Thursday, October 25, 2012

Counting my Blessings

I wanted to take a moment to give some "Thank Yous" to organizations and people that we have truly been blessed to call our friends, and have been so gracious and caring towards Leila and our family. Unfortunately, I will not have enough time or space to call out each individual that has touched our hearts, as there have been so many, but please join me in thanking the following folks for their love:

Our Friends: Old and New: It has been truly amazing, the amount of people coming forward to hold our hands. Friends we see regularly, friends we haven't seen in years, and new friends that God has brought to us through this blog, Facebook, and other resources I have connected with for support. A special thank you to the other mothers of angels that have been so willing to share their pain, grief, love and hope with me. Also, to my dear friends that have continued to share this blog, allowing me to reach other families in need of support. I have learned so much about what it means to have a kind heart, and I want to thank each and every person that has taken the time to say "I love you, I'm here for you, what can I do?". The acts of kindness we have experienced in a three week period have been more than I'd ask for in a lifetime. We are an incredibly lucky family to be surrounded by all of you, and although my words will never be enough: THANK YOU.

Women's Healthcare Associates: What an amazing group of people in this office. My doctor, Drea Olmstead, has been my number one fan since Leila's diagnosis. She has cried with me, mourned with me, held my hands, and supported each decision I have made. She has made the utmost effort to keep in constant contact with me, immediately returning calls when I need her, and taking extra steps to find answers to difficult questions for me. The nurses in the Tualatin office of WHA have been so sensitive towards me, making sure I'm comfortable in the office while I'm there. It's apparent to me that they truly care about us and I will be forever grateful that I chose them for my prenatal care.

Crochet Sisters: Crochet Sisters is an organization committed to providing handmade hats to anencephalic babies, and was founded by Kayla Surber in memory of Brayden Michael, her nephew. Brayden earned his wings on February 6, 2012 and Kayla searched for and found a way to help other families facing this tragic diagnosis. What a wonderful way help other mothers and babies, and honor beautiful Brayden. These are the custom hats she made for our Leila:

Carrying Colin: I found this site shortly after our diagnosis, and immediately found comfort in this family's strength and courage. Joanna, Colin's mother, was kind enough to reply to me personally after I reached out, even in the midst of preparing just two days before their son's arrival, and offer her friendship. Joanna and Brian brought Colin into the world in the early hours of October 23rd, 2012 and were courageous enough to share their entire experience with the world via their Facebook page ( Colin is a beautiful baby, and now a beautiful angel.

Joanna and Brian have founded "Puzzle Piece", to assist families of anencephalic angels. Please check out their page, and click "How to Help" to learn more.

GOD: Not a person. Not an organization. A lifeline, and my savior. My relationship with God has been a rocky one, but when I found myself completely lost on the 8th of October, I handed my life back to Him. I have been praying constantly for peace, for healing, for our family, for the people who care for us. You know the great thing about prayer? You can do it anywhere! You don't need a babysitter, you don't need money, you can't say that about much these days! He will always listen. So, here's to YOU, God. You'll never fail me, and even though I may question your intentions from time to time, THANK YOU for choosing us as your beautiful angel's parents. We'll do our best to live up to the title.


  1. Amazing Emilee! Baby Leila Grace has so much love and support. Her short time in this world will be so full of love. You have been an amazing beckon of love, hope and strength. Leila is so lucky to have you as a mommy!!


    1. Another beautiful family, and so lucky to have that wonderful two weeks with their little boy. Thank you for sharing <3

    2. Your welcome. Love and prayers for you and your family.

  3. I am a total stranger to you, but I admire you as a person. I found your blog through a friend that shares your posts on facebook, and today was the first day I clicked on it.
    I personally went to WHA in Tualatin for my pregnancy,delivered in meridian park and Dr.Oldstead was the on-call doctor.
    Even though she wasnt my dr, my family felt a connection with her for the little bit of time we had with her.
    She asked us if we were religious, and proceeded to pray over us. It was a wonderful feeling:)
    If I could hand pick a dr for you, it would definitely be her. Seeing your "thank you" for her up there lets me know you clearly know how great she is.

    Your family will be in my prayers.

    1. <3 Thank you for reading, and for sharing your experience with Dr. Olmstead. Her faith has defintely influenced mine through all of this. She is truly a wonderful woman and doctor, and I'm lucky to have her at my side.

    2. Oops, yes.. Dr. Olmstead* :)