Sunday, January 6, 2013

Our 2012 Christmas Letter

2012.  What a year for the Bakers!

As most of you know, the first half of this year Melissa was pregnant with our second child.  At the routine 20-wk ultrasound we learned our baby had the deadliest of heart defects:  Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS).  We were devastated and beyond overwhelmed.

Over the next 4 months with amazing support from multiple medical teams, we examined all of the details and made the hardest choice we have ever faced.  We finally felt at peace when we decided to bring our son home after his birth.  

Lukas Benjamin Baker was born on the 4th of July—our little firecracker.   Though short, his life was happy and filled with love.  He spent time in the sunshine and felt breezes on his face.  He saw the stars, heard the crickets, and got a lecture from his older sister.  He built block towers with daddy and sang lullabies with mommy.  Over 90 people visited and held him and he looked each one in the eye—changing their hearts with his broken one.  We smiled and laughed and cuddled him endlessly.  We were a happy family of four for 2 ½ perfect days.  

Lukas died peacefully in our arms in the dark hours of early morning on July 7th, just moments after receiving his Name and Blessing ordinance.  In the deep pain of that farewell, as our family gathered, the sun came up, slowly filling our home with light.  It was beautiful.

While Lukas has been center stage this year, we’ve had other noteworthy experiences:
  • We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary in Midway, Utah where we honeymooned.
  • Jonathan celebrated his 10 year anniversary working at L-3 Communications.
  • Melissa took up a small part-time accounting job near home. 
  • Chelsea celebrated her 3rd birthday—lighting candles, singing, and eating cupcakes at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  She’s not spoiled, right?  :)
  • We vacationed in:  Rexburg, Idaho; St George, Utah; Jeremy Ranch, Utah; & Ririe, Idaho.
  • Jonathan got a new ride:  a 2006 Ford Focus we bought in April.  No more carpooling!
  • Melissa exploded the canning this year, bottling 26 quarts each of peaches and tomatoes. 
  • Chelsea started “Mommy Preschool” and begs for it multiple times every day. 
  • We hosted a big Halloween party and Chelsea chose at the last minute to ditch the girlie fairy costume for the stuffed pumpkin suit.  She keeps us laughing!
While our hearts are still grieving, they are also overflowing with gratitude.  We feel blessed and buoyed by your many prayers and loving service on our behalf.  You have carried us through the darkest of storms, and God has slowly filled our lives with light again.  In this season of lights and presents our thoughts are turned to the gift of His Son.  We celebrate His birth.  We study His life.  And we are humbled by His death that will one day grant life again to our son.  We will be a family again, forever.  Life truly is beautiful.

This year we wish you a tender and peaceful holiday season.  In the joy of your celebration, may you feel of our love and deep appreciation.

With love,
Jonathan, Melissa, Chelsea & Lukas Baker