Sunday Snapshot~ Will

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ni Hao Y'all

Stephanie over at Ni Hao Y'all started spotlighting one of her children each Sunday. I have been wanting to participate and have finally pulled it together this week. This one is way longer than I imagine a snapshot is supposed to be. This is more like a portrait but I had so much to tell. Read it really is an amazing story. Next time, I'll be brief:)


Our oldest son, Will had a rocky start in life. One night when I was 30 weeks pregnant with him, I was home watching ER. Dave was at a hockey game and I was enjoying some quiet time. On the show, Julianna Marguiles' character went into pre-term labor. I was so stressed for her character and I thought I too was having contractions. I called Dave and he thought I was just being a hypochondriac. I wondered if maybe I was imagining it. However, long after ER ended, my contractions were still happening. So we called the doctor and off to the hospital we went. I was indeed in pre-term labor and I remember the nurse telling me that I might have my baby that night. I was so scared. They administered breathine to stop my labor. it is a horrible medicine but it worked. I was put on strict bed rest and I had to take breathine around the clock. I loathed that medicine. It makes you feel as though you have had 5 cups of espresso!

Will's delivery was tough and he was born with a large bump in his head. Doctors told me it would go away and that newborn babies have lumps. But Will's did not go away and after a few months of my pestering, they finally sent us to a pediatric neurosurgeon. He immediately sent me and Will across the street for a CT scan. I did not even have Dave come to this appointment because I was so naive. The neurosurgeon told me to get the films and walk them back to his office immediately. At this point, I was getting nervous. He pulled me and Will into a storage closet to talk (his office was being renovated). He told me that Will had something in his skull that need to come out asap. I asked what it was and he said he had no idea. I asked if it was cancer and he said, "maybe." I told my pediatrician that I wanted a second opinion. He said, "Kim, there is no second opinion. Dr. B is the best pediatric neurosurgeon there is. People come from all over the world to see him. Do what he says." Will was about 4 months old and he was about to have head surgery.

So, we scheduled our firstborn son for neurosurgery. The mysterious lump was between the layers of his skull. So they removed a large part of Will's skull. He was in ICU one night and then in a regular room for one night. He recovered amazingly well. He sat up and said, "mama" for the first time just hours after his surgery. He was 6 months old. Here he is the day after surgery.


I have blogged briefly about Will's surgery before but I wanted to reiterate it today because he is such a miracle to me. The pathologist never completely determined what the mass in Will's skull was but it was putting pressure on his brain and he was not developing normally. He had speech issues, gross and fine motor delays, eating problems, oral motor issues, sensory integration issues, name it. He had asthma and allergies. We did early and intensive speech, oral motor, occupational and physical therapy with him. We did therapy for his sensory issues. I have spent A LOT of time in therapy offices over the years. Even as recently as a few years ago in VA, Will was still doing some therapy.

Fast forward to now. Will is amazing. He is on the Honor Roll in middle school (all A's and one high B in Math). He is in all Advanced Placement classes. His conduct grades are all excellent (this was not always the case as he was HIGH energy). He is well liked and so articulate. He is incredibly compassionate. He is often the one who asks me how I am doing or how my day is going. He is an incredible reader...sometimes reading 3 books a week (thick ones too). He is a phenomenal Lego builder and nerf gun warrior. However, those days might be coming to an end.

A few weeks ago, Will's art project was chosen for an exhibition at school. I am so proud of him. When Will was in pre-school, he refused to do the daily art projects. It was too messy for him and his sensory integration issues. Instead, his pre-school teacher did them and sent them home. I found out and asked her to stop doing them for him. For years, he did not like art and he thought he was not good at it. Until one year, at a Montessori school in Virginia, he had an art teacher named Ms. Alma. Will loved Ms. Alma and she ignited a love of art in him. She gave him such positive feedback.

I write this to remind myself of how very far God has brought Will. I write this because I know there are Moms reading this who have toddlers who are in speech, occupational or physical therapy. Maybe this will give you hope. I know there are Moms who are being told their children might have ADD. Teachers told me that for years with Will. Will does not have ADD and thankfully we never medicated him. Although I know some children do need that.

Yes, he had issues. He had a lot of them. However, with the right support, lots of prayer and faith, therapies, amazing teachers, and nutrition, he has blossomed into a calm, intelligent, artistic, funny, talkative, mature and kind hearted young man. Truly miraculous! I love you so much Will!!!!

This is Will's art project. The assignment was to make food out of toilet paper. Yes, those glazed doughnuts are TP! One of the doughnuts has a bite taken out of it. They were a big hit at the exhibition.
Taken with my I-phone.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing such an inspiring and personal post about your amazing son, Will. Wow how did he make those donuts? Loved the extra touch he did by designing the one with the bite! Blessing, Wendy

  2. That had to be a terribly scary time for all of you, but Will is so lucky to have parents like you! It's so awesome that you did everything you needed to for him to grow up and overcome his issues and that he had such amazing support!

    That art project is incredible! I cannot believe that those donuts were made of TP! He's talented!

  3. What an amazing story. I think, in fact I know, that you are amazing parents to this wonderful young man. Congratulations!

    His art project is great.

  4. Will is amazing. I am so impressed with the doughnuts. He has true talent. Celebrate him each and every day. You are one lucky mama

  5. Sweet, handsome Will... he is amazing in so many ways. And that precious bandaged baby face of his... He is a true miracle.


    p.s. Those donuts look yummy-lol!

  6. Wow, those must have been scary days, but to see what he can do now is amazing......what a miracle boy, and he is very talented! I'm so impressed!


  7. Wow - what a scary, amazing and beautiful God-breathed story of Will's entry into this world - destined for greatness I am sure!!

    Ironically, I mentioned ER in my Sunday Snapshot today too. Well, actually I only eluded to it!! I sure loved Doctor Carter. (I loved Carol too)

    p.s. i LOVE Will's art project!! Yummiest looking toilet paper I have ever seen ;)

  8. Thank you for sharing such a sweet and inspirational story! Surgery at such a young age can be very scary. He is a very talented young man!!


  9. That is amazing! I'm sure your story will give others hope. That is some talent he!

  10. What a wonderful tribute to such a special young man. It is often those who have a rocky steps in life that go on to do extroidinary things.
    His art project is INCREDIBLE!! It makes us miss Shipley's!!

    Thanks for sharing this story and I will look forward to hearing about all of this kiddos!!

  11. This is an AWESOME post!! Way to go Will- what a blessing and treasure he is. I cannot get over the art project- the doughnuts look so real. Very COOL!!!

  12. He is a miracle with a mother who adores him. What a precious post about an adorable guy!!! You are blessed.

  13. What a great story of God's healing mercy in your son's life!! Thanks so much for sharing it with all of us!

  14. Wow, Kim. How had I never heard ANY of that story before?! I already knew Will was an amazing boy, but I had NO IDEA of his history! I admire your tenacity and compassion in meeting Will's needs and helping him to overcome some significant obstacles.

    When I first saw the picture of Will's art project, I thought, "What is artistic about displaying a box of Shipley's donuts?" Then I read your caption. I can't believe they're not real! Will did an amazing job creating and painting those donuts. He deserves an A+ in art.

    Thanks for sharing Will's wonderful story!

  15. Way to go Will!!! Thank you for sharing so much of him. He is amazing boy who is growing into an amazing you man.

    Those donuts look so tempting, can't believe they are not real :)

  16. Such an inspiring story. Not only is Will a special guy, his parents are pretty incredible, too! He came a long way...with your loving care!

    And...those TP donuts are incredible! How did he do it?

  17. That is amazing! You would never know he had all of those problems by meeting him now.

    I LOVE the donuts! I can't imagine how he did it! Awesome!!

  18. What an amazing son! You are triply blessed with your three kiddos!

    Hope you have a great week!


  19. Those are the best donuts out of TP I have ever seen. Admittedly they are the only donuts from TP I have seen but they are still fantastic.

    It's so great to hear Will's story. It's so encouraging. Does he go to a co-ed school and are the girls going crazy? The "dating" talk starts so early here. I am wondering if it's the same there.

    Thanks for sharing your sweet Will with us!

  20. What an inspirational story. The picture of him with his head wrapped brought tears to my eyes. He is certainly a miracle. Such a beautiful child. God is so great!

    And his art project is out of this world! He's so creative! Hope you're having a wonderful night! xoxo

  21. Okay. I am simply blown AWAY! How much I enjoyed learning all those amazing things about your Will!
    Truly incredible.. he IS a miracle!!
    And his story is a huge encouragement to us moms of little ones with sensory and speech issues :)
    I am so glad you decided to participate in Sunday Snapshot!!
    P.S. Is it wrong that those donuts look so real they make me hungry??

  22. Thanks for sharing Will's amazing and inspiring story!

  23. Thanks so much for sharing, Kim. I had no idea he and you went through that at such an early age. I can not even begin to imagine how you must have felt watching your four-month old son preparing for some serious surgery. Wow! He has always struck me as such a handsome boy, but also as someone who is very special. Indeed, he is!!

    And double wow on his art project!! I would have never guessed those weren't real, had you not told us. Impressive! Way to go, Will!!!

  24. You don't know me but I read your blog. This post could not have come at a better time for my family. We have two small children and JUST found out that they have mild aspergers syndrome. All I hear is the negativity and I am so hopeful, so it's very hard for me to even want to tell people. I feel like early intervention along with parents who will do everything we can to get the therapy and treatment they need will do wonders for them. I really believe that they are going to go on to lead great lives. I know this isn't the same case with you (the Aspergers) but it was so refreshing to hear this success story and I just cannot thank you enough for sharing. Thank you!!!!

  25. Wow Kim! Thanks for sharing. I knew Will had some issues when he was younger but I never knew about the surgery. Amazing!

    He definitely is very special and his art project is just amazing and so creative!

  26. Will the miracle boy! What a great story his life has been thus far....nothing short of a miracle! He was a darling baby too! Excellent job on the art project!
    On another note...I hope Harry was able to compete here this weekend. He would have had a wonderful weekend to be in town!
    Happy Thanksgiving to the Peanuts!

  27. This was so much fun for me to read, as your Will and my Tongginator have so very much in common. I hope and pray I can one day write words such as yours.

  28. What an amazing story and what a fighter Will has been. I am happy that you posted know how near and dear to my heart SPD is. I hope that Livi will come through with flying colors...we have gone through so much with her already.Thank you for giving us hope. : )
    By the way the doughnuts are awesome!!!!

  29. What an amazing and miraculous boy your first born angel is!! I can see why you are so proud of him for all that he worked so hard on!!

    Love his TP project... those donuts look real!!

  30. Dear Kim

    I know you had to be scared with a little one undergoing surgery at such a very early age!
    This is a much needed post for this week and what a precious one too!
    I know you had to "cry" when he said MAMA after surgery!

    Thanks be to God for what he brought you and Dave thru at that time!
    God is so good and has a plan for us all!
    So Glad his ways are NOT aour ways..
    This is a time of the year we render back on what we are so thankful for and I know that you have a very thankkful grateful heart of praise.
    So Glad Will never had cancer, and so Glad The great Physcian HAD it all under control too!

    God Bless your Family this Week!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  31. Thanks so much for this amazing and inspirational story. I absolutley love his art project...clever, creative and so life like. Those doughnuts look real!!!

  32. What an amazing story, about an amazing young man! An Oh My those donuts!!! Yumm eeee !

  33. Thanks for sharing the whole story...I knew bits and pieces, but what a miraculous story to read from beginning to now. Will is such an awesome kid, and you and Dave have a lot to do with that!!

    Love, the art project...I must show that to the boys!

  34. Wow. Thanks so much for sharing that. What a strong boy. You have so much to be proud of.

  35. An extraordinary beginning for an amazing child!!!!

    What a COOL art project! Can't wait to see what Will becomes when he is all grown up!!! It's going to be something very special!!! What a gift he is!

    We love you Will!
    The R Family

  36. I hope you are never brief on purpose!! Adored this post Kim!!

  37. Kim, we are our kids biggest advocates. I hear of stories all the time, where kids have been labeled and they wear that label throughout school. I admire your desire to FIGHT for your son, STICK up and say "something is not right"! Will is an amazing young man, and I know he will go very far and achieve anything he wants in life! Your testimonys continue to inspire, encourage and uplift many of us! Thank you so very much!

    Note to Will: Okay young man, I will never look at TP the same way ever again!!! That's the yummiest TP I have ever laid eyes upon!!

  38. What a great testimony of God's faithfulness and miracle working power today! Praising God for Will! ( We have similar testimonies with both of our boys!) We both have SO much to be grateful for! Happiest Thanksgiving to you ALL!

    P.S. Good thing these doughnuts were behind glass. You may have had a few people wanting to do more than just admire them! GREAT creativity!

  39. i am late getting in on this but you forgot to mention amazing parents fighting in will's corner with him. never underestimate yourself and all you have done for your kids!!

  40. Those doughnuts look good enough to eat! He's talented! I had now idea he had had such a rocky start. He is an amazing young man to have come so far. God must have big plans for him.

    Gin =)

  41. Kim,

    How have I missed this about your Will? Isn't God amazing?!

    BTW Love the story above about Ciera too!

  42. Hi, I've re-discovered your blog as I visited several times when I first started. Your photos of your children are just beautiful! Thank you for sharing such a personal journey. My family went through a horrific experience with my nephew at birth and through his toddler years with 3 major heart operations to date. Physical therapy, speech therapy, etc. was the daily ritual for my brother and his family for a long time. Frustration, sadness, tension and confusion was such the norm for them. Just broke my heart. Many severe hurdles to get through with constant prayer and thoughts. All we could do was just rely on a spectacular medical team in Washington, D.C. Today, he is a normal 7 year old boy, adorable as anything, very funny, speedy, not to mention a prankster! We love it!
    We have a web cam that we use so the cousins can have their "conference call" as they all like to call it. It's so much fun. I'm so grateful for technology to be able to provide families that are all over the country to connect this way. Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday to take the time and thank God for what we have and survived and allowing us to come together in thought and prayer for each other.
    Enjoy your precious son's birthday and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    P.S. That is an awsome art project!

  43. I have enjoyed your blog for so long. Your love for your family is unmistakably heartfelt. What a beautiful tribute to your son and family and God glorifying. Thank you for sharing this part of your life, I can only imagine how many families you are helping with your transparency.

    Great art project! Of course my 6.5year old daughter was in awe they weren't real but oh so quick to remind me that TP was invented in China.

  44. I found your blog through Stefanie and really enjoyed this post! My 6 year old has a cyst on his brain that we found by accident but the doctors are telling us that we don't need to do anything about it right now. What is interesting to me is that he also has serious eating issues and sensory integration issues. The doctors say that this cyst has nothing to do with his "issues" but I have questions!! We go back for a recheck after the first of the year and I am anxious to hear what they say!! Thank you!!

  45. What an amazing story Kim!! I never knew all that you went through with your precious boy! Our strong faith will pull us through the worst of are so blessed by this young man. I always enjoy hearing all that he has accomplished. Great Sunday Snapshot:)

    Enjoy your day!



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