When I got home late last Wednesday night, I saw that Ryan and Kate had already announced Ellie’s birth to their friends and family: “Proud parents to an Angel” I hadn’t stopped thinking of their family for a second. There were so many tears in that tiny hospital room. Mine were still running down my cheeks, even hours later. But then, I guess, some miracles make you smile with joy, and some miracles tear your heart in two.
Their journey has been an immensely difficult one, from the moment they received the heart breaking diagnosis of a genetic disorder called,Trisomy 18. Babies with this condition, are generally considered “incompatible with life” When the devastating news came, their plans of a joyous birth were replaced with meetings with doctors, NICU nurses, counselors, and funeral directors. The outlook was not good, but they hoped for the best. Kate and Ryan turned to God to guide them, and to their doctor, family, and friends to support them through the uncertainty ahead. Kate began to blog about her journey, sharing everything, all the way up until her induction on Wednesday. Then suddenly, there Ellie was, with all of her family there, waiting anxiously to meet her.
Sweetest baby. Pretty hands, toes, crown of dark wavy hair, and the cutest little button nose. Really, the face of an angel. So beautiful.
So many embraces. Tissues and tears. Such a sad and difficult time. But, also quietly peaceful, and powerful. So beautiful.
I keep looking at the pictures. Recalling their words. Thinking of how perfectly, and intensely, they love her. Of the doctor and the nurses. Particularly Kathleen, who was like an angel herself. There on her night off, because she met Kate and Ryan once, and felt called to help their family. Holding their hands, weeping with them, bathing Ellie with such a gentle and loving touch. Aunt Meg, dressing her in a beautiful smocked gown: a gift from Grandma. Kate’s dad’s hand on her shoulder. Juliana, smiling sweetly at her little sister. Ryan holding both his girls tightly. Kate. Her tears. Of the friends, old and new; sending prayers, flowers, phone calls. Later, the church; filled with people, there to celebrate Ellie’s life.
Ellie’s life, while so sadly short, has touched so many. Connected us. Changed our hearts. Filled us with love. In the brief time her sweet soul was here, she affected others in a way so much bigger than her tiny angel body, before she was called peacefully home.
It’s a miracle how much love can fit into a single moment.
They asked me to be there with my camera. They asked me share her story, in pictures, with all of those who have wrapped them in love along the way.
This is the story of a beautiful, courageous, amazing family, and their miracle named, Ellie.
Please pray for them.
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