At times I find myself filled with childlike excitement when I think of this holiday season. Not only am I anxiously awaiting my sons and extended family to come home, and celebrating with friends, but it’s knowing that Astrid and Noel will be arriving from Honduras in 10 days.
Nine years ago we met four year old Noel, who was in need of life saving heart surgery. Through the generosity of the Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation and the skilled physicians at Tufts Medical Center, Noel’s surgery was a success. The next year, we were introduced to two year old Astrid, a toddler in need of spinal and foot surgery. These surgeries were successful, as well, and provided free of charge by Shriners Hospital.
Over the years, these two children have truly become part of our family and been embraced and loved by our friends. We’ve had the opportunity to share the ups and downs of life beside them, beginning with serious operations and recoveries, continuing with school and every day life, and sharing celebrations and summer vacations. They started as patients, but it has grown so much deeper and impacted our lives more than we could have ever imagined. Our lives are so much richer with them in it, and they certainly are two of our greatest “gifts”, which will last a lifetime.