Broken But Blessed


A week ago today, on March 13th, Emily and I’s beautiful baby boy, Cade James Griffin, was born 2 months premature to the day. We had been in the hospital for a week, because Emily’s water had unexpectedly broken just before going to bed. After a week of testing, waiting, and injecting Emily with unknown quantities of drugs to hold off birth, Cade was ready to introduce himself to the world.

Emily and I, along with our friends and family, were on pins and needles waiting for Cade to be born, because our doctors had a number of concerns about Cade’s health. Emily’s water had broken because of a very large amount of excess fluid in her stomach. The doctors were concerned that Cade wasn’t swallowing the amniotic fluid, which is why there was so much. He also showed some signs during the ultrasound of a recessed jaw, open mouth & little limb movement.

At 6:04pm on March 13th, 2014, Cade James Griffin began his brief 32 hours on earth. As soon as he was born, being 2 months premature, he was whisked off by the NICU doctors to be put on breathing support, and to assess what was wrong with baby Cade. After about an hour of stabilizing his breathing, and trying to figure out why Cade’s skin was so tight and fragile, the doctors were at a loss. They had never seen a baby with conditions like Cade. His skin was unbelievably tight, and painful to the touch (to Cade). His jaw was small and recessed, making it nearly impossible to put a breathing tube in him if things went downhill. He wasn’t able to fully extend his limbs, shut his eyes for very long, or close his mouth.  The doctors didn’t know what was causing his conditions, but they knew he needed to be in a hospital that could better support him. So almost as soon as he was born, Cade was transferred by ambulance to the Children’s Hospital in Denver, where the doctors could give Cade a better chance of surviving if his vitals starting declining.

The Children’s Hospital would turn out to be Cade’s final home for his time on earth. Emily’s dad, Jim, and I went to the new hospital as soon as Cade was transferred, while Emily and her mom stayed at our delivery hospital to recover. When we arrived at the Children’s Hospital, the night NICU doctor was also at a loss. He had never seen Cade’s conditions, but he was determined to get to the bottom of it by meeting with all of the NICU doctors the next day. We needed someone who had seen this before, and in less than 12 hours we would find just that, and have our answers. Jim and I headed back to the hospital to be with Emily and her mom until the next morning.

The next morning we headed back to the Children’s Hospital to get the news that would change our lives forever. A NICU doctor named Dr. Horst, who turned out to be an unbelievable support for us, walked into Cade’s room where we were waiting. Dr. Horst amazingly had seen this condition before, 11 years earlier in this same hospital.  One of the top Geneticists in the country also happened to be in the hospital that day, and confirmed what Dr. Horst suspected. Cade had an extremely rare skin condition in which his skin stops growing, while his body continues to grow. This explained all of Cade’s issues. His jaw was recessed because his skin wouldn’t allow it grow. His skin was tight because he had outgrown it. His mouth and eyes were difficult to shut because he didn’t have enough skin to pull them shut. Cade was in pain and there was nothing we could do about it. The condition was incurable and was not survivable. There had only been 40 reported cases of this condition in history, so to say it’s rare is a dramatic understatement. We were the 1 in a million, if not billion.

Over the next and final 14 hours of Cade’s life, our families rushed to Denver to meet Cade and support Emily & I. It was the longest, worst, and most beautiful day of my life.

We got to hold Cade in our arms.

We got to fall asleep with him resting peacefully on our chest.

We got to kiss his hairy little head.

We got to calm him when he cried.

We got to baptize him and pray for him.

We got to take pictures with him that will be with us for life.

In a nutshell, we got to be mom and dad.

Cade passed away in our arms at 2:30am that night, March 15th. His 32 hours on earth was complete. We got to hold him and be with him as he took his final breaths. It was incredibly difficult to do, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything. There’s no other place we would have rather been at that moment in time.  Moving forward is not going to be easy. There will be days where we don’t want to get out of bed. There will be days when the last thing we want to do is see or talk to another human being. There will be good days and bad days. But we will pull through. Our journey to build a family is not over. Not by a long shot.

We will choose to be grateful, not angry.

We will choose to be hopeful, not hopeless.

We will choose to ask “What’s next”, not “Why us”.

We will choose to be thankful that we had to endure this, and not someone else.

We will choose to remember Cade with fondness, not sadness.

One of the many silver linings in all of this has been the incredible and unforgettable support that we have had from countless friends and family. It is times like these where a simple “thank you” is all that can be said to literally 100s of people that have been there for us. Bringing us meals. Cards. Flowers. Notes of encouragement. Financial help for the piling bills. We have been utterly blown away over the past 2 weeks. It helps bring us smiles during a time of far too many frowns. So for that I say thank you. Thank you for your help. Thank you for being there. Thank you for reading this. Without you, this road would be a lot more difficult to travel.

We are broken, but we are blessed. RIP baby Cade.

Cade James Griffin

March 13th, 2014 – March 15th, 2014

39 replies on “Broken But Blessed”

    1. This story bring me to tears this morning as my husband and I lost our little Geoffrey at 20 weeks in November 14, 2013 due to my water breaking early and a severe infection. He was born pre mature and I along with my husband held him for hours and hours in the hospital over night dreading letting him go. He was absolutely perfect and looked so peaceful it seemed as if he would wake up at any moment to meet the world he would live in.

      Wee too had such loving support from all around and that has helped us tremendously. But there are days, days that are the saddest you could ever feel. But then there are days where you are joyful and thankful for our lives on the earth. These are the days that I focus on and we have hope. My thought are with your family ans sweet baby Cade.

    2. So beautifully written Adam. Our hearts and love go out to you and Emily. I’m so grateful your families were able to be with you, Emily, and Cade-Jodi and Charles

  1. Our hearts break for you in this difficult time. We admire your positive and strong outlook.
    All our prayers coming your way.
    God Bless!
    Callie & Tony Line

  2. What an angel! You’re story touched my heart, and I hope that time will help your heart heal. Blessings to you and your family.

  3. You have an amazing outlook on life!! Sending prayers your way from Michigan. Very sorry for your loss.

  4. Such beautiful words. Your story touched my hearts! Your strength, faith, and enduring hope gives me inspiration. My prayers are with you and your beautiful baby Cade!

  5. Cade is now an Angel that visited for a brief moment now he is watching over all of You in heaven. My God Bless you both through this hard time and know that soon your dreams will come true!!!!! We Love U both The Miller Team!

  6. If your parents need someone to talk to, I’m here. As grandparents, we grieve for our children and the loss of our grandchild. You are a strong, wonderful couple. My thoughts are with you and your wife.

  7. My love and prayers go to you with the death of your son Cade. You are both wonderful parents and clearly shared that with him . To experience all of parenting in such a small amount of time is so hard, but also a privilege. My thoughts are with both of you. Margaret Otto

  8. Praying for you all. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain you have been enduring or what is to come. He was sent to teach us something and he did. How to be great parents even when your child only stays for a short time. God Bless.

  9. My thoughts and prayers are with you… You all touched my heart.. I am 5 months pregnant and just sat here and cried for you… You are all very strong and know he’s all around you all… What a beautiful family you have;) God bless you…

  10. So sorry for your loss. I wish I could say it gets easier but for me as the grandmother of a sweet little angel that blessed the earth for only 4 hours due to the lack if lung developement because of lack of fluid ( come to find out he didn’t have kidneys) it only seems to get harder everyday. The only thing we can do is keep their precious memories alive and try to help others during their tough journey. May God Bless you and your family.

  11. God Bless the two of you. I’m sorry for your loss. May God Bless you on your journey into what ever God has you conquer next. You have a little angel that watches over you now and forever!

  12. Immediately the promises of this song came into my heart: “There’s a peace I’ve come to know
    Though my heart and flesh may fail
    There’s an anchor for my soul
    I can say “It is well”

    Prayers upon prayers for your family…

  13. I am so sorry for your loss. I, too, have experienced the pain of losing a premature baby, twice, in fact. Nothing compares. With time, with God’s grace, your feeling of loss will lessen, but you never forget, and you always wish that those dreams for this child could have come true.

  14. So sorry for your unbelievable loss. I have learned this year as never before that life is not fair. I am so so sorry that sweet Cade was born with this condition, and sorry for the suffering he endured but he is lucky to have been loved by you all and your family and I believe he has helped to make this world a better place by reminding of us if what truly matters…

  15. Adam… Your tribute honors your son and your family’s kind spirit. Thank you for sharing Cade’s touching story. I am humbled by your insight and positivity, and will trust that you and Emily feel comfort and hope from the many people sending love and prayers.

  16. Although there are many of us who have lost, we can never know just how you, yourselves, feel…we can only support you, listen, hold and care…I am so extremely sorry for your loss…hold onto each other. Clarin Blessing

  17. “We will choose to be grateful, not angry.
    We will choose to be hopeful, not hopeless.
    We will choose to ask “What’s next”, not “Why us”.
    We will choose to be thankful that we had to endure this, and not someone else.
    We will choose to remember Cade with fondness, not sadness.”

    Very touching and inspiring! Thank you for sharing your experience no matter how sad and devastating it is. Yes, choose to be hopeful!

  18. Adam- Just reading this and my heart breaks for what Cade, you and Emily have gone through… yet I am in awe of the clarity and strength. Bless you all! Your story is an inspiration.
    Marie K (DU)

  19. A Darling young family in our Church recently lost an infant girl to a long string of illnesses. Your words of encouragement are both courageous and empowering. I must share them with this dear family. May the Holy Spirit continue to give you Peace which passes our understanding, In Jesus’ Awesome Love, Laura

  20. Adam, Thank you for your strength and caring in talking care of my precious daughter Emily and precious grandson Cade! Janon and I will cherish the time that we got to hold Cade and tell him that we loved him. Cade has caused many people to stop and pray to the God of the universe and I am thankful to him for that and so blessed to have had him as a grandson. Your words carry POWER, INSIGHT and WISDOM and I am proud YOU for being the man that you are! Granddad Jim

  21. Adam and Emily: I do not know you but we have a mutual FB friend that commented on this making it appear on my page. My husband and I’s baby girl Tabith Paige Demel was born on January 15th and passed away suddenly on January 23rd. I want you to know that you are are not alone. If either one of you would like to talk to someone (now or a year from now – no pressure) that can say something other than, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through.”, I would love for you to contact me. Much love to you, your families, your friends and especially Baby Cade. My prayers are added to yours.

  22. Adam & Emily: This brought a puddle of tears to my lap. I cried because of your loss, but also because of your strength. It amazes me that you’ve CHOSEN to look at the good & not the bad, and for that I am humbled and inspired to think of the good in my own life. Thank you for being a model for love.

    May your memories of Cade stay strong & your wounds heal. Hugs & love coming your way from the Wennogle household!

  23. This blog has so inspired me. Our Alex was also premature however he made it 41 months on earth. 41 months or 32 hours all are Gods children and precious in his sight. Cade has left a legacy that will live on forever. Keep his memory and legacy in your heart and share it with others who are hurting!
    Alex always said Taa Daaa
    Keep your strong faith.

  24. The world is here for you. Your angel Cade in Heaven will always be there in the most unsuspecting places, the breeze of wind you feel, the sun on your face, the butterfly that appears out of no where, the gentle rain or snow that falls. Take your time and do whatever you need to do to heal, jump scream shout laugh whatever.. Celebrate the special days in your way. Take care and may the Lord wrap his loving arms around you always and may you feel His and Cades presence in the days to come. Terry & Kim Tvrdy

  25. Adam and Emily,
    Words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss. I wish there was some way to take away the unimaginable pain you must be experiencing. From the very beginning of this journey it was clear what truly loving and beautiful parents and souls you are. I’m so proud and inspired by every courageous step you’ve taken on this long path and know your big beautiful hearts must be shattered. I think of and pray for you both and Cade everyday. Thank you for sharing your story of your amazing little Angel, your pain, and your inspiration. I am sending you all my heart felt love.

    You are loved.


  26. Bless ya ll forshareing ur. miraclewith the world and ur awesome outlook on life faith and parenting. I was a young mom who now has a very headstrong teenage girl and one thatis 7 yrs.younger. My husband and i have some very rough days we lost all three great grand and grandpas within a year. The sun arose and set with the men S far as my girls were concerned. I pray for u both loss a difficult thing .May god put stars in your crown for such wise and comforting words and . letting other wittness it to comfort them. That is one of the most unselfish acts of a human I have seen and heard in a verylong time. your children will be blesses to have u as parents. Enjoy,rememberand cherish every precious moments with them,because their might be a day come when they wont always love u . But u will love them for eternity. bless u and will be in our prayers.

  27. And Jesus said, “Bring the little children unto me.” Precious, little, lamb of God, sent to earth to teach us lessons of love and learn how one family’s faith in God, will not let them falter. There will be bad days, there will be great days, but all days will be filled with Cade’s spirit. Beautiful and very emotional story to read. Thank you for sharing. God Bless you and may God continue to give you both comfort in the months ahead.

  28. This story gave me shivers…many prayers for you both. Remember your sweet baby Cade, he has touched you for a lifetime and look to the future positively…

Comments are closed.