I can see clearly now..well at least better


When baby girl was born, she had to be put on the ventilator to be able to breathe and sustain life.  Eventually, as her lungs matured, they weaned (decreased)  her off the ventilator and on to high flow oxygen (CPAP).  Since she was only born at 24 weeks gestation and only 1 pound 3 oz., they had to give her lungs a lot of oxygen (help) to be able to function properly. They were able to eventually put her on regular nasal cannula and able to completely wean her off the oxygen 2 weeks before discharging home.

When a baby is given too much of anything, it can be bad.. and that was the case for baby girl.  She was on oxygen for too long, causing damage to the vessels of her eye.  Here is a textbook definition of her diagnosis:

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding disease caused by abnormal development of retinal blood vessels in premature infants. The retina is the inner layer of the eye that receives light and turns it into visual messages that are sent to the brain.

Basically, she could have been blind.  There are five different stages in which the doctor is able to determine if her eyes are getting better or worse at each visit and draws a picture for us.  Here is a description of the five stages:

Stage I — Mildly abnormal blood vessel growth. Many children who develop stage I improve with no treatment and eventually develop normal vision. The disease resolves on its own without further progression.

Stage II — Moderately abnormal blood vessel growth. Many children who develop stage II improve with no treatment and eventually develop normal vision. The disease resolves on its own without further progression.

Stage III — Severely abnormal blood vessel growth. The abnormal blood vessels grow toward the center of the eye instead of following their normal growth pattern along the surface of the retina. Some infants who develop stage III improve with no treatment and eventually develop normal vision. However, when infants have a certain degree of Stage III and “plus disease” develops, treatment is considered. “Plus disease” means that the blood vessels of the retina have become enlarged and twisted, indicating a worsening of the disease. Treatment at this point has a good chance of preventing retinal detachment.

Stage IV — Partially detached retina. Traction from the scar produced by bleeding, abnormal vessels pulls the retina away from the wall of the eye.

Stage V — Completely detached retina and the end stage of the disease. If the eye is left alone at this stage, the baby can have severe visual impairment and even blindness.

Baby girl had stage 3 when we took her home from the NICU. They were VERY concerned about her and wanted to make sure we did NOT miss her first follow-up appointment, because she was only 2 stages away from having her retina detach, causing blindness in both eyes.

We prayed, and prayed and prayed more over baby girl.  Even our pastor prayed over her for complete healing in her body.  God is so good (even in the bad times), because let me tell you at the first follow up appointment from being released, the Ophthalmologist thought he was looking at a different baby.  He called her a “miracle” and how her eyes have gotten so much better, so fast!

Let me show you a little of what we were looking at in the beginning from her first appointment from when she was first born, to now.  Her eyes are not completely healed, but we are getting so close and know it’s in her future!

She left the hospital at Stage 3, zone 2
2nd appointment Stage 1 zone 3 (getting better!)
Same result at 3rd appt. no major changes

All  I can say is, wow! She is doing amazing and she is able to follow without straining of any vessels and she really works hard to listen to everything going on around her!

**Please say a little prayer for complete healing of her eyes, and the damage that was done due to being so premature, to be gone and have no lasting effect!**

©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.


2 months!



On this day, two months ago, Shane and I took a leap of faith and followed what God has finally called us to do.  Foster/Adopt a child.   He was brought to us the day after Brielle turned 3 and it has definitely been a whirlwind ever since!

I used to say “time flies” all the time for Brielle when she was growing up and it feels like that is all we same for him as well! He literally came to us at 14 months non-verbal, not able to walk, and just overall developmentally delayed.  He has come SO FAR is such a short amount of time and even started calling us mommy and daddy (he hears Brielle do the same) and we are just amazed at how much he can verbalize now!  He also has started this little crooked run when he thinks we are playing hide and seek/chasing each other.  It’s beyond precious and it’s so unique just for him!

He had his 60 day hearing Aug. 11th and that was a very interesting hearing to determine where the court system thinks he should be placed/is any family members have stepped up and shown interest in wanting him placed with them.  Well, turns out an aunt (of course, always an aunt, right?) stepped up and now little mans legal worker has to submit a home study on the aunt to see if she has a clean background/place to live to be able to provide for him.  We won’t know anything more, until after that is completed.  Something was said in the hearing that did really bother me though.. the lawyer stood up and asked the legal worker if “the foster family is becoming too attached too quickly”, and he said yes.. then she proceeded to move up the home study date to be completed within 2 weeks, in hopes that he is removed from our house and reunified with his family.

THIS right here.. is why the system is crazy!  We will forever continue to show him the same love, affection, and protection as we do with Brielle.  He is in our care at this time and we are going to do the best we can to make sure that he succeeds and he gains confidence and independence, so that one day he will be able to contribute to society, instead of following in mom and dads footsteps.

He will do amazing things in this life, and we just hope the little bit of time that we do have with him, sticks, and he knows what real love and affection is.

Cheers to two months with the Johnsons, little man!!


(I REALLY wish I could show y’all his precious and adorable smile! He is SO photogenic)

©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.


Lucky number Ten!


Our foster journey has been nothing short of eventful.  When we first were praying and were called to do this, God put it in our heart to reach out and call an adoption agency to see what we needed to do to get started.

Little did we know, that through MANY tests, training, certifications,  and switching agencies, we were finally licensed June 9,2016.  We didn’t know when we were going to get “the call” for our first placement, but we did know that it probably wouldn’t take that long since there are unfortunately so  many foster children in the system, just in Texas, right now.

What we thought was going to happen was that they would call us and ask if we accept the information given for a child, and then we will get the child.  Nope, they call and ask us if we accept (apparently they do this to MANY families at the same time) and then submit our home study to the agency, and then they choose (I’m assuming) which family would be the best fit the child!

Well, the phone call finally came  (what we call, our lucky number ten), and for some reason, I had almost just mentally put myself in a place where I knew not to get excited anymore for something that may not happen.  It wasn’t until literally less than ten minutes after asking me if we would accept, that she called back and said they chose us for a little baby boy (well technically he is over 1, so not a baby.. but you get it)!

He arrived to our house around 6:45pm the day after Brielle turned 3, and it has been a whirlwind of a week, with hopefully a very relaxing week coming up this week!  He came to us with very little supplies, and so with a lot of clothes shopping, donations, and grocery shopping, we have made it, and we thank God for providing us with such giving friends and family and can’t wait to see this little boy prosper and grow in Gods grace!

Please pray for his family (specifically his parents) to have the strength, endurance and patience to get the help they need, so that this precious, happy boy can return home to them.  Pray for our strength, wisdom, and grace to give everything we can to him and Brielle and show how much love we can give.

Thank you everyone for following along!


©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

Haven of Hope Retreat 2016


Haven of hope (1)

This years Haven of Hope retreat was very different for me, than last year was. I had just lost Rochelle two months before going on this retreat for the first time (for grieving mothers who have lost children) and I wasn’t fully prepared to embrace the entire weekend. I took so much away from it last year (which you can see here), but I also went in a downward spiral of depression, anger, and have had to learn how to cope with my grief of this past year.

Friday night was filled with getting settled into our room  (and meeting our roommates) and having dinner at 6pm.  This year they sat us down at the table next to someone, and during/after dinner we got to know them and share their story with the rest of the group.  It is always so sad hearing the loss of other women’s child(ren), but it is so good that we are surrounded by each other, and we can have a person to learn on and understand all weekend.  I stayed up late Friday night talking to my roommate Lauren and playing board games, so fun! Haven’t done that in a while.

Saturday morning started early for me, because I got up before sunrise, and it was so cold (which I definitely did not prepare for), but it definitely woke me up better during my morning walk.  After breakfast, we all broke out into our small groups (yay! Susan Gray did awesome leaders ours this year, and I was so blessed to be with those other mommas in our group) and shared such deep, personal stories with one another, that will only be kept there.  After small group, we broke out into breakout sessions (I personally attended the “dealing with fear after the loss of a child/struggling with life after loss” groups) and they were amazing and helped me learn better coping mechanisms and realizing to let go of some of my fears associated with Brielle doing certain things. Craft time was after and that was amazing (we painted candle holders in one and we made glass pictures in another) and so fun!  We had fellowship, prayer, worship, candle lighting, and slideshow o the rest of the night and it was SO good!


Sunday morning started in a similar way, that I woke up before sunrise to get my morning walk in and just to breathe.  I liked to take this time to pray/thank God for all that I had and all that He has done not only for me, but the people surrounding me.  After breakfast, they all gave away prizes to each one of us (yay!!) and then we had a guest speaker, then Pastor Sandra King gave such a wonderful sermon again and her analogy this year was that sometimes you just have to life yourself up from the ground, and rise to what God is calling you to do.  She said “it’s okay to grieve to be sad, and to cry over the loss of your loved one, but don’t let those emotions consume your life”.  I loved every word she spoke and I love getting to hear her speak the Word of God.

I hope the pictures speak for themselves, but I just had an amazing weekend, and I am seriously counting down the days I get to attend next years retreat!

©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.