Miles and I took the little girls to the park today. They started playing on the tire swing with a little girl and what looked like her older brother. They were both sweet children, they were playing wonderfully with our kids but their was something odd about the girl. She was very thin, and her head looked too big for her body.
We fell into conversation with their dad. Turns out those two were twins. 7 years old, though the girl, Brandolyn, looked no older than Claire & Aeron. That child has had 19 brain surgeries and spent her first year of life in the hospital. Because she was wedged up under her mother's ribs, her head was bent at a severe angle, which damaged the drainage system for her brain. She has had her skull replaced, twice, with skulls donated from cadavers. Per her dad, insurance ran out after the first 2 million dollars was spent. Then her parents mortgaged their ranches and house, and paid the next 4.5 million in medical fees. She hasn't had any surgeries in the last 3 years, though she later will have some plastic surgery to conceal the lumps on her forehead from the bolts holding her facial bones to her new skull.
The kids played together for about 45 minutes. On our way home, Miles and I marveled. At the great attitude and love of the father. At the cheerfulness and love between those two kids. And at how very, very lucky we are.