Last year at this time, we had a lot of people praying for us as we brought Brenna home from the NICU and were learning her very overwhelming skin care regimen. One of our very faithful prayer communities was Blessed Sacrament School, and I even now receive reports from parents of students that Brenna's name is still a hot topic there.
If Brenna has a fan club, her headquarters is definitely Blessed Sacrament!
During last year's Catholic Schools Week, BSS dedicated one of their days as a Spirit Day for Brenna - they raised money and all of the students made beautiful cards for both her and Connor.
Yesterday, a year later, we were finally able to visit Blessed Sacrament to meet all of the wonderful people who have been praying like crazy for our family over the past year! Not only did they welcome us with open arms to come speak to them, but they surprised us with another fundraiser and homemade cards from all of the students.
The students all gathered in the gym for an end-of-the-day assembly, and all of the kids excitedly turned to see Brenna when we walked in. They gave both her and Connor huge cheers as we were introduced.
I'm not going to lie - I was absolutely terrified about speaking in front of a group this size. I am NOT a public speaker. But I was really grateful for the opportunity to explain a little bit about Harlequin Ichthyosis in terms that they could hopefully understand.
I told them that Brenna's skin was not sunburned, but that it was a similar. I told them that our skin is very important to our bodies and has a lot of jobs to do, and Brenna's skin doesn't really do the jobs that it should. I let them know how important it was to not touch Brenna until we've washed our hands or else we could make her really sick.
I told them how much we love Brenna and how she was created by God just as she is, just like all of them were. I said that I hoped that meeting Brenna would be a good reminder to always be kind to each other and accept others just as they are. I told them that "being different is such a cool thing!"
And I thanked them...for all of their support and prayers over the last year. They cheered when I said that Brenna hadn't been in the hospital since August.
And then I fielded questions from the students...and they were hilarious. There were some about her skin - how often she takes a bath, if it hurts, how long she was in the hospital, what surgeries she has had. Mostly, though, they wanted to know how old she and Connor were (Brenna's birth date was a big concern - I think we covered that question 5 or 6 times? :) ), they wanted to know their favorite colors, favorite foods, Connor's favorite thing (I said his mommy :) ), favorite toys, favorite animals....
We had an absolutely wonderful time and are so glad we finally were able to arrange a visit! Special thanks to Godmother Kristin for coming and for Connor's best bud Harrison and his mom Tara for coming and taking pictures for us!
How cute is Brenna's new outfit? :)
Thank you Blessed Sacrament for welcoming us into your school, for all of your thoughtfulness and generosity toward our family, for all of your prayers, and for allowing us to share our story with you!