Saturday, January 12, 2013

Time for a Letter


One of the suggestions of one of the parents was a personalized letter. To be honest, I thought that it was a wonderful idea, but I was somewhat intimidated. I mean, how do you put all this emotions into words, how you don't sound preachy or fatalistic, or even hurt their feelings by making assumptions when you don't even know them personally? We do share a bond though, which is having your child fighting a good fight in NICU, and I can honestly tell that this is an experience that changes people lives... for good. 

I left that bond took over, and this is how the letter turned out, feel free to use it, and other suggestions are more than welcomed:


Dear family:

Congratulations for your beautiful baby. We may not know each other personally, but two years ago our lives changed when we met our boy Zachary, who was in the NICU for 50 days.
We understand that this can be a very emotional, overwhelming and sometimes exhausting experience; where joy and hope comes… in baby steps. We just want to let you know that God knows your son or daughter personally, and has a very specific plan for his or her life. Jesus will walk alongside with all of you every step of the way, giving you strength, patience and a dose of unconditional love that you never dreamed possible.
Our prayer is that with this basket you feel in some way God’s love, provision and hope. We pray that this gift is useful, and that makes your stay in the NICU, if not “easier”, at least more comfortable. We also hope that you find the list of community and internet resources useful, and that you count on us if you need a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, or someone to pray for you.
In Christ and with much love, 

The Harmonsons



As usual, thank you for reading, thank you for caring.






Time for a Care Package List

This is an extra post, just in case that someone in similar shoes feels lead to complete a package for another family. To get some ideas on what to include, I asked the experts at mommiesofmiracles.com, parents that have been there and done that, and the response was overwhelming. I pray that we are able to get more packages like this in the near future, and we are humbled and honored that our first package found the perfect family for it. 

This is a suggestion on which items you can include, if God leads you to do the same thing. Please don't feel like you have to add them all; this is just a guide. 

Items Included:

Blanket for parents
Swaddle blanket for baby
Planner with pockets for business cards
Notebook
Pens
Chocolates
Book "The places you'll go"
Man's toiletries: shaving cream, razor, toothbrush, deodorant
Hand sanitizer
Cozy Socks
Snacks
Hand Lotion
Lip Balm
Relaxing Body Wash for mom
Starbucks Gift Card
Nearby Restaurants Gift Card
List of community and online resources
Personalized Letter
Basket
Bow
Gift Basket Wrap Paper or Bag

Other items that were suggested by Amanda, who is a dear friend and also as she puts it an earthly momma to a heavenly baby (see her story here):

bible, journal, disposable camera, matching baby and mom bracelet, hand and feet molds, small unisex crochet blanket and hat.






Friday, January 11, 2013

Time for a Happy Birthday


Dear Zach:

I feel that just a couple of days ago, I was getting my bag ready and heading to the hospital to get induced... and here we are hitting this milestone...ONE YEAR. Ready or not, here it comes. Were we ready to meet you a year ago? Not at all. But it all came, and we learned to eat elephants one bite at a time.

I took a week off from work just to have time to celebrate you; believe or not, being the mom of an angel is hard work. There is no "manual" or tradition for this kind of milestone, so as usual we are starting from scratch. I browsed online for ideas from mommies like me. The best advise? Whatever you decide, don't "Do Nothing" at all, that's the hardest thing to do.

We took that advice and got busy: Went to visit you, changed your flowers, and our two favorites: We brought cupcakes for the NICU staff  that took care of you; and we also decided to put together a "Care Package" for a family walking a similar road. It was nice to stay busy preparing it all, brainstorming, making lists and doing all the shopping. It also brought some bizarre conversations, that now I just laugh them off:

Me at a posh cupcake place: Hi, I wanted to order some cupcakes. It's for my boy's birthday.

Cupcake lady: How neat. Do you have a theme?

Me: (Wondering if I should tell the whole spill or not) Oh...oh... mm... angels?

Oh well, after choosing a star topper for all your cupcakes, we put the care package together. I will include the list on another post just in case that anyone out there wants to do the same. It was surreal to say the least to be back in the NICU, to hear the all too familiar monitors, to know that at some point you were there, just a few steps away from us. It was wonderful to see some of the nurses that took care of you again, and to know that they still remember you. Today we were covered in prayer, flowers, cake and balloons at our doorstep from dear friends, early in the morning. You brought really great people to our lives. For that we are extremely grateful.

I am going to bed with a smile, knowing that you are not forgotten, but most of all, knowing that our care package went to the right family who just had their boy two days ago and who lives far away from the hospital. They are still trying to figure out all the logistics, probably with all the emotions still raw. I know that our package will in some way bring them comfort, and we have the certainty in our hearts that it couldn't have gone to better hands. That was an answered prayer, we do serve one amazing God!

Thanks to you boy, we are aware of this type of needs and your short life keeps reaching others. Even though we miss you dearly, it was after all, a Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday Sweet Zachary Owen.
"Mi pulga, Mi pumpkincito"



NICU Package completed, praying for more to come!


We received flowers, muffins and a balloon
at our doorstep from very sweet friends of ours.














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