The first gift was given to me by an awesome girl named Sarah. Her sweet baby boy, Holden, was stillborn last August. In his honor, Sarah and her husband started a foundation called Holden Uganda with the goal of funding nine wells in areas of Uganda without access to clean water. They started with a goal of nine wells because they enjoyed nine wonderful months of life with Holden while Sarah carried him. Sarah shared with me a couple of weeks ago that she had been touched by our testimony of Zachary’s life and death, and then she asked if she could name well #9 in honor of our son. I read and re-read her email several times. I was just so humbled that Zachary’s impact would extend beyond his life with us here to help those in need in an entirely different part of the world! Thank you, Sarah, for choosing to allow the Lord to use Holden’s life to display His glory. And, thank you for honoring our son’s short life in such an amazing way.
Just a few days after that, I received a package in the mail from another dear friend whose daughter, Emily, was stillborn just a couple of months after Zachary died. Tristen, Emily's mom, had submitted Zachary’s name to an organization called “To Write Their Names In The Sand” (namesinthesand.blogspot.com). It was started by a couple whose child was stillborn in 2008. As names of children who have died are submitted, this couple writes their names in the sand on the beach and takes a picture at sunset. The pictures are incredible! And, Zachary’s name "just happened" to be written in the sand and captured in a beautiful photo on November 27th, the same day that Kaylee was born. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the date that the picture was taken!
Also included in the package from Tristen was an adorable pink and white outfit. She explained to me in her card that the outfit was the only thing she had purchased for Emily before she was born. She said that as soon as she found out that we were expecting a girl, she knew she wanted to give that outfit to me for Kaylee to wear. Thank you, Tristen, for entrusting me with such a special and important gift. That outfit has been hanging on the side of Kaylee’s crib as a reminder that life is a precious gift.
In the past couple of weeks I have been reminded very poignantly that God is faithful…that we will never fully understand the innumerable ways that God wants to bring beauty from the ashes in our lives…that He wants to continue to use Zachary’s short life to accomplish great things. I feel so blessed.