Our son, Tyson Hugh Hooper, was born with coarctation of the aorta, hypoplastic arch, and a transitional avsd. His first open heart surgery reconstructed his aorta and was on day 9 of life. His second open heart repair was not anticipated to be needed until two or three years of age. Ty had other plans. We spent the vast majority of his first 3 months of life at Vanderbilt as he went into heart failure and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. As a result, the medical team concluded that he needed the repair much sooner than usually recommended, and at just shy of 3 months old Ty underwent his second life saving open heart surgery. God has already worked so many miracles in Ty's life and the life of our family and we know he is using our story. Because of this, we are grateful for Ty's special heart and feel beyond blessed that God chose us to travel this road. We ask for prayers as Ty continues to heal. We are praying for a full recovery and life without restrictions for Ty. We are praying for God to use our family and Ty for His glory.
Thank you to each and every person who supports us through prayer, giving, or just by loving on our family! We are humbled and blessed by all of the ways the Lord is providing for us and know that he is using Ty and his story to do great things!
This is the question that has been on my mind lately. Let me state that I am NOT considering not blogging at all. My question was in reference to blogging or not blogging about all the changes coming my way over the next 6 months. Heck, blogging all the changes that have been taking place over the past 6 months even. The problem has been two fold... where to start and how much to share. I am still not sure, but do feel the urge to record all the things that are going on and being considered.
I think I need to go all the way back to Chris' divorce in order to explain why we are where we are and where we are headed...
It is a long, long story. I will try to be a concise as possible, giving you only the needed background without all the nitty gritty details... I feel like that is his story to tell, not mine. Know that Chris and Lily are much (much, much, much, much) better off where they are now. Also know that he did everything imaginable to make it work, but in truth it was doomed from the start. Sparing all the details, Chris' separation that began when Lily was 18 months old, ended in divorce 4 years later. Through the 4 year separation they tried many different arrangements, but the prevailing plan was a 50/50 parenting plan with Lily and totally separate lives. Upon the final mediation, however, the other party tried to change the plan drastically and made some pretty outrageous statements and allegations. As they struggled to reach an agreement his attorney impressed upon him the reality that our court system favors women in custody cases. She told him that if they couldn't reach an agreement, and it was left up to a judge, that it was possible that he would be an every-other-weekend dad. This was unacceptable. Chris has been the only stable and consistent thing in Lily's life. So the negotiations began. In Tennessee there is a Parent Relocation Statute that basically says that if one parent wants to move more than 100 miles or across state lines, they must provide to the other parent: a 30 day notice of intent to move, location of proposed move, and reason for the proposed move. In addition, the stationary parent gets those 30 days to file an opposition to the move and it is the burden of the other parent to prove that it is in the best interest of the child to move. In order to avoid the risk of leaving it all up to a judge and to ensure a 50/50 schedule, Chris was asked to sign away the parent relocation statute in favor of a new one that was written a little differently just for them. Instead of having to comply with the relocation statute, if the other party wanted to move, she would have to: Provide 180 days notice instead of 30 days. She would only be allowed to relocate to the Franklin/Bowling Green, KY area (where she is from and her family lives - and this is only 80 miles from here), but that if she chose this option, he could not oppose her move in court without a material change of circumstance (a drastic change). In addition to these changes, their parenting plan drafted 2 options... a "Plan A" for when they reside within 30 miles of one another (a 50/50 parenting plan) and a "Plan B" for when they do not. "Plan B" would be the "typical" every-other-weekend-and-holidays parenting plan that we are strictly opposed to. This was a big "compromise" but it guaranteed the 50/50 parenting plan and 6 months (instead of 30 days) to prepare for a move. It also guaranteed that the only move that he would ever face would be just north of Nashville... not something crazy or far away!
I hope all of this was clear. It is very hard to explain in a clear and concise way. Especially without all the ins and outs and ups and downs that went on over the course of separation, mediation, and final divorce.
I am explaining all of this because it is the root of all the changes underfoot. Both exciting changes and intimidating changes. Chris and I are faced with lots of options and decisions and are trying to take them one at a time. After a series of relationships, Chris' ex-wife has married a guy in Bowling Green and is currently waiting out her 6-month plan splitting time between here and there. She is also expecting a child. From meeting the guy to marriage/pregnancy was only a 3 month span. This has caused A LOT of stress for Lily and for Chris and I. So in addition to getting married, we are deciding....
How and when to sell a house.
Where to move to (within 30 miles to stay on "Plan A")
What house to buy when we decide where to move (SUPER excited about this part!)
What to do about work (he will be able to commute, but I might be looking at a change - a good change. I am also excited about this! I am looking at maybe working part time while we get settled and grow our little family and pursuing some of my dreams... but change and risks are also stressful.)
And a million other little tiny things that go along with all these major changes. I have to say, I am so very excited. But there is a lot of "ugly" in the situation too that is tough to deal with and stressful. I am choosing to focus on the exciting and fun parts! Who doesn't like picking out a house and starting a "new" life! I like change and am excited about what it can bring. I am also excited about the prospect of pursuing some new options job/career wise that I otherwise might not have the time or courage to do. So I am praying for the courage. I am praying for guidance. And I am praying that God will provide what we need from every angle of all this change!
Hopefully this has provided enough background and was clear enough that I can now share with you some of our adventures as we embark on our new life together.
Welcome! I am the head chef and home-maker at my address. A former teacher and current after-school program manager and a proud member of the education field (even though I still call myself a "stay-at-home mom"). I'm the member of a pretty wacky and wonderful family and a friend of some really special people. I get the privilege of being mommy to the most spectacular toddler I've ever met and the step-mom of the most kind-hearted and precious 9 year old anyone could ever meet. I'm a coach's wife (he's pretty hot and makes me laugh every day). And, most importantly, I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. This is my little blog. When I have time, I come here to share, write, document, and just to be me.