9 Days that Changed our Lives: Thanks and Giving

Every year since 2008 Adam and I have coordinated a team of volunteers to bring Thanksgiving dinner to parents who currently have babies in the NICU. Adam cooks the turkey, I get the volunteers together and we all come together Thanksgiving Day to feed the families who are where we were years ago.

This is our fifth time bringing Thanksgiving to the NICU and we had 3 TV stations filming the event. All three covered the story from different angels. Adam and I were interviewed by KMBC.

Many of the parents who help out are parents of micro-preemies. They spent months at the bedside of their child while we were there for only 9 days. It was only 9 days but it was 9 life changing days. It changes everything about us- how we parents, how we view life, the causes we are passionate about. Because of those 9 days, we have the NICU Thanksgiving.

Adam started it. He told me he had "nervous energy" and need to do something. In 2008, while George was still in the NICU, he brought dinner to everyone by himself. In 2009, we had a small group of volunteers. Now we have the NICU Foundations, Circle of Hope, helping us and I feel that this year was our biggest and most successful yet!

People ask why we do this. In his clip, Adam said "guilt" but that's not really the case. We came to love and care for the other parents we met in the NICU and really wanted to do something for them. It's our way of offering love and support to the people who are where we were four years ago.
Some say that the short amount of time late term preemies spend in the NICU doesn't matter. Some say they aren't real preemies or real graduates or that the long term problems they have are nothing. But remember- that late term preemie of mine, those short 9 days.... they are the reason for this. They are why we give thanks and give back every year.
Those 9 days.... they mean everything.