Meet the family...on Earth and in Heaven
DH (dear hubby)
I'm married to a wonderful, thoughtful man who is the love of my life. His ability to understand my needs is unsurpassed, and he is exactly what and who I need. He is a college professor on the weekdays, a pastor on the weekends, a full-time father and husband, and a passionate follower of Jesus. And he sings like an angel. I'm so thankful to be his wife!
DD (dear daughter, aka "Sunshine")
DD is our fifteen-year-old ray of sunshine, the child who made me a mom. She was conceived after three years of a frustrating non-diagnosis of "unexplained infertility." She is creative beyond belief, smart as a whip with math, has a kind and sensitive heart, and is serious about her faith in Jesus. I am in awe of the person she is, and of the awesome responsibility of raising her in the love and fear of the Lord. I'm so thankful to be her mama!
DS (dear son, aka "Rainbow")
DS is our fifth child, born a little over three years after we entered the world of pregnancy loss. He is an eleven-year-old boy-becoming a young man. He is super talented with Legos, Pixel Art, and singing. He loves playing outside with friends and games with family, and he loves Jesus. I still have to pinch myself most days to believe that he is here, healthy and alive. I'm so thankful to be his mama.
Naomi is our second daughter. She was "born sleeping" at 18 weeks gestation when I developed an abdominal infection that threatened both of our lives. Her death both challenged and grew my faith like nothing else and introduced us to the community of pregnancy loss. I will always wonder what she would have been like, what kind of sisterhood she and Sunshine would have had, and can't wait to meet her in Heaven. I'm so thankful to be her mommy.
Kyria is our third child, the one we thought would be our "rainbow baby." She was conceived six months after we lost Naomi and would have been due on our eighth wedding anniversary. However, early ultrasounds showed that she was not developing as she should, and at 7 1/2 weeks gestation, we found that her heart had stopped. I carried her three more weeks, hoping to miscarry naturally, before choosing to have a D&C a week before Thanksgiving. She was the inspiration for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance "Yellow Rose" Sunday. I'm so thankful to be her mommy.
Jordan is our fourth child, conceived about seven months after we lost Kyria. One day after a home pregnancy test showed I was expecting, a blood test came back with results too low to give hope for a viable pregnancy. We hoped against hope for the rest of the week until I miscarried, several days before my 40th birthday. If he had lived, he would have been born around his oldest sister's third birthday. His brief life is a forever reminder to me that every life is precious, even it its earliest days. I'm so thankful to be his mommy.
Hope is our sixth child. She came into our lives earlier this year when a positive pregnancy test told us that we were expecting again. For five glorious days, we rejoiced, talked, and planned what our lives would look like with three children in our family. Then another phone call with a blood test that told us that our baby was already in Heaven. Our daughter named this baby, because she hopes we can have another baby. But for me, her name is a beautiful reminder to place my hope in Jesus, because He carries us through every storm. I'm so thankful to be her mommy.
Christmas is our seventh child. We found out only four months after losing Hope that we were expecting once again. Once again, a blood test a few days later gave us a glimmer of hope before the next one told us that our seventh child would spend Christmas in Heaven. We named him Christmas, for the time of year when he was with us and also because the annual celebration of Christmas is a reminder that we will someday witness and celebrate the second coming of Jesus - and we will be reunited with him and our loved ones again. I'm so thankful to be his mommy.
Ginger is our dog. We don't know her breed or her age. She showed up in our lives months after our sweet Black Lab, Beasley, died. She acts like a puppy, naps like a grandma, and is the gentlest dog in the world.
Mateo is our cat. We don't know his breed or his age, but we think he is about three years old now, and he has no tail, so we think he is a Manx. He entered our lives after we visited the local animal shelter to play with the cats on our daughter's twelfth birthday ("just to play, Mama, I promise?"). We fell in love with him, left without him, and then drove back that evening to "foster" him and see if he would get along with Ginger. He did, and we had a "failed foster" (aka "adoption") within a week. He is delightful. I always wanted a cat.