Born @ 27 weeks
2lbs 7oz

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Colorado Calling.

Drum roll.

(Deep breath).

Team Richter is moving to Denver, Colorado.

Let me say it again (because it still feels surreal).

We are moving.

It is hard for me to know where to start typing. The last three weeks have been a whirlwind of decisions and emotions.

Let me paint you the scene three weeks ago of a conversation with my husband:

"Candace, I have a job opportunity... p a u s e (gulp)... It's in Denver".

My mind: "Wow! Awesome. Wait. ...What? Where?"....
Computing... "Denver... CO?"...
Panic sets in, hearts begins to race... "As in - we have to move?"....
Calculating starts.... Surgeons? Doctors? Therapists? Bee Mighty? Family? Church? Support? Friends?

- pause -

"We can't go."

And so it began... the arduous process of walking through each of my fears, discussing our goals as parents and as a couple and prioritizing our boys.

Let me stop.

For those that know Michael and I well, you will know that CO suits us. We have always dreamed of being west, raising a family with access to mountains and activity. It seemed very natural when we met that we would end up anywhere from the Rockies to California. AND I KNOW, I will get excited at some point...

But that was before Shaw. Shaw changed things on so many levels. Not just because of his medical history, but HOLY COW - I LOVE being close to our families with two children. My Mom is instrumental for Bee Mighty, as she takes the boys for a few hours one day each week, so I can have Bee Mighty meetings. My father and his wife drop in often and offer us a date night escape. My in laws are gracious enough to love our boys and offer us to go for bike rides or play tennis or have dinner when we visit and drive up on a moment's notice if we need them.

We really are blessed - and spoiled with our families. What an invaluable luxury to be close to those that love your children (and you) and to have your children LOVE your parents. I listen to the boys prayers each night. One night it's Bebo, the next it's Nonnie, then it could be Nana's dog... My boys KNOW their grandparents and I love that. They teach the boys things. They tell them different stories. They take them on different adventures. It is such a gift. Now, having had it, it is hard to imagine life without.

Back to business...

I quickly began to pick apart why this may not be the right fit for us at this time in our lives.

Each roadblock was met with a Divine answer.

SHAW: Each doctor, surgeon, specialist, therapist KNOWS Shaw. I don't have to tote around our history or walk through his birth, surgeries, medicines, etc. They know him. They know us. And that - above anything else - has been the most comforting thing to date. Leaving the comfort of knowing and TRUSTING our medical team is by far the most paralyzing.

My first concern was Shaw's hydrocephalous. How will living at altitude affect the swelling? How will it impact pain? Functionality? Development?

After speaking with our Neurosurgeon, the consensus is It Won't. It should be a smooth transition. But, they brought up a good point about his airway...

Our ENT. We just started a chemo treatment that took us over a year to warm up to. Will they have a similar practice in CO? Do we start over with something else? How will this impact his breathing?

One call to the referred ENT in Denver confirmed that Shaw may actually have LESS breathing issues due to the drier climate.

(Hmmmm...Had someone told me our son could feel better in another state, I would have moved long ago).

While there are no guarantees, one by one my fears are being squashed and the move becoming more palpable.

BEE MIGHTY:  I thought this one was going to be a really hard one... But fate has a funny way of redirecting. I will still be intimately involved with Bee Mighty. (I suspect this will last a lifetime, as my passion runs deep). Most of what I do is like right now - after hours/online/behind the scenes. All of that will continue. The board and Novant even agreed I could skype in for all the board meetings. :)

However,  our potential moved instigated some very pivotal conversations for Bee Mighty. We have been going so hard and so fast for the last year, it allowed us to pause and ask: What are our core values? What do we believe beyond our mission? Could we do something similar in other states? Could Bee Mighty be national?

Meet Heather Hucks, a spiritual, savvy business woman and micro preemie Mom to a former 24 weeker. She sits on our Bee Mighty board and I watch her move mountains. I've watched her nurture the preemie community, be a cautious and humble mom and facilitate a much needed NICU waiting room for our hospital. They are literally starting construction this week. She is simply amazing.

The Mighty Heather has volunteered to be the Chair for Bee Mighty. Personally, I couldn't feel more honored (and at peace) with the transition. She is a visionary, a micro Mom and a force of nature. When we discuss the vision for Bee Mighty, her contribution fills in the gaps and takes BM to a new level. **Thank you, Heather Hucks!!!!**


So the list of emotions and decisions are long. I'm barely scratching the surface here. In two weeks, we have listed our home, found a new owner for our random/adopted cat, cried saying goodbye to our preschool, resigned from Bible Study, notified the Foundation, interviewed moving companies, researched neighborhoods in Denver, found a preschool in Denver and Michael (bless him) has ended one career chapter and is starting another.

There is never a dull moment...

While I could type so much more. I'm so tired and my poor husband is scheduled to land any minute. I want to give him my undivided attention when he gets here.

I just needed to say it 'out loud' and to you - so many people that have loved and embraced and supported us. It is terrifying to think of 'leaving' our network and support system. The impact that you have had in our lives takes my breath away and it is paralyzing to think that we will be so far away.

We don't have a move date, but I do have some good news: I already know when we'll be back. The boys and I will be back for a couple weeks in November to help prepare for Bee Mighty's big fundraiser. We hope if to see many of you there!!

Goodnight for now.

On a solemn note, I learned tonight that one of the very special women that I lived with in Corsica has passed away. Our prayers are for her and her gracious family and may she be dancing with joy with her brother and sisters in Heaven tonight.


Patrick Chiaroni said...

Thrilled to hear the good news!! It is a new stage of your life for you , Michael and the boys.
Of course you'll have to get used to the snow but the kids will love it!!!!
Thanks for the prayers for Antonia!
Love from the four of us
Daniele and Patrick and JB and Laurin

Mandy said...

Selfishly, I am totally excited because I will get to see you more! And, I know you have wanted to live in the mountains forever...a dream come true! So excited for you. I can fly out once you make the move to help you settle in..easy! Yea!! LOTS OF LOVE to you all. I know it will be hard at first, but sooo rewarding. Can't wait to have you in the West!! Mandy