You may remember this couple, Randy and Michelle, and their story from our Free Wedding Give Away.
I am going to share it again anyways… just because it is just so precious.
Take a minute to read it… it will bless your heart.
This is Michelle talking here…
“Our story is not exactly a fairy tale, but it is a genuine, long-lasting, forever-and-a-day, life-fulfilling love story.
Randy and I met on Laura Lane, a casual introduction by mutual friends. Randy always said he loved me the moment I answered the door. Truth is, I felt it too.
In 2005, we found out we were going to be parents. We were in love, but this was not the course I had expected. Being a Christian girl, strong in my faith, I always valued marriage and thought that would come first.
We decided to get married before our daughter was born.
God had other plans.
Our wedding day was planned for January, but on the morning of October 13, 2005, our lives were changed forever. I was home. Randy was working on the west coast of Florida. At about 5 a.m., I woke up having what seemed to be premature labor. I drove myself to the hospital. On the way, I called Randy. By the time we hung up, he was in the truck, headed home. I got to the hospital and my fear was confirmed: I was in labor four months early. The life changing events which came next, I know, were God’s guiding hand.
I was only 21 weeks into my pregnancy. Most babies that early do not survive. Randy made a three and a half hour trip in about an hour that morning. I can’t tell you how much it meant to see him step off the elevator just before my transfer. No matter the terrifying situation, I felt complete when we’re together. While in the hospital, I was asked more than once to terminate my pregnancy. To us, it wasn’t a choice. We knew God was in control.
I was on strict hospital bed-rest. Randy worked in the day and slept in the chair next to me at night. He shaved my legs and changed my bed pans as I wasn’t even aloud to sit up. These are things couples don’t expect to have to do till they’re old. We had no idea how much was ahead.
On the morning of October 24th Hurricane Wilma rolled into town and Laura (named for the street where we met) Jean (named for his mom) was born at 1lb 5oz and she was barely breathing. It was 110 days before Laura Jean got to come home from the NICU. The doctors were grim and suggested our Laura would have no quality of life.
That wasn’t all. Randy’s mom died from a sudden heart attack while little Laura Jean was still hospitalized. We definitely didn’t think about wedding details anymore. We were in survival mode. All I could do was pray. It was a tough time for us, but we clung together more and grew stronger as a couple.
Once home, we adjusted our lifestyle from a very active couple to parents of a special needs child. I had already resigned from my job to stay home as there were many years of doctors appointments and therapy ahead. I am so thankful for the time we spent getting to know each other in love because the years ahead were challenging.
We just celebrated Laura’s 6th birthday and she is a loving, thoughtful, curious, silly, compassionate March of Dimes ambassador. She may not be able to walk as easily as others or see as clearly, but cares for her kitten, plays princess with her friends and couldn’t wait for us to get married. For our family to get married.
Our little girl has defied her doctors and is living a very normal life. She is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, but we move forward as if there is no diagnosis. Randy and I have grown in strength together. So many couples break. We are both from divorced families, we know first-hand. We know what it takes to say for better or for worse.
Since we met on a Saturday, our 10 year anniversary fell on Saturday June 16, 2012. We chose a modest destination/camping wedding in the Ocala National Forest to exchange our vows…”
Well after reading this story, I knew I had to be there for this day. And I am so glad I was.
Here are some of my favorite images from the wedding. And little Laura Jean, you stole my heart too! What a doll.
Also, special thanks to Jen Elrod for making the day trip with me out to Ocala!
Laura Jean sang “Part of your World” from Little Mermaid perfectly… while her parent’s danced (at her request of course). My heart seriously melted.
So happy for your beautiful little family! Congrats you guys!