My name is Dara Samuels, my husband Jonathan and I have gone through 2 miscarriages. Two years ago in November 2013 when we lost our first baby it was really hard to go through the grieving process and recovery on our own. We didn't know about any organizations, we didn't really feel like we could share it with our friends because their response was always awkward or not very appropriate, and I knew they really didn't know how to respond. Last year, when we lost our second baby things were different. One of my friends told me about Hannah's Hope, I went to the website and immediately ordered my box. I cannot express how thankful we were that not only did we get our box, but Kathryn and her husband took the time to meet with us and personally deliver the box and took time to listen to our story. The contents of the box truly helped us talk through our grief and understand the steps we needed to take to recover from our loss. After having such a great experience with our box, I decided that every time I knew someone who experienced the loss of a baby, I would make it a point to send them a box in hopes that it would encourage them as much as it encouraged me. Today so far I have sent 3 boxes and Hannah's Hope Boxes have given me the opportunity to reach out and minister to my friends and help them through their grieving process.
First, thank you so much for your ministry. I will go back to August 2014. We had a positive pregnancy test! My husband and I couldn't have been more excited about having a baby, along with all our family and friends. I have dreamed of having a baby since I was a young girl, it was finally my turn. I have always dreamed of being a mommy. Everything went normal throughout the first trimester. Then at 15 weeks at 2 in the morning, I went into labor. My water broke at home and at that point, we knew what the outcome would be. We went straight to the hospital, where I delivered our sweet Caroline Marie. We were devastated. I was in such a state of shock that I didn't even think to ask to see our baby girl. It wasn't until I got back home that I was so angry at myself, and upset that no one asked me to see her. In January, I received a survey of our hospital experience. I sat at the table and relived our experience, mainly asking the hospital to consider making it a new standard practice to ask the mom if she wants to see the baby. I received a call last week. The hospital is making it a new policy with nurses, that they ask the moms if they want to see their baby. I would give anything to go back and see our sweet baby girl's face. I have the hope of seeing her in heaven one day!
So as I was sitting at our dining room table, I had just finished writing this letter when my husband went outside and found a box on the porch. He asked me if I was expecting anything and I said, "no". I took the box into the kitchen to open it. It was Caroline's "Hannah's Hope" box. I barely opened the box and I saw her name, and all I could do was cry, to see her name in print. We went through each thing in the box and cried. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, God knew! It will forever be treasured. We were able to add other special things to the box like ultrasound pictures, cards, dried flowers, and other special things that remind us of her. She lived inside me and though we would give anything to have her here on earth with us, we have the HOPE of seeing her in heaven one day. Thank you for your ministry, and just know, that you have touched people’s lives, and these boxes will continue to heal the brokenhearted!
I received a box a few weeks back from your organization. My husband and I already had two beautiful daughters when found out about our "surprise blessing" at the beginning of June. It took a few days to get over the shock, but we were excited about having a third child. I was feeling terrible, yet so happy. Mid-June, it appeared I began to miscarry. Devastated, I met with the doctor the next day hoping for a miracle, only to find out my hcg levels weren't lowering (or rising) at a normal rate. After several blood tests, it was determined that my nightmare was far from over. My pregnancy was ectopic and near the point of bursting. I had an emergency surgery over night on a Friday and was ordered to stay in bed rest for five days. That is five days alone with my emotions. That Saturday morning, we found the box on our porch. I couldn't look at it without crying for the first day or two. Then, I opened it and began to weep as I held the ornament and bear meant for a child I will always ache to hold. The note was also very kind and touching. Then came the book. It took me a few more days to work up the courage to begin the devotions. I did two devotions a day at first to help sort through my mixed bag of emotions, but have eased back to one a day now. I began to see my grief in a whole new light as I read about miscarriage and infant loss from a biblical perspective. I began to see it as less of an embarrassing secret and more of a part of my life...my story. I began to see that it is important to work through and talk about a loss to properly grieve. At this point, we are not sure we will have any more children. I am still praying for direction when it comes to that... What I do know is your organization gave me a gift that no one else was able to. The gift of understanding my loss and a path to healing. Please know how much I appreciate this. It will be a long road, but I am grateful the Lord laid this ministry on your heart for grieving mothers like myself. God Bless.
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