We are so excited to have Rebecca Hines @Sadiegrace_xo with us as our first Spotlight Interview: Children’s Edition. Rebecca is an Air Force wife, mother of three, and is especially passionate about her family’s journey regarding her daughter Sadie’s medical diagnosis. Her family has come together strong and empowered, for Sadie’s health and happiness, despite all the navigating and continuous changes in the military world.
Tell us about your experience as a military wife and mother.
“I met my husband after he had already served five years in the Air Force. I had a serious relationship with a guy who served in the Marines and thought I knew what to expect. I realize now how much each branch is different. Comparing the two is like apples and oranges now that I can look back on it.
He got orders to Florida, so we got married after nine months. I was bringing two kids into the marriage, and PCSing a week after we got married was an experience itself. My husband began his new career as a K-9 handler once we got to Florida. His work hours were insane! We are talking 14-16 hours a day. Thankfully, one thing the Marines had prepared me for was long workdays. We spent only two years in Florida before we got orders back to New Mexico which happened to be my hometown, and where we had originally met.
At that time, we were expecting our third child. I know God had his hand in that PCS, because he knew the support we would need with having a special needs child shortly after moving there.”
How Did you begin the process of searching for resources for your child? What resources did you find?
“Our daughter Sadie was born prematurely. Someone from Health Net Federal Services reached out to me and told me the military would loan us a hospital grade breast pump for the first 6 months, since our daughter was in the care of the neonatal intensive unit. When Sadie was 14 months old, we received a diagnosis of spastic quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy.
After receiving Sadie’s diagnosis, life became overwhelming fast. Not to mention I was dealing with postpartum depression and a little PTSD. Having a case manager through Health Net Federal Services was vital in helping me navigate what our new normal would look like. Our case manager would send direct links to different resources I could look into, such as; what it meant to be EFMP Coded and about the Echo program. She would call monthly to make sure all the referrals were being processed in a timely manner and that we were doing our part making the appointments and doing all the things.
When the time came for Sadie to need special durable equipment, she stayed on top of it making sure the approving process went as smoothly as possible. Our case manager was a rockstar by helping me get the services we needed for Sadie, despite the unfortunate season our base went through without a pediatrician.”
How do you hope to inspire other military families, with children who have special medial needs, using your own personal experiences?
“They say it takes a village. I pray that if you find yourself getting a life changing diagnosis that you know God is STILL good. He will meet you right in that season if you allow him to and will bless you with an overwhelming peace. I pray that you find a tribe that will fight the good fight alongside your journey.
We pray that our Sadie Grace will show the love and joy of Jesus to the multitudes. Dealing with anything involving the military tends to be a lot of hurry up and waiting. It may seem like everything was all rainbows and butterflies but it for sure had its times where I was ready to lose my ever-loving mind.
I have learned that you must advocate like a mother and stay consistent when it comes to your child’s health and their well-being. Nobody knows your child like you do.”
Even with all the challenges you have faced, you still have so much positivity to share with all of us! Where can we go to learn more about your daughter’s journey as a military child?
“Having Sadie has changed our lives for the better. We see life through different eyes because of her. Our faith grew bigger than our fear in 2018 when we got her diagnosis. God has blessed us beyond words. We knew we were not given Sadie to just keep her journey to ourselves. You can follow her journey on Instagram @Sadiegrace_xo and on Facebook at Sadie Grace.”