Celebrating 21 Years of Marriage!
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Our Marriage Journey
“Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:7, NIV).
Over the last twenty-one years, we’ve lived through every vow except, thank goodness, “Till death do us part.”
We’ve enjoyed wonderful times of health, even setting out on adventurous wilderness trips, running half-marathons, and racing in triathlons together.
But sickness, lots of serious and critical illnesses, have often plagued our family.
Since we’ve been married, we’ve lost five close family members, including Todd’s mom to ALS. We sat through three of these funerals within just six months. We’ve experienced good times and joyful seasons together, but we’ve also walked through several long, dark, and frightening times together.
When our son, Josiah, was four-months-old, the battle to save him both medically and developmentally began. Week upon week of hospitalizations, managing a feeding tube and seizures at home, then an eventual diagnosis of an extremely rare genetic metabolic disorder finally came. At that time, there were only thirteen documented cases in the world. Today there are only twenty-five.
We began driving him to full days and weeks of feeding therapy, speech therapy, occupational and physical therapy, a special developmental preschool, and across the state for a dozen medical specialty appointments. By age two, he had stabilized medically and was making surprising progress developmentally.
When Josiah turned three, we learned that we were expecting our second child. But the pregnancy quickly turned into a nightmare rollercoaster. We received the devastating diagnosis of a completely unrelated and more severe genetic disorder.
Our daughter had developed a chromosomal deletion called Cri du Chat Syndrome.
Then, through an emergency delivery, the miracle of our daughter taking her first breath of life astounded everyone, including the doctors. After three intense months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), rounds of surgeries, and watching our daughter code and revive, we brought her home to care for her around the clock with our bedroom looking like a makeshift NICU.
The next three years would attempt to destroy our marriage.
Caring for our two very sick children with significant developmental needs proved more than any couple should ever have to experience. Though we came very close to allowing the intense stress and grief to tear us apart, we held on through the storms and have grown closer together than ever before.
We’ve never been rich and probably never will be. Todd’s resourcefulness gives new meaning to rubbing two pennies together to make a dime.
We’re very grateful that God has always provided all that our family needs.
And on days like today, when all four of us are at home together and both kids are not in the hospital, we have all we need in life. We are blessed, so very blessed.
In this season of feeling like we can breathe, we’re hoping to be able to bless other couples who are going through those stormy times. Through our writing and speaking, we want to empower you and provide you with the tools and resources to navigate together this unfamiliar, challenging, and perhaps, scary time.
Blessings on your marriage,
Todd and Kristin