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When I was pregnant with Sloan, as whole heartedly as we wanted a second child, as hard as we had tried, with our miscarriages, the secondary infertility, the testing, the wait, and the meds needed, I was still terrified of what it would be like to bring him home.

I had so much fear of how it could affect my bond with Rowan, how there could even possibly be as much love for another child as I had for him. I worried that he would feel forgotten because of the new baby, that he would be jealous or think I didn’t love him anymore. I was terrified and I cried so many tears over it in those 9 months.

Yet, when we came home from the hospital with that sweet new little boy, my fears were relieved. There was of course an adjustment period, learning how to juggle two after so many years with one. But, we eased into a family of four and Rowan developed a beautiful bond with Sloan.

Those boys adored each other, and I saw all my doubts and worry melt away. After Sloan’s death, my grief was made twice as heavy by the thought of Rowan losing him too. That bond, forever changed, stolen from him. Rowan was just… designed to be a big brother. He loved every second of it, and I was devastated for him.

So when Phoenix came along in all her surprise and miraculousness, I knew she wasn’t just a gift to us, she was a gift to Rowan. The second that fiery little girl was placed in his arms, his face lit up. He was in love instantly, and it looked so familiar, as if the bond he’d shared with Sloan had been rejuvenated within her. I know without a shadow of a doubt, that she knew Sloan in so many ways before we knew her, and she will know Sloan in new ways because of Rowan.

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