This is a hard post to write, coming after a difficult decision for our family. We are moving. There, I said it. My heart is heavy and a bit broken, though I know this is what is best for our family.
Andrew has accepted a position with Pinnacle, the company he worked for the first 5 years we were married. It's a family business, and we're both so excited for him to work for such a Christ centered company doing something he loves. The struggle for me lies within the move itself. We haven't been able to be as involved in Charlotte and our community as I would have liked, or even as much as we did when we first moved. Years filled with loss, bed rest, and then isolation took that from us. I pictured our lives here, close to the mountains and beach, close to family, with our kids playing in the parks I drove past daily, playing t-ball on the field near our home, dancing in the studio with the neighbors, swimming in our awesome neighborhood pool. I pictured this long before we were actually able to have kids, and the image shattered when we lost Reagan. We talked of moving then, of trying to run away and escape the broken dreams that haunted me. But God graciously gave us Warren and Dean, and then Hannah. And the life I pictured slowly started to take root. Though it was always broken, though our family is never complete, I pictured our children growing up here. We talked of moving closer to Charlotte, getting more involved in the NICU at the hospital, doing more of the speaking engagements. Most of what I pictured could happen in just about any town...the sports, the parks, dance recitals. The scenery might be different. The weather might be hotter. But the activity, the memories we could create, would all be very similar.
Here's the hard part: Reagan. This is Reagan's home, her only home. This is where her butterfly is painted on the wall, the only remnant of her nursery. This is where I held her and loved her. This is where I said goodbye. That's it. She only gets one home, and I'm leaving it. And Reagan's Garden. We started that organization to reach families specifically in Charlotte, so that no one would ever feel as alone or isolated as we did. And now? We'll continue the services, I'll still be making cards and NICU boxes. Hurting families here in Charlotte will continue to receive all the same materials of support because this is Reagan's home and where my passion lies. But I won't be able to really minister to these hurting families, to potentially meet up with them for coffee, to hear face-to-face about their little ones gone too soon. My passion, my heart, is still in this community. I pray it will one day grow to include communities in Florida, and I trust that it will. But in the mean time, I still feel like I'll always have one foot in Charlotte where our eldest daughter lived.
So, you ask, how can you support us? We are in need of prayers - prayers for my heart as I leave this town, prayers for our family as we transition, and prayers for Reagan's Garden - that we would be able to find willing families to run support dinners, that we would continue to be able to grow and support families in Charlotte, that I would be able to keep up with making the cards and boxes so that no one goes without simply because we are not local anymore. I want Reagan's memory to live on here, I want her life to continue to be impactful, I want to help families find hope amidst the loss and despair after suffering the death of their child. It will be difficult, but I must trust that God can work out all the details.