Today, our sweet, angelic Claire turns 17!!! Yep, same kid who wasn’t supposed to live to age 1. SEVENTEEN, YOU GUYS!!!!! I look back through all these pictures and remember how far we have come. I remember clearly how Scott & I felt early on after Claire’s birth. I remember being so scared… scared that I wouldn’t know what to do, how to love her, how to communicate, how to move on with “normal life.” I remember feeling forever changed; life would never again be what it was, no matter what happened. Not gonna lie, that scared the shit out of me. The one thing that always remained though from day one till now is LOVE. This raw, holy pull toward Claire, this feeling of purity and goodness and LIFE. I saw a little girl who knew nothing but love, who fought her hardest daily to deal with things none of us could ever fathom, and still she had smiles for us and endless cuddles. I watched a little girl who found her best friend in her big brother, @calhartley11 — He could fiddle with her hands and touch her face and act goofier with her than any of the rest of us could ever get away with! I saw a child who continued to progress through therapies and do so with such persistence and grace. I saw a young lady with a crap ton of sass and ‘tude just like her peers. The sum of all these parts equals the most badass, inspiring, gorgeous, strong, perfect 17 year old on the planet. Claire, I could not be prouder to call you my daughter. I love you so very much for ALL you are, how you’ve changed my whole life/perspective/heart, and for fighting so damn hard to still be here. I love you forever, my girl. 💗

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