ethan james | newborn | interlochen, michigan

Are you ready to feel all the feels?

Ok, but seriously, this is a story truly worth reading. Haley asked me to tell it here, on the blog. Maybe because of the redemption in life. Maybe to point people to Jesus. Maybe because she is unexplainably brave. Maybe all that and more. Whatever the reason, it is an incredible honor to share a slice of this story.

This sweet family is celebrating the recent birth of their rainbow baby, Ethan James. Oh, what a joy it is to see Haley hold him in her loving arms. 

In 2015, Haley, Brad, and Grace experienced an unimaginable loss— their baby, taken home to heaven, too early for their hearts to bear. A miscarriage. A baby lost; a life who’s future they had imagined in theirs. 

While they were suffering, I was pregnant with my son. I could not understand God’s ways— why her and not me? Why her baby and not mine? Why this pain? We had been pregnant with our first babies at the same time too, and it was oh so sweet. How fun to experience it together again! we had said.

Through her loss, her sadness, her pain, I experienced confusion, sadness. This story is not about me. But I want to share with you the kind of friend I have in Haley:

One day, a couple of weeks after her miscarriage was confirmed, still raw and very real, she asked me, had I felt any movements? In fact, I had, I told her; I cautiously told her I began feeling movement the very day her miscarriage was confirmed. This brought me deep sadness— but it was a sadness that brought me to pray for her each time I felt those flutters. I took it as from God, but didn’t share it with her at the time, out of sensitivity, and a little embarrassment. You know what she told me that day, as we sat FaceTiming, both crying? Something like this: Amanda, you don’t have to hide your joy from me. I am joyful with you! Just as you have experienced sorrow alongside me, I experience joy with you.

Love. Grace. 

This is friendship in Jesus. This is being like Christ. 

Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

After struggling with infertility, loss, the pain in time, and waiting, waiting on the Lord, Haley now holds Ethan James in her arms. Yes, He can make good from all things. He will and he does. 

shane alexander | newborn | clinton township, michigan

On Christmas Eve Eve, I had the privilege of meeting Shane. He was only ten days new! But his parents and I go way back, thanks to my husband. {sidenote-- does anyone else's significant other provide them with stellar friends?? Mine does.}

I have many things I adore about close friends becoming parents-- their adorable babies {of course}, the ability to relate on another level, the kindred spirits in the chaos. But my favorite is the unexplainable transformation that occurs from the moment they become parents.

It wasn't long before these photos were taken that I took maternity photographs of Kristy, and spent some time with her and Joe. They were tired, anxious, very ready. Then, meeting them for the first time as parents, to see them with Shane, so in love with this little life-- it was beautiful. I was {am} giddy for them and what they have for their life ahead. Don't get me wrong-- they were tired, maybe anxious, figuring out all the new things. Parenting {aka sleep deprivation; caring for your heart that's now outside of your body; etc} is hard work! But now "Shane's parents" is a part of their identity, and it looks so good on them.

Shane, we adore you. Can't wait to watch you grow, little one. 

As always, thanks for looking, friends. I'd love to capture your milestones, too. Give me a shout! 

xo amanda