Angel mama Jana shares her feelings on finding purpose in her grief:
"I have been thinking about this for some time and I've had several other people ask me about it. How do you find purpose in all of this? How do you make something good out of something terrible?
For me, finding something that gives me a purpose and direction has been wonderful. And healing. And wonderfully healing. After Carter died, I felt a little bit like I was lost and wandering. I knew that I wanted to do something positive with everything we had been through, I just didn't know what. The death of a child is completely devastating and I knew that it was something that I could let bring me down (besides the normal grieving, I totally support the grieving process). But I didn't want it to become my life. I needed to make something more out of Carter's life. The time and energy that I never got to put into raising and loving him, I needed to put toward something else, something that mattered to me.
For me, this something to drag me out of the darkness has been diapers. Lots and lots (and lots) of diapers. Teeny Tears has donated over 10,000 diapers, and we have contributed around 1300 of those diapers. Teeny tiny diapers, and little bitty diapers in all kinds of colors and prints. It lets me do something constructive with my time. When I feel like I need some "Carter time" or I'm having a particularly rough day, I make diapers. It gives me the chance to feel what I need to feel while moving forward at the same time. I hate that there is even a need for these diapers, but my prayer for each little one is that it can bring some family somewhere even the tiniest bit of hope. And that it can help them to know that someone out there cares about them and thinks that their baby matters and is just as important as any other baby.
Cohen loves to help pick out the fabric!
Time for a little update on the NWDD diapering adventures.
The NWDD team donated 100 diapers to NILMDTS photographers of Bothell, Washington. These diapers were donated in memory of Carter, Treyton, Esther, Winter, Gabriel, Elliott, Bloddueth, and Isael. These angel babies are all from Whatcom County.
(Not) Home For The Holidays
"The other thing we have taken on last Christmas and again this year is taking care packages to our NICU in Seattle. The diapers are for Carter and the care packages are for Cohen. Something for each of my boys. A small way to give back and to tell them that their lives are important. I want them to know that I am so thankful for each and every moment that I have and had with both of them and that we can help other parents and babies too. I remember last year aftert taking on the care packages that I kind of wondered what I had gotten myself into. I had started with the idea of just making a few and taking them to the hospital. Then I got word that we would need to be able to offer a care package to every family currently in the NICU. Makes sense, but where on earth was I going to be able to find enough things for 40 care packages in a few short months!? And then the word got out, and people started helping. And helping and helping and helping. And we ended up meeting and exceeding our goal. And it was awesome. The love and support we felt still warms my heart. People who didn't know us, or hadn't had a preemie, were willing to give of their time and resources to help out."
Cohen spent 4 months fighting his way through the NICU of the University of Washington, so the Kimmels understand the stresses that accompany life as a NICU family . During the Christmas holiday season, Cohen's family and friends put together special NICU care packages for all of the families at UW spending their holidays alongside isolettes and screeching medical equipment. Check out last year's packages! To find out how you can help their 2013 efforts, click here!
To follow the many adventures of Jana and Cohen, follow their blog and don't forget to "like" them on Facebook!