Niagara Falls Vacation: Meet the Hydro Families

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Here's how the story begins:

Oh, somewhere around four years ago, down in Virginia there was a very pregnant woman laying on a couch. While on bed rest with her second child she pondered much about the sweet baby boy that she was carrying. Owen had been diagnosed with Hydrocephalus. She thought of all the many other families out there that had gone through it and will go through the experience of such a diagnosis. At that time the internet offered very little hopeful and helpful information on this condition. So she got a vision - an amazing idea to create a website to help those families with a child of congenital hydrocephalus.

I will be forever thankful that Michelle created that website. She has given me a friendship filled with encouragement and a warming compassion of support as we have journeyed through the winding roads of Hydrocephalus with our little Cayman.

And through that website I have made several connections with other hydro families from across the nation. Since I was pregnant with Cayman I have gotten to know many other hydro mom's - through their blogs, phone calls, emails, facebook. It's been fun!

Every single one of these friendships have mattered more to me than I could ever explain. There is great camaraderie between the hearts of those that truly know what you are feeling.

But while we have all known each other quite well (some for more than two years), we had never actually met in person.

Until recently...

This past week we traveled to New York - Niagara specifically - to meet 7 other hydro families.

Travis, Diane, with their little boy Tyler
Click here for Tyler's blog

Jill and Steve's family
kids: Megan, Mason, Matthew, and Micah
Click here for their family blog

Michelle (her husband was sadly unable to make the trip)
kids: Sammy and Owen
Click here for Owen's blog

Amanda and Kevin with Isaac

Donald and Lisa's family
kids: Alexandra, Lorelai, and Elisabeth
Click here for their family blog

Kirk and Jennifer's family
kids: Katelee, Grace, Sheri, Spencer, and Elijah
click here for their family blog

Nicole with her kids, Joe (in the back) and Ben

It was surreal seeing my friends face-to-face for the first time. I felt my eyes water with the sweet tears of joy as we hugged and were finally together in person - a moment I have dreampt of so many times since these friendships blossomed in my life.

More of this amazing time to come. So stay tuned. But give me a couple days to recoup first.

14 Showin' Comment Love:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post! How wonderful for you all!

(Way better than BlogHer, eh?)


Carey said...

What a fun trip! I've always wanted to visit NYC!

PS- Left you something on my blog!

Ann said...

What a great trip. How wonderful!

Ann said...

BTW I missed you while you were gone!

Lisa said...

It was completely surreal to all be together! And it wasn't like we were all 'just meeting', it felt like a gathering of old friends.

This was a spectacular experience and I am so grateful to know you and all these other sweet families!

(And I'm lovin' the family picture. The girls weren't in their matching outfits, but I kind of like all the bright, mis-matched colors, don't you?)

Thanks again to everyone who came! We will definitely have to plan another get together sometime in the future!!

Also, sorry about the dinner-time rap. I have no shame. Apparently. Lol!

David said...

hey, where is my picture!!??? :)

we're having a grand old time on the rest of our trip. lisa needs to get some more posts up..

the stamms must be happy to see Ohio St ranked #2 in preseason.

Grandma S said...

I'm glad everyone had such a good time and had the opportunity to meet in person; however, I am sure happy that you're home. I need some Cayman time!

By the way, what does David mean by being happy OSU is number 2? :)

The Soldatke family said...

Thanks for all the great pictures! We had a blast! And loved the little bit of extra time we got to spend with you guys after the trip :) Let's do this again soon!

Tyler said...

This trip was AMAZING in so many ways. It felt like old friends getting together after a long period of time. I'm so glad we were able to finally meet. I feel like we made friendships for a lifetime. I can't wait until we can do it again.

Diane more signing Diane, Tyler's mom. I feel like everyone knows me now. It's not like Tyler's going to get on here and post something. :)

location espagne said...

Wow!!! beautiful enjoyed vactions...i really want to go Niagra Falls...location villas

Tiffany said...

WOW!! Sounds like we had similar experiences lately!! I'm so glad you got to go!!

Sherri said...

What a blessing for each of the families to get a family photo by Kristen Stamm photography! You are so talented :) I hope you have more photos to share!!

Mrs. Van Amberg said...

How amazing! I have stumbled upon and been reading many of the family blogs you have in this post ever since our baby was diagnosed in utero with hydrocephalus. You are all an inspiration to me and I can't imagine how wonderful it is to meet each other.
:) Cayman is beautiful!

Katie said...

YAY for friends who GET you :) and an amazing place to be together :)