Happy First Birthday Lucas

November 29, 2016

Our sweet boy turned one this past Sunday. I cannot believe how fast this year has gone…how much I have learned, grown, been stretched, cried, laughed, been filled with joy….Lucas has turned our world upside down in the very best of ways.

There is so much to say, and some of it I will keep just for Lucas to read, but I do want to share so much with you, because as I have seen in the past year of his life, he brings so much joy to this world.

My pregnancy with Lucas was very difficult. Ben and I had lost a baby due to miscarriage a few months prior. (You can read Asher’s story here.) We were heavy hearted but so hopeful and excited for the future.

Very early on we learned of several severe complications with my pregnancy with Lucas. We were told our baby had a 5-10% chance of making it. A cystic hygroma had developed, which gives babies a very small chance of survival. Many of these babies are aborted. This was all gut-wrenching news. We were going to the doctor weekly, sometimes twice a week. We were trying our best to be hopeful and trust that the Lord had a plan, but it was difficult.

Several weeks later, we learned that Lucas’ right arm had not developed. This was still relatively early on in the pregnancy, at about 12-14 weeks or so. I was completely shocked when our doctor told us that, in fact I didn’t believe him. I thought he must be reading the machine wrong, how could that happen? That didn’t make any sense.

Ben and I held each other close in the following weeks. Trying to grapple with and understand why this would happen. Our closest friends cried with us, prayed for us and our baby. It was a grind, but we trucked on.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the news at our doctor’s appointments started to become better. Lucas’ organs were developing healthily. Some of the other more minor issues started to resolve themselves. Things were looking on the up and up. Although we were consistently reminded that there could be other birth defects that they might not be able to detect until Lucas arrived. It seemed we could never quite catch our breath and completely relax.

And then he came. Slowly but surely, with about 36 hours of labor (yikes! that is another story!), Lucas came into our lives. We couldn’t believe it. He was healthy. Praise the Lord he was healthy. And so perfect. So perfect.

We didn’t pick his name until we met him. Ben really wanted to have a name with meaning, I was more on the “let’s pick a cute and trendy name” side of things. :) I’m so glad we settled on Lucas. Lucas means the light, and that is just what he has been.

Some things Lucas has taught me because of his joyful, sweet, innocent spirit, and other things I have learned simply by having a son with a disability. The letter below captures so much of what this year has been like with him.


Dear Lucas,

Thank you for your joyfulness. For lighting up a room simply by being you.

Thank you for softening my heart. You have helped the Lord to soften places of my heart I didn’t know were cold. I feel like my eyes have been opened in so many new ways.

Thank you for being our story. It wasn’t a story I expected, and it still surprises me every now and then, but I am so, so thankful I get to be your mommy.

Thank you for your innocence. You are sweet and carefree and could care less at people’s ignorance.

Thank you for your strong, adventurous personality. You have made me love raising a boy. I love seeing how brave you are.

Thank you for your snuggles. There is simply nothing better.

Thank you for making me brave. I thought I was tough and strong, but you are making me braver. In humble and beautiful ways.

You are my boy. And I am so proud of you.


Your Mama.


Special thanks to Jenny Haas Photography for these amazing photos. She is incredible!!

  1. Misty miller says:

    What a beautiful story, Leigh! God has big plans for Lucas and your little family! He is so adorable! What a beautiful reflection of his amazing parents! -Misty

  2. Becca says:

    What a beautiful story of God’s love–thank you for sharing this Leigh! Lucas is an amazing little boy with wonderful parents and a beautiful Creator!

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Simple. Joyful. Timeless.