Life is beautiful. And this time of year, that beauty is especially evident in the emerging fall colors and the family photos that include them. But that doesn't mean life is always fun or easy. Meet the Ford family. They're a wonderful family with 3 kids (Joe, Jackson and Audrey), who happen to be triplets. But that little part about life not being easy became reality when all 3 kids were born premature at 26 weeks. The kids pulled through but towards the end of their stay in NICU, Audrey suffered from two different infections at the same time and barely survived. During that time, she sustained a permanent brain injury due to the inconsistent flow of blood to her brain. Her official diagnosis is Cerebral Palsy and Cortical Visual Impairment.
It's easy to get overwhelmed with medical terms and restrictions and in the process, forget that a person is a person like you and like me. When the Ford's emailed me details of Audrey's history and diagnosis, that particular paragraph in the email was followed by a paragraph describing her as "the silliest little girl". She loves to laugh and smile and she loves to be around kids her age. She loves sweets too. In fact, she's going to be "cotton candy" for halloween this year.
What's even more amazing to me is how this family overcomes the obstacles and limits and has a life that I would call very normal and active. For photos, we went on a hike and everywhere we went, all three kids went too. My time with this wonderful family was a sweet reminder of how a hard story can also be a beautiful story.