Dave and I (Mandy) met on match.com (how romantic, ha!). It's funny, because we were at the same small college at the same time and never met. After college, I moved to a random town, and ended up living 10 miles from Dave; we still never met. Once we finally did meet, we both knew right away that we would end up married. For the first time ever, it just felt right. It was easy. I went to work the day after our first date and told my friends that I was going to marry this guy. We got engaged after 6 months and married 6 months after that.
We started trying to have a baby a few months after getting married in December of 2012. Month after month, the pregnancy tests were negative. We did several of years fertility treatments. Twice we became pregnant and miscarried soon after. We were ecstatic to became pregnant with our son. He was born in May of 2016.
In spite having a healthy pregnancy, Nolan surprised us all by having a genetic condition that causes him to have low muscle tone. We spent his first 3 months in the NICU, trying to figure out the best way to help him eat and breathe and even be held without hurting him. Turns out, Nolan was also born with a condition called Super Awesome. This kid has worked his little butt off since the day he was born, and today, at age 3 can sit up by himself and even cruise the grocery store in his wheelchair. He eats through a feeding tube and breathes through his trach. His thinking and ability to learn is totally normal. Nolan definitely has a case of Only Child Syndrome and would benefit so much from getting to be a big brother.
We are a Christian family. I know that can look different for different families. For us, we attend a protestant church weekly. We read Bible stories to our son and pray with him every day. Without God, I don't know how Dave and I would have coped with everything during the first three months of Nolan's life. We knew that everything works for the good of those who love Him and that God has good plans for us - not plans to destroy us, but plans for a hope and a future. It was so hard to see at the time, but our lives are so full and joyous now. It will be so wonderful to share that joy with our adopted son or daughter.
We were always told that marriage isn't easy, that it's something you have to work at. Honestly, the easiest thing in our lives is our marriage. We are best, best friends. Having a child with a medical condition breaks a lot of marriages. For us, it's really shown us how much we need each other. We're a good team. We fight for what is best for our son, and we will do the same for all of our children.
We are fortunate enough to live on 225 acres, 74 that we own (the rest is owned by Dave's brothers, who we are really close with). We have woods to hike, huge flat yards to play in, and a half mile long driveway, which allows children to play freely without worrying about traffic. There are fruit trees, wild blackberries, and plenty of room for whatever pets strike our childrens' fancy as they grow. Currently, we have one dog named Macy.
Our house is a one story ranch home. There are 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. We have a large living room and a large front porch so that our family can hang out together as much as possible. We already have a room set up for our adopted son or daughter and cannot wait for the crib to be filled with a sweet, little one.
Mandy is witty and sarcastic - in a funny, good way. She is very creative - from the goofy songs and crazy games she makes up for Nolan to her hobbies which include playing guitar and crocheting.
Mandy enjoys being at home with Nolan. She keeps the house, cooks, and manages Nolan's busy schedule (physical therapy, speech therapy, doctors appointments, etc). She loves that she can be a part of Nolan's development. Being home allows Mandy to take Nolan on fun outings, such as the park, science center, and the creek to splash and throw rocks.
Dave is a very patient and playful husband and father. It takes a lot to get him upset about anything. Our son, Nolan, loves playing games with his Daddy. Sometimes, Dave is the only one who can make Nolan happy when he is upset.
Dave is also an excellent provider. He works hard at his job and then comes home and gives his full attention to his family. Mandy and Nolan are always super excited to see him when he gets home from work.