School Girl charm

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Am Supposed to Be Doing This

On Friday, I had the honor of holding the tiniest hands I have ever held.  Unfortunately, I held these precious hands as I was making "Lasting Impressions" of a sweet baby girl born far too soon at 23 weeks.  I also got to meet her parents and offer the hugs of a stranger who understands too well the difficult task of preparing arrangements funeral arrangements for their baby girl. 

For those of you who don't know or who might have forgotten, I started a ministry in October of using part of Karinne's memorial money to provide a gift for bereaved families that I have called - "Lasting Impressions."  This gift involves making 3D plaster castings and impressions in clay of their precious baby's hands and feet.  Sadly, since October, I have had the honor of holding the hands of 5 sweet babies gone too soon.  1 Boy and 4 Girls.  It doesn't seem appropriate for me to share photos of their impressions.  But so you will know what I mean - here are photos once again of some of Karinne's impressions:

I have writen the following in the letter I give to each family: 
"Our tiny babies gone to heaven too soon leave a lasting impression upon our hearts.  It is my sincere prayer that these “lasting impressions” of your child’s hands and feet will be a treasured memento of the impact they have made in their all too brief life.  I pray also that they will bring you some measure of comfort on the difficult journey you now find yourself traveling.
"Please accept these gifts in honor of our beloved daughter Karinne. She was diagnosed with a fatal anomaly called acrania in December, 2009 and was born and went to heaven on May 10th, 2010.  As part of Karinne’s legacy, and in an attempt for her life to continue to make a lasting impression, I have started this ministry of creating these special mementos for other families experiencing the sudden loss of a baby. 
"I consider it an honor to have been able to make these gifts for your family and to have held the precious hands and feet of your beautiful baby.  I continue to pray for your hearts as you mourn the loss of your precious child." 

I have connected with these families through Brooke - the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer who took photos of Karinne.  She has called me when she has taken photos for a bereaved family - and so far it has worked out each time for me to make impressions.  When she called me on Thursday, I wasn't sure if I really wanted to go.  This baby was 23 weeks.  Just 5 or 6 weeks older than the baby I am carrying.  Could I really do this?  Then - it seemed like nothing was falling into place to go.  My husband was too busy with work to watch the kids.  (We were out of school for spring break.)  So I would have to find a sitter.  And all of my friends who had gone with me previously to help were unavailable.  Plus - it was a 2 1/2 hour drive one way and we were supposed to leave for the weekend.  I was very close to saying - "I just can't make it work this time."  

But I prayed - "God, if I'm supposed to do this - please help things to fall into place."

I had impressions that I needed to deliver that I had made almost 2 months ago and that would be on the way.  So I texted the mother to see if she was available.  She wrote back:  

"Yes of course...I'm so excited to see them."

"Okay God - we can make this work. . . . " A friend was going to be able to watch the kids.  And I decided I would be able to do it on my own this time with the size of the baby.  So off I went.  And it was the most touching experience I've had yet while doing this ministry.

Always before, I have made the impressions at the funeral home while the mother was still in the hospital.  And then I have met the family later when I delivered the finished impressions.  But this time, they were there at the funeral home making arrangements.  And they wanted to meet me.  I was nervous about how difficult it would be.  But it was an amazing blessing - for them and for myself.  Emotional - but beautiful too.  Hugs....and tears....and sharing about Karinne....and more tears.  So heartbreaking to lose their first child in such a way. 

On my way back I received the following text message from this sweet baby girl's father.  It touched my heart in so many ways:

"I wanted to tell you thank you for what you did for us in regards to our daughter.  It was truly a blessing.  Thank you.  Your acts of kindness towards total strangers are what reminds me that there is still hope and love in this world.  May God bless you for your acts of kindness."

Sigh - - And Tears

"Yes - I am Supposed to be doing this.  Thank you God for this blessing."

Then I delivered the previously made impressions to a precious young momma who was so OVERJOYED to have them.  It was so moving to share them with her, to talk with her about her beautiful daughter, and give her heartfelt hugs.  My heart just broke for her and the sadness over the unexpected and perhaps preventable loss of her daughter.

Once again - complete and total reaffirmation that "Yes - I am Supposed to be doing this."  In Karinne's honor.  And for His Glory.

Please pray for these families!


  1. Kara, It is a wonderful thing you are doing in Karinne's honor. You are a very special person. These moldings are important to the parents of the sweet babies. I know ours are. Thank you for all you do. love and hugs Julie Brayfield(Mackenzie's mommy)

  2. tears...

    I am so glad you are continuing with this very special ministry. May you continue to bless many more broken hearted parents and may the Lord continue to bless you through your work.

  3. What an awesome thing you are doing!!! I'm sure it is very emotional to do but very rewarding as well.

  4. I have to tell you, Kara, that I absolutely love your ministry. It's wonderful and beautiful and a blessing to those your serve. This could very well become an organization like NILMDTS is where people all over volunteer. I know I would have loved to have someone come and do this for me with Carleigh. We got impressions of her hands and feed but not 3D molds.

    And I don't mind at all if you repost about It Is Well ♥

  5. Kara, I did not know that you were making these impressions. The nurses at the hospital that I delivered Luisa at put her hands and feet in plaster and made those impressions for us and I can tell you that it is now one of my MOST treasured possessions. And the pictures you posted of the impressions that you have done, they are beautiful, and sacred. How blessed those families are because you are willing to use a talent to help them and to reach out to others while you are still, possibly grieving. You are beautiful!!!

  6. Kara,

    I am so glad you received that confirmation that this IS what you are supposed to be doing. It is a truly beautiful gift that you give to each family. The impressions are priceless, but your love and compassion are absolute treasures, too. I am blessed to know you and so proud of the way you honor your sweet Karinne.


  7. What a beautiful ministry. Thank you for sharing how God has worked to enable you to serve Him through doing these impressions. I know you give a piece of your heart each time you do one of these. You are a special mama!

  8. Kara,
    I read your blog almost every week, as I found it when reading Melisa Lorang's blog.
    I just wanted to tell you that what you are doing for those families---giving them a piece of their child they can hold forever is truly heartfelt and thoughtful and amazing---exactly what God wants us to do. I lost 3 babies to miscarriage, and I only wish I had something of them to hold. We have been very blessed to have 4 healthy children and 3 angels. And my heart goes out to you. I pray for you that all will be well with your new little one and you will be able to continue your ministry in your sweet angels honor. God Bless You Kara.