Spotlight on the Burtner Family

Monday February 22, 2016

We are a close knit family of four, dad-Brandon, he enjoys playing guitar in our Church’s worship band, being outdoors, and playing with his kiddos. Mom-Sandy, enjoys running, reading-on a Jane Austin kick right now ???? and I love to teach, pre-school age is my favorite. Big brother Elijah is all boy, he loves anything have to do with sports, super heroes and Legos. He just started Kindergarten this past September and grinned ear to ear when he got on that big yellow bus for the first time. He also loves to get a laugh, he is our little comedian. Eliana, our little Ellie Bellie. She has latched onto the color red as her favorite, she loves the show Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood, her face just lights up when the song comes on, and she gets her little hands a dancin’. Her favorite person is her big brother, he was the first to make her laugh, and still gets the best giggles out of her. As a family we just love being together, watching movies, playing games, going on hikes, our favorite time is Saturday mornings all snuggled in one bed watching cartoons J


We have four children, two angel babies up in heaven and two we get the privilege to care for here on earth. We lost our first baby at just 5 weeks in utero, we chose to name him Isaac (don’t really know if it was a boy, but had that feeling) which means laughter, we chose that name as a way to heal and as hope for the future. Then after 9 months of fertility treatment (I have a hormone imbalance) we were joyously expecting our Elijah Samuel. His name means The Lord my God hears my prayers, he was our answer to prayer and helped to soothe our broken hearts. Our next little one passed away at 11 weeks in utero, we had been trying for two years without fertility help this time. We found out it was a little girl and we named her Elizabeth (consecrated to God) Hope, because we would remain hopefully that the Lord would fulfill our desire to have another child. Only about 6 months after that we were very surprised by another positive pregnancy test! And our journey into the world of spina bifida began! We were terrified but knew that the Lord who gave us this wonderful gift would see us through. So on 3/8/13 at 2:22pm Eliana Elizabeth (my God has answered and I am his) was born. She spent 66 days in the NICU where she had three live-saving surgeries. She was found to be aspirating and we came home with an ng tube (feeding tube that goes in the nose to the stomach) and later she had G tube surgery. Since then she has shown just how much a fighter she is, the fighter we knew she was from the beginning. She charms everyone she meets with her gorgeous blue eyes and adorable smile (made even more adorable since the arrival of her top two teeth). Right now we are working on getting her to take food by mouth as she is not aspirating anymore. She has come such a long way and our family has grown so close through all the ups and downs.

We have been involved with GRSBA for roughly a year and a half.  We heard about if from a doctor at the Kirch Center we met with for a consultation before Eliana was born. I really did not start looking into anything until after she was born.  I would just want the support and love we get from the Association to continue. It has been so helpful to have a resource for information as well as a group who truly knows! We enjoy all the social gatherings and would love to have more informational seminars and workshops. Thank you everyone for welcoming us!

(photos by Karen Perry, KSP Photography)