Audrey Pay

A year ago, Darren and Sarah were in the newborn intensive care unit watching their sweet baby Jack recover from heart surgery. Sarah’s sister Jessica sat beside her and mourned an adoption that had just fallen through. They cried with their mother over Grandpa who was dying of cancer.

Sarah and Darren chronicled Jack’s short life with grace, humor and faith. He was rallying, he was growing, we all thought he was going to make it.

But he didn’t.

And on a rainy October day, Sarah and Darren buried their first-born child, their son.

Are you crying? I am. Now get ready for the happy tears.

Grandpa died in January. Selfishly, I still miss him. But it was his time and he surely had a joyful reunion in heaven with his wife whom he had mourned for four years.

In February, darling baby Sofia came to Matt and Jessica(you saw their adoption photos here two weeks ago). And shortly after that Sarah announced she was expecting, again.

I’m a hyper-drive worrier when I’m pregnant but I can’t imagine how joyful and fearful this pregnancy has been for Sarah and Darren. I can’t imagine losing so much….and risking my heart again.

As Sarah neared the end of her pregnancy, she and Darren moved into the “little house” where Grandma and Grandpa spent happy weekends.

Sweet Audrey Pay came into the world Saturday afternoon. 6lbs. 6 oz. profoundly healthy and beautiful all over.

Baby Jack will always be missed, just as we miss all our loved ones, but this sweet girl fills her parent’s aching empty arms and hearts. As Grandpa would say, “Things will work out. Keep trying. Be believing. Be happy. Don’t get discouraged. Things will work out.”

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Audrey’s great-grandmother’s maiden name was Pay.
Grandma always used Pay as a middle name and now Audrey shares that privilege.
This is of course, grandma’s ring.

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I told Sarah that I usually prefer color to black & white but I think these are magical.

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Audrey looks so tiny in daddy’s arms.

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Can you imagine how happy Grandpa and Grandma are to have a baby in their little house?

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She’ll be looking out these bars for the next few years. But her crib is right next to Sarah and Darren’s.
They don’t want her out of their sight.

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Sarah made the quilt. It’s so beautiful and sooo Sarah: bright, happy fun.

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Jack’s bunny.

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look at that hair!

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both rings are there– but hard to see

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yes, I think she’s happy to be here.

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this is joy.
September 8, 2008
September 14, 2008



  1. Jessica

    September 10, 2008

    What a great photo, Michelle! You have captured her sweetness perfectly!

  2. Annie

    September 10, 2008

    oh my goodness, what a sweet shot! Makes me want to time travel and have you photograph my own three wee babies, way back when.

    Great job.

  3. Blue

    September 10, 2008

    Step aside Anne Geddes!

  4. twoelves

    September 10, 2008

    So adorable. I can’t wait to see more.

  5. Jan Russell

    September 10, 2008

    She is BEAUTIFUL! I wish one just like her would show up in a basket on my doorstep 😉

  6. Chelle

    September 10, 2008

    I figure I need to come up with one code word, like: INCREDIBLE! that I can use when I see your photography skills. Then I won’t have to be redundant when commenting about how beautiful, touching, lovely, unique, perfect and spot on your photos are.

    From now on… INCREDIBLE stands for all of the above. Deal? : )

  7. millertimeab

    September 10, 2008


  8. Tracy

    September 11, 2008

    She is perfect. Thank you for the happy tears!

  9. Redhoodoos

    September 11, 2008

    Just beautiful.

  10. Ken

    September 11, 2008

    Thank you for sharing their joy.

  11. twoelves

    September 11, 2008

    Beautiful! Love the little toes shot – darling. I almost want another baby just so you can take the pictures.

  12. Jessica

    September 11, 2008

    These are all so perfect. So Perfect.

  13. Claudia

    September 11, 2008

    Truly magical. The Lord is so mindful of our hurts and sorrows. Thank you for sharing this beautiful miracle. Still crying, too.

  14. Michelle Vilensky

    September 11, 2008

    Oh Michelle! What a gift you have in capturing the magical moments in life! It was when I got to Audrey with Jack’s bunny that I couldn’t hold the tears back any longer. And I don’t even know these people–that’s how amazingly talented you are!

  15. millertimeab

    September 12, 2008

    um yes crying!

    beautiful, baby, pictures, her story, and of course her name

  16. m_and_m

    September 14, 2008


    If I had to pick a fave (luckily, I don’t) I’d pick the one on the coffee table.

    What a beautiful baby. She IS so tiny!

    (Mine were never so small….)

  17. Ada Bowler

    September 15, 2008

    I am Sarah and Jessica’s cousin, and can’t help but rejoice in the beautiful miracle of little Audrey Pay! These photos are priceless!

  18. Tiffanie

    September 17, 2008

    Beautiful and you are an AMAZING photographer!

  19. Mama

    September 19, 2008

    Thank you so much for this post. I am so glad to see a new chapter begin in that precious family’s life. It really lifts my spirit.

  20. Life Trekking Mama

    September 23, 2008

    Wow. What a powerful and touching life story! Thank you so much for sharing.


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