(Photo courtesy Leah Arnold Vallis)
These are 7 of the 10 babies born this past year in the Hilltop 2nd Ward, Concord CA Stake. This has been a small ward with mostly older permanent members and a few younger couples and families moving in and out for school and such every fall. It encompasses about 30 miles, including some very rough cities (Richmond) and has an attendance every Sunday of around 100 people. Those of us who actually attend are definitely put to work and kept busy:)
There has been a lot of talk about what to do about this ward. Get rid of it? Combine it with another one? About a year and a half ago the Stake President said we would "grow the ward." Everyone's job was to find new members and reactivate members who weren't attending.
Well, it has grown! I don't know when there have ever been this many babies in the history of this ward. And every single baby in this picture has an awesome story behind it. I mean, what baby isn't a miracle? But truly, these babies are special. Two of us thinking we were done having kids, and pleasantly surprised. Another two not really able to even have children, one of whom being told it was impossible, and surprise.
We have loved being in this ward and being able to serve in the callings we have. This is not an easy area, and I have complained about the Bay Area more than once, but we would not trade our experiences here for anything. We have met some amazing people and truly learned what a ward family is. We just love these great moms, their babies, and the wonderful people of the Hilltop 2nd Ward. I know these families have all been blessed because of who they are and how much they serve those around them.