Celebrating Shafer Turning Two

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One of my favorite songs has always been “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang. The music has a way of pumping me up and creating a mood of excitement and fun. And boy did we celebrate on Shafer’s birthday at the milestone of him turning two.

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Approximately 70 friends and family attended his day of adventure at Mystery Dog Ranch. We had a big grill out, hay ride, rode horses, and fished. Even Shafer circled the lake twice on a horse by himself! We couldn’t believe he kept saying “again…again.” He couldn’t focus on opening his gifts for wanting to ride the horse over and over.

The day was full of thoughtful reflection. Several people commented, “It’s hard to believe the difference a year can make,” or “He doesn’t even seem like the same child as this time last year.”

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Yes, we have seen our son go from ICU in complete kidney failure with the odds stacked against him to months of dialysis, to having a kidney transplant and recovering to laughing, playing, dancing, and experiencing life almost like any other 2-year-old.

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The range of emotions sometimes weighs heavy. I cry tears of joy quite often. I find myself praising God continually for all He has done to heal Baby Shafer. Then there are days I cry tears of sadness as I ponder why He chose to allow our son to live, when other children have perished. I feel a deep sense of loss for those families and the situations that are far worse than ours.

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I am thankful for every visit to clinic and every hospitalization at Vanderbilt. It reminds me of the sickness that abounds with thousands of children. It causes me to yearn and struggle and want to ask, “Why do so many children have to suffer?”

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Yet, God talks in Ecclesiastes 3 about there being a season for all things. There is a time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to mourn and a time to dance. We are in a season of celebrating and rejoicing over Shafer’s successful transplant and miraculous recovery!

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There is a time to laugh and a time to cry and we have spent time on both ends of the spectrum. We will rejoice now in this season of bountiful blessing!

Not only have we celebrated Shafer turning two, we had his baby dedication service at our church on September 18. As parents, we vowed before God and our friends, family, and fellow church members that we would raise Shafer according to biblical principles in a Christ-centered home of love.

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What a wonderful reminder to cherish the priceless gift we have been given in Baby Shafer!

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The service included a video overview of his precious life and the entire family sang “Through the Fire” as the finale.

It was simply beautiful seeing Shayli, Sharayah, Shanel, and Shaw sharing their testimonies through song at such young ages. It was a meaningful celebration to cherish forever…

In His love,
Shafer’s Mommy