Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March 2: Thank you


Wow!  I have tears in my eyes.  Thank you all for coming out and showing your support.  Thank (almost) all of you for choosing to to share your joy in response to this news.  Yes, of course we are a bit nervous as to how this will turn out, but you all showed true class in what you chose to write.  You truly uplifted my own spirits about this child.  We have been very nervous sharing this news with family and close friends because, well, it's a little scary for everyone.  Some have taken it well, some have taken it a little less than well.

Oh, and to "anonymous" who wrote about preparing Ali...:  Go away.  Go find some class and some tact.  Then, come back and apologize.  This was not your first obtuse comment.  Your crass style is quite obvious.  We don't need it.  Get a clue from the 76 other comments as to appropriate social behavior.  Google it if you have to.  (Thank you Sara for your comment to said offender.  YOU ROCK)  It's called a FILTER.  Just because you THINK it, doesn't mean you WRITE it.  Somebody needed to fill you in on this, and I'm glad it was me.  Because when I deal with someone, I don't leave anyone within earshot wondering what I'm trying to say.  Ask the treatment team in MN.  My friends once made a custom shirt for me that says LOUDASS across the front, because I AM the guy who WILL say the thing everyone else is thinking but doesn't want to.  Yeah, yeah, rise above... nope.  Not this time.  DONE.

Ah, I feel much better.  ;-)

Back to the story...

Angelique said it all within a minute or two after the EPT read YES+.  She laid back on our bed, looked at the ceiling and said, "God has a plan."


He always has.

This is where the faith muscle gets its workout again.  The real rub to all this is that God has a plan, and in every event that is laid before us, we have the opportunity to look for Him and His Grand, Elegant Plan in that event.  If everything is made up of God, then every event is also.  We are just his children.  How could we understand everything like He does?  Ali doesn't understand everything mommy and daddy do... but she trusts us.  As do we Him.

EB or no EB, not up to us.  A soul willing to give others the opportunity for generosity, love, nurture, compassion, selflessness... THAT is a generous soul!  A soul willing to experience EB is a wise old soul.  AND... it's one thing to have a child with EB without knowing, and it's another thing to roll the dice again, and commit to that child no matter what the outcome.  In a world where the Trisha Knuths and the Vanessa Delgados and the Missy Grays of the world seek out and adopt (forgive me for others I didn't name) children with EB, who are we to fear it?  These women and their spouses fill me with so much inspiration that, while in the deepest place in my heart I want an EB free child, I know of few parents as skilled and powerful as Ang and I to give the best care possible to a child with EB.

What you all reminded me of is how blessed we are, but also how blessed this child is to come through us.  That was so incredibly kind and generous of you to say.  Thank you.  You gave me back my confidence.  Today, you breathed new life into me.  Yesterday, I was weak in the face of this news.  Today, I AM STRONG.  Thanks to YOU!

One other piece of news.  I am no longer going to blog daily.  It's taking away from me working on editing the MN journey into a second book, and from writing privately the material for my upcoming record.  So, I am going to pull back on the reigns in March to twice a week, then in April, it will be weekly.  My promise is that it will stay consistent.  It also means you can still come and comment and check in on each other on a daily basis through the comment thread.  This is a community, and we are used to being here together.  I am going to blog on this site on Monday nights and Thursday nights starting next week.  (You can still get shorter chunks from me on my success blog; I'll be writing there every Sunday / Wednesday night at least...)  So, I'm still around... it's just that I need to write a little more just to myself for a while.  However, I predict when this little munchkin hits the ground running in late August, I won't be able to resist posting daily for a while!

You guys ROCK.

God night.

Did I cook it with my famous "Bella Mind Melt?"


  1. ok so I am sooooooooooo going to miss my nightly read, so please update us on important happenings. I love your family and pray for the best for you, Ang and your children. Please keep us posted on baby #3. What a little miracle, I am so happy for the two of you. I know Bella is smiling down at all of you.

    Houston, TX

  2. Hi, Tim, I don't see why you think that it is a terrible thing written by the Anonymous? It's much more rational question than all the prayers and hopes of the other blog followers. It is easy just to comment politely. It will be hard on you, and especially on Ang - because of the pregnancy and on Ali - because she is a child and has received less attention the last year because of Bella's condition.

    Usually the elder brothers and sisters are jealous about the new baby. May be Ali is a saint, but don't put the burden of excellence on her.

    I am sending my best wishes to your family and the new baby. You've put quite a load on yourselves so quickly, let's hope it's for the best.

    My angel in heaven didn't protect me from another EB child and another loss, so I don't believe any more in divine justice and compensation. With my activities helping the other EB families I didn't gain the God's benevolence.


  3. I will miss the daily blog (even if i did not get here daily - well now that was selfish of me), but 100% understand!

    Still supporting you, Ang, Ali, Bella and the new baby as you live life to the fullest and experience life truely everyday!
    Tina in NJ

  4. Tim- congrats to you and Angelique.

    I have to comment to Elena...interesting. I get defensive when I see people who have lost hope and they try to spread that to others. I am truly sorry for your loss. I too have lost a child but I have learned that just because I can't comprehend things doesn't mean there isn't a purpose. I don't think doing kind things or working for a purpose means we won't have hard/horrible things happen to us. Elena I hope you can find peace. Tim said it well, just because you think it doesn't mean you say it. It sounds like you are still suffering and I'm sorry for that. Know that Tim and Angelique are thinkers (have you read the blog?) and are sensitive to what the possibilites are, they don't need people hopelessly pointing out things. Tim and Angelique I know you don't need defending but I couldn't help myself!

    Back to Tim and Angelique, you have an amazing perspective on life and I truly appreciate you sharing that with everyone. We will miss the daily blogs/deep thoughts! Thanks for sharing with us, I know I truly have grown and been deeply uplifted by your words. A heartfelt thank you!!


  5. was inevitable I have so many important goals to devote your energy to...completely appropritate to scale back on this blog...I will miss your daily inspiration though...more than I can say :(

    I was hoping that you would do a second are a gifted writer Tim, and even though I "know what happens", I am looking forward to your unique perspective.

    Many blessings to all of you as you travel down this road, may it be filled with health, energy, joy and hope...and most of

    To Elena - I will keep you in my prayers, that your broken heart will be healed. I am so sorry for your losses...may your burden be lifted, and hope return to you...blessings

  6. Of course I still suffer from my losses. But what I write is a product of thinking not just of emotions and ignorant bliss. Thinking that your child is suffering with a purpose doesn't make his/her pain less.

    Tim and Ang enrolled Bella in a potentially dangerous trial, to avoid a life of pain for her. And now they are going to birth another child possibly with the same condition without trying to avoid the condition. They contradict themselves. Trying to cure one child with scientific methods and not trying to avoid the birth of child with the same painful condition with the same scientific methods.

    Tim, you name yourself a big mouth and like to put things straight and it is strange that you expect to receive only approval and congratulations. Not everybody is thinking the same way.

    The chance of having another child with EB is not 25%, this percent may be true for big numbers - if you have more than 1000 children, only 25% of them will have EB. But you cannot predict anything about your next child. You may have child after child after child with the condition. You are rolling the dice hoping for the best.

    So lets hope that you have luck this time.


  7. Elena...Maybe we Should focus on the 75% chance?
    And, Ali is as close to a "saint" as a 4 year old can be.
    She's got more "understanding" about faith and love and acceptance than most adults.
    Sure. Its a risk, but I think we've got to trust their judgement. And if you don't, its just courtesy to keep negatives thoughts to yourself...I too, am sorry for your loses, but, this place is for good thoughts.
    I applaud you for at least coming forward, unlike anonymous. But...somethings are better left unsaid.

  8. And how do you know they didn't try to "avoid " it? I was on 2 birth controls when we got pregnant with our son?

  9. My comments last night were not meant to be negative in any way. The fact that you took offense indicates that it was somewhat expected. It was simply a question I'm sure more than me are wondering right now. As a responsible parent, I think I would give my very young, impressionable, surviving child a chance to recover and find a new normal. I would make sure she was adjusting well and there were no concerns. If you have been able to determine that in such a short period of time then good for you. And while none of this is any of my business, I will continue to pray for the health of the baby.

  10. Sara, have you read what I just wrote? There is no such thing like "25%chance". You simply don't know what your next child will be. The chances are calculated for big groups of objects or people. They just don't apply for the case. And of course most of the comments on the blog will be the way they are, just becaUse people don't know the facts and prefer just to believe.

    There are two scientific methods to avoid the birth of a child with a heavy genetic condition. And I wonder why people who are in touch with the most advAnced medical knowledge choose to rely only on chance. On 50/50 chance for a healthy/ill baby, just two months after a body and soulwrenching stay for 100 days in PICU and the lost of a precious child. The burden seems too heavy to me.


  11. Kelly in Tampa, FLMarch 3, 2011 at 6:56 AM

    I confess I have been a lurker. Bad me. Bella and your family continue to be in my thoughts daily. My 4-year-old, Andrew, and I continue to "talk" to Bella during his evening prayers. They're not the most eloquent prayers but things a 4 year old would deem important...

    Bella I hope you're having fun. Are there trucks in heaven (Andrew's a big truck fan). And stuff like that.

    I was so happy to see the Yes! sign on the test. What a blessing a new baby is. And how exciting for Ali to be a big sister again. I hope Angelique is feeling well. There is nothing more amazing than to be carrying such precious cargo. The closeness a mother feels while carrying a baby is incomparable.

    Continue to trust in God and His plan (as you do so well). He loves you and will provide. He's got His fabulous Bella as a sidekick so you're covered. Bella will be a great big sis from Heaven.

    As for those commentors who feel the need to discuss the "reality" of the situation, please just ignore them. I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes from the fabulous Dr. Seuss:

    "Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

    How excited for us all to have a fifth Ringgold to pray for and have the privilege to get to know.

    Love and hugs,
    Kelly in Tampa


    I am so excited for you guys! Of course it is normal to be nervous but just trust that God is sovereign and whatever He ordains is right! I want to send you the book Suffering and the Sovereignty of God I will email you about it.

    Have a great day and congratulations on the new baby!


  13. Oh, Tim and Ang - we are so excited for you!! Such wonderful news! Tim, I am soooo going to miss your daily blogs, I can't even tell you. You have been keeping me grounded! But I completely understand that you only have so many hours in the day!!

    To all of you negative bloggers - Tim and Ang are intelligent people and know the positive and negative side of things. You don't need to rub their noses in it online. That just serves to make people cranky, irritable, and not want to read the blog!

    Beth in Cincinnati, OH

  14. Elena... I too am sorry for your loss. I can not imagine what you have experienced and would not dream of telling you how you should live your life after such a terrible loss.

    I think you misread so many people... you think we post positive thoughts out of ignorance? That we focus on faith because we don't know the science behind EB? I can only speak for myself, but I am an intelligent, professional woman. I know facts. I know science. I also know faith. Angie said it best... "God has a plan".

    This blog is a raw, open, wonderfully expressive journey written by a man who has chosen to share it with all who care to read. It is not a committee to judge his & Ang's decisions. They are two smart, loving, brave souls and I have full confidence that they know the ramifications of another pregnancy on Ang's health and on all their emotional healths. I do not think this forum is the place for some of your comments. Why can't Tim expect approval and congratulations??? Would you go into a BMT ward and start telling the patients there the statistics of their surviving? That would be callous, huh? I think that Tim KNOWS the science. The fact that Tim and Ang share any of this with us is really amazing. Ali is in the hands of two capable and loving parents... we should all leave it for them to decide what is best for her.

    Back to the issue of knowingly bringing a child into this world that potentially has EB... Tim and Ang I am sure would want nothing more than a healthy child. I do not think it is irresponsible for them to trust in God's plan. None of us know that our child will be born healthy. Tim wrote very beautifully about their thoughts behind this... about God deciding EB/no EB. If you have followed this blog, how can you not realize you are insulting Bella in a way? God chose Tim and Ang to be parents of the beautiful soul who was born as Bella. Her time was heartbreakingly short here on earth. Her pain was horrific I am sure. Life if going to have pain and that is the terrible truth. But Bella had life! And she lived and was loved and will never, EVER be forgotten. She was not just an EB baby. If the baby that they are carrying were to have EB, should this baby not have been conceived or born? Tim and Ang are not cavalier in their decision. Their faith and trust in God is not something to be dismissed as secondary. If you choose to not agree, that is your prerogative. But there is such as thing as class and a time and a place. This blog is for lifting this family up, anything else is an affront to this family and to Bella.

  15. Elena...I guess I'm ok with being one to just believe. Out of respect, if you want to discuss more, please feel free to email me...mrscooper81 @ AOL.

  16. Well, I totally understand the fact that you are stretched a million different directions and need to keep your life balanced.

    I will miss your daily blogs immensely. I'm actually a pen and paper note taker. You have inspired me in so many ways.

    Thank you

    Elena, as a person with close personal contact with a family of multiple EB kids (birth) I quake in my boots a little bit. I am so sorry for your disappointments and losses. I understand your concerns, but they are already aware. They know what they are doing. You throw numbers out there. It doesn't matter. They are going to have a child and will be awesome parents as they've already shown. They want to take the gamble. It's okay. Really. If you sit down to type a comment please think really hard about it. Ask yourself if this is something you would say in person, face to face before you write it. Hopefully some of Tim's writings will touch your heart and you can turn some things around in your mind and perhaps some of the bitterness may fade away. I hope you find happiness.


  17. Tim- we all will miss your daily blogs, but I rest assured that when you do post, it will be filled with tons of interesting and uplifting material, as always. GOD BLESS YOU!! your strength and faith are astounding. I too also tend to say what I think :)

    Elena - you said "My angel in heaven didn't protect me from another EB child and another loss, so I don't believe any more in divine justice and compensation. With my activities helping the other EB families I didn't gain the God's benevolence.".... by saying that did you mean that you helped other's for your own gain??? that you expected a "repreive" or something just because you helped others with EB. I thought charity and helping people was to give, not to receive??
    I think the Ringgolds have it right, you trust and serve God NO MATTER WHAT, not just to get what you want. Maybe God felt that you were the best parent for those particular EB Angels during his/her time on earth. Look upon it as a commendation to you're ability to love and care. Let the negativity go. I will pray for you as well. I also feel that as parents of one EB child already, the Ringgolds will be more prepared emotionally and intellectually to love and care for another, if God so chooses. Bella had a chance to LIVE, LOVE, and LAUGH during her short amazing life, who are they or us for that matter to deprive another child of those same things.

  18. I was nosy an had to read the rude comment...I am so sorry someone would be so ignorant. Congrats on the new baby! Don't worry about what other stupid people think!

  19. Yes, you are right. Bella had great parents, lots of people praying and knew love, laughter, and life during her short time on earth. However, she SUFFERED everyday. God gave us technology and the conscience to make choices. Those are the facts.

  20. Sorry there's more - to the Anonymous from last night. As a parent myself, I think telling the Ringgolds what Ali needs or should have is insulting. In the approximate 10-11 months that will pass between Bella's passing and the new baby's birth, a lifetime will go by in Ali's perspective. All children have an amazing ability to adapt and adjust to new siblings and family changes at that age, and so far Ali's parents have been nothing short of amazing as to making sure Ali's social, physical and emotional needs have been met, why would another child change that?? Please think first and filter what you write... it's called compasssion

  21. Wow... anonymous, just stop. Please. You are out of line and incredibly rude and that is A FACT. Please, just stop posting. I wish you would follow your conscience and make the choice to, as Tim said, GO AWAY.

  22. Morning Tim,

    I am so sorry for not calling you last night. Joan left me your phone number and in my morning madness I cannot locate it. AGHHHH!!! So sorry. Please call me (714) 514-2635 or email me at my office: . I am in and out of meetings all day so email is usually the best method. Can't wait to talk! Oh and I cannot forget to thank you for sharing your wonderful news. What a blessing (-: We are behind you guys all the way. I checked in yesterday morning and for some reason my post wasn't working so I quickly jumped off the computer and forgot to try to post again. Well please call me or email me.

    Looking forward to speaking with you~

    Lara Davidson (Braeden's Mom)

  23. Hi,

    I think it does no good to speak of suffering as if you know or can comprehend the individual sufferings of others, especially those people whom you do not know. Moreover, suffering is a deeply deeply personal thing...none of us have a right to judge anyone else in their choices in life.

    Speaking specifically of Tim and Angelique, I would think they know perfectly well what they are getting into. Their baby is a blessing, just as Bella continues to be a blessing. Yes, EB is the most disgusting disease I have ever heard of (and this blog is my first encounter with it), but I can speak from my own personal experience in saying that whatever situations and/or conditions we find ourselves in (such has having a child born with EB) or walking around with Cerebral Palsy as I do every day, it is those situations, those conditions, that make us who we are. We would ALL not be the people we are had we not had the very specific happenings happen to us. Those who comment and question the decisions of this couple seek to negate all that they are and have done thus far, including the precious child currently unborn.

    That being said, I read this blog everyday. I cried for Bella. For her pain. I marveled at the family unit as I saw it. There is no question in my mind that this child, in whatever form he or she is born, shall be blessed.

    Math never did appeal to me. But I like to think, and I hope it is so, that your child, Tim, is one of those 75% kids. Keep your head up...the burden of doubt is heaviest of all.

    To the anonymous person who is so horrible inarticulate and uncouth...learn some manners and decorum. I am a child and I know this...your words are a poison.

    All the best,


  24. "Anonymous" asked a reasonable question. The comment was not tactless, your response was.

  25. This is *anonymous" from the post last night. I had no idea that asking a question would cause this much controversy. I did not think it cruel, uncouth, out of the way, nor crass in any way. I was thinking of it as trying to see from your side of the fence. That's all. It was not meant to hurt or judge. With that being said, I feel Elena raised a good point about EB research in that actively raising money for a cure without trying to prevent the cause is a contradiction. God bless you all.

    Marion in SC

  26. Marion... is "prevent the cause" meaning not having said child? What on earth could Tim and Ang do to "prevent the cause"? Are you freaking kidding me? Yes there is genetic testing that can be done... but you can not do that without already creating a life. GET IT?? Do you think it is God's will to create a life and then discard it if the genetic tests aren't to your liking? I am amazed at the idiocy running rampant today and I personally apologize, as a caring human being, to Tim and Ang that they are subjected to such ignorant bullshit.

  27. Wow. Seriously? Didn't you ever learn that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all? Please crawl back in your hole now anonymous and Elena.

    Ringgolds, congratulations!!

  28. Tracey,

    I'm not trying to defend or side. Just letting you know from another EB parent that IVF is a trend. I guess they can test for EB before implantation, if I understand correctly. I'm not saying I agree/disagree, etc, but perhaps that's where they're coming from. It's not for everyone. I understand. I respect people and their choices and I am very happy for the Ringgolds. Love them babes! It's very exciting.

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know perhaps that was the train of thought with the naysayers.

    Esther in Arkansas

  29. I shouldn't be surprised that even during times of celebration that some people can't help but be tacky. I am sorry that there are such people. Ang did sum it up best with God having a plan. Regardless of how people feel about you having another baby it doesn't matter. This baby already exists and this baby is one of God's children. Also, it is your life and your choice and no one gets a say but you and your family. What gets to me is people say things about something that can't be changed. Even if I were to agree with these hurtful comments,which I don't, I would find it silly and mean to make them. Because saying them won't change the fact that you are having another baby. Once again, I want to say congratulations on such a blessing!

  30. I guess every party needs a pooper, right?

    Congratulations on your new blessing! We take what God deals to us, and sometimes risking is better than not playing at all. Risky as it might be, it's no one's damn business but your own. Prayers for a healthy baby!


  31. Good grief...I think that Elena should get her own blog. A comments page under another's blog is not the place to be writing this stuff back and forth.

    I also think:

    Tim and Ang are wonderful people and have been wonderful, caring parents to Ali, Bella and ANY other child who enters their lives.
    Ali is the sweetest little girl who loves with a great big heart and understands more about love, faith, hope and compassion than many adults.
    Bella will always be a sweet blessing to us and I am grateful to her, her family and her team to try and help bring healing and love to everyone who is affected by EB.
    God bless you all, Ringgold family! We love you and everything you FEEL and GO THROUGH!

  32. I think that it is funny that sometimes we think we have all the control in having a new life enter this world. God doesnt make mistakes. God fearfully and wonderfully made that child and placed him or her in Angie's womb and I for one am thrilled. I lost a child to miscarriage and then became infertile then after we decided to adopt we had a failed adoption, but I praise the one who gives and the one who takes away. I trust Him.

    While I read this blog during the time Bella was alive I saw such obedience and strength in you. I dont know anything about the comment about your daughter but I am sorry it was said. People can take a blessing and call it a curse. I think you guys are great. I think you are passionate and caring and loving and deserve a bit of happy news which I consider a positive pregnancy test to be just that..AWESOME news! This is your life and your business and personally I think every baby is a blessing.

    Be blessed and CONGRATS!!!!


  33. LOTS of judging and name calling in these comments. Not sure what the point is?

    I'm glad I've learned about EB. I read the other blogs so scared that one day there will be another sad message.

    I read Tim's still....not sure why. I am awfully happy to hear another blessing is coming into this family's life!

    Guessing Tim and Ang are feeling scared, me too. I'm looking forward to good news! I think everyone on this blog wants the same thing - cure for EB, saving children's lives and now to see a baby born healthy and happy!

    PS....LOVE the mind meld. Love it!!

  34. Ahhh...let's not bash Elena until we've walked a mile in her shoes. Perhaps she shouldn't bring her pain here-I don't know. I hope she finds peace and healing for her broken faith & heart. Dear Elena, we cannot earn God's benevolence. Believe it or not, He loves you regardless of what you do. You lost your dear ones because we live in a fallen world. Sickness and disease are the consequences of that fallen world. Your precious children will never suffer, never again. It isn't a bad thing for them. Not at all, but the best that could ever happen to them. It is but a separation for a time because if you accept Jesus as your Savior, you WILL be together with them again. Forever.

    See, the truth of the matter is, for the people out there who believe that the Ringgolds should never have more children, NONE of us, that is right- none of us should ever have children if you follow the naysayers' reasoning! The tendencies for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and a host of other ailments can be or are inherited. We will all die of something eventually and often it is a painful death. Does that mean our parents were wrong to have us??

    I hope I've worded this correctly. Read it twice to those of you who think I'm against the Ringgolds. Bless their hearts, I think a sweet new baby is wonderful news! Blessings on your new child. May he or she come to love and serve Jesus at a young age. My sincerest congratulations are to you!!

  35. Tim, Ang, Ali, Bella and Baby,

    It's Jane here.

    I have watched and listened today as many people have commented. These are deep waters, no doubt about it. But something kept flashing through my mind, as I read your blog and the comments it stimulated, and then dug my garden and came back inside and read a bit more and picked my kidlets up from school and ate and read and thought... about you and the family and the future you are building.

    What kept flashing through my mind was a line from the poet Seamus Heaney's 'Song,' which makes reference to 'the music of what happens'. Sometimes the news we offer others causes dissonance. That's tough for all. Sometimes the stories of our lives cause harmony. That's wonderful for all. Mostly our lives consist of layers of both, even in the most extreme moments.

    Your news has stimulated much discussion and, in the main, I think I'd stick my neck out and say it has been conducted respectfully and contemplatively. But perhaps the timing has been off. Today is a time for love and support rather than questions or misgivings. But I suppose there HAS been an elephant in the room, and (rightly or wrongly) people chose to address that looming presence also.

    I have no easy answers. But I do offer you that line that rattled in my head all day. Today's music is 'the music of what happens'.

    I send you all my loudest best wishes, yelled from my lofty perch upon my roof. And I listen to the music of what happens, with both its dissonant and its harmonious notes, as it plays for my friends the Ringgolds.

    Thinking of you. Excited for the coming days,

    Fondly, always,


  36. Ringgold Family,

    Congratulations! I believe every baby is a blessing, every one. And can I say: thank you for keeping this wonderful news quiet as long as you did.... and sparing me the long days until he or she arrives! I have a very close friend who suffered from infertility and many miscarriages. I knew every time she was having a test or procedure and the waiting was so hard. I imagine the last few months have gone by slowly in your household. I wish you nothing but the best!

    Tim, I will miss hearing from you daily, but you have lots of things to focus on and it makes sense. I hope all of these comments won't keep you from blogging, but I'd like to throw this in....

    God Bless Jane! :)

    Karen Steiner
    Denver, CO

  37. Wowzers! That is all I will say about that.

    Anyway, I will miss the daily posts too, but until we find a way to give you another 24 hours in each day, we'll just have to make do with fewer posts. :)

    And as I suspected, Team A was thrilled about the new addition - we are PRAYING!

    Hope you have a great weekend - next time you post, we need to see some Ali karate action shots! :)