Keith and Andrea Green are the two most incredible parents in the world. They got married on December 29th, 1973. On July 3rd, 1980 they had their first child together: Elizabeth Green, their new baby girl. As every parent believes their child is special, Keith and Andy didn’t truly understand how special their little girl was. Elizabeth was born with severe Cerebral Palsy and the initial baby bliss quickly turned into the mission of finding Elizabeth help and caring for her needs. Now, 33 years later, that mission continues. Every single day for the past 33 years, Keith and Andy have devoted their entire lives to caring for Elizabeth and making sure she is happy and healthy. They have made this daunting task seem easy, flawless, and effortless. They somehow always have a smile on their faces. All of these years, I have never once heard a complaint or a comment from either of them about how hard their lives have been. Not to mention they did all of this while raising another child – ME!
I have such great memories of my childhood. From playing football for my dad to being my mom's summer sidekick, my world was perfect. Growing up, my parents provided Elizabeth and me with the most wonderful life. They are my parents, mentors, advisors, and friends. I can’t thank them enough for their part in shaping me into the man I am today. I want to be just like them. I want to exhibit the same courage I saw everyday growing up. I love them both and could not be more thankful to have them as my parents.
“Before I knew anything else, I knew how it felt to be loved.” As a little girl, I would lay in bed every night and think about how lucky I was to have such incredible parents who loved me more than anything else in the world. The story is that when I met my dad when I was 3 years old, I hid behind his couch, peaked my head out, and asked my mom, “Que dice?” But the truth is, I don’t remember a time before I knew and loved my dad (or before I spoke English). He was “the man he didn’t have to be”. Before I ever walked into a room full of people, they’d come up to me and tell me how much my dad talks about me and how proud he is of me. (I observed at a very young age that a man’s eyes should light up when he talks about you.) Dad used to always tell me that he fell in love with me even before he fell in love with my mom. Ah, my mom. The most beautiful woman that ever lived. A fifth grade Spanish assignment asked who my hero was. Easy. My mom. A high school graduation project asked who I wanted to be like. Easy. My mom. (Actually, my exact answer was “half of who my mom is.”) My mom is strong. She is smart. She is a fighter. She is a lover. She is kind. She is everything a little girl should see in her formative years. She is everything a woman should aspire to be. And when figuring out who I wanted to be, she was always my inspiration.
Losing my dad is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and wish that I could hug him just one last time. I learned a lot of things from Dad. In fact, I’m still learning from him. I am so grateful for all of my parents’ love and life lessons that shaped my head and heart into what they are today – the very things that caught the eye of the love of my life.
I have the greatest in-laws in the world! Andy and Keith are two of the most loving and generous people I have ever met. They have great, big
hearts that are constantly thinking about others and doing for people around
them. They’ve managed to raise two ABSOLUTELY PERFECT children, and the love that
they have for Andrew and Elizabeth is just beautiful. Their home has felt like
my home from the very beginning. Andrew and I have so much fun with his parents
– eating fast food in the car with a Disney movie playing for Elizabeth (and
me), exploring Home Goods for home decorating ideas, swinging in their backyard
hammock, watching late night movies with home-made vanilla milkshakes. I am so lucky
to be a part of this phenomenal family and can't wait to continue making wonderful memories!
Although I never had the opportunity to meet Gary Forman in person, I absolutely know him. I know him through his beautiful daughter. I love hearing all of Isabel’s Gary stories and I am able to see the morals of his stories being lived out through his most precious girl every day. This is not only a testament to Gary as a person and father, but to Isabel and her love for her Dad. I couldn't be luckier to have Grizelle as my mother-in-law. She cares for me and thinks of me as her own son. She is always there for us with helpful advice and loving wisdom - even when she is telling me to use less salt ;) I can see in her face the love that she has for Isabel and their relationship is truly special. I am excited to continue growing my relationship with her and her beautiful family for many years!