My beautiful daughter was born 12 years ago at 7:12 a.m. Who would have thought that this little girl would change our lives so immensely? Most children are life changing, but having a child diagnosed with special needs is life changing and heart breaking. As many of you know Cortney has Cerebral Palsy. She has mental impairment, physical handicaps, visual problems, sensory issues, and is delayed in most facets of her life. I can't explain how challenging and yet rewarding it has been to raise her. On one hand she breaks my heart everyday when I see how difficult it is to bring a spoon to her lips, or to change a prepubescent girl's diaper, or see her enjoy things that most toddlers enjoy.....I could sit and cry if I think about it too long. On the other hand she has taught us to NEVER take anything for granted, patience, patience, patience!, the constant joy of a little girl's laugh! The unbelievable feeling when she accomplishes things for the first time...even if it IS a swear word! It has taught us to not worry so much about what other people think....believe me we attract a lot of attention and have gotten some unneeded advice! It has taught us that there ARE TONS of wonderful, helpful, caring people out there! Many of my friends would never have come into my life without Cortney. She is truly a beautiful angel, who is blessed with a smile, laughter, and innocence at all times! But If I could snap my fingers and make her life "normal" I would do it in a heartbeat...but for now she is simply my newly, 12 year old...... Cortney. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! SWEET GIRL!