School Girl charm

Monday, February 21, 2011

Aurelia Rose

Today as I got ready to write this week's post, I began by reading back over all of your sweet comments last week after I announced our pregnancy news.  A big thanks to all of you that posted kind words of love and support!  Each comment brought me such warm feelings and tears of gladness at how truly loved we are.  What a blessing!  Thank you - Thank you - Thank you!!

Thanks also for your continued prayers.  I know at least some of you have been praying because I have felt a calmness this week - even in the midst of not knowing any news yet.  I didn't get to have my checkup on Tuesday because my doctor was sick and missed a few days of work.  And the soonest they could reschedule me was March 2nd!  Bummer!  I was SO looking forward to hearing the baby's heartbeat.  We were even going to take the kids since it was an evening appointment.  It would have been very neat to share that with them.  Thankfully I hadn't told them about that part yet - so they weren't disappointed. 

So - no news yet on when we will have our next sonogram.  But I'm trying to think positively.  The longer we wait, the more they will be able to tell us about the health of the baby overall.  And - if it's God's plan for this baby to have issues - I am glad to have a few weeks longer of not knowing.  

Today I want to share the Caring Bridge site of a sweet and beautiful family whose amazing baby girl was also diagnosed with acrania.  Here's a link to their site:  Aurelia Rose DeWolf

I found out about Katrina, Matt and their sweet Aurelia two weeks ago when I received an email from a dear friend of theirs named Sue:

"You don't know me but I want to thank you.  When I heard that Katrina, my best friends daughter was having her first baby ... we were all so excited for Katrina.  When she was about 14 weeks along she found out that the baby has  Acrania.  I had never heard of this.  By some miracle I was lead to your web site.  I forwarded your website to Katrina and Matt.  You have no idea how much it has helped them. I don't know if or when she herself will contact you but at some point I am sure she would like to thank you.  Your telling of your brave beautiful story made Katrina start her own story at  She is due to have the baby in about 4 week and it will be bittersweet.  Her last blog was she wishes she could be pregnant forever so she could protect her baby.  It  was so hard for us to read but so true as well.  Without the courage from your writings I know this journey that she has been on would have been so much harder.  She told me yesterday that she doesn't feel alone and that with her faith and the love and support of the people around her she will get through this.  She said that she goes back to your web site often when she needs strength.  Thank you thank you and may God bless you and your family. "

When I read this email - I just broke down sobbing for this family.  Why does this have to happen to other families?  And I fell down on my knees to pray for their family through my tears.  

And yet - I was so glad to know how Karinne's life and her story was helping them so much.  Giving them courage.  And hope.  And the belief that it's possible to find beauty in this impossible pain.

I have since emailed with Sue and also Katrina a little bit.  I asked if it would be okay for me to post about Aurelia and ask for prayers for her family.  Katrina was so grateful that I would be willing to do that.  So here we are.   Please take a minute to pray for Katrina and Matt as they near the end of their pregnancy with Aurelia.  Also if you can, please visit their site and leave them a message of support.  I know that those messages - from strangers, family and friends - were such heavenly blessings to us when they appeared on our Caring Bridge last year.  Please join me in doing the same for Katrina and Matt.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.                          2 Corinthians 1:3 & 4

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine's Announcement

I'm sitting here today trying to come up with the best way - the most unique way - the most special way to share with you what I want to share with you today.  It's Valentine's Day for goodness sake - I should have a sweet and sappy post.  But the words just aren't coming. 

So - I think I am just going to come right out and say it....

We've told our children...

We've told our families...

We've told our friends...

We've told our church...

We've told our community...

And now it's time to tell all of you.  

We're going to have another BABY!!!

We are currently 13 weeks along with our sweet little one.  And our official due date is August 22nd.  We have been waiting to share the news until we felt ready to tell our 3 older children.  We told them the big news on Friday, and although the moment of telling them didn't quite turn out as picture perfect as we imagined, they are certainly thrilled at the chance to have a new brother or sister.  The boys are hoping for a brother and DaNae of course wants another sister.  And they are so very hopeful that this time - our baby will get to come home to live with us.

We are filled with joy and also a lot of nerves as we share this news.  We will be having a sonogram in the next week or two to rule out acrania or anencephaly and would greatly appreciate your prayers for a beautifully round little head to show up on that sonogram.  Of course I now have the disadvantage of knowing of "a thousand other things that could go wrong."  But I am just trying to trust that everything will turn out okay.

Again - we would so greatly appreciate your prayers for the safe and healthy arrival of our 5th child in August.  And your prayers for our family as we continue to mourn the loss of our sweet Karinne - whose "footprints on our hearts" couldn't possibly be filled by any other.  

Monday, February 7, 2011


First off - My family is mostly all healthy this week!  Thank you all for the prayers.  I stayed home all week except Friday as the boys recovered.  I ended up with a VERY sore throat on Thursday, but it's mostly all better now.  And thankfully the other 3 of us were spared of the nasty stomach stuff and exhaustion.  And we also ended up having snow/cold days on Tuesday and Wednesday.  So I only ended up having to take off 3 days total - instead of 5.  So glad to be back to health!! 

I had an email conversation last week that I wanted to share with you all today.  It has been on my heart ever since and I felt it was important to share it with all of you. 

From a dear loved one:

"I read everything that you post on Karinne's blog and I am always blown away by the things that happen that you write about.  I bawled when I read about the man at the cemetery.  What a neat experience that turned out to be.  

Your experience through all of this has made it harder and easier to have faith.  Do you know what I mean???  Terrible things like this make me think, what kind of God would put such wonderful people through something like this?  I am sure you have had those thoughts too. But then you have had the opportunity to touch so many lives through your experience, and there have been so many little things, like the story of a stranger that make you think, that couldn't just be a coincidence.  

I am not going to lie to you and say that I have strong faith.  I know that I should believe, and I want to believe, and I do believe, but sometimes it is just so hard to believe.   You have had incredible faith through all of this.  It seems like your faith has been one of the only things that has allowed you to be so outwardly strong.  I know you have probably been dying inside, but you have always seemed so strong.  

I look at that from my side and wonder what would I do?  I am afraid to think how I might handle something like this.  You have used this as an opportunity to bless other people.  It is sad that other people have lost babies and are going through similar experiences, but your faith seems to be so helpful to so many people.  The families that you have been able to make impressions for will always cherish those items and will always remember the wonderful mommy that came and blessed them.  That is amazing.  What a beautiful tribute to your little girl.  I can only imagine that was God's plan.  It is terrible that you had to feel so much pain, but you, your family and Karinne have touched so many people's lives.  You make me want to be a better mother, wife, and person and all without you even knowing it.  I am confident that there are many other people whose lives you have touched in similar ways."

My Response:

"Thanks for sharing these thoughts on Karinne, on my faith, and on your own faith struggle.  I appreciate your thinking I have such strong faith - and yet I know that it could be a lot stronger than it is.  I struggle sometimes too with the "are you sure God is real?" type of thoughts.  Like "what if He's not?" But I HAVE to believe that He IS real, that Jesus is real, and that Heaven is real.  That I will see and hold my baby again one day.  If I didn't believe all of that - I'm not sure I could go on, or could have gotten through all of this.  

When I think about how I know God is real - one particular thing comes to mind every time.  I KNOW He is real because of the proof of the day of Karinne's birth.  There is NO other explanation for the peace and beauty we felt on the day of her birth and death than that God was present on that day - in that hospital - in those rooms.  That He held us, carried us, loved us, and comforted us.  Especially Curt and I - but also everyone else who was there for her day.  There is no way we could have experienced that day the way we did without a supernatural presence.  I TRULY believe that - no matter the doubts I may have had on other days before and since.

Several times I've looked back at that day and thought - "Why wasn't I hysterical?  Why wasn't I bawling?  How did I possibly get through all of that?  And with a smile on my face?"  Of course there were many, many tears that day and the deepest sadness and longing I have ever felt.  But above all else - there was this overwhelming PEACE - that cannot be explained in any other way.  That's my proof that God is real.  And that's where my faith comes from." 

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   Philippians 4:7


Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.   John 14:27


Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1