ...the nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, lactation staff, monitors, stickers, nasal cannulas, ventilators, incubators, pumps, feeding tubes, bili lights, scales and so much more.

Over the course of seven weeks, my fear of you transformed into admiration and love. YOU became family to me. You loved Mercy like she was your own, you provided for her needs, you kept her alive when she was at her weakest.

When I couldn't be there to be her mama, YOU were there.

ALL of you... at different times.

Monitors, you told us how well Mercy was breathing and when she needed extra support you (loudly) made sure we were aware and got her taken care of.

Ventilator, you opened her lungs and let her breathe for a most important week.

Incubator, you warmed her tiny body so that she could gain grams and then ounces.

Feeding tube, you nourished that little bitty girl when I could not.

Nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, lactation staff, your love for my precious, fragile daughter will never be forgotten. You snuggled her, talked to her, bathed her, fed her, loved her and I know that you prayed for her. You were there ALL day when I could only be there a few hours a day.

NICU life was not easy, there were ups and downs, highs and lows, lots of grieving followed by lots of celebrating... all leading up to one incredibly important day.

March 7, 2013.

Our "Homecoming Day."

The most joyous occasion, oh how I cried when I said goodbye to you. I'm terrible at goodbyes, and we had become so close over the seven weeks we spent together... but it was time and we were ready.

You worked so hard to prepare that four pound girl for HOME, and she was more than ready.

It's hard to explain what it felt like, everything, all the trials and fears and victories all leading up to this one moment... walking out of the hospital doors for the first time with a baby. Going HOME.

Amazing. Going back to that remarkable moment brings tears to my eyes.

You did something beautiful for this family that is irreplaceable. You represented to us every dynamic of our walk with Jesus. The ups and the downs, the grieving and celebrating, all of the learning and growing, grams and then ounces... all leading up to one very important moment.

The moment we go HOME.

Our very own "Homecoming Day!"

You reminded me of the joy to be had in looking forward to our beautiful reunion with our Father in the home He has waiting for us.

I'll never forget the sadness I felt when we said goodbye to you or the impact you had on Mercy's life while she was with you, even better is the joy I have experienced with this sweet girl for the year she has been home with us.

Thank you for loving her, loving us, growing us. You will never be forgotten in this house!

Happy Homecoming Day!

**this is the last post of a seven week series of 'letters' to people, events and things that were part of the life transforming work God did in our lives during Mercy's stay in the NICU - for more on our growth in the NICU, check out our CaringBridge page**