Someone once told me that God gives you the desires of your heart so that He can fulfill them.
Dreams. Dreams of a baby, multiple babies. Dreams of growing their family.
News. Unexpected news. News that their dreams weren't going to come true the way they had always hoped them to.
A diagnosis. A starting point, void of comfort.
Plans. Several plans. Different treatments, different doctors, the same goal.
Tears. Anger. Frustration. Questions. Longing...so much longing.
The first IVF. Failure. Heartache. Emotional exhaustion.
Selflessness. Love. One more try, for her husband.
Success! Sweet, sweet success. And a double blessing: twins.
Joy. Pure joy. Elation. Relief.
More news. An unexpected loss. Still, remaining hope...one baby.
An ultrasound. More news. A Congenital Heart Defect: Atrioventricular Septal (Canal) Defect.
Another unanticipated road. Preparations. More plans. And faith. Lots of faith.
Unexpected news, plans, preparations, and difficulties were things Adam and Lauren knew all about. If any two people could walk this road and walk it well, they could.
And on October 5, 2016, they started on that road with their miracle baby, Eleanor. They were quickly immersed into a new life filled with love they could never put into words, worries that haunted them night and day, and unexplainable hope. A new life that included appointments, medications, plans, set-backs, then new plans...and strength that could only come from above.
The first eight months of Eleanor's life were spent as described above. Adam and Lauren worked passionately with the team of doctors they chose to care for their baby's CHD to postpone her open-heart surgery for as long as possible. And because of a miracle that could only happen by the hand of God, they succeeded.
At eight months old, Eleanor had open-heart surgery to close the holes in her heart. The surgery was successful!
I can't imagine the emotional rollercoaster Adam and Lauren rode during the several years between starting their journey to conceive to their daughter's surgery. The devastation of the infertility diagnosis, the hope for different treatments, the disappointment when they weren't successful, the hope when IVF finally worked, the heartache when they lost one of their babies, the CHD diagnosis...it's just so much.
But they stayed the course. And the determination, strength, and heart that both of them write about Eleanor having throughout their blog...baby girl got it from both of them.
After surgery, it was time for them to live and enjoy life with the baby girl they had dreamt of having for so long. And that's exactly what they did.
Their story doesn't end there.
At the beginning, I shared a piece of wisdom that was once shared with me:
God gives you the desires of your heart so that He can fulfill them.
That's exactly what He did for Adam and Lauren...but He didn't do it just once. He did it twice.
When Eleanor was 11 months old, Adam and Lauren received what is arguably the most shocking news of their lives:
They were pregnant.
Without medication, without IVF, without ever thinking that naturally conceiving a baby would be a possibility for them, their dreams came to fruition once again. They were going to have another baby!
(See the proof of shock below, along with such an amazing testimony of their faith, hope, and endurance.)
By the time I met this family, they were just weeks away from welcoming Lucy as the fourth member of their family. And they knew what story they wanted to tell right away: the story of them just being together. All they ever wanted to be was a family, and thus their hearts are warmed the most when that's what they get to do: just be together. They decided to include their parents in the session, as they have been an integral part of their story from the start--supporting them through the valleys, rejoicing alongside them atop the mountains, helping with Eleanor, and now helping with Lucy--and I think their plan turned out just perfectly.
The normalcy of life was all Adam and Lauren ever wanted. Once, the days of sharing coffee before the kids woke up, snuggling together, sharing their love for music with their kids, and just soaking up the little moments seemed so far away. In time, that once coveted life became their reality. And one of my favorite things about this family is that they don't take any of it for granted.