Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Baby Shower

selecting just the right pieces for a kit
Ah, friends. My heart is so full. Today the ladies at my church packed SIXTY EIGHT baby care kits! Each kit contains:
two t-shirts
two gowns or jammies
two blankets
four cloth diapers
one jacket
two pairs of socks
one hand towel
two bars of soap
two diaper pins
kits ready to be shipped

Once Lutheran World Relief ships them wherever they are most needed, sixty eight babies will be clean and clothed thanks to sweet friends and family near and far and the selfless ladies I worship with every week.

I miss Maren so much. All the "what might have been" dreams and "why us?" questions are still so fresh and painful. I wish things could have been different. I wish she were still here with us. But I'm so thankful for the impact she made on so many people, and I'm thankful that little lives around the world continue to be blessed by her.

"Angel Gowns"
I got one more tear-inducing surprise this week from my sister-in-law Jenni's mom Jan. She made the beautiful christening gown we dressed Maren in when she was born and that she wore again for her burial. It meant so much to us to have such a beautiful dress for such a beautiful girl. Jan sent a picture this week of clothes she made for her hospital's "Angel Gowns" program in memory of Maren; if there's a baby like Maren who will only be here for a short time, or who was born too soon or died before birth, he or she will have one of these sweet wraps or dresses to wear. She said she's praying they'll just stay in the box forever and never be needed. I'm praying that along with her, but I'm so thankful Maren inspired Jan to do something so wonderful. I know these babies' parents will be so appreciative.

So thank you, friends. As I head off to bed tonight, I am so thankful for you. Thank you for helping me honor Maren, and thank you for blessing babies all over the world.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Baby Shower for Maren

If there's anything positive that has come from losing Maren, it is this: my own suffering has made me much more aware of other hurting mothers.
When I think of the mothers who watch their children die a little every day due to starvation, I can't imagine what those women are going through. The video of this boy who was pulled from the rubble in Aleppo made me cry. There is so much suffering in the world, and most of the time I feel like there's nothing I can do. My prayers seem like too little, and calling my elected officials doesn't seem like enough either. I want to swoop in and rescue those sweet children and bring them all home. 

I have insurance and retirement accounts with a financial institution called Thrivent. Every year, I can apply for $250 to do something good for someone else. When thinking about how I wanted to use my grant this year, I strongly felt I wanted to do something to honor Maren. We may not be the richest folks around, but the fact of the matter is that Maren would have had everything she needed if she had lived. She would never have wanted for food or clothes or good medical care. It is a luxury I take for granted. I would guess most of you do, too. I wanted to do something for other babies and mothers who don't have that privilege.

The ladies at my church are helping me do something to help those babies and mothers on a small scale. We never had a baby shower for Maren, but they're helping me put on a baby shower at the end of January with all the gifts collected going to moms and babies in need around the world. Lutheran World Relief will distribute all the baby kits we make to mothers in emergency situations. It still doesn't seem like enough, but it's something; it tells that mom, "We see you. We love you. We're sorry you're going through this. We're praying for you."

If you'd like to join me, please click here to see the list of items that go into a baby kit. I made a little Amazon wish list you can see here for inspiration. Feel free to purchase items anywhere you want -- those are just ideas and examples. You can even go dig through those tubs in your basement if you'd like; as long as items are in like-new condition (as most used baby clothes are!), they'll be great for some other little one on the other side of the world.

Join me in honoring Maren . . . and your children and grandchildren, too. Let's show our gratitude for our children and our situations by doing something for other moms in situations far out of their control. Thank you so much!

Tiffany Roiseland
655 S. Governor St.
Iowa City, IA 52240