Saturday, October 26, 2013

She's Free




Aviana Reese Hodder

August 16, 2006 ~ October 26, 2013



For you, there'll be no more crying
For you, the sun will be shining
And I feel that when I'm with you
It's alright, I know it's right

To you, I'll give the world
To you, I'll never be cold
'Cause I feel that when I'm with you
It's alright, I know it's right

And the songbirds are singing
Like they know the score
And I love you, I love you, I love you
Like never before

~ Fleetwood Mac

231 comments:

  1. There are no words that can soothe your pain. But I am hoping that with time, you will remember more of the happy times you had as a family than the hard times. ((((((soft hugs)))))) to you and the family.

    Barbara

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    1. Your words have : ) And I fully agree : ) Thank you so much!

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  2. So sorry for your loss, she is finally at peace and running in the grass, love and prayers to your whole family

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  3. Aviana and your family have touched me so much in the last three years since I found your blog. I hope that you can feel some of the support and love I am sending your way. I will smile as I think of Aviana as she is able to freely share her spirit and be herself.

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    1. I feel every bit, thank you so much for sending your love our way, and for following along for all these years : ) I too smile right along with you… ❤

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  4. love you all so much. Sending you so much love!!!

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  5. Jen, I am so so sorry for your loss. Please know I am praying for you all .Squeezing the stuffing out of you right now !!!!

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    1. Thank you, and I love the way you put that. I felt it then and I feel it now…thank you!

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  6. Jen, Dave and Rainy....So sorry for your loss, it is a loss for the whole family. We are here for you for whatever you may need so please dont hesitate to call us....We love you guys with all our hearts and have you in our thoughts.

    Steve Remedios

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    1. Thank you Steve…for always being there…always ❤

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  7. Sending love to your whole family. I'm so sorry but I bet Kama is licking the dickens out of Avi's face about now.

    Alicia from Castro Valley

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    1. Thank you Alicia. I love the thought : )

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  8. Free. At last. This is very good news for Aviana, and very sad news for all of us. I pray the peace that has saturated you the past few weeks continues to be with you and Dave. Much much love your way.

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    1. You said it perfectly. Free. At last. Your prayer has been answered. It continues on. There are times when we miss her beyond the peace, and beyond the blessings, but they are short lived and we are quickly back to the peace. For that I am eternally grateful, as it feels much grater than myself.

      Thank you for everything Chelsy. I wish I knew you in real life. I know we would be really close ❤

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  9. No words here, just another fellow Guatemalan adoptive mama in Folsom wanting to send you some love! Your story is beautifully bittersweet and yet heart wrenching all in one! May you find peace through our Maker!

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    1. Thank you so much. I appreciate the words you found, as they are true and perfect : )

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  10. Jen and Dave, sending you prayers from CO. Avi touched so many lives, and her memory will live on. Much love, Andrea (a fellow Guatemalan adoptive mama as well).

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    1. Thank you. That's all I hope for…is her memory to live on…forever ❤

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  11. Jen, Dave and Rainey - we've never met but my heart is deeply with you today. Sending you peace and comfort during such a difficult time. I'm sure Kama was anxiously awaiting sweet Avi and they are running and playing together - what a beautiful thought!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I bet! I bet she has been waiting for the day, and now…how exciting…they can resume as they once were - crazy as ever!

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  12. I don't have words but I'll pray for peace for all of you. You gave her a beautiful life with such dignity and she's waiting for you to someday run with her in the fields of Heaven. Thank you for letting us be part of your journey. Love to you all!!

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    1. Awww…thank you so much. I really appreciate you for following along, and for the prayers and love
      : )

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  13. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Shelby

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  14. Prayers for peace.

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  15. God speed to your sweet, sweet girl. My prayers are with all of you.

    Sonia in Mo

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  16. Jen and Dave,
    Sending all of my love to you both. I know that Avi is running and playing right now, as she should be. Thank you for letting me into your life and introducing me to Aviana. She will forever be in my thoughts and heart. You are an amazing family.
    Love you,
    Tracy

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    1. You are so right! As she should. So perfectly put! Thank you! Thank you for always being here. I love you ❤

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  17. Jen and Dave I am so sad to hear about Avi. I know she's dancing through heaven with her beloved dog yelling Avi do it Avi do it. I wish I had comforting words. Peter lily and I send you our love. I will forever hold the memory of the able bodied little spit fire leading me to her room handing me books and bringing out lilys brave side. She was truly remarkable in every stage of life. She helped make so many of us live better lives. Love you all Sarah

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    1. Dancing away, with that beautiful little smile of hers. Yes, I agree - truly remarkable. I just love every memory of Lily and her…before and after. I especially love how Lily didn't mind cutting her hair like Aviana after in the hospital. What a sweet, sweet, loving best friend. Makes me cry now thinning of her. I love you guys.

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  18. thinking of you all my hugs and love at your very sad loss there are no words that can heal your pain prayers from Outback Australia

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  19. Jen, I am so sorry for your loss. I followed your blog from shortly after the accident. You and your family have been so valiant for Avi and done everything in your power to help her recover. Now she is whole again and running with Kama. Love to you and your family.

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    1. Thank you so much for following al this time Susan. I truly appreciate it. You are right, she is whole again…what a beautiful thought : )

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  20. I've followed your story for a long time, but have never commented before. Thinking of you and your beautiful Avi tonight and always.

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    1. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your thoughts…always ❤

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  21. ((hugs)) to you and your family. So sorry for your loss.

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  22. Sending prayers from MO. I am also another Guatemalan adoptive mom. I have followed your blog since Aviana's accident and your story has been very heart wrenching. I can picture Avi and Kama up in heaven running around and loving on each other. I hope your family can celebrate Avi's life and remember all the good times.

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    1. Thank you so much for always following along. I can't tell you how much that means to me. I agree with you with my whole heart about celebrating her life. Thank you!

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  23. Jen,
    I am so sorry. I am sitting here crying for a beautiful little girl who I never met, but inspired me to be a better, kinder and more patient person and mom. Sending prayers for peace and comfort.

    Hugs,
    Mel J. (the pecan pie lady)

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    1. So beautiful. Thank you so much. I love every word you wrote Mel J.

      I made that pie for Thanksgiving and realized some of the instructions needed tweaking, I'm sorry...

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  24. I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet Avi. Love and hugs and many prayers to your family.

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  25. Jen, Dave, and sweet guardian Rainey - What to say--it's difficult to find the words. All I know is that if loved could have saved her, Avi would have lived forever. How tragic for all of us that this world will be without her. Just yesterday, our family did a random act of kindness in her honor. So to hear this news today, we are at a loss. We pray your family can find some comfort during this time. Rest assured that Kama is now back on duty as her caretaker in heaven. What a sweet reunion that must have been. God bless sweet Avi and God bless your family.

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    1. Well you definitely found the perfect words, so beautiful. Thank you! And thank you so much for the act of kindness. I hope you know it means the world. ❤

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  26. My thoughts, love, and prayers are with all of you. You two and Avi made such a beautiful life together and I believe it will be enough until you see each other again. Hugs to both of you and Brenda and Gary.
    Love,
    Dixie

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    1. Thank you Dixie! I love you…always!

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  27. May Peace be with your family. I am so sorry for your loss. Just know that Aviana inspired and touched more people than you will ever know. I am a better person for reading her story. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much Kelley. Your words truly bring more comfort : )

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  28. Jen, Dave and Rainey, we love you so much. Your family has made such a POSITIVE immpact on ours that was all thanks to your sweet, tender, stubborn, cutie Aviana. She was an irreplacable little gem. We love you all so much. She IS free. Thank you so much for allowing us to follow her life with you on your blog. I'd like to say that Avi has chanhed so many lives for the better but YOU already KNOW that. We love you all. Cameo

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  29. I too am a fellow guatemama who has been following your family since the accident. There are no words. Thank you for sharing your sweet daughter with all of us. Be free Avi! Love to you all.

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    1. Be free Avi! I love it! So perfect. Thank you for always being here…from the very beginning. My love to you!

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  30. Been praying for you for so long... first praying for Aviana to get better, now I pray for your hearts to heal and find peace. So very sorry for your loss.

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    1. Thank you for your constant prayers! I appreciate them ❤

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  31. I bet she is running her little tushie off in heaven right now. I bet Kama can barely keep up. Just making circles around the universe like its a high school track. Indeed, you are free Avi and your lovely parents will always be with you. Always. Sending my positive energy to her awesome parents. (((HUGS)))

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    1. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have thought about your comment in particular. The first time I read it…I laughed and laughed!! Then I screamed Dave's name to come into the bedroom from the kitchen so I could have him read it and then we laughed some more. Then every single time it comes across my mind, which is often, I smile at the thought!

      I have been meaning to come back and thank you so many times and then I get sidetracked. I have video similar to what you described, but your words…the first sentence, it's seared in my brain for eternity. I could never have captured it so perfectly.

      I can't thank you enough for this single comment.





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  32. I've followed your blog for some time. I hope I'm not intruding by commenting. I'm so sorry for your loss. You have been so brave in letting Aviana choose her own path.
    A good mother takes care of her daughter. A wonderful mother knows when taking care of her daughter means letting go of some control.

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    1. Oh my gosh, never intruding. I absolutely loved everything you wrote. Thank you so much for your most perfect comment!

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  33. I'm crying my eyes out for you both. I've been sending Aviana love and light for so long and even though I knew you were on this journey it's still shocking. I'm so, so deeply sorry for your loss. Please know that I will never, ever forget her and I'm sure she'll still make it into my thoughts everyday. Thank you for sharing your amazing sweet girl with us. Take care of each other. xo

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    1. Thank you for never for never forgetting her : ) and for all of your thoughts. Love to you!

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  34. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  35. Jen, Dave and Rainey,
    Sending thought & prayers your way for this next chapter in life. I know you hate to ask for help, but know that we are here for you during this difficult time. Embrace all the things in life that Avi taught you. She will be missed, but is now safe with Kama.
    Love you cousin.
    Sue and Mark

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    1. Who me ; ) Thank you so much for all of the help you always provided and your offer of even more. I love you so much!

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  36. I've followed this blog and your family for years...from the beginning. My heart stopped tonite...I knew it was coming and close. I send you healing, love, support and peace. I am very happy that your girl is finally free and she has it all now <3 hugs and huge compassion to you, Dave and your entire family <3

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    1. Thank you so much for always being here, from the beginning. Hearts and more hearts. I know what you mean, even when you know…

      Thank you also for all of the love and support…always ❤

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  37. As a fellow Guat Mama, I have followed your blog. I have prayed for your family and marvelled at your strength and grace. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband and all your family. I am sure Aviana is running free with Kama looking proudly down at all of you.

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    1. Thank you so much for all of your thoughts, prayers and support. I love your vision, every bit of it : )

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  38. I don't know what to say :( What a special love I had (have) for your family and I,ve never met you. Aviana, you are that special angel! Running and taking those extra big leaps with your beautiful wings you've more than earned.
    You will forever be in my heart , I will never forget you, throughout your short little life you have taught me so much, your Mommy & Daddy have been some of the strongest people I've "known".
    Aviana, you have changed my world !!
    Cindy in nc

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    1. I so agree with you…more than earned! That's such a great way to put it!

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  39. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Your words are so true - Aviana is free. She will live on in your hearts and in the hearts of so many who, like me, have never even met her - or you. I have no doubt she is running and playng and smiling down upon all of you. Know she will always be with you and if you believe and listen closely she will find ways to let you know that.
    I hope you will continue to blog in your own way. You have been such an inspiration and I know you still have more to give.
    Run free sweet Angel Aviana!
    Nancy

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    1. Thank you for reminding me. I am trying to be still and always listen. We try to never pay attention to dates…ever. One the one month mark, we happen to both have a really off day. It happened to be the one month. Later that night, we were trying to go to bed and something kept flicking in the house. We were following the sound, and it was the switch tripping in the laundry room. It's NEVER done that before. We got it to stop and went to bed. The next day it got me thinking….I called Dave and told him I think it might have been Avi. I told him we need to be opened to that sort of thing.

      I am crying as I write this to you. One Thanksgiving we had just started driving to my Uncle's for dinner, and out of the colds there was a rainbow, but not like any I had ever seen in my life. It was only TWO colors of the rainbow and everything else was blocked off. I asked Dave to look. How could that be? TWO colors so big, bold, straight up and down through the clouds. One color for Kama and one for Aviana. Unreal. I have to pay more attention and I appreciate you for reminding me.

      Thank you for always being here. I love your comments…every one. Thank you ❤

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  40. Praying for all of you!! Another Guat Mom who has followed your journey.
    Judi from Kansas City

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  41. Oh what a sweet little soul...I am sending lots of love, hugs and prayers your way during this time. I have never met any of you, but feel like I know your family since I have been following since your very first post. Your were lucky to have Avi, and Avi was lucky to have you. She is finally reunited with Kama girl and they are smiling down on you....I saw this on a friends FB post and thought of you...God is in control. When you feel like everything is falling apart, it could actually be falling into place. God has a plan.

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    1. Hi Jen ~

      I so agree with what you wrote. We think we are in control, but it's all an illusion. We aren't in control of anything. Everything really is falling together, we just can't see it. I always say, one day I will meet God and shake my head as he is explaining everything to me. "Oh, I get it…that's why you did that? Sorry, I freaked out. Ha Ha." He must laugh when he sees people, me included, spinning around like tops ; )

      Thank you for being here from the very first post. I am so grateful!!

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  42. I personally, along with our FB group WISH: Walking in Support and Hope, send you our love. -Kate Ousley

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    1. Oh Kate…thank you so much! L.O.V.E. to you all!!

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  43. So sad for you and your family but glad Avi is finally at peace. Sending you my love from PA and just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you.
    Dana

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    1. Thank you! It was so nice seeing you and meeting your Dave : )

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  45. So much love to you. Thank you for sharing with all if us. You are an inspiration as a.mom and wife. All of our love to you and dave. Tanya, Jesse, and Tylet

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    1. Thank you so much Tanya ❤ My love to you all…always.

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  46. May the angels come to greet her, and may friends and family hold you close.
    Beth in MN

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    1. So perfectly put! Thank you Beth ❤

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  47. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Im happy and relieved that Avi is free. God grant you all peace. Much love to you.

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    1. You are so welcome. I join you in your happiness and relief : ) Thank you so much!

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  48. I am so sorry for you! I never met you, but followed your blog.

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  49. I'm so sorry for your loss, but you're right: she's free. You are in my thoughts.

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  50. Jen, I've been reading your blog since the beginning, always amazed and inspired by your strength, love, kindness and will. You and Dave have been amazing parents to Avi and I think you gave her the greatest gift of all at the end..the gift of freedom. While others may have chased years more of painful treatments that did nothing to extend QUALITY of life, you chose to think of Avi. Instead of putting her through more pain and surgeries and misery that may have given her more months or years, you knew that her quality of life would have suffered immeasurably. Releasing her was a gift from wonderful and courageous parents.

    I am holding you both in the light. Fly free, Aviana! Godspeed!

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    1. Hi Diane ~

      Thank you so much for your complete understanding of everything. I truly appreciate every single word you wrote. I have never felt as much peace since the accident as I do now. I can't say it enough, because she is free - we are free. Because she now can - we can too. Because she is no longer trapped - we are not either. You are exactly right…a gift. A true gift. A gift to all…not only Aviana especially, but our whole family in knowing she is FREE, and in turn so are we! 4.5 years of being in a grief purgatory is too long. Much too long.

      Thank you so much or always being here. Thank you for your love and support. Always.

      My love to you!

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  51. Thoughts and prayers to you from another Guat Mama - hoping that peace will fill your mind and body. Rest easy Aviana and dance in the daffodils.

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    1. So beautifully worded. Thank you ❤

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  52. My heart breaks for you and Dave. There are no words to help only that y'all are in my thoughts and prayers today tomorrow and forever. Thank you for sharing Aviana and your love with her to complete strangers. Your strengh through this has been amazing and inspiring. You are the best Mommy ever and Aviana knew this. Love hugs and prayers to you Dave and the rest of the family.

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    1. Thank you Melissa! It is my pleasure to share Aviana with anyone who will listen : ) She was, and will always be one of the greatest gifts of my entire life. Thank you so much for your endless thoughts and prayers. I can't tell you how much they mean to me ❤

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  53. I wish I knew what to say. This hit me like a ton of bricks, I dont know why. All I know is you have let us into your life with your precious baby girl for a few yrs now. You've shared good times and bad. You let us see your pics of your family, your dogs, your pies and that precious Avi. I feel like I know you, Dave, Avi and Rainey as I am sure lots of people reading this do.
    I commend you and Dave for doing everything possible for this child to help her in ways only a parent would. You showered her with love. I'm so sorry for your loss. But like others have said I am sure her and Kama are having a big time now running through the fields of Heaven. No more pain, no suffering. That may not help you all right now but in time...
    God has a plan. I dont know what it is but it is. I just dont know. I am praying for you and your family at this very difficult time. Know that you all are loved by so many people you have never even met and we are all thinking, praying and sending love your way. (((HUGS)))

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    1. Thank you for your every thoughtful word! I so appreciate every one. You are absolutely right…no more pain, no more suffering. I could only tell what I could see, but not the deep abyss of what was really going on inside. I like to think though that someone above helped with that while we were taking and making all of the steps we needed to in order to get where we were going. Because aside from the obvious sadness I could see, she was content.

      Thank you for always being here : )

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  54. So so sorry for all you went and are now going through. I'm glad she's no longer suffering. I know you dedicated your life to her. I can't imagine how hard all of this is and will be. You and Dave are in my thoughts! Wishing strength and comfort for you! Xoxo hugs!

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    1. Thank you so much. It's an interesting thing to switch gears, but I at peace because she is and that is really luckily helping in everything ❤

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  55. Jen and Dave, I sit here thinking....what should I say. I should know what to say. I should know what not to say. But I don't. I don't because there are no words that I can utter that will make everything alright again. My heart breaks for you and Dave and for sweet Avi. You all are in my heart, thoughts, and prayers. Much love to you all. Becky, Shane, and Tucker

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    1. Thank you so much Becky! Thank you for being here. Thank you for your love…for everything. I know you know this journey well. Love you!

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  56. I have no words, except that you are in my heart, my thoughts, my prayers. My heart is breaking for you. All my love to you all.
    Jess

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  57. Hugs and wishes for peace Jen, Dave and Rainey. I know Avi has found the peace she wanted in Heaven.

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    1. You are so right…she finally has ❤

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  58. Jen and Dave... I am sure no words can offer comfort as you say goodbye to your beautiful girl. Just know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Aviana served a very special purpose... and we are all blessed to have "known" her through your blog.

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    1. Thank you so much. I am so thankful for your comment. I love reading ones like yours. Thank you.

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  59. I'm so sorry for your loss...

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  60. I"m so sorry you won't be seeing your independent little girl live her life out here, Life is not fair as you well know. I'm so so very sorry.

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  61. Jen, Dave, and Family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story, and beautiful daughter. You have all been an inspiration to me since I found your blog. I imagine that there are no words to comfort you at this time, but please know that my heart is with you!
    Lisa

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    1. Thank you Lisa. You're welcome. It's my pleasure to share Aviana. Thank you for following along, and for your love too ❤

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  62. Many prayers for your family at the loss of your beautiful princess. I pray that your princess is dancing in heaven with all of the other beautiful Guatemalan princesses who were gone way too soon from this Earth.

    Aileen

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    1. Hi Aileen ~

      I too share in your prayer with you. It's a perfectly beautiful one : ) Thank you.

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  63. Aww. She is free. Wishing you comfort, peace and joy at this difficult yet special time.

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  64. Sending love and courage from Montreal , It has only been about a year since I was lucky enough to find your blog and wish I had left more comments over time. Avi and you all moved into my heart. I work with special needs children and know the gifts they are able to share , Avi will continue to be so magical to me and has been able to change my views on so many things , Thank you for being the gifted writer that you are and sharing your journey in words , You have made me stronger and I am so grateful ,
    Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you as you move through the next hard stage of missing her physical body but know her spirit will be strong and with you forever ! But still so sad , I do love the thoughts of her being free from any pain and suffering , Thank you again for sharing , sending so much love over the miles
    Shannon

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    1. Hi Shannon ~

      What a blessing your comment was to me each time I read it. Thank you so very much for sharing with me!

      I am so grateful for people such as yourself. With every step over the past 4.5 years I have been in complete awe every time I met anyone in the field working with special needs kids like Avi. I don't know you Shannon, but what I do know is you are a beautiful soul. I appreciate everything you do. Your patience, your love, and the gift of your being. Thank you so much for loving children like Aviana. And thank you for every word you wrote to us ❤

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  65. Jen & Dave,

    Sending LOVE and light to your beautiful family. You are amazing parents and you and Avi were so lucky to have each other. It's not up to us to understand your journey but THANK YOU so much Jen for sharing. Some days pass by in our home that aren't memorable. Reading about Avi touched my heart and made me try to enjoy every moment that I have with my kids. Let her spirit shine eternally!

    Love,
    Michelle (berkeley)

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    1. Thank you so much Michelle. What you wrote was so beautifully worded. I so appreciate it and love you so much!

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  66. Our prayers are with you Jen. I can only imagine how hard this is. But agree, she is finally free from the shell she has had to live in for the last 4 years. I do believe she is running, playing and most of all laughing because she can feel joy again.

    We love you guys,
    Penny

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    1. Thank you Penny! I love you too, and thank you so much for all of your support of the past years with Aviana.

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  67. I don't even remember how I happened upon your blog, but I've been reading it for a few years now. I'm crying my eyes out and grieving for your family even though we've never met before. I just wanted you to know that you touch so many lives. Thank you for sharing your story with the world and I pray that you find peace.

    Hugs,
    Krista from Indiana

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    1. Hi Krista ~

      Thank you for following along and for caring! Thank you also ffor your prayers for peace. I really appreciate them : )

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  68. Thank you for sharing Avi's story with so many. It certainly touched my heart. Wishing you peace and healing always.

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    1. Thank you Melanie! It is my honer to share Aviana ❤ Thank you for following along and for the prayers for peace as well : )

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  69. I'm so very sorry.
    -Patti B.

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  70. I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your precious Aviana with all of us- she has truly touched my heart.

    Krista ( a fellow Guat Mama)

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  71. Jen and Dave,
    I, like many of the other posters here, have no words for what I'm feeling inside for you both. I heard of your story through my mother who works with an aunt of Jen. Immediately I was drawn to Jen's words and strength and bravery to let people into her inner most thoughts, feeling and into her heart. I've smiled so many times at your stories as well as cried for all of you. I've marveled at how you both have handled everything that's been thrown your way and seem to have worked together and remained a tight unit through it all. Not a lot of people could have handled things as you two have. The love you both showed your beautiful little Avi was so apparent. You are all in my thoughts! I picture that gorgeous smile of hers as she runs around laughing and playing with Kama in heaven. She will forever be your angel. I suffered the sudden loss of my children's father a year in a half ago and know that I found so much strength in reading everyone's words of encouragement...at my own pace...when I was ready. As I hope you will as well. I pray you find peace and comfort in knowing you did right by your little girl. You showed her the most respect you could possibly show her by allowing her to go on her own terms. I feel like I could just keep talking to you endlessly because I just can't find the right words so I'll end it here. You and your entire family are in my thoughts and prayers. (((HUGS)))

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    1. Hi Jenn ~

      I have saved your comment in my inbox to write you back. I'm sorry it has taken me so long : / Thank you so much for your beautiful comments. I truly appreciate them, truly.

      I was so sorry to hear of loss as well! So deeply sorry. The video you made for him must have been beautiful. I listened to the song yesterday.

      And then most recently of your other loss, so many losses. I am happy the links might bring some sort of understanding. I know it is such a different thing to understand than other types of things. I hope they bring comfort and maybe also bring the family together in some way?

      I also heard what you were saying. I did write in I believe the previous post that I wouldn't trade one moment with Aviana and all is as it was supposed to be. It's a strange thing. She did go through a week of hell the previous year and they had the option to tell me of Palliative, but chose not to. Still I do believe it is as it was supposed to be, for sure. I just really want others to know about it more than anything, and in order to avoid the pain for their person that we saw Aviana go through unnecessarily.

      I am wishing you well too and surrounding you and your children with all the love I possibly can. Thank you so very much for being here and for following along. Your thoughts and prayers mean so much to me : )

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  72. I can't really come up with the right words, but I will try. Aviana's (and yours) is a beautiful story that teaches so much. Thank you for sharing it (and I hope you don't stop). Aviana touched so many people, and it makes me so happy to envision her running and playing and being reunited with Kama. You are such a beautiful person, so strong, and such an inspiration. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

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    1. Thank you! Thank you! You found the perfect words, as always. I am thinking by now you had your BABY! I have been so buried, I WILL find the time to come over and properly CONGRATULATE you and see your sweet boy : ) Love to you and thank you so much for being here!!

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  73. I'm a reader that seldom (if ever) comments - just wanted to say how sorry I am. I hope you find comfort from knowing that she is at peace - and reunited with her precious puppy once again too! Thank you for sharing her story.
    ~Elicia

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    1. I really appreciate your comment Elicia. Thank you for following along and for your well wishes : )

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  74. So sorry for your loss. You all did amazing things for Aviana through this entire time. God Bless and comfort you all during this time.

    Monty Owens

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    1. Thank you Monty. Thank you for all of the comments you have left. I have really appreciated all of your support…truly ❤

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  75. I send my heartfelt thoughts and prayers to you, Jen and Dave, and to all your family. When I read the title of your post, I knew that Aviana is indeed free. My faith doesn't teach that everyone goes to heaven, as some do, but it does teach that God is fair and just and so would welcome children who couldn't yet understand their need for the Savior. I know He welcomed your sweet Aviana into His presence. She now has a new body, knows no tears or pain. For some reason, in thinking of Aviana leaving her earthly body, I thought of the phrase President Reagan used when addressing the nation after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, as the nation watched. He said that morning the astronauts had waved and stepped aboard the Challenger and "then "slipped the surly bonds of earth and touched the face of God." I'm sorry if this seems a strange thing to come to mind. But I pictured Aviana slipping from the bonds of her struggling body and from this earth, and stepping safely in to the arms of Jesus to touch the face of God.

    May God comfort you with very special memories and the assurance that all you did was for the good of your very precious daughter. And may He comfort and uphold you with the love of family and friends during this time and also in the coming months and years.
    Nancy in the Midwest

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    1. Wow Nancy, how beautiful a thought! Thank you so much for sending me what you were thinking. I really love to hear the hearts of others. Thank you also for your endless love and support!

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  76. Dear Jen, Dave and Family - We have never met, and I have never posted on your blog. I have, however, followed your story for many years. I am a fellow adoptive mama. I wish you peace, grace and comfort. Aviana touched so many lives - more than you will likely ever know. Her life here on earth had tremendous purpose. May she rest in peace with our loving Savior. Amy

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    1. So very beautiful Amy…thank you for saying all that you did.

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  77. Dear Jen and Dave and Aviana's Family,
    This is very hard, yet somehow also good news to read. Heartbreaking to know that she is now gone from here, but comforting to know that she will never, ever have to suffer again. I'm so thankful that I got to follow Aviana's story and be touched by her in a way I didn't think possible. I will never forget her. An absolutely beautiful girl, inside and out who had so much to teach us about love. Thank you for sharing her with us. I will be thinking about you. Know that all who have followed your story are carrying some of the grief and sadness for you. You're not alone.
    Love and prayers to you all,
    Emily

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    1. You definitely have a way with words. I have never thought about it quite like you put it…I really appreciate you for saying it in that way. You know what I mean, when someone says something and it changes your thinking. Thank you.

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  78. Jen,
    There is so very much I feel I could say, but finding the right way is just impossible. My heart feels for you all and I pray for you to find some peace during this time and to be comforted by so many memories of your sweet, sweet girl. I feel blessed to have been so lucky to work with her and meet you and your family. My thoughts are with you and Avi will always be in my heart. -Erin

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    1. Thank you Erin. We feel blessed to know you. Thank you so much for coming to Aviana's service! My mom was SO SAD she didn't see you or meet Harlow. She honestly couldn't believe it.

      I know you know how we all feel about you, but truly…you were put on this earth to do what you are doing and it shows ❤

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  79. Jen,
    My heart hurts so much today, reading this. I knew it was coming. I knew it was happening. But somehow reading those words "She's free" stabbed me right in the heart, yet I'm so relieved to know that Aviana is no longer trapped in a broken body that no longer works here on earth, that she is happy and smiling and talking again in Heaven, running and laughing. I truly believe that she is, her little soul is now free. My heart hurt for her while she was hear on earth. Now it no longer hurts for her. But it still hurts for you and Dave, because of your loss...which started on the day of her accident. My heart hurts for you two because I know that while you are happy that Aviana's suffering has ended, you will always miss your little girl. I pray that over time the happy memories will override the bad ones and that you two will have peace. I pray for peace in your hearts today, and always. Aviana will always be with me in my thoughts, in my heart. She will never, ever be forgotten.

    All my love and friendship,
    Trina

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    1. Thank you so much Trina, for everything and always! Yes, everything you said…the hurt from the day of the accident and all the way through. The peace for her, the sadness for us, yet the peace. Oh, it's all just one big mix of I don't know what. But above all, I am grateful. Grateful for friends like you!! Honestly. My love to you always…today, tomorrow, and forever.

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  80. The angels are rejoicing in heaven as they meet your precious Avi. I bet Kama is overjoyed as well. May God bring you a peace that completely passes all understanding. Vicki, Guatemala Grammy from Memphis

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    1. Vicki…what can I say…I just love you! Thank you ❤

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  81. I'm at a loss for words, I have read your blog for some time now. My heart aches for your family in your time of loss but I can't help but smile when I think of your sweet baby free from her little broken body. Thank you for sharing your little Avi with us. While I don't know you personally, I could just feel the love,passion,commitment and devotion you and Dave had for Avi. She was a very lucky little lady to have you two as her mommy and daddy.
    Tina
    Ogden,Ut

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    1. Hi Tina ~

      There's something about the way you write - I can feel your heart through your words. It's warm and sweet. I just know it. Thank you so much. I smiled as I read everything you wrote. My love to you.

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  82. I am so sorry to hear of her passing. I love how you titled it..."She's Free". Says it all with love. Thankyou for sharing her and your family's journey through this difficult time. Katrina R

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    1. Thank you so much. And thank you for the compliment. I sat down, and that's exactly the feeling which flowed through : ) : ) You are so welcome. Thank you for coming along!

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  83. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing the sad but courageous story of your beautiful daughter. I admire your choice of letting her make this last decision for herself. She was such a corgeous and brave little girl!

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    1. Thank you. I agree with my whole heart. She sure was wasn't she…from the day we met her, until the night she left us…she sure was. Makes me cry…happy tears.

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  84. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I have followed your blog and prayed for Aviana since the accident. I will be praying for you and your family as you grieve the loss of your beautiful daughter.

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    1. Thank you. And thank you for being here from the very beginning. That means so very much to me. ❤

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  85. Sending you guys love and hugs. I am so sorry for your pain and loss. Your beautiful Avi touched so many people's hearts.

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  86. My heart hurts for you and your family as you go through this difficult time. Sending you love and strength.

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  87. Jen, I am so sorry for your loss. Sending hugs to you and your family from Kansas City XOXOXO

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  88. Aviana and Kama together again. What a joyous reunion they must be having. Thank you so much for sharing Avi with us. Hugs and kisses to you and Dave. Your dedication, strength, patience and love were a definite inspiration.
    Ruby

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  89. I only discovered your blog quite recently, but when I did, I read it from the very beginning. Beautifully written, so moving. My heart goes out to you all. RIP Aviana.

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  90. jenn, dave & rainey- as a fellow guatmom who has followed your blog since the accident- my heart goes out to all of you. words cant express howmuch you are all loved by the adoption community..You are an inspiration to so many people- even through all of this your strength & courage in unwavering... sending ((((((HUGS))))))) from NJ... Avi is having herself a big ole party with Kama- Alex

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  91. Thinking of you both today...sending love and peace. Kristine xo

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  92. I am so sorry for your loss. Heaven gained a beautiful angel in Avi. I know she is having a blast playing with Kama, running around, and as you put it, being free. While words do not provide much comfort now, just know that one day you will see her smiling face again as she runs to you and gives you a big hug when you get to heaven as well. Praying for your entire family right now.

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  93. Praying you sense the Lord's presence during this difficult time. I'm sure the Lord has mixed emotions right now, dancing with Aviana and holding your hurting hearts.

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  94. Jen and Dave, you have been courageous and kindly subsequent to the accident and during the last four and a half years. You have been relentless and creative in seeking and adopting remedial procedures to improve Aviana’s condition. You have been tireless in your pursuit of every avenue available to help Aviana return to normalcy, from years of “patterning” and physical therapy procedures to feeding her only healthy organic foods to the love and care you give her daily. You have been focused on Aviana’s well being, whether it is the unending physical therapy given her or, finally, the decision to allow her depart so that her difficult times can end and her new life can begin. You have been patient beyond belief and strong beyond expectation. During this very difficult time and emotional toil you have been good and kind people. You have put your own burden aside to help others in need at Kaiser and UC Davis hospitals and Loaves and Fishes. I just want to say that Aviana is proud of you, as are all of us.

    Roger

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  95. Jen and Dave, I have followed your blog since day 1. Your unwavering love and commitment to Aviana is and has always been an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing Avi with all of us. "Knowing" her and you has made me a better parent to my own Guatemalan princess. Avi has touched so many in her short life on earth, and I know in my heart that she will continue to touch us all from Heaven. Please know that we are all praying for comfort and peace for you and your family.

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  96. My heart breaks for you, but I'm so happy for Aviana. She is now free from the body that bound her on earth. She's up in heaven running and playing with Kama and looking down proudly on you. My thoughts are with you as you get through this tough time. I've followed your story for many years. You are a strong family who made a very selfless decision. Aviana is/was a very lucky little girl.

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  97. * * * * * * * * * *

    So I am glad not that my loved one has gone,
    But that the earth she laughed and lived on
    was my earth, too.
    That I had known and loved her,
    And that my love I'd shown.
    Tears over her departure?
    Nay, a smile
    That I had walked with her a little while.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    Thinking of you, Jen, and your family. I can't stop humming "Songbird" and I've been singing it to Aiden when I rock him to sleep at night, always thinking of Avi. I hope you and Dave are doing okay and have peace in your hearts knowing that your little girl was very loved, and she knew she was loved -- by her parents most of all.

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  98. Jen - I am so very sorry. I can't even begin to imagine the roads you have been down. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I will pray for peace and comfort to wash over you and your family.

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  99. Jen and Dave, you don't know me, but you are in my heart and in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing your family's journey with us. Avi will never be forgotten. Jen, you are a gifted writer and an amazingly honest human being, you've taught me so much! Wishing you peace in the knowledge that your sweet Aviana is forever happy and free.

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  100. No words praying for comfort in the future.
    Lydia

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  101. So sorry for the loss of your sweet girl.....

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  102. For Aviana...for you. Peace and love from the Johnson's.

    "Forever Young"

    May God bless and keep you always
    May your wishes all come true
    May you always do for others
    And let others do for you
    May you build a ladder to the stars
    And climb on every rung
    May you stay forever young
    Forever young, forever young
    May you stay forever young.

    May you grow up to be righteous
    May you grow up to be true
    May you always know the truth
    And see the lights surrounding you
    May you always be courageous
    Stand upright and be strong
    May you stay forever young
    Forever young, forever young
    May you stay forever young.

    May your hands always be busy
    May your feet always be swift
    May you have a strong foundation
    When the winds of changes shift
    May your heart always be joyful
    And may your song always be sung
    May you stay forever young
    Forever young, forever young
    May you stay forever young.

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  103. My cup runneth over...may she now run free like her little spirit. My heart goes out to you, I just hope hope your hearts may heal and you find peace in your own lives..you have been wonderful loving parents to her, I am so sorry. (((gentle hugs)))

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  104. No words...just sending lots of love and hugs.
    Melissa

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  105. Hi Jennifer and Dave,
    I received the message yesterday that your precious little Angel is now in the arms of our Lord. Little Aviana was such a true blessing and inspiration to you and Dave and everyone around her. Its amazing how lifes challenges truly brings out the beauty of Life and how it needs to be lived.
    I know Aviana is free and HAPPY, I pray that God shows you that in your day to day life, as Avi is still here, with you, dave and rainy, and you will see her again. Jon told me about KAMA, what a TRUE MIRACLE.. the signs are already showing :) We love you and if there is ANYTHING we can do , we are here with open arms! Love Always, Mayra and Jon

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  106. I am so sorry... just don't have the words to express the sadness!
    Blessings to you and Dave!

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  107. Jennifer and Dave,
    I have followed your blog since Aviana's accident. I am so sorry! I have a little Guatemalan princess who will be 7 in January and I have always felt a connection to you. When I saw Avi had gone to Heaven on Saturday it took my breath away. I am praying for comfort and peace for all of your family. Thank you for sharing Aviana's journey with us she was such a blessing.
    Carolyn

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  108. I can just see Aviana running through the gates of Heaven. She is being cradled in the arms of the Father right now. I know Kama is so happy to see her and was waiting for her the minute she entered Heaven. Sending prayers to those left behind and praise to God for his loving mercy.

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  109. Oh Jen, I am just reading this. I am so sorry. I am so so sorry ya'll aren't together anymore. She is with God and not hurting. She's running around and dancing and twirling in circles. I am sitting here crying at the thought of it. You will be together again.

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  110. ^Forgot to say that tomorrow is All Saints' Day. I will be thinking of Avi when I go to mass. She is a saint now.

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  111. Jen,

    I used to work in the child care room at the Roseville Sports Center and had the pleasure of meeting Aviana. A coworker told me about the accident and gave me the URL to your blog when you first started it. I have been following it and praying for your family ever since. I am deeply saddened by your loss, but am also happy that Aviana is free. You and Dave have amazed me so much over the years. You are such strong, loving, and inspiring people. You two gave your all to Aviana and provided her with the highest quality of life possible while making difficult decisions and facing constant challenges.

    This is the first time I have commented on your blog. I wanted to take a moment to tell you how much Aviana has inspired me. I was in college and unsure of what I wanted to do with my life when I heard about the accident. I was introduced to the field of occupational therapy through a friend and thought it was something I might want to do. After reading about Aviana’s therapy experiences on your blog, I realized I could help families in similar situations as an occupational therapist. I immediately changed my major and will be graduating with a master’s degree in occupational therapy next May. Throughout my time in college, people have frequently asked me why I want to be an occupational therapist. I always think of Aviana and tell them about the amazing girl that inspired my career choice.

    Thank you for sharing your family’s story on this blog. I wish your family the best and will continue to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

    Caitlin

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  112. Sending thoughts of love, comfort and peace to you, Dave, and your family. Hugs from St. Louis...

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  113. Jen and Dave, you don't know me, but you are in my heart and in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your family's journey with us.Sending you love and strength.
    Christina Santos

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