Our precious daughter Anastasha was given a terminal diagnosis, anencephaly, at 16 weeks gestation. As followers of Jesus Christ and parents who love her, we felt privileged to guard her life by continuing the pregnancy until term. This website chronicles our journey with her. It was created with the desire that her life might bring glory to Jesus, bring hope to those who read it, and proclaim that ALL LIFE is created by God with purpose and is precious in His sight...
Mother's Day ten years ago was the hardest one that Tonya (and I) has ever walked through. That was the day that we found out that our first born, Ariana Ann, had leukemia. She was 22 months old and I was an intern in residency in Tulsa, OK. I found out about it while finishing call at the hospital. I came home, climbed into bed with Tonya and Ariana who were still asleep. And I told her that we had to take Ariana to the hospital. Our lives were radically changed on that day.
Every Mother's Day since has been filled with blessing and joy. Mother's Day last year, Anastasha was growing in Tonya's womb. Unbeknownst to us on that day, she was developing without most of her brain. We were excited about our new child that was coming. And we waited for her arrival with joy.
One year later, we spent the day in usual fashion. It began with breakfast in bed for Mommy, prepared lovingly by many messy hands. Then we went to church as a family, followed by a piano recital for the four oldest children.
But this year, the same little body of the little girl who one year ago was active and growing inside Tonya's womb was instead buried beneath the ground. And as we visited her grave today as a family, it was with sadness moreso than joy. Tears were shed by both of us, wishing she was here with us...even moreso today. And walking away from her grave as all of her siblings (including the two in the womb) climbed into the van to leave, felt...so...very...wrong. In every way.
A special happy Mother's Day to all of you mommies today. And may God's peace and special blessing be upon those of you who walked the incredibly difficult road of watching one or more of your precious children pass on into eternity ahead of you.