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Dreams for our children

I am just going to get it out of my system ……… I am a grandfather.

I am writing this article a few days after returning from spending a week with my first granddaughter, little Abigail Kay McCarville, and it is hard to think of anything else. We are calling her Abby and she is beautiful, bright-eyed and full of life. I will spare you all the details but mother and child are healthy and after spending a couple days in the hospital, are home and doing well. I get updates daily, usually accompanied by a picture. I have heard other talk about becoming a grandparent and I finally know what they have been talking about all these years.

While it is unlike me to try to be short, I have a very simple message. I just want to take the time to reflect on something I have been prone to say. When I say it, I usually think of it as a distant memory but with the birth of little Abby it is so very much in the present.

Perhaps you have heard me say it…I know I have written it about it recently. I am talking about the parents that we meet who have, by the time we meet them, revised their dreams for their child. I usually say something like; “working with parents who have held a child at birth and dreamed dreams of a happy and fulfilling life for that child - only to revise those dreams by the time they are at our front door”. I am referring to what some parents (we serve) have lost in terms of their dreams. I think about the parent who once told me that she had hoped that someday her daughter would graduate from college and that now she hopes her daughter will live long enough to graduate from high school. After holding little Abby last week, and dreaming those dreams of a successful and happy life for her, it is hard to imagine how hard it must be for some parents…. how much suffering has to take place to arrive at a place where those dreams are no more.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that one of the first things I pulled out of my office mail box when I returned from my trip back to Nebraska from meeting little Abby was our, “hot off the press”, outcomes notebook put together by our Performance Improvement Department. Reading through it reminded me of the work we do to help those parents dream those dreams again. In our outcomes notebook we pay particular attention to the parent perception of the care we provide. What I find particularly interesting in those pages is that if you read what they are really saying to us, you can hear the dreams of those parents coming back to life. Take it from a person who just looked into the eyes of a beautiful little girl and dreamed those very dreams. I am so very proud to be part of an organization that helps give those dreams back to all the parents and grandparents.