Ever since I read this blog post that a friend emailed me a while back, I have been thinking about the traditions that I want to do with our family to celebrate Mary Anna’s life. I talked to Dan about it, and I told him about the blog that I read, where she encourages you to find ways to remember your baby’s life. We decided with that Christmas being the first big milestone besides Thanksgiving that we would have to walk through without our baby girl, that we wanted to do something to celebrate her each year at Christmas time. Christmas is very important to us, so after debating on what to do, we decided to order Mary Anna a stocking.
Since Christmas is such a big deal to us, we have always known that it would be a big deal for our children. We want to do things to celebrate Mary Anna not only for her and us, but for our future children. I am adopted, and my parents always made that apart of my life growing up. It was never something that made me different, but it was something that made me special. I have always loved the way that God placed our family together, and I think the fact that our future children have a big sister in heaven makes them special. Being adopted has always given me a different perspective on life and family, and I hope that Mary Anna will give that to our children. So, Dan and I thought it would be fun for each year to hang a stocking in her memory, and have a time where we talk about her and remember her at Christmas. What a better time then when we are celebrating the birth and death of our Savior.
Now this all is to be said with some reservation, if you have ever lost a baby, there are a lot of mixed emotions on how people will perceive the things that you do. D and I want to remember Mary Anna and her life, but at times we feel like people do not want to talk about her, because she is too painful to talk about. I get that. There’s also a little bit of, “Am I crazy for doing this?”, each time we decide to remember her in a way like this. As any smart girl would do, I called my mom and told her what we were thinking, and immediately she began to cry and say that she had wanted to get her a stocking too, but that she did not want to upset us. So sweet baby girl Mary Anna has a stocking at our house and at my parents house. It was a joy to hang it up, and it will be our joy to hang it every year. She is a part of our family.
Lastly as I was sharing this with my other mom, she encouraged me to take the ways that we choose to remember Mary Anna by to do something good with them. We have not decided how or what we will do, but I loved the idea of filling her stocking with gifts for needy children, donations to the NICU, etc. It will be interesting to see how the Lord leads us to continue to honor Mary Anna’s life for His Kingdom. I am excited to see how she not only continues to change Dan and I’s life, but how she will change our children’s lives.