Picture of strength: Blount Moms Today’s first Cover Mom is Emily Nibali

A family ten years in the making, the Nibalis: Ben, Ava, Emily and Maia pose for a family photo at the Greenbelt near the amphitheater on March 2. Emily is the cover mom for the first issue of Blount Moms Today magazine.

Photo by Sabrina Lafon

A family ten years in the making, the Nibalis: Ben, Ava, Emily and Maia pose for a family photo at the Greenbelt near the amphitheater on March 2. Emily is the cover mom for the first issue of Blount Moms Today magazine.

Every mom has a detailed story about the birth of their first child.

I’ve certainly heard my share. (If you get a group of moms together and the topic of childbirth comes up, run). Almost every story has some element of inconvenient timing, whether it be getting pregnant, not getting pregnant, a lengthy labor or a baby that arrived too quick. The other common thread is pain. Becoming a mother is not for wimps.

The level of patience and pain management it took for Emily Nibali to become a mother is a story worth sharing.

Like many moms, she struggled with infertility and soldiered through the insurmountable stress and expense of adoption. It took eight years for Emily to have a birth story about her first child.

Several close friends from her Sunday school class at Fairview United Methodist Church, and an unprecedented number of church members, had babies throughout those years.

Emily celebrated every mom’s pregnancies and new babies with sincerity, including mine. She said, “It’s hard not to compare yourself to others when you’re waiting for the desires of your heart.” Even so, Emily considers that time a blessing. “God transformed my desires and cultivated the fertile ground in my heart for faith to grow.”

She and her husband, Ben, are now raising two daughters. Their first child, Ava Faith, now 2 and a-half years old, was a domestic adoption. Then, this past fall, the Nibalis traveled to China for Maia Grace, now 11 months old.

Three moms and two dads worked together to pull off the photo session for our magazine cover. Sabrina Lafon is a professional family photographer, and she’s a mom who knew to pack toys, balloons and other distractions. I made silly faces while texting dinner instructions to my husband. I’m a professional multi-tasker. The dads followed instructions, just as it should be.

Emily gently encouraged her children to smile, look at the camera and not freak out for a photo that will be seen by at least 38,000 people in her hometown. No pressure.

March typically begins with turbulent winter weather and ends with a calm spring, hence the phrase, ‘comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb.’ But on March 2, the day was warm enough for a picture in yellow Easter dresses.

As I drove home, I thought about how Emily is a former teacher so she must love summer. I realized this will be her first summer with both daughters.

The inaugural issue of Blount Moms Today magazine is all about getting ready for summer and Emily is a reminder to enjoy every minute of it.

To read more about the Nibalis, visit their blog: nibalifaithandgrace.blogspot.com.

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