Mark, Jennifer, Ethan, Emily

This blog is about our family, who have dealt with the loss of two sons with Muscular Dystrophy, the adoption of a son diagnosed with Agenesis of Corpus Callosum and the birth our a healthy little girl. It's a crazy life, but we are loving it.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


So my birthday was on Thursday. It turned out to be a really great day. I'm very lucky to have family and great people I work with that went out of their way to make my 33rd birthday special. But, I couldn't help but reflect on my life at 33 years of age and all I have been through. I thought back at my life, just 10 years ago.

10 years ago, at 23 years of age I was pregnant with my first child. I knew I was having a boy. What I didn't know was that there was very specific reason for his lack of movement. I didn't know the baby I was carrying had Muscular Dystrophy. I didn't know the fight he would have ahead of his tiny little life. And most of all, I didn't know I would be burying him the next January.

My 23 year old self didn't know that after losing Chandler to MD, we would go through the grueling process of adoption of a little boy who would later have learning disabilities and behavior issues. I didn't know I would have the amazing privilege of carrying and giving birth to a healthy baby girl only to become pregnant and lose another little boy to MD after her.

Whew, that's a lot to go through in 10 years. Then, I always ask myself the silly question, "If you knew then what you know now, would you do it over again?"

My first instinct would be to say no, but that would not be my answer. My answer would be yes, I would do it all over again. I had the amazing privilege of  being Chandler's mommy for almost 7 months. That's about 5 months longer than the doctors thought I would have him. I got to know that amazing baby who was so sweet and beautiful with his big blue eyes and dark curly hair. That baby's life led my husband to Christ. My husband gave his life to Jesus in a breast pump room at St. David's hospital after hearing that our son would not likely live 1 year.

Here is our first family photo taken in the NICU in 2001.

Here is our precious boy at home. A nurse (who by the way took care of Chandler & Max) gave Chandler that dalmatian puppy. He loved that toy so much we had him buried with it.

Little did I know that after Chandler, Ethan would come into our lives. This little baby would give me back the life I had lost after Chandler died. When Ethan came to us, I wasn't living. I was just existing. Even though I knew Ethan had ACC and we didn't know what the future would hold, we knew we loved him and wanted him in our family with all our hearts.
Ethan's Adoption Day!

I also didn't know that I would have a beautiful baby girl. I really thought that after Chandler, I wouldn't try to have another baby. The risk was far too high for us. Well, God had different plans. Mark and I tried for another baby and were so very blessed with our healthy Emily.

Emily Claire
10 years ago I also didn't know that I would lose a second little baby to MD. Max was a complete surprise to us because we weren't trying to have another baby. After he was born, he was only with us for 6 weeks. Unlike Chandler, he never came home from the hospital. He wasn't as strong as his big brother. Carrying Max was hard emotionally on me. I knew I was carrying a boy, but we decided not to have additional testing done. We were praying for a miracle. Hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

Our Max

Family time with Max
People always use to tell me how strong or brave I am. That's not true. The truth is sometimes I'm barely hanging on. Some days I'm fine. Others, it's like the dam broke loose and I can't control my heaving sobs. But I know that someday, I WILL see my boys again. I WILL see them running and jumping and laughing and I WILL hear them say "mommy" and all the things I missed out on with them not being here.

I know people question Mark and I, wondering how could we stand having a second little boy, knowing he would die. Well, termination was out of the question. And most of all, I was praying for a miracle. God hears all our prayers. Even though he didn't heal Chandler & Max the way I would have liked, he did heal them and gave them eternal life with Him in Heaven. I chose to carry my boys because God chose to carry me.

Would I do it over again? Yes. My 23 year old self didn't know all the hills and valleys I would go through. But as I look around now, on Mother's Day in my 33rd year, I am happy. I am content. I don't know what the next 10 years will bring, but with God all things are possible. I am living proof.

Mother's Day 2011

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