Once upon a time there was a happily expectant family. Already blessed with a child, they were thrilled to be pregnant with their second child. They told all of their friends and family, purchased crib bedding and nursery decor, and the pregnant woman went to bed every night with her hand on her belly and What to Expect When You're Expecting on her nightstand.
And then something completely unexpected happened. Towards the end of her first trimester, the woman went in for an ultrasound, and with no warning whatsoever, was told that her baby had died.
We are that family.
I am that woman.
That was our reality just over five years ago.
A procedure was done and I went home no longer pregnant.
And then, perhaps because I was doing such a good job of keeping it together emotionally, my body fell apart.
Four surgeries happened: in January 2006, again in January 2006, January 2008, and March 2008.
And in between the surgeries, we were given the gift of joy: another baby. Born healthy.
And in between the surgeries and the pregnancy and the delivery and the raising of two beautiful girls, my body continued to throw a fit, this time in the form of chronic pelvic pain, often severe.
So here we are today, five years later, and our daughters are healthy and happy. Our youngest recently turned 4 and we are gearing up to celebrate our firstborn's 7th birthday, later this month.
And we are still one child short of what we expected.
So just after the 5th anniversary of losing our middle child, whom we named and loved and miss, we decided to pay tribute, somehow, to the memory of that sweet baby we wanted so badly.
Allow me to introduce to you a little boy who has stolen our hearts. This is Cristian:
Cristian is a little boy from South America, about to celebrate his 5th birthday. It is our privilege to sponsor him through Compassion International*. Cristian was born just a couple months before our baby's due date.
Sometimes Happily-Ever-After doesn't happen, but in this case, we found a way to make some good from bad.
*If you have never heard of Compassion, please take a moment to visit their website and learn more about them, 'Like them' on Facebook, or even consider sponsoring a child.