Struggles and sorrows and lessons learned help us to become more of who we are supposed to be. They teach us things that are truly important, show us relationships that are really meaningful, and allow us how to live a more intentional life. Although I would never have asked for these trials in my own life, I understand their purpose in my life. I mean, does anyone go through life without change, growth, adversity? No they don’t. I am no different. What can be different is what I make of it.
I met Amy and Misti through the words on their blog. I learned of their struggles and their hearts and their strength by reading the stories of their son Ryder through my tears. And honestly, most times I couldn’t read them on my own because of the sadness so Shannon would read them to me. You see, after years of fertility struggles, in August 2010 Shannon and I lost a baby boy at 5 1/2 months gestation. I couldn’t understand it. I couldn’t bear it. Just a short time after this, another family was giving birth to a baby boy at 6 months gestation. This baby boy, Ryder, was given such a slim chance of survival after birth. He was born on the very cusp of being able to receive life-saving treatments. But he did make it! He was in the NICU for months and has endured several surgeries and every day is another battle for this family. They recorded all of the ups and downs, highs and lows, every treatment he received and how it worked or didn’t work through their blog. We had never met but one thing that crept into my heart was the love they had for their son. With every word, I felt their love for him. And it helped me be able to continue to love our son as well. We finally met about a year later and this guy melted my heart! I love Misti and Amy and Ryder and they have become very good friends. I have so much admiration for their strength.
And then… the time came that they decided to grow their family! Here comes Emery! 🙂 This little angel is perfect in every way. She is beautiful and sweet and loves to snuggle. I am so excited to see their hearts fill with more love than even they knew was possible. It’s amazing! I love that Ryder has a little sister now and that Emery has this amazing big brother. They will always have each other.