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These will be past and Present Articles that we hope still inspires etc..

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April 2009 Article

Spread The Word Challenge

Hello everyone! I have a different kind of challenge for everyone this quarter. And hopefully some of you will be willing to help Heavenly Angels In Need....Spread The Word. As most of you know our needs are growing, and in these tough economic times it can be a bit harder for volunteers to ship items off. While I know that despite all that is going on, we are all still plugging away and doing what we can....and that is fantastic! So that is why Im proposing this new "challenge"....its something that any volunteer of HAIN can do and for minimal cost (just the cost of printing and possibly postage) If you want to give us a hand continue reading for more information on what you can do to help.


Place Brochures, Flyers, Etc In Your Community: In the public area of our forum there are different advertising materials available for you to download and print. Why not print a few flyers and place them in your local grocery stores, malls, or anywhere else that you can think of that would be ok with a flyer being placed in their business. Or print some brochures and stop around some places in your area, asking if you may leave some with them...and you can always send some to hospitals that you donate to. You don't even have to make a special trip to do this, just grab a few as you head out the door to run your errands.

Use A Heavenly Angels In Need Banner: If you have a website or blog we have banners that are available as well that you are welcome to use to help spread the word about HAIN and what we do. And pass the info on to your friends as well asking if they would help by displaying one of our banners.

Use Our Media Kit: Also located on our public forum is a media kit that you are welcome to download. If you know of someone, church groups, craft groups, etc that might be interested in joining, but may want more information on what we do, you can give them this kit. It has lots of helpful information and discusses the wide variety of skills that we could use.

Newspaper Advertising: You could try contacting your local newspaper or maybe your city has a free one that goes out. (Mine does) and you could contact them about placing a small ad. Some will give a discount or will do it at no cost for charities.

Donation Box: You could ask your church if it would be ok for a donation box to be set up to collect yarn, fabric, toys, or finished projects.

Have a HAIN Baby Shower: Who doesnt love to buy baby things. (I know I sure do) You could host a baby shower for HAIN, invite your family and friends and ask each of them to bring at least one item to benefit babies in need. Even if its a smaller party, even 5 items would be greatly appreciated. You could even do this at work if you are permitted to, see if any co-workers would be interested in donating an item or two.

Work Parties: You could host a work party.....with your family, friends, or co-workers. A bunch of you can get together and work on items for HAIN. You could do it once, or host them as often as you would like. You could even contact schools in your area to see if any of the students have volunteer hours to complete and you could work with the students on making memory boxes for HAIN, and some church groups may have an interest in this as well.

As our needs grow, we are looking to expand our volunteer base. With the current state of the economy it would be much easier if we had enough volunteers in each area to give locally...many of us could save on shipping costs as we help fill the needs for these precious babies and their families. So how about it? Every little bit helps and you never know where you might spark an interest in our mission


Jan 2009 Article

“How could you do that?” “That’s morbid.” “How weird that is.”

Sound familiar? These are a few of the comments I’ve gotten from friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers when they find out that I make burial garments for Heavenly Angels in Need. People, even some who have lost babies, find it repulsive, disturbing, and frankly, a waste of time.

So how does someone who never lost a baby end up making burial garments? And what do you say when faced with these comments?

A little over four years ago, I lived atop a quiet mountain in the Blue Ridge and was very bored. Up North, my mother was making hats and scarves for the homeless. I wanted to help, but couldn’t knit or crochet, never mind sew, so I ordered a huge amount of yarn and donated that instead. My mom had given me some old yarn and a how-to crochet book on one of my visits so I took it out and taught myself to crochet. My daughter had taken a knitting class at the library and she taught me the knit stitch. I bought a book and taught myself the rest. My first project was a girls’ hat, scarf, and mitten set, which I mailed off to donate. After making mostly hats and scarves, I joined an online charity helping babies. My first project was a newborn blanket. Hats soon followed, then booties, dresses, and sweaters. But never a burial garment. I knew the need for these was great, but every time I sat down to make one, I ended up crying—sometimes just while looking at the patterns online. Then, I found out I was pregnant and, being superstitious, certainly wasn’t going to make any burial garments!

Sometime last spring I decided to try again. The thought of beloved babies going without such a basic need was on my mind. Unlike previous attempts, this time I had a real peace about it. I made a gown-bonnet-booties-blanket set, and decorated it with silk ribbon and flowers and a cross charm. The first time is the hardest, so they say. Right away I made another set. I felt different when I worked on these projects – like I knew I was doing what God had given me to do, and I was very aware of His grace.

I found HAIN last summer while searching for patterns and looking for a more local charity to send my donations to. It couldn’t have been a more perfect find. If you are active on the forums then you know I am too, and you know I am pretty passionate about HAIN! I love my HAIN family more than you all could know.

So, how do I answer those comments? At first, I was a bit offended and put off. I would try explaining how these families had nothing and it was a shame – no, a sin really – to let the smallest of God’s angels be buried in an old towel or an old blanket or nothing at all! And I had to realize that some people just don’t care. Others, though they may not be crafters themselves, can truly appreciate the HAIN mission once you put it to them that way. I’ve learned to “read” their reaction to know whether to continue the explanation or just let it go. Not everyone can do what we do for the babies. It’s a high calling. And I’m proud to be a part of HAIN alongside other people who have answered the same call.



Oct 2009 Article

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines “inspiration” as stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity”. My definition is much simpler, his name is Gregory Paul. Greg was my youngest nephew the youngest son of my younger sister and the light of my life.

Greg never met a stranger. He loved kids and he loved helping people. Friendly, caring, giving are only a few of the words used to describe him by family and friends.

He called me “mom” and often said that I was more like him than his “actual” mom. We called each other and emailed keeping in touch. Easter Sunday 2007, we talked and he told me that he loved me. My world came crashing down a few weeks later when he was killed by a drunk driver. For a time, I try dealing with it by just sitting in front of the television and letting the world go by. Then I found a magazine, Mary Jane’s Farm and started reading other women’s thoughts and needs on the forum. On one of the forum’s there was a posting by a woman, Angie Rigby, who needed beads for bracelets she made for mothers who lost their children. Then another posting for a pregnancy center that had been burned down – both postings had HAIN as a reference point.

Out of curiosity, I pulled up the HAIN site and started reading. Reading and weeping and my heart started to heal. I found that I wanted to do something to help other people who hurt like my family had been hurt and I picked up crochet hooks that I had not really spent time with for many years and started making small items to send for HAIN and my heart became stronger. I pulled out painting books, brushes, etc.-items I had not touched in years and started painting memory boxes to fill for strangers because I knew that Greg was proud of my painting skills.

I remember Greg and how proud he was of everything I made, whether I gave it to him or someone else. Every time I make something for HAIN - crochet, painted or sewn, I whisper upon its completion “for you, Greg” and I hear his reply, “thanks, mom”.


Tips by Anna V

Oct 2009 Article

Here is my story, hope you can use it. I've made a few changes to the original because I didn't mention HAIN in my initial post.


I used to think choosing ribbon to go with a project was easy, but not anymore. Especially after the past 2 weeks - I made my first micro-preemie burial wrap & hat in white yarn using one of HAIN's patterns. The design calls includes 4 eyelet rows to be laced up with 1/4" ribbon and tied in front. I figured 5 feet of white ribbon would be about right so I would have 15" of ribbon on row, but my white ribbon came up a couple of inches short, so I divided it in 4 equal pieces and it was enough to tie them correctly, and made a mental note to buy more white 1/4" ribbon soon.

In the meantime, on another set of needles I had an open-back preemie gown in "sparkly" mint green which would require its own ribbon tie at the neckline eyelet row - on those gowns I always send 3 feet of ribbon so whoever dresses the baby can use what they want for tying at the neck, then the remaining ribbon can be tied around the waist or however else they wish to use it. I finished that gown about the same time as the white burial wrap, and then I started a periwinkle wrap set, and it was done so fast that I made another just like it. But the only green I had on hand was bright kelly green which didn't look quite right, nor did blue or lilac ribbon look right with periwinkle, so a fabric store visit became urgent. I went to JoAnn's and it took forever to find 1/4" white ribbon, and it was a "corrugated" design, not as pretty as plain white satin but acceptable. I bought two 18-ft

spools, thinking I had a good supply. There was no mint ribbon narrower than 3/4" and I decided not to bother with periwinkle since the yarn that color was almost gone anyway. I got back home and cut off 3 feet for the green gown, 5 feet each for the wraps, and then realized I'd just used 13 feet and only had enough left for one more wrap, so it was a good thing I bought 2 spools! And when we traveled to Flagstaff last weekend I made another wrap set in sparkly mint green (different brand than I used for the gown), so there went the other 5 feet.

I also had a pink & white preemie gown completed before any of this started but hadn't had time to cut the ribbon to go with it. After cutting off 3 feet of pink ribbon, I only had 2 feet left, so I set it aside with plans to make some pink lace-up booties next time I make hat & bootie sets and now I had another color ribbon needing replacement. I visited Hancock Fabric this time, and I had just about given up on finding 1/4" pink ribbon among what they had on display when I found what I wanted in the clearance section for 35 cents.

On Wednesday I went to the local meetup and used up the remaining sparkly mint yarn for another wrap - there was exactly one foot left after the final bind-off stitch. I slipped into a different JoAnn store at lunchtime in hopes of finding some matching yarn to make a hat and possibly some light green ribbon, but I didn't find the yarn and like with the other JoAnn store, all ribbon in that color was too wide - however, I did buy 6 yards of microfleece to use for another project, LOL! I had used a skein of sparkly white yarn from my mother-in-law's "gift stash" and thought there was more, but it turned out to be sparkly ecru. OK, I started a hat with that and then visited the nearest Hobby Lobby at lunchtime. It took a little searching because all the fancy printed ribbons showed their faces first, but I finally found some ecru ribbon in the right size AND some mint green as well! As mentioned above, I didn't have any mint yarn left, but I did find some in HL's yarn section and bought a skein. I also bought skeins of peach and aqua in the same brand because I noticed some ribbon in those colors in my stash, and had no other yarn in those colors (at some point I did, but used the yarn for something else).

In the future, if anyone tells me "I'm just gonna run to JoAnn's (or Hancock) for a little bit of ribbon", I will expect them to be gone awhile, LOL!

Oct 2008 Article

When Babies Die,
Written By: Heather Joy Maynard

When babies die we often wonder; what happens to our precious little one?
It is one of the most daunting questions ever asked. I am here today to tell you that rest assured your baby is in heaven. Speaking of heaven there is some very real questions that often co-exist with heaven and its mysterious existence. I am going to try and answer them with the bible as my guide. When people think of heaven the one of the first things that comes to mind is Jesus, Angels and Clouds. More then likely harps and music and other pleasant things. Like meeting our Loved ones and embracing our babies who have passed on. No matter what gestation all mothers long for that moment. No matter how long that baby was alive a mother will never forget that precious little ones existence. Rightfully so because that little one was created from Jesus from the moment of its conception. Each little being is special and a hand knitted creation. The bible says so in the book of Psalms 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. So your little baby was created and his or her whole life was already planned out. Each baby is distinctive and unique to God. Each person ever created was created for the Glory of God. Isaiah 43:7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." So see each one of your babies was a special creation. Though we don’t always understand or comprehend the reason he choose to take this special little person home with him, we can be assured he/she is created for his Glory. Though it may not be in this lifetime it will be in heaven. Psalms 97:6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.
Another direction I want to take you, is to know that your little child has a extraordinary part to play in the role of the cross. Did you know that when Jesus died on the cross for our sins he also died for every child, man and woman yet to be born? His blood was shed for us. He became sin for us. Because of that miraculous event of Grace we can be assured that your little one is in heaven. Not only did Jesus die for your baby, your baby is a human being with a soul. Only humans where created with souls. Luke 1:41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Even before a baby is born he/she can accept Jesus in their heart. What a awe inspiring moment that is. Psalms 97:6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory. Though we may not understand or comprehend at this time our little ones purpose in life, God already does.
Another thing that comes to our mind when we think of heaven is Angels. Our babies where designed with so much more impending plans then just cute little cartoon characters. Angels are very real and have their own distinct role to play in creation. However we as humans are above the angels. Our heavenly father created us in his own image. Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. When you read Job 38:4-7 you can see that the Angels where actually created before mankind. Angels where created to be messengers, watch over us and spread the glory of God. However not all Angels are good as some are evil. Perhaps that is why one day we will judge Angels. One day we will be more powerful then Angels as we will be joint heirs with Jesus. I don’t write this to discourage you to not use this term. Angel is also an endearing term we use to talk about our little ones just like princess, star among others. I have written this to encourage you and enlighten you on the very powerful and real place your little one has in the existence of this life and beyond. When babies die they go directly to heaven. From the time of conception tell the time of accountability which many bible scholars now are saying is 21. One thing I can assure you is that your Childs life was no accident. He/She was fearfully and wonderfully made. So I leave you with Psalms 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Scriptures for Reading more on Angels
Luke 20:36 Exodus 25:19
Deuteronomy 4:19 17:2-7 Colossians 2:18 Revelation 19:10, Revelation 22:8-9
Acts 12:15-Psalm 34:7 on Guardian Angels
Gabriel is mentioned by name in the book of "Daniel 8:16 and 9:21", also in "Luke 1:11-19" and "Luke 1:26-29"
Michael the Archangel is mentioned in "Daniel 10:13-21 and 12:1" also in "Jude 9" and fighting against the dragon in "Revelation 12:7"

Oct 2007 Article

Well, believe it or not, I FINALLY made my donation visits. YEEEEEE HAAAAWWW!!! Maria Parham was delighted with all the outfits from Ruth Randall in Monroe, NC and they were just fascinated by the fetal wraps that Janina sent. They were crazy over them! They loved the memory boxes and I was so tickled over that. They were simply thrilled with everything!!! I felt like a proud hen or something over all the donations. It was just wonderful! I am posting a couple of pictures that we took there. Please be prepared for a Peg that is 3 years older and 30 pounds heavier than my forum pic here. But...what can I say...it's big ol' me and that's that. My forum pic was the only pic I had of me until yesterday.

The visit to Duke Hospital was nothing short of amazing. Marie Peluso was absolutely fantastic. What a precious lady! I fell in love with her immediately. They were just open mouthed over the gowns and outfits that Janina sent made from the wedding gowns. They said they had never received anything like them before. The only problem with the gowns for their particular area was that all of the babies there were so tiny that the gowns would be quite a bit too big. But, she was delighted to pass them on to the pediatric ICU where there are larger babies. They were just blown away with those gowns Janina and I can't say how sorry I am that I didn't get a picture of their faces when they took the gowns out and looked at them. It was just indescribable. When they saw the gown/bootie outfits that Pauline dontated, they just looked at each other and began to laugh out loud with joy they were so thrilled over them. Then she said the same thing again about how they had never received anything like the ones that Pauline had donated either and immediately had to take us inside the NICU to see what they had been getting in the past. I thought their feet were going to come up off the floor they were so tickled with those outfits.

When Kate and I went into that unit, I experienced something I had never been through before. It was unbelievable. They had over 50 babies in that ICU. The babies are transported from all over the state of North Carolina. I looked at baby after baby and I was completely blown away. They were SO TINY!!!. I realized then that I had been making my gowns WAYYYYY too big for the babies that would be in that NICU. I was able to watch while Marie nursed and took care of one little baby that had come there on May 30th at 1 pound. That baby was more precious than I could even tell you. Marie just held her and talked to her, changed her little diaper and fed her and it was something I will never forget as long as I live. Kate was also blown away by what she saw. There were at least two nurses for each room of six babies and they never stopped looking, nursing or caring for them the entire time we were there. It was just constant care. I saw many more things but I just don't have the space to describe it all. She showed me all the things that she had made personally for the parents like memory pouches that she had sewn out of different colorful materials. They were pretty large and she had done a wonderful job. She took out a bag with some of the gowns that had been donated that they had on hand and they seemed microscopic in comparison to what I had made. A bunch of the outfits had been smocked and they were really precious. She showed me a handprint/footprint kit that she buys which is a small oval made from some type of hard pressed paper and a packet of clay which is smoothed out into the oval, then they press a single footprint and handprint into the clay. She had glued a ribbon around the edge of the oval and put a little poem that she had found on top because otherwise it was just the plain off white pressed paper oval. She had made it very special. She said for those two items in that kit that they had to pay over $8.00 a piece for them. That blew me away as well. She said she was trying to find some clay elsewhere so they could make their own at a fraction of the cost.

Anyway...that is just a small taste of what I experienced. She just hugged us to death and told us what a blessing we were to them. I walked away from that place with a totally new perspective of what I'd done so far for HAIN. I'll never be the same after my visits. Before, I did feel how important the things we volunteers do were to the hospitals and parents. After yesterday, I know with a new understanding that what we do is vitally important and could never be replaced, truly. I want to thank every single person that has sent items to me for those donations and for those items that are on the way as well. I had a card in my box today saying I had a package from Allyson but I couldn't get to the Post Office in time this afternoon to pick it up. I am excited to get it in the morning and I'll let you know when I get it Allyson. Bless your heart for sending it!

What an incredible journey I've come to be on here with HAIN. Words just can't describe what blessings I've recieved as a result of my volunteering here. It is just beyond what words can tell. I thank God for leading me here and I thank God for every single one of you. You are so special.

God bless you.

Here are my pics....

Yep, that is your big ol' Peg in the pink outfit. A far cry from my glamour shot, I know. The girl on the left is Angel (how appropriate) from the birthing center and on the right is Cathy Caudle, head of Volunteer Services at Maria Parham.

On the left is Tina Clayton with Volunteer Services and Angel from the birthing center, once again. They are just precious!

Angel Hugs,


July 2009 Article

Finding the Strength Within

There are times, as a volunteer, I find myself letting life take over and not accomplishing the goals I have for being a volunteer with HAIN. I thought I would take a minute to help encourage others who may find themselves in the same boat.

As mothers, fathers, employees, daughters, friends, wives, husbands, volunteers, scout leaders, neighbors, etc. – all those hats, and many more…. We sometimes find ourselves in overload with all the day-to-day things we need to get done. It is easy to become overwhelmed and eventually shut down and end up doing nothing!

Finding the strength within is an important daily task we each must do for ourselves. Where there is faith, there can be no fear. When there is love, hate cannot stay. If there is light, the darkness does not exist. It takes a daily effort to keep faith, love and light in our hearts.

Here are some things you can do to build your own light, to chase away the darkness, to fill yourself with love. You know, you do have to love yourself so you CAN love others! You can replenish your own soul, calm your emotions to remind yourself that life is way to important to neglect the things we really love doing. So take a few minutes to show yourself kindness, fill your bucket to overflowing so it can spill over and help you be a better multi-tasking/hat-wearing servant.

When darkness starts to crowd in or the faith starts to waver…. Here are some soul building things you can do:

Listen to your favorite music Enjoy a long, luscious bubble bath
Go for a walk and listen to nature Share a hug
Exercise Learn a new skill
Pray Count your blessings
Do some stretching exercises Sing, hum or whistle a tune
Reflect on your positive qualities Watch the sunrise or sunset
Laugh Read a book
Journal Go do something adventurous
Plant something Go to a play or movie
Ride your bike Draw a picture
Go to the park with your kids Swing on a swing

We all wear many hats. One of those hats is a precious volunteer with Heavenly Angels in Need. Without your efforts, this work could not go forward. Take a few minutes to take care of your own spirit so when you are able to put on your HAIN hat, you can give your time with a song in your heart.

Jan 2009 Article

The context of the following illustrious quote by Jeremy Taylor is from his book titled "Holy Dying" (a serious call to prepare ourselves, by a good and holy life, for death) and this piece is from the chapter called “The miseries of Life”, in it he speaks to the madness and folly of loving the world, being infatuated with wealth and pleasure and trusting in one’s self and not God. It is difficult to lead in to but I will begin as he is speaking to the miseries in this world and how we should soberly consider if we would put our affections here instead of in heaven –

He that is no fool but can consider wisely, can see that loving this world is –
“to think charitably about dwelling with Vipers and Dragons, and entertaining his guests with the shrieks of Mandrakes, Cats and Screech Owls, with the filling of iron, and the harshness of rending silk; or to admire the harmony that is made of a herd of evening wolves when they miss their draught of blood in their midnight revels. The groans of a man in a fit of passing a stone are worse than these; and the distractions of a troubled conscience are worse than those groans; and yet a carefree merry sinner is worse than all that. But if we could from one of the battlements of heaven see how many men and women at this time lye fainting and dying for want of bread, how many young men are hewn down by the sword of war; how many poor orphans are now weeping over graves of their father, by whose life they were enabled to eat. If we could but hear how many Mariners, and passengers are at this present in a storm, and shriek out because their keel dashed against a rock, or bulges under them; how many people there are that weep with want, and are mad with oppression, or are desperate by too quick a sense of a constant infelicity, in all reason we should be glad to be out of the noise and participation of so many evils. This is a place of sorrows and tears,
of great evils and a constant calamity; let us remove from hence, at least in affections and preparation of mind.”

When you list the sorrows, calamities and want that truly is being experienced by thousands if not millions at this very time, it is a sobering thought and makes me so grateful that I live in peace and am spared nearly all of these horrors. But heaven’s windows are open and will hold us accountable if we help, or close the window. Oh Lord Jesus, let me not close my eyes!

Photo sent to me by Mel from the Internet -- and just as a side note: the look on the child that is carrying the baby, just pierces my heart, I see a determination to hold the precious load without resentment, no, but with a smile. God spare me for my pathetic complaints.

Jan 2009 Article

The Childrens Division was happy to announce the delivery to the PAC center last year. We had collected for them for a while the year before and they had said they had enough at the time we were ready for delivery and then we decided we would store the items until we knew where they should go.
Many volunteers had sent items such as clothing, bottles, and other baby items to donate and so we had a lot for whomever needed it.
It was a good thing we had decided to hold on and store the items as the PAC center had an emergency need. They unfortuately had an arsenest that completely destroyed everything they had including all the clothes so they were in need of every item we had saved.
When we delivered the items Debbie Tracey gave us a tour of her beautiful rented place she had transformed until her building was renovated. She showed us plans for the reconstructed building and we met some lovely volunteers that were helpful unloading all the boxes and one that would be arranging them in the alloted places.
We were all in tears and so excited to be able to help Debbie when the time was right. Our volunteers have truely blessed many babies for a long time.

This year Heavenly Angels in Need delivered "Sibling Support Bags", for children in crisis situations, twice to the Lebanon Hospital. The reception was a total surprise to them and watching the surprised look on their face was truely amazing.
I, Pauline, had never approached anyone in an emergency room and just gave them something, I had always had an emergency situation for a reason for being there.
The secretaries and nurses were so excited to get the bags with toys and blankets in them and we all had our eyes welled up with tears. Both times we donated the we were greeted with awe and greatfulness because the need for the items were there.
I would encourage anyone who wants to donate to an emergency room to just ask them there and bypass the regular part of the hospital.
The ER also sent a thank you right away and said they had taken the delivery all over the hospital and showed it off.
It was such a heart warming time to share with our local emergency care workers and I look forward to making mny more deliveries to them and the other emergency responders in our area.
Thank you to all the HAIN volunteers for making this happen.

Nov 25, 2008
A big thank you for the many wonderful gift bags for our little ones. You all did so much work and a lot of love went into each bag. We are anxious to see the looks on their faces when we give them a special bag. Thanks for all your caring and work. We also shared them with other areas of the hospital that take care of little ones. The Emergency Dept. staff.

We brought in donations and they sent in a thank you over email (same day)

Jan 2008 Article

Karin asked: Hi everyone. I crocheted a preemie burial gown and the gown is too "open" or "lacey". I think I need to line it. But I've never done that before. Can anyone give me any tips about how to do that? Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.
Angie answered: You would just need to cut and sew a lining "dress" out of fabric for the inside. I would suggest you hand sew it in rather than machine sew it. Do you have lining material? I have a bunch froma wedding dress I am working on right now. It's white of course, so if that would work for your color scheme, you are welcome to have some.

Can you post of picture of it? I can see if I have a pattern that would work for going underneath it.

Karin asked: Hi Angie, I have some material that I think would be suitable. Thanks for offering me some of yours though. Unfortunately, I don't have a digital camera so I have no way of posting a picture. Do you think if I just laid the crocheted dress on the fabric I could trace around it and add some seam allowances? The bodice isn't too lacey at all, its just the skirt part. I think I can do this but I'm a little afraid I might Does anyone have a picture of a skirt lining that they've sewn in?
Elaine answered: I've lined a few dresses with cotton instead of dress lining too. I just traced out the skirt and added 1/2 inch or so for seam allowance and just hand tacked it to the inside. I hope this helps.
Angie answered: Just lay out the skirt part trace a little bigger, cut, sew, hem and then hand tack into the crocheted gown. Good luck. Let me know if you need any more help or ideas!

Jan 2008 Article

Wedding Gown Tips for the Experienced or New Seamstress
Angie Riggsby

One important thing to do, when making the decision to remake wedding gowns into garments for children, is to be very organized. Each wedding gown is a special gift to Heavenly Angels in Need and needs to be treated as such. I will share a few organizing tips I am using which may help you get started.

I purchased several clear storage containers. Each container has its own wedding dress “assigned” to it. I put the dress, the donation paperwork and wedding gown kit in the container with the dress. The dress may sit there for a month or two until I get to it. This keeps it clean and dust free, all the paperwork intact and everything ready to go when its turn finally comes!

I finally narrowed my patterns down to a couple I really like and are easy to work with. My favorite is a two piece pattern with a one piece bodice and a skirt. I typically cut out four or five bodices of different sizes to start with so I can add the skirts as I go. Whenever anything is cut out, the pieces go right back into the storage container until the pieces are ready to use.

I keep all the finished pieces in the container; this includes blankets, gowns, wraps, etc. I put the finished items in gallon Ziploc bags until it’s time to send them off to the recipient. Before the item goes in the Ziploc bag, it gets logged in the wedding gown kit and gets its picture taken. This is a little trick I use to remind myself all the paperwork has been done for that item. It’s also a great visual as the Ziploc’s grow and the fabric pile diminishes!

When I have used the bulk of the material from any given dress, the useable scraps, beads, embellishments, etc. all go into another “scrap” bin. This gives me things to add as necessary to the items I am working on and supports the “nothing-goes-to-waste” theory I try to work under!

I am sure there are many great ideas out there, so please submit them for the next newsletter article! Please send your ideas to me at ariggsby@cREMOVED FOR PRIVACY.net

April 2010 Article

Hi Mary, this isn't much as I haven't had any special experiences regarding HAIN lately, but I hope you can use it.
When making booties and you aren't sure you have enough yarn, this little trick works for me. You can work on both booties at the same time, so if you run out of yarn and have to use another color, they will match.
1. Cast on the appropriate number of stitches for the first bootie. Push stitches toward other the other end of the needle as far as possible.
2. Using the other end of the yarn skein, cast on the same number of stitches for the second bootie on the same needle as the first bootie.
3. Knit 1 row on the stitches closest to the point, then move on to the other bootie and knit one row. From here you do whatever the pattern says, the only difference being is that you will duplicate every row on 2 separate pieces.
4. When you get to a point where there isn't enough yarn left to complete the next row on both booties, cut the yarn in the middle and change to another color. At this point you can temporarily move one bootie to a stitch holder, or continue working on both at the same time if you can easily access both ends of the skein.
5. When finished, cast off like normal and sew seams as needed.

By Anna Vandenhazel

April 2009 Article

By Shannon Arsnon (spelling last name check)

Have you ever thought to yourself, "why did I do that? Why did I go this way? Why didn't I do that? or I really should have done this." Then seconds, minutes, hours or even days later have your question answered in a way you never thought. Your mistake kept you safe by avoiding an accident that occurred on the street you should have been on. Somehow your mistake turned out to not be a mistake but blessing in disguise. I had one of those yesterday.

For a couple weeks I have had 2 boxes of items waiting to be delivered to the NICU at my local hospital. I kept putting off making the trip because....well...I really have no good excuse other than simple procrastination. I now have a better answer....

Yesterday afternoon, my doorbell rang. I open the door to find an old neighbor and her son standing there. After greeting each other, the lady said she needed to talk to me and that she needed my help. I asked if everything was okay, to which she responded "well, no". I let them in and asked what I could do. She explained that her son and his girlfriend had lost their baby. He was born at about 24 weeks, weighing 1 pound 1 ounce and was 11 inches long. He was born and died minutes later, unable to take his first breaths. My heart sank. I knew too well what they were going through and feeling. She said she knew I made clothing for preemies and asked if she could pay me to make something to fit her tiny grandson. I rose to my feet, located the boxes in the dining room, and removed the only 2 gowns I had small enough to fit. I offered them the two outfits I had and even offered to make one if they preferred different colors than what I had on hand. The young man selected a blue gown with a baseball appliqué and a matching blue baseball cap. I then pulled a couple blankets from my box and offered those to him. I asked what, if anything, the hospital was able to provide them for his son. He responded that his son was wrapped in a blanket with a hat that was too large, and they left the hospital with his things in a purple memory box. I wanted to be able to hand them an appropriate memory box, however, I had no boy boxes completed in this delivery. I offered to personalize them a memory box to match the sports themed outfit daddy had picked for his son. They accepted, stating anything I could do would be greatly appreciated. As they were leaving, again the lady attempted to pay me for the items they were carrying home, to which I refused. I somberly remarked, "This is from my Angel to yours. I'm sorry for your loss."

Sometimes we kick ourselves for making mistakes or in my case putting off something for later. This is proof that things happen for a reason, things are not mere coincidences but rather guidance from a higher being. I'm honored this family came to me and I was able to help them leave so empty-handed.

April 2009 Article

HAIN serves families in more ways than one… a mother’s perspective.

If you are reading this article, then you already know how much good HAIN does for families in need. I want to tell you a story of how HAIN helps my family in a rather unusual way.

I have two teenage daughters (and three sons), both lovely girls, artistic, kind and willing to serve. Every once in a while, however, one of them will make a rather bad choice and get into a bit of trouble. Now, I am not typically a “grounding” mom, because, that means, I am grounded too! My latest and greatest “motherly-training-tool” is community service based groundation. The teen is assigned a certain number of community service hours and are grounded until the hours are complete. Being as most negative choices a teenager will make are usually of the selfish kind, I figure that some community service is just the ticket to overcome a selfish nature.

Recently the 16 year old daughter made one of those opportunistic bad choices which landed her at the mercy of the mother. Service rocks. She had quite a few hours to work off and I told her it was perfectly ok for her to use her artistic abilities and help with some HAIN projects.

She spent two days working at the kitchen table painting memory boxes. I was able to spend quite a bit of that time sitting and making mother’s bracelets and painting memory boxes with her. Remember, this is a punishment, she is in trouble! But, what a great opportunity for the two of us to sit together, working on things for other people, having some great conversation. There was no contention, no negativity, it was a pleasant uplifting time spent with my daughter to build bonds and give service.

HAIN is such a blessing TO so many and IN so many different ways. I am a little excited for the 18 year old daughter to get home from work because we have some bracelets to make this afternoon. Isn’t grounding wonderful?

April 2008 Article

"If sometimes our poor people have had to die of starvation, it is not because God didn't care for them, but because you and I didn't give, were not instruments of love in the hands of God, to give them bread, to give them clothing; because we did not recognize him, when once more Christ came in distressing disguise -- in the hungry man, in the lonely man, in the homeless child, and seeking for shelter."
When I came across this picture it repelled me and I passed by it quickly, but then I had a prompting to go back and look upon him as someone God loves. It has been difficult, and when I thought about posting him, at first I thought him to distressing to add. But as I overcame the shock of his afflictions, I knew I had to post him, with Proverbs 28:27 in mind - "He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses." I wonder if the "many curses" are those we endure because of a heart that becomes trained to shut off needs and the resulting lack of depth to our lives?
Mother Teresa - Photo by J F Ochoa, Abandoned
Blog: http://www.fcb3.blogspot.com/

Oct 2008 Article

Angels Have Birthdays, Too
To Cody Lane and Christopher Morgan
By Charlotte Hughes

It's been a year. A year since our two tiny precious little boys came into our lives. When the nurses rolled you by me the morning you were born I thought you were the most beautiful little faces I had ever seen. Cody, I remember looking at you later that day and touching you for just a moment before they took you away, and thinking I'll never have the opportunity to love and hold this baby; and Morgan, I looked at you and thought maybe - just maybe this baby has a chance.

Cody, I'm so grateful that I was wrong about you. You're a fighter, our brave little man, you have shown us what courage means every day. You're a true miracle, our beautiful gift from God, and you have taught us so much in your year of life. Happy birthday, Little Man, my wish for you is as much love as you have brought to us.

Morgan - I was wrong about you, too, darling. God needed another little boy Angel is Heaven and I'm sure He looked at you that morning, just like I did, and thought you were so very beautiful - too beautiful for this world - and in His infinite wisdom He took you home with Him., We fought so hard for five days to keep you here with us and then with heavy hearts gave you back to the Lord. And even though you are not with us physically, you have taught us many lessons, too. You are our Precious Little Angel - I miss you every day, I love you so very much - I believe you know these things. I wish for you a beautiful day with Jesus. Happy birthday, baby, Angels have birthdays, too.

I love you both so very much,

On August 17, 2001 the unthinkable happened. Our daughter's twins were born at 23 1/2 weeks gestation. Christopher Morgan weight 1 lb 12 oz, Cody Lane 1 lb 5 oz. This week we will celebrate Cody's first birthday with us and Morgan's first birthday with Jesus. It has been a year of joyous miracles and at the same time a year of unbelievable grief and sorrow. We know that Morgan is at peace in Heaven where he knows no pain. Yet the ache in our hearts for the child we cannot hold goes on. We look forward to the day when we can be in Heaven with both our little boys and experience the joy of Cody and Morgan together.

July 2007 Article

By Stacy Vaka

I was spending a quiet evening alone with my husband when I got a phone call from the veterinary hospital where I work. A kind citizen had brought in a pair of day-old kittens she found under her front porch. They were in need of someone to bottle-raise them until they were old enough to find homes of their own. Would I be interested? I happily obliged, and as I was to discover, I ended up needing them as much as they needed me.
I had been upset that evening, still coming to terms with the last few weeks when my husband and I had thought I was pregnant. I had been thinking all along that the timing wasn’t right, that we should wait until our lives were more stable to have children. We were, after all, only 22 when we got married. Young, by today’s standards. We were just out of college and on our own for the first time in our lives. Naturally, we wanted to wait until we were settled in our careers and could afford to raise our children comfortably.
However, as many parents come to discover, babies don’t always come when they are planned. Six weeks earlier, I’d had a mishap with my birth control when I forgot to take two pills in a row. Suddenly the possibility of me being pregnant became very real. So real, in fact, that my doctor recommended a blood pregnancy test at an appointment a few days before the night of the phone call. But when the results of the pregnancy test came back, it was negative.
I cannot describe exactly how I felt when I found out. I was at work at the time, so I tried not to think about it, but when it was time to go home, I got into my car, pulled out onto the street, and started crying. My mind was completely blank except for one thought: that despite my fears about timing, I really did want to be pregnant. I really did want to have a baby. If she were a girl, I would have named her Melanie Faye.
She would not be coming now. I could not in good conscience plan a baby when I knew we couldn’t afford it. At the same time, I was beginning to feel that if we waited until we could afford it, we might never have children. And the more I thought about that, the more the tears came. I had to pull off to the side of the road to regain myself. I was devasted.
It was in the midst of this heartbreak that the call for the orphaned kittens came. I went to pick them up from the hospital the next day. They were so tiny, each no larger than a hamster. The male was cream-colored, while the female was tortoiseshell with a white face. She reminded me of a Geisha girl, with her bright pink lips. Neither had opened their eyes yet. As I gave them each their bottles that night, and prepared myself for weeks of feedings every four hours until they were old enough to feed themselves, I felt my sorrow begin to fade.
I have to believe that everything happens for a reason. The fact that the kittens came to me just two days after finding out the results of the pregnancy test is too much of a coincidence for me to think it was not meant to be. It was as if it were God’s way of telling me that no, it was not my time to be a mother yet, but it also wasn’t time to despair. He would give me a child when He thought the time was right. In the meantime, here was someone else that needed my nurturing and care. And in the two months that they were with me, their company and my husband’s support truly helped to heal my heart.
After two years of marriage, people often ask us why we haven’t had kids yet. My answer always used to be that we couldn’t really afford it right now. That always seemed like such a planned answer, as though we were dissecting our future and scheduling the so-called right time. But I know now that the “right” time for children has nothing to do with age or financial stability. They come to us when we need them most, often when we least expect it, when God feels we are in need of a blessing. Now when people ask when we are going to have children, I tell them, “When the time is right.”

UPDATE: Stacy had a healthy little girl 2011

Jan 2009 Article -When we had regional giving

Region 7 Update

Greetings from Florida!

Happy, healthy, and prosperous new year to everyone!

Now that the holiday rush is over, hopefully we can get back to crafting for HAIN. There are several still unmet needs in our region. Florida Hospital Orlando (not Altamonte Springs), Holmes Regional, Wuesthoff Medical Center and Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center need memory boxes. Some of these hospitals have never received a memory box from us! For the neonatal division, we have Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center, Florida Hospital (both Orlando and Altamonte Springs), Holmes Regional, Wuesthoff Medical Center and Dekalb Medical Center. And some of these have never received any burial garments from us. We also have three photographers in our region who could use items.

I know today’s economy has forced a lot of people to cut back on their charitable giving. If everyone would just make a few things per month, we could easily meet all these needs. One skein of yarn can make a couple of burial sets. One yard of flannel can make several wraps. It only costs a few dollars, your time, and your love. Even if you can only give one or two items, you are doing something to make a difference in the world. The nurses I have talked to say that most of the angels they see are from the poorest families— families without resources. Your donations give grieving parents one less thing to worry about during their time of suffering, and give the families and their babies dignity.

Jan 2009 Article

Crocheting 101 – Many of the ladies in my Women’s Fellowship group do not know how to crochet and seem to shy away from it. Since I learned to crochet before knitting, I have always felt more comfortable with one loop on my hook instead of several on a knitting needle. Some tell me they can’t learn to crochet, but I respond with, “Then you don’t have the right teacher!”
Crocheting is basically working with a chain stitch upon which you build other stitches. I would suggest you start with a four ply yarn and a size H or N hook. This will be large enough for you to see the actual stitches.

Begin by making a loop on the hook, just as in knitting. Now take the crochet hook with the one loop and yarn over and pull through the loop. (If you knit, you already know how to do the basic crochet stitch because you sometimes drop a stitch and have to pull it back up to put it back on the needle.) To make your chain, continue pulling the yarn through the loop on the hook until you have a long chain (ch) with the number of stitches required by the pattern.
The next stitch you may do is a single crochet (sc). How you do this is to insert your needle in the second stitch back from the hook and pull the yarn through again. Now you have two loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull through both loops…single crochet made. You may need to continue this down the chain if your instructions call for it.
A half double crochet (hdc) is made by yarning over, putting the hook down into a stitch and pulling up the yarn, and yarning over again and pulling through all three loops so you are back to one loop on the hook again.
To make a double crochet (dc), you yarn over and then put your hook through the stitch, pull a yarn up, and yarn over again, pull through two loops at a time, and yarn over again and pull through the last two loops until you are back to one loop on the hook.
A treble crochet (tr) is yarning over twice, going down into the stitch and yarning over, pulling that loop back up, and yarning over two stitches at a time until you are back to one loop.
When the pattern says to join with a slip stitch (sl st), it means after chaining the number of stitches required in the pattern, you put your hook back down into the very first chain stitch, yarn over and pull through the stitch and right on through the stitch on your hook. This makes a circle. The more practice you have with these steps, the more comfortable and quick you will become.
If you were successful with the above steps, you now can make all of the following stitches:
ch = Chain
sc = Single crochet
hdc = Half double crochet
dc = Double crochet
tr = Treble crochet
sl st = slip stitch
For those of you who are more visual learners, please check out the web links below. There are pictures as well as a video to go along with the instructions. One might be more helpful to you than another, so I am including several options:





Video of basic crocheting:

Happy crocheting!

Jan 2007 Article off site with permission

Kangaroo Care for Premature Babies
Premature babies, or preemies, require special attention and considerations. Preemies in the Intensive Care Nursery (ICN) at John Muir Medical Center- Walnut Creek Campus often receive what is called Kangaroo Care, a simple but powerfully effective therapy that is very helpful for baby and mom.
What Is Kangaroo Care?
Kangaroo Care is but one of the techniques of the ICN's developmentally supportive care, a constellation of techniques and caring modalities to meet the needs of its delicate, very sensitive preemies. It is a skin-to-skin experience in which a preemie is wrapped next to its mother's chest while the mother is resting in a reclining chair. The rise and fall of the mother's chest as she breathes and the sound of her heartbeat provide a soothing rhythm for the baby, says Sue Cleaver, ICN Clinical Coordinator. The mother's body warmth keeps baby comfortable and feeling safe.
The process gets its name from the experience of a kangaroo baby, known as a joey. A joey is born before it is fully developed and for its first six months lives in its mother's pouch. It then leaves the warmth and safety of the pouch to venture outside.
Does It Work?
Offering a strong endorsement for Kangaroo Care and her entire experience at the ICN is Janine Pearson of Martinez whose preemie, Nicholas, was born there. I just can't say enough about the experience, Pearson says. All the nurses and staff were so open. Dr. Scott, (Medical Director of the ICN) was first rate. They all listened to me and educated me.They made a big effort to get me any information or help I wanted.
Pearson explained that she entered the hospital when she was only 24 weeks pregnant and starting to go into labor. Since 24 weeks is far short of the 38 to 40 weeks of a full term pregnancy, she chose to enter the hospital where she could stay in bed and hope to postpone the birth. This tactic delayed the birth for a little over four weeks and Nicholas was born February 10, 2006 at 28 weeks and 5 days, weighing 3 lbs. He weighed 5 lbs. 12 oz. when he went home on March 28, 2006.
After birth, Nicholas was put on a continuous positive airway pressure device to facilitate breathing, Pearson explained. After the third day, Nicholas was off this machine and breathing well by himself. Then came Kangaroo Care, Pearson says It's as close to being in the womb as you can get.From the beginning, he settled down and seemed just to melt into me. It was so bonding and was very calming for him and me. And, Eric (his dad) liked doing it to. He fell asleep.
Kangaroo Care is a simple practice with profound benefits, says Cleaver. Studies show these babies get off ventilators sooner, gain weight faster, do better with feeding and go home sooner. It also results in decreased parent anxiety. It's very empowering for them. They no longer feel like helpless bystanders.
Among the other Kangaroo Care benefits for preemies are:
Decrease in the output of stress hormones
Less crying
Lower oxygen requirements
Benefits for moms include improved breast milk production, increased selfconfidence in caring for their preemie, knowledge that they are doing something positive for their baby, and less anxiety and depression. For dads, most of whom decide to offer Kangaroo Care also, the benefits include increased selfconfidence in caring for preemies and the knowledge they are helping their baby in a very significant way.
A guiding principle when caring for preemies is remembering that they would, under normal circumstances, still be in the womb. They are underequipped to deal with the stimuli they receive in the ICN, Cleaver says. They have to deal with bright lights, noise and the discomfort of medical procedures and they can quickly use up all their reserves of energy.
The main goal of 'developmentally supportive care' is to keep each baby as comfortable and free from stress as possible. For example, we put our little patients into a soft cocoon of buntings and blankets so that they can stay in a fetal position with their arms and legs tucked close to their body. That technique is only one of a long list of guidelines and directions all aimed at providing comfort and reassurance for the preemies.
Other Care Techniques
Another important element of ICN care is the Golden Hour Script, developed by a multidisiplinary team of physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists, which gives comprehensive guidelines for the stabilization of extremely premature babies. The Golden Hour- the first hour of a premature baby's life-is considered vital because the treatment provided during that time can have long term effects.
The process begins in the delivery room, Cleaver says. If a newborn is experiencing breathing problems, a tube is inserted into the baby's mouth and windpipe. The tube is attached to a special device called a Neopuff, which assists the baby's breathing by providing breaths at a constant pressure. With older devices it was possible to over inflate the baby's lungs because it was difficult to accurately control the pressure of each breath, Cleaver says. Now that risk is significanlty reduced.
The newly developed Golden Hour Script is a comprehensive guideline for doctors, nurses and other staff that has been incredibly successful, Cleaver says. Staff is completely supportive, because it works and they can see what it does for these tiny babies. We are getting babies off ventilators sooner and have observed a drop in chronic lung disease. We believe the Golden Hour Script will have long term effects for our premature babies and possibly help them go home sooner.

Dec 2008 Article

Oh, and I just have to share this. My neighbor had
a 1.5 pound baby boy around July. I ran over and
gave her a tiny hat and I think it was about 16 inch
blanket. She said the blanket laid over the
little bed perfectly, but she told me the tiny hat was too Big!
I about fainted. The smallest baby I have touched was 2.5 lbs.
I made another hat, and I just about cried thinking a baby could be so tiny.
I never knew how much my little angel weighed and I never
got to hold my baby. So, this was a little hard for me but it
felt good to do at the same time. The next hat, literally fit
on an egg it was so little.
She said the second one fit perfect. This little one made
it and came home three to four months later. He is
still a bit small but healthy and an absolute miracle.
I took care of this mothers own mother in the unit
I work at in the hospital. She kept me update on
her grandbaby every day she was there, once she
found out I was her neighbor and she had met
me already (one time). Jesus, is so good. He
has a way of placing us in the right spot at the
right time. I got to care for the grandma in her
time of need and at the same time give her grand baby
some items. It feels so good to see a mother that is
obviously worn down from stress and grief smile
for just a moment when she realizes that, she is loved and
so is her child. Anyway, I just wanted to share this.
I hope you don't mind.
Thanks, and I pray the Lord Bless's your day!

Dec 2005 article -when HAIN had angel stations

The Pennsylvania Angel Station #43 might have been quiet on the boards
but....we are active in our community. This coming week will see Memory
Boxes being made with a new faux tin punch Angel stamp designed by Janice M.
Biscoe. Up to now, we have been very busy getting more burial outfits ready
for distribution and also our Annual Dicken's Day is tomorrow and there are
a lot of things to do in order to be ready for the Children's Bazaar that we
have at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. All the vendors in town dress up in
Victorian clothes and there are soup sales, crafts, entertainment and just a
really good time. All monies from the sale of homemade items (less 15%) will
be donated to the church for their use in the Summer Bible School. We are
donating all unsold articles to children who have been ravaged by the
hurricanes so that they can have a gift for their relatives. From neck
coolers, to tree ornaments, there is quite a big choice. This relates to
HAIN in that we will be knitting at our booth and have samples of baby
gowns, hats, booties and literature to hand out to one and all so that the
local community people and visitors will see that we are a very caring
community who will help the littlest ones; who cannot help themselves.

We had 2 "baby born asleep" deaths last week at local hospitals and I think
that our organization is now getting known in the community. The reason?
The paper, in the obit. column used the term "born sleeping" to describe the
baby. We want one and all to know that we believe in the dignity of death
and that the dignity should be offered to one and all, regardless of

In another vein, I heard from a friend who returned from Florida and had
spoken with a man who lost twins almost 20 years ago. She told them of our
HAIN organization and he was emotionally choked up that there were people
who truly cared. Go Florida!

In our Station #43, we might only have a few members listed but we have
almost 15 ladies and a gentleman who are knitting, crocheting and sewing.
As stated on the homepage of HAIN, volunteers sometimes have personal
experience with losing a baby or babies and that is what transpired here in
our group. We have a Shawl Ministry as you know but part of it has grown
into a wonderful HAIN organization and I am proud of one and all with their
sincere commitment to the cause.

We are planning on having a fund raiser but we are not too sure of the
direction yet. I will keep one and all up-to-date.
Personally, I would like to thank all the HAIN members for being such great
people with patterns, ideas, suggestions, comments, prayers and most of all,
Love of our Lord with whom all, and I mean ALL things are possible.

This is a strong group and I have come to rely on some for their great
ideas, their thoughtful prayers and thoughts and just a warm feeling of

Janice M. Biscoe
PA - Angel Station #43

April 2010 Article

Finding Peace

By Stacy Vaka

2 Thessalonians 3:16
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”

When I was diagnosed with my infertility problems last year, I felt many emotions. I felt denied, angry, and distressed, to name a few, but worst of all, I felt betrayed by God. How could He let this happen to me?

It wasn’t until several months later, after many nights spent crying and demanding that God fix me, that I lay utterly exhausted. It takes a great deal of energy to be angry at God, and that day I realized I could continue to futilely fight against His will, or I could surrender to His plan and trust that He would take care of me. So that day I asked God to take my life into His hands, and I told Him that whatever happened, I would trust Him to do what’s best for me, even if that meant not having children.

Almost immediately I felt a sense of peace wash over me, and I was suddenly annoyed at myself for not having trusted Him sooner. Of course God would take care of me. He takes care of all His children. Hasn’t He told us if we ever need anything, all we have to do is ask? It had never occurred to me to ask for peace.

Peace may seem a distant dream for you right now, when all you want is that most precious gift of a child, but Jesus has the authority to bring peace to us at all times, in every way. There is no reason for us to torment ourselves with our heartbreaks when He is right there, waiting to comfort us. Don’t fall into the trap of believing you will never feel peace again, for nothing is impossible with Christ. He can cure the blind, turn water into wine, and yes, He can also bring peace to the broken hearted.

But in order to experience His peace, we must take that first step of completely surrendering our situations to Him. We must be willing to trust Him enough to take the reins of our lives and guide us where He will. He will never steer us in the wrong direction. Remember that He is the Lord of peace, and as long as He is with us, everything will be okay.

“Dear Lord, please help me to find peace with my current situation. I am placing my life in your hands, and I trust you make everything turn out alright. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

April 2009 Article

Yesterday I took a box of baby items to Jordan Valley Hospital. Lorraine, the volunteer director, was on the phone when I arriveed and a young woman was sitting in her office waiting. When Lorraine was off the phone she invited me in and introduced the other lady as Julie, a new hospital volunteer. Lorraine explained that I was delivering baby items made by my charity group, and when she showed Julie the preemie hats Joy had made, she kinda teared up and said she wished she could knit and crochet and make things like that too. Lorraine then told her about my brother-in-law Patrick being a head nurse at their hospital - although he had nothing to do with Jordan Valley accepting HAIN items at the time I started going there, he has been a good behind-the-scenes "cheerleader" for HAIN's efforts after learning that I was donating there.
They both enjoyed the story of how I used Patrick's knowledge of my charity donations in a deceptive way. In the summer of 2007 we had a family reunion-campout near Elko, NV, and Patrick's wife Emily was expecting a baby that September, they had lost their 4th baby the previous year so this little one was especially important to them. Normally I have more than one knitting project in progress at a time, and one of them in this case was a sweater for the new baby. I usually take a knitting project along when we travel, so I took that sweater along, knowing that Patrick & Emily wouldn't know for sure it was meant for them. The situation was better than expected - someone asked me what I was making and I told them it was a baby sweater without providing further details. Patrick himself spoke up, "She makes lots of baby things to donate to hospitals!" Talk about needing a poker face, I knew if I laughed or even smiled someone would suspect who that sweater was really for! And yes, they loved the sweater after baby Anson was born on Labor Day.

April 2008 Article

Thank You for Giving Me Life

Mommy and Daddy, I want you to know
Not a day goes by that I don’t love you so.
I know you miss me and cry a lot
My love for you will never stop.

I know you are sad thinking I never got to spend my life with you
But I did only for a short time.
I remember so many neat things about our lives together.
I will remember living beneath your heart, Mommy, my dear
While listening to my Daddy sing pretty songs.
My brother and sister just laughing and playing all day long,
Jumping around like little bullfrogs.

Jesus and His pretty angels came and got me.
I got to go to a place where I can be free.
I am so happy with Jesus giggling and smiling.
Daddy, you’d like it here with the choirs of angels singing.

Mommy, the flowers are so pretty and smell so sweet.
Mommy, I remember everything about you,
I can still feel your heartbeat.
It’s so perfect here with so many things to see.

I know you are so very sad since I went away
But remember we will be together again someday.
We are part of each other, we are still a family.
I took pieces of your heart and good memories with me,
when I went away.
I know you want to see me and will one day.

Just read the Bible to learn about the place where I live.
Please don’t blame yourselves,
God needed me here.
Place your lives in God’s hands, His Spirit will lead the way.
Prayers are the stairs to heaven.

When you feel sad, know I’m right there
Because before I left you, Jesus put MY love in your heart
So you would always f eel me, as part of you like a special hug.
I can always see you my Mommy and my Daddy
And feel you next to me
Because you are a part of me for all eternity.

Love, Your Heavenly Angel

© Mary Cate Bratcher - August 13, 2007
Used with Permission by Author on website http://heavenlyangelsinneed.com
Written for my Great-Niece, named Heaven Lee Angel who was Stillborn August 9-2007
E-Mail Author weltonmarycate@cs.com to rewrite for your particular needs!

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