Hi everyone! Thank you so very much for your support of this new endeavor of mine. With Love, Genesis & Joy has been in the works for the last several weeks, and it's hard to believe the time is actually here!
The past year and a half has been quite a roller coaster for me, starting with the loss of our Ivory in September 2015. My husband and I had spent so many nights talking on the back porch about what our tiny baby would be like, listening to worship music and promising each other we'd raise her to be a fearless worshiper and lover of all people. And just like that - our Ivory was gone. We were angry at God for so long, and angry at each other because we didn't know how else to process all the emotions. Healing has been a long, slow process but we're getting there. It's definitely one step forward, two steps back. In December of 2015, I had to have surgery for some post-miscarriage complications. After that procedure, I felt like I could start to move on just a tiny bit.
I found out I was pregnant again in March 2016 with our rainbow baby. I had a hard time getting excited about this pregnancy, because I was scared she'd be taken from me too. September 19th 2016 came and went, and only a very tiny handful of friends acknowledged the day and what it meant to me (Ivory's "birth" date). It was then, after a sushi lunch date with a friend (who brought me flowers and white chocolate cookies), that I started thinking about helping other women in my situation and making sure they didn't feel alone.
Naomi Joy was born in November 2016, and my goodness, holding her for the first time and seeing her tiny hands and feet was unreal. I instantly fell in love, and after months of being somewhat detached from the pregnancy, it was surprising to me to feel the rush of love that I did. I didn't want to put her down (I got my wish when cluster feeding kicked in on her second night, I literally could not put her down). We settled on the middle name Joy because as Psalm 30:5 says, "Pain may last for a night, but JOY comes in the morning." Naomi has brought much of the healing my husband and I were seeking, although we are still works in progress.
I've prayed so long and so hard about this new ministry, and I feel like it will reach many, many hurting women. I absolutely want these women I meet through the ministry to know that their baby mattered, they are a mother, and they are not alone. Trust me, there are so many strange thoughts that come with experiencing the loss of a baby, and even stranger thoughts that come with pregnancy after a miscarriage. Please pray that this will be a blessing to women's lives and bring them a small amount of healing from their grief.
One more thing: WLG&J does currently accept donations, however our non-profit status is pending so donations will not be tax deductible at this time. If you feel compelled to give, you will receive an e-receipt and I can also mail you a paper receipt if you wish. I will always keep a paper trail.
A couple thank-yous I want to list before ending this post:
- My husband, Bear, for believing that this whole idea is possible, for encouraging me to do more with it than I had originally wanted to, and for not being mad when the laundry is all over the house and dinner isn't made because I've been working on cards and advertising. I love you.
- Jessica, for jumping in and designing the website and supporting the idea wholeheartedly. You went above and beyond, and it means so much to me that you used your own free time to do this. Just don't steal my identity! ;)
- Britt, for always replying to my "Omg, what should I do?!" texts (about this ministry and life in general) with some level-headed advice and words of wisdom. And also, for collaborating with me and designing a special rainbow baby headband (to be mailed out to rainbow baby mamas) just for WLG&J. You can find Britt's shop on instagram @buzzwildco.
- Amanda, for always being an encouragement to me no matter what. Right from the start you supported this idea and offered help even in the early, early stages when I wasn't sure how it would all pan out. And look at it now!
- My mom, for advertising 24/7 and leaving a little trail of business cards everywhere. She is another one who supported this right from the beginning. The only thing she is probably mad about is she can't enter any of my giveaways. Sorry mom, I still love you! :)
- And to you all, for reading this, liking the facebook page, and following on instagram. I would have no one to reach if the word wasn't spreading, and it definitely is!
Now, let's get to making some cards! The website is LIVE!