Our precious daughter Karinne was diagnosed with Acrania, a terminal diagnosis, at 13 weeks gestation by a routine sonogram. Our unconditional love for her, our deep desire to hold her in our arms, as well as our Christian faith led us without hesitation to the decision to continue the pregnancy. This website was created in Karinne's honor with the hope that her brief but mighty life would never be forgotten and that her story could make a lasting impact in the lives of others.
Last Thursday - December 2nd - was the anniversary of our first sonogram with Karinne. The last day that we were blissfully unaware that anything was wrong. The following night our doctor called to tell us that there appeared to be fluid on the baby's brain and through blinding, but hopeful tears, we made plans to see a specialist the following week. As I reflected on those events from one year ago - it seemed so strange and symbolic to be doing the other things we did that day.
We signed and mailed the final design plans of Karinne's monument. It is such a relief to have it designed just the way we want it and I so look forward to the day when it is ready to be installed. I know it will be simply beautiful! (BTW - it's very similar to what I already posted here - only with a prettier "K" on the front and slightly smaller footprints on the back to be the same size as her actual feet.)
And the best part of last Thursday was the beautiful weather and how it allowed us to go put up a special tree at Karinne's grave. I had been planning to put a tree of some sort at her grave and I was inspired by a few other baby loss moms to make it really special. The photos turned out beautifully, so I have included a lot of them here to help tell the story of what we did. I know this will become a special tradition for years to come.
When we got out there, I gave each of the kids a sharpie and a couple of bright pink ornaments that they could write on for Karinne. They were each very excited to do this!
DaNae wrote Karinne's initials inside a heart and used "fancy writing" as she calls it. She also wrote her own name.
We also each had a glittery silver ornament to add to the tree - each with special meaning.
DaNae wanted an angel for hers - to remind her of her sister. This sweet winged fairy was the closest we could find. It also reminded me of a little dancing girl - which I loved!
Noah put his name on each ornament - in his cute kindergartener way - and drew an angel, a heart, and a Christmas tree.
Here is a close up of his sweet tiny angel drawing. He has drawn several like this for me and I just LOVE them! Not sure which are the wings and which are the arms - but it's SO CUTE!
Noah chose this bow for his special ornament. When I asked him why, he said, "It's like the thing angels have above their head." "Like their halo?" I said. "Yeah - like that."
Ian did his best to draw on his ornaments and I wrote his name on this one. I didn't ask him what he drew, but I should do that. Could be interesting what he might say. He was very proud of them!
Ian chose this dragonfly for his special ornament. At the store when we were picking them out, he kept saying, "I want the fly! I want the fly!" I thought he meant the butterfly one, but he kept insisting - "No - the fly!" I finally figured out he wanted the dragonfly. When I asked him why he pick it, he said he thought it would be pretty for Karinne. And he was right!
By the way - you may be wondering from these photos - "Are they really in a cemetery?" Well - we really are. But we chose Karinne's gravesite to be the farthest one out - so far. We wanted to have plenty of space around us where the kids could run and play without being on top of other graves. Although sadly, there have been several new graves go into the area lately. We have plots where Curt and I will be buried with her someday. We are hopeful that someday more trees will be planted along the center path nearby. AND - being that it's western Kansas - we get A LOT of wind. So we made sure to secure the tree to a spike driven a foot into the ground. And we secured all of the ornaments with wire wrapped tightly. Hopefully it will all stay intact!
Curt put on a deer ornament for Karinne. This is to symbolize his hobby of deer hunting and shooting sports - which he enjoys doing with his children - and wishes he could have done someday with our little girl.
And I chose this flower ornament because it reminded me of the garden we planted in her honor and the enjoyment, reflection, and "something to do with myself" that it provided me this summer in her absence and will continue to do in the years to come.
We also added a few little glittery snowflake ornaments that each have a little jingle bell attached. I figure they will make sweet music for our baby on breezy days. By the time we were finished, the sun had set - and boy! did it get chilly fast. Our hands were pretty cold by the time we left.
It turned out pretty well - I would have to say. And the beautiful glow of the sunset reflected in the clouds was such a lovely and heavenly touch to the evening and to these photos.
I would welcome any family and friends who would like to add an ornament to Karinne's tree to please do so. Just please do write your name on it somewhere so we know which sweet loved one it was from. And please also make sure to attach it securely to the tree!