annabelle’s story

I’m currently operating in a sleep deprived haze. Do you remember those wonderful first weeks with your newborn babies? Mommy-brain to the fullest (well said, Jen!)

Naps are a daily essential, as are the wonderful friends and spouses who forgive your lack of coherence and organization. Even though I am incoherent to the point of forgetting common words and phrases and almost throwing away very important things, I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to the new member of my family clan and tell a little piece of her story.


Annabelle Hope bravely entered the world exactly one month ago today. April 4th, 2013. She came despite all the odds stacked against her. Having lost all six of the first children we concieved, I was shocked when this baby had a beautiful strong heartbeat ultrasound after ultrasound. This little fighter of a girl busted through the first trimester in spite of our well trained fears, and then through the second trimester, and then miraculously moved from her final trimester of growth into our arms. It was and still is quite surreal that I have given birth to a child. Over three years of repeated miscarriage, I had become so familiar with the loss and grief that I started to develop somewhat of a “callus” in effort to shield myself from the pain. We wanted to keep trying for children, even after a beautiful adoption of our first son, but I was guarded. I didn’t want to let myself get excited, and it was difficult all throughout Annabelle’s pregnancy to fully embrace the reality of what was happening. I was terrified that since my body didn’t know how to care for the previous babies, that something would go wrong with the birth or prevent her from being healthy enough to live.

I didn’t dwell on the fears, but I was somewhat in denial that something so beautiful was happening inside of me.  It wasn’t until that moment at 12:30am when I heard her screaming and felt her warm, wet body on my chest that I knew it was real. My eyes had been closed for much of the 6 hour labor, and when I opened them I was absolutely in shock. There was a beautiful baby girl in front of my eyes. She really had been growing inside of me, carefully knitted together by a Creator who loved her more than I even could. I wanted to cry but I was so exhausted and overwhelmed that no tears came. It wasn’t just a dream. We had a healthy baby girl.


A month has flown by. It has been a month filled with kisses, hugs, and unparalleled sleep deprivation….ahem…I mean joy. Unparalleled joy. She is our little hope. Hope that miracles do happen. Hope that there is a greater plan, and that we can only see glimpses of that perfect plan here on this earth. I hope that everyone who meets our little Annabelle will be flooded with light and hope in their brokenness. I hope as you read the story of little Annabelle Hope today, you will be blessed with what you need.

Maybe you need reminded that miracles do happen.

Maybe you need reminded that you are loved. You were knitted together in your mother’s womb and came into the world at just the moment that you were meant to.

There is a reason for your life, and there is no one like you. 

Take some time today to remember the birth or “gotcha day” of your little ones. Whether you loved or hated the process, I doubt you’d argue that childbirth is a miracle. Write down your story, relive it with your spouse, or tell it to your child. It’s too miraculous not to be relived! 

The night had never seemed darker than those months of loss we endured, but the darkest darkness makes the light of day seem so very much brighter. Coleton is our miracle boy through adoption, and Annabelle is our miracle girl through birth. I am ever so grateful.


(This is proud big brother, Coleton. He is our first miracle baby through adoption.)

**All professional photos are by Stephanie Michelle Photography.

7 Responses to annabelle’s story

  1. Carrie Fanderclai May 4, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    Amazing! Just a great story that could only be written by God.

  2. My Blessed Life May 4, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    Thanks for the reminder that miracles do happen! I needed that. I’m so happy for your family!!! Little Annabelle is so precious & loved, as is Coleton. I’m blessed to call you my friend. 🙂

  3. Thomas May 4, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Such an inspiring post. God is faithful and brings beauty from ashes.

  4. Dannel May 4, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    I love your transparency Olivia. Your story is a beautiful witness of God having a plan where we may never understand it this side of heaven. But, He was gracious, loving and kind to your family in giving you two beautiful little people to love. You’re such a sweet mama!! God has blessed you richly!

  5. Heather S.
    Heather S. May 4, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    I love this! Thank you for the reminders and for the openness of your journey. You will never know how many you have touched with your story, your faith and your love! Blessed to have you as my friend!!

  6. amandastclair May 6, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    I am so happy for you! She is so precious and beautiful. Can’t wait to meet her!

  7. Bessie R. Tan May 9, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    You are such a blessed family & continue to be a blessing to others! Thank you for sharing your story! Congratulations!

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