Introduced by Amy
Since 2nd grade, Shandee and I were next-door-neighbors, confidants, and singing partners. This girl means so much to me. We grew up as best friends, and had lots in common. We both loved to sing--and, let me tell you, my Alto and her Soprano is nothing short of serendipity. We dreamed of starting a music group (Shamy SuLee...Hollla!) and recorded a tape in her bedroom singing the Spice Girls (OH yeah!). Later, in high school, we sang musical numbers together at local churches, sang the national anthem for several school functions, and preformed in the show choir together.
But, that's not all.
We also took dance classes together; we worked in Spud Harvests and flirted with the Mexican boys in our limited Espanol (she flirted much better than me); we talked through church every week (and got in trouble every week) and at Girls' Camp, she instructed me through the outhouse door as I tried using a tampon for the first time. Yep. Major life milestones. Also, she filled in the holes of my "birds and the bees" knowledge whenever I had a question that I would rather die than ask my parents.
But, we were also pretty different. She was a cheerleader in high school--I was on the newspaper staff and in the art club. She could pick up boys like flies to honey, and I called them stupid and cocky...yeah, I was less than charming. She competed in the Miss Russet pageant while I cheered her on from the audience, and she was there, hollering for me when I sang in the high school musical.
We helped each other through teenage drama and some pretty rough times. The understanding and love we had for each other outweighed the differences, even though we probably seemed like an unlikely pair!
Now, we are grown-ups with husbands and babies, but Holy Cow, I LOVE getting together with her. We laugh for hours. Oh, and our babies are betrothed. Haha....But really. That would rock. Shandee agreed to share her story about deciding to start a family. Her faith inspires me; she's been so strong in the challenges she's faced throughout her life. I am so proud of her for the person she has become. She rocked the house at college (haha, she got two degrees before I finished one!) she met and married a wonderful guy, and is now an amazing momma. And, though she got married 4 years before me, we ended up having our first babies 3 weeks apart! Freakin cool, I must say! Good ol' serendipity again.
I could go on and on (I kind of already have...) Basically, I am so grateful to have her for an example and friend! Here's her story.
Amy wanted me to tell you my story about deciding to become parents. Bear with me, because I am not a writer.
My husband and I decided that we wanted to start trying to have a baby (well let me specify…I decided then coaxed him into the idea after a few months of nagging ;-)).
This may seem dumb to some of you, but I was scared for several reasons…
1.We had been married for four years and you really get set in your ways after a while and the idea of dropping your freedom to do what you want to do whenever is a huge sacrifice.
2. My husband didn’t have a very good job at the time that could support even a small family on. We needed a good/stable income with benefits like health insurance, retirement, etc.
3. Then there was a fear of having a child that was disabled. This sounds terrible of me, but it is a true fear of mine. I know moms of children like this and they are the most amazing, strong people-I am not one of those though. Let me specify more of why I was scared of this…my husband has a brother that was born without a liver. He lived eight months. He also had a couple other half-siblings with congenital problems that ended up causing them to pass away at premature ages. Then he has a niece that has some serious problems. She is six years old now but severely disabled. She is always sick, has to be fed from a feeding tube through her stomach 24/7 and her cerebellum isn’t growing at all. Poor thing. I have seen how hard this has been for my sis-in-law and call me completely selfish, but I NEVER want to have to go through that. So needless to say, my husband's side of the family has a history of that.
In spite of these fears though, I decided that I needed to take a leap of faith and put my trust in God that everything would work out financially and for my future baby. It was hard putting our complete trust in God knowing that he is in charge and his will always is done. I also knew that this was the right thing for us to do and had to trust that everything would work out one way or another.
So we took that leap of faith. And, while I was pregnant, Andrew got a great job with benefits. When we moved forward in faith, God provided the way!
Fast-forward nine months and we had our beautiful little girl. She was perfect. We did spend almost two weeks in the hospital, which were harder than I can ever describe, but ultimately she is healthy and wonderful.
I thank God for her every day.