I was reminded this morning that it was on this day last year that Adam and I shared with our world that the baby that would make us a family of 4 was a little boy. It was the day that our son became George Mason and not just baby McGough.

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I was thinking about that day and all of the emotions that I had swirling around in my head in those days leading up to it. It was October 4, 2016 that we got George Mason’s diagnosis. We didn’t know on that day what exactly his diagnosis meant for him or for our family, but we knew it was not going to be the same as with Audrey Nole. After a couple days of debate with myself, I took Audrey down to the local grocery store and ordered a gender reveal cake. I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate - how could I celebrate when my heart felt so broken for my son - but I knew my son deserved that. I knew that if I looked back on that season of my life that I would be sad if George Mason’s entire existence was full of gloom and frustration and worry. So I ordered the cake. I set up the camera and we took pictures. Audrey Nole had no idea why there was a cake in front of her or why I was taking pictures of her eating it, she was just happy to have cake. But it is a memory that I will always cherish.

I didn’t feel like a celebration of my son’s gender was appropriate on those first weeks. It felt like the bad news was only going to get worse and instead of frivolous pictures we should be learning about his diagnosis. Instead of sharing his name and gender we should be begging for prayer that this was all just a bad ultrasound. But if I had followed the initial instinct to mope and climb into my black hole of Dr Google, I would have missed out on one of the most precious gifts I’ve ever received. I shared my son’s name. I celebrated his  life. And in doing so, I introduced him to the thousands of people who faithfully prayed for him; who loved, no, love him fiercely. Name or not, those people would have loved just the same, but the gift to me was in hearing his name for all those months. The gift to me was in feeling like my son was as much a part of his community as any person could be. He still is, in fact. So as hard as it is for me to see the picture revealing our son’s gender, it is equally wonderful that I have that memory.

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” - Philippians 1:3-6

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