Friday, December 11, 2009

Graduation Banquet!

Tonight was Mike's graduation banquet and 'hooding ceremony'! We had a nice time with several of his classmates and professors and spent 5 hours driving and enjoying the evening. It was a lot of fun and I'm so proud of Mike for all that he's accomplished! His graduation commencement ceremony is next weekend.

While one of the professors was addressing the students speaking of perseverance he said that he thought the most he's ever seen a person go through and still graduate was the girl sitting at his table that had given birth just days prior (literally, baby was born on Sunday!) and had just finished up her classes. I won't minimize that ONE BIT, but it also made me think- what has Mike had to overcome to finish his degree?

Well, let's see, he started his master's classes in August 2007. We started our adoption in September 2007. Then he took a class off in January-March of 2008 because he and I were out of the country for 4 weeks and then he was home with the kids without me and still working for another 3 weeks of that. His next class started a week or two after we brought the kids home, mid-March 2008. Then in April 2008 we received the terminal prognosis for Emma after her heart cath and spent the next 2 months trying to convince doctors to do her heart surgery. Oh, and the day after that cath we spent a week in the hospital with Micah with pneumonia. June 2008 we spent 8 days in St. Pete, Mike was there for at least 4 of those, having Emma's tonsils and adenoids out (not a major surgery in general, but for her it was a very high risk surgery!).

And in August 2008 he started his second year of the program. He had kindof a busy first year, wouldn't you say? Well, August 2008 we said goodbye to Emma and handed her over for her open heart surgery, praising God when she came through WONDERFULLY! He spent 2 days with us in St. Pete and I was there for a total of 6. In January 2009 we found out we were expecting another little blessing. Along with that Michael doubled up on his course-load (already full time and now going double-time) to make up the class he'd missed the previous year. Now he had 2x the course load, full time work, a sick & pregnant wife, and of course our 4 kids. Considering the previous year, this one was pretty calm! But as Mike finished his last class, his last finals, four of our kids started school! He finished out his program just days before we welcomed Lynae into the family.

I'd say he endured quite a bit, and his perseverance (and yes, I'll say it, mine too!) was tested and he still came out on top! Congratulations Michael!! We're very proud of you!

I know he doesn't read my blog very often, but I will make sure he gets any comments you might want to leave for him. Those of you that have followed us from the beginning... this blog was started just a month or so into his Master's program, so you know very well what he's made it through this last 2 years!


  1. Congratulations, Mike! I know you must be relieved, excited, and all those extreme emotions at one time! What is the master's degree in?

  2. Congratulations Mike! And yes, I agree, you've definitely been through it! I'm ready for a nap just reading that post!

    Anyway, we are very proud of you and proud to know you (as much as one can know someone across the world via the internet).


    Lucille, William & Eden Brown

  3. Hooray Mike!!! I'm sure it is such a relief for you to be done, as well as a reason to celebrate. I know how proud Meredith is of you and she has a right to be. I know you are also proud of her for her holding down the fort so that you could get your degree. Congratulations to both of you!

  4. Congratulations Mike!! I can't even imagine what you have gone through to get your masters! I did it years ago when we had no kids and worked full time and it was HARD!
    Now what are you going to do with all your time ?!?!:)

  5. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!! you made it!!

  6. Big congratulations and way to persevere, to BOTH of you!!!

  7. He fought the good fight and stayed the course - congratulations to you both! Hugs to Michael from Russ and from me. We love you guys!

  8. CONGRATS, Mike!!! Goodness, what a HUGE achievement.

    Rejoicing with you tonight.

    The Salem family.

  9. CONGRATUALTIONS MICHAEL!!! We are so proud of you. Even with everything you had going on in life you made it!! That takes a very special dedicated person to accomplish getting a Masters through life’s challenges.
    We love you.

    Mom & Dad

  10. Congratulations! May God continue bless you as you follow his leading.

  11. Congrats to Mike and your whole family. It is a HUGE achievement.

  12. Wow, I'm impressed by what Mike and you have been through! Congratulations on your graduation!

  13. Wow! What an amazing father and husband! AND Wow! What an amazing wife and mother! You guys make us look like slackers! Congrats to the family!God Bless!