Story of HOPE
Kristin ~ Hope 4 Kids
River, stillborn full term 4/8/03
Blaze, Trisomy 18 10/30/06 - 11/1/06
Miriam, miscarried 3/25/07
August, miscarried 1/31/08
River passed away from a pinched cord during labor. Blaze passed away due to complications from Trisomy 18. Miriam miscarried for reasons unknown. August was a partial molar pregnancy.
In order to channel my grief into something meaningful, we have adopted 2 little boys ~ one River's age and one Blaze's age through Hope 4 Kids International. We send these little boys financial contributions every month, and letters in honor and memory of our sons. We can't love and support our sons who were gone too soon, but we can channel that love and give it to little ones in need. For example, we have been able to provide education, food, school supplies, and even medical care to our adopted boys ‘Benjamen, who is nine years old and from Uganda‘ and little ‘Aurel from Romania, who is three years old’. It feels good to use our grief to bring these little boys a small amount of joy in a very difficult life.
We were inspired to do something with our overwhelming pain. Instead of be angry, we wanted to take that energy and turn it into love in action. We had so much love to give when our babies passed away. Now we take it and use it to help another child in need.
We felt a nudge to do this on River's seventh birthday. My husband went to look online at all the children's pictures who needed a sponsor. He saw that Benjamen had lost his dad, and my husband had lost his son ~ it was a perfect match. Then, the next year, we adopted Aurel, on Blaze's second birthday. Again, a perfect match.
I am doing something that I never thought would be possible: I am really living through my grief and showing love. For a long time, I was angry because my friends and family didn't understand my pain. They became distant from me and left me to grieve alone. So, to be able to turn that anger into helping another is something I never thought I could do.
It feels good to release the anger and give love instead. My ‘inner critic’ wants me to stay in my anger, and not forgive. But, I realized that I am human and make mistakes too. So I wanted to re-focus my life to be about unconditional love, because that what was lacking for me in my grief. Since I cannot change others, I decided to change myself.
I know what we are doing with our grief has made a difference. We just got a letter from Ben explaining that his family was able to buy a goat, which provides income for their family. That brought me so much joy! Every time we get a new picture of him, I get to watch him grow up, and it may sound strange, but, it helps since I don't get to watch my children grow up.
I have been impacted during my grief when someone brought me a bracelet with my son's name on it. I was still in the hospital and he had already been taken to the funeral home ~ I was dying without him! When I got this bracelet, it reminded me he is still with me forever in my heart. I will keep his beautiful memory alive by loving others who are hurting. I wore it everyday until it broke (and then I tattooed his name on my wrist). It meant so much to me. Now, whenever I have a friend who loses a loved one, I give them a piece of jewelry with their loved ones name on it.
A quote that inspires me is: "those who love much, miss much" Nelson Arcilla.