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February 2, 2015

In the gray light of a dreary Tuesday morning, the city started to awaken.

Mothers stood in darkened kitchens, placing plastic-wrapped sandwiches into brown paper bags while children dressed themselves for school. Dads ensured backpacks were packed and umbrellas were ready by the door. Infants yelped for sleep-deprived parents. Dads changed diapers while moms warmed bottles. Teenagers hit the snooze button for a third time while preschoolers watched cartoons and ate buttered toast on TV trays. Toddlers pulled all of their toys out of their toy boxes, moms avoided two-day-old stacks of dirty dishes in the sink while dads narrowly avoided stepping on pointy plastic trains on the living room floor for the seventeenth time. Morning prayers were said. Hugs and kisses were exchanged. Temperatures were taken. Buses were caught. Ties were straightened.

Everywhere across the city, families greeted the new day with a frenzy of activity.

Everywhere, that is, except for one place.

In the quiet darkness of the hospital room, the monotonous beeping of the heart monitor kept time. The silent dripping of the fluid bags delivered medication. The constant puffing of the leg cuffs kept leg veins circulating. Outside was the dull tapping of the cold November rain on the window and the quiet roar of the traffic: parents driving to work or dropping kids off at daycare, buses taking students to school.

A thin gray wash of sterile-looking light barely illuminated the room on that early November morning. I sat in the plastic chair beside the bed and sipped from my little foam cup of hospital coffee. I had managed to sneak in without waking Cheri, but I would not be able to stay for long before I would have to slip off to work.

That was Cheri and I a year ago last November. We were as far away from our goal of having a child as we could imagine. By God’s grace, Cheri got well and we did have our son just five weeks ago. We have also celebrated with others who celebrate births and we have mourned with people whose dreams have not come true.

I am so proud of the people who shared their stories for Plus or Minus. Infertility taught me so much about parenting before I even became a parent, and I hope the same is true for any of you parents who read the book. I hope it helps educate you on how to encourage your friends who are going through something secret. I hope it helps educate our churches to be able to minister to hurting couples.

Most of all, I hope it gives each of you a new perspective on life and the amazing God who is behind it all. Please, download the ebook, leave a review on Amazon, tell a friend. #ShareTheHope