My name is Kristie. I am married to Brent, 9 years this September. We are very fortunate to have three lovely (most of the time - smile) children; Arriana (15.3), Poetrie (6.8) and Parker Styles (1.9). Each of them hold a very special place in our hearts and our lives. And we, like most parents, would do anything to ensure their health, safety and well-being.
Arriana is my step-daughter, but my daughter, none the less. At the tender age of 12, Arriana and her younger brother, Darius, witnessed the untimely death of their mother, Dinika. Dinika passed from severe asthma attack in their Atlanta, Georgia home.
My husband and I got the call in the middle of the night in August of 2006. I will never forget that phone call or that drive to Georgia to move Ari into our Ohio home.
The below photo was taken upon our arrival in Georgia. Brent looks a bit tired because we hadn't yet rested and had been driving through the night. This was our first time meeting Dinika's son... we nicknamed him "Diggy" because he reminded us of Run's son. LOL. Here's a kid that we had only heard about from Arriana – we instantly connected with this little cutie.
Ari is hearing impaired. Her impairment was discovered around 18m of age although the exact cause has never been identified. American Sign Language is her first language. English, her second. Needless to say, we had some learning to do. We took up ASL classes at St. Rita's School for the Deaf. Arriana also attended St. Rita's for her 7th grade year, where the staff and the school were simply amazing to us during this difficult time.