Update 20: December 22, 2007

After Life

Over two years ago, in September 2005, we first conceived of the idea to give it all up and go on the road for a year. In December of that year, we committed ourselves to that path, and started our plans to sell the house, quit our jobs, and break ties with our former lives. Almost six months ago, we ended the trip in Colorado after 434 days on the road.

More amazing than any of that, is this: Exactly one year ago today, in Fort Myers, Florida, Zane Michael Hatfield was born. Today is a joyous day for us, because a year ago, we never thought he would make it to see his first birthday. We still remember vividly the days after he was born, when he was struggling in the NICU, and the doctor told us to prepare for him to die. Based on the Trisomy 18 mortality statistics, we thought it was just a matter of days. Apparently, Zane doesn't put much stock in statistics.

It took us awhile to settle down after the road trip. There were seemingly a million things to get in order, not the least of which was finding a house we could afford with a year gap in our employment history and no jobs. Despite what we thought were long odds, we got our house, moved in, and started the difficult process of fitting back into normal society.

At first, I did a little work out of the house, but realizing that wasn't going to pay the bills, I started working part-time for UPS for a few months. I eventually became a driver for UPS, then crashed my big brown truck on my fourth day of driving and went back to my part-time position. At about that time, an ad appeared in the paper for a job that sounded interesting. I interviewed for and got my current job, working as a Technology Coordinator for San Juan Board of Cooperative Educational Services. It's nice to finally have a full-time job and the sense that we have some stability back in our lives.

Susan, as you might imagine, has her hands full caring for Zane and Justin during the week. She has done a wonderful job in coordinating Zane's many appointments, and she's fabulous at dealing with (and battling) the insurance companies. On the weekends, she occasionally gets a break when she goes to her part-time job at the Bayfield library. The extra income is nice, and Susan enjoys getting away and interacting with adults for a change.

Justin started preschool a couple of weeks ago and goes twice a week for a half a day. It's nice for him to be able to get out of the house and be with kids his own age. He's been outside a few times in the snow, and we hope to get him on skis for the first time this winter.

Zane continues to do remarkably well. He laughs and smiles and tries to roll over. He cut three teeth and has another coming in. He had a gastrostomy tube placed in August, and he now takes his feedings via the g-tube and a feeding pump. That surgery has made life better for everyone. Zane is just finishing up a month of being sick with a cold and the respiratory infection RSV. Thankfully, he'll be feeling good for his birthday and Christmas celebrations. We have a great pediatrician in town, and surprisingly (given the small town and remote location), access to a number of specialists who are helping Zane with some of his challenges.

We hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a great start to 2008!

For photos of our new home, Click Here
For recent photos of Justin and Zane, Click Here

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