double birthday, double blessing

Today we celebrate two very special members of our family….Sidney is twelve and Ryan is eight.  People are always surprised they were born on the same day, four years apart.  Sidney loves it because she gets to share her birthday with her very special brother.  She was at Sadie Jamison’s 4th birthday party when we found out we were having another boy and knew she would not be happy.  During my entire pregnancy from the minute we told the kids we were having another baby, even after we told her she was having another brother, she told everyone she was having a sister named Shayla.  Even up until the day Ryan was born.  And after Ryan was born and she accepted the idea of being the only girl, she would tell everyone she gets to be the only princess.  And that she is!

Sidney is a very independent, organized, full-of-life girl who loves Jesus with all her heart and always puts others before herself.  She often has to be reminded to do what she wants to do instead of always giving up her own wishes and desires to make everyone around her happy.  Smart, beautiful and friendly, she is a girl who knows what she wants and is very responsible and full of life.  Sidney loves to make lists, help around the house, spend every moment possible with her sweet friends and absolutely loves to laugh.  The boys have asked numerous times “why does Sidney always get to be in charge when you are gone?” to which we answer, because you listen to her!  She keeps her brothers in line and is the secretary of the house who always knows what everyone should be doing and when.  Whenever our respite help is here, we simply tell them “if you have questions or need to find something, just as Sidney”.

Sidney, I love you more than I can express with words and am so proud of the young woman you are becoming. I look forward to the years to come when we get to do our girl stuff!  Enjoy your special day and know how excited we are to celebrate YOU today!  Happy birthday, my beautiful girl.

Ryan, where do I start?  You have change my life in ways I never knew possible.  Your dad and I are in awe of your strength and sheer resilience.  You have fought more hurdles and obstacles in your short eight years than many people will fight in their entire lives.  Celebrating your life today is a gift and we are so blessed to enjoy you every single day.  You are loved with a love I didn’t know my heart could possibly hold.  Such a blessing to our family, you have taught all of us to live every day in the moment, to experience the little victories as much as the big ones, to never take anyone’s health for granted, to accept people just as they are.  You live every day in the moment which is how all of us should strive to live and as long as your needs are met – food, shelter, a cozy bed and to be pain-free – you are happy.  Of course you love to have your way which makes us laugh and we usually give in to you if it’s reasonable.  And even though the world sees you as a broken little boy, God told me when you were only a year old “he is exactly as I intended him to be”.  And that you are – made in the image of God, perfectly created and loved.  You may have a lot of labels, disabilities, medical diagnoses and rely on others for one hundred percent of your care, but you are perfect and we love you so very much.  The road we have traveled since your birth has been long with many hurdles, but every second has been worth the trip. Today we celebrate your life and the beauty you bring to our family.  Our hearts are forever changed, our lives forever enriched because you are ours.  I love you my sweet boy.  Happy birthday!

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