Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Dear friends,

It’s been a week since I’ve updated you. I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving celebration. We had a nice sit down meal at Linda’s house at noon, which was wonderful because we didn’t starve ourselves waiting until the normal afternoon time. The food was great, and with only two families it was nice and simple. There are certainly lots of things to be thankful for.

I am thankful that I got my garage cleaned out so I can park my car in it again. I am thankful for the freezer that was given to us to store Madeline’s milk in. I am thankful to all of you for your support, prayers, generosity, meals, encouragement, help around the house and with the kids, and for your love for us and for Madeline. I am mostly thankful to God for hearing our prayers and helping Madeline get better each day.

Madeline had a few dips this past week. To the nurses, that’s normal, but to us we are in awe that nearly 4 months into this and we still don’t have Madeline figured out. She is still just as close to death today as she was the day she was born. Lisa and I talked about how what started out as a race has now turned into a marathon. We still don’t know how long Madeline will be here at Children’s or what she’ll do next week.

You have all asked how you can help and our answers have always been the same: “we don’t know, just pray for Madeline.” While we still want your prayers, we have talked about some tangible ways that you might be able to help bless us. Most of our daily struggles have to do with time. I have a full time job and Lisa has to juggle Madeline’s 3 siblings and both of us want to spend time at the hospital with Madeline, so a lot of things around the house fall through the cracks.

Think about if your life got really busy, maybe you had to take on another job or something, what are things that you would appreciate help with? Meals, grocery shopping and help keeping the house clean are biggies. One idea Lisa came up with would be if someone(s) came over to decorate our house with our lights and Christmas decorations. Another is that I have this project with building a cover over our deck, and I could use some help getting it finished.

If you would like to help us and are able, we would certainly appreciate it. Please let us know and we will be glad to give you some suggestions, even if you don’t live near us. It’s a humbling thing to ask for help, but we can certainly use some, forgive us if we don’t always have a specific answer for you. Mostly I appreciate all of you being there for us, and letting us know you care for our little girl Madeline Grace.

Shanker & Lisa

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