"From the very beginning, having a family was something we both agreed upon."
Early in our relationship, my husband and I agreed to starting a family at a young age. Naturally, we were over the moon when we found out I was pregnant early in our marriage. Like any expecting parents, we went into planning mode for the arrival of our newborn, from essentials such as a nursery to our unborn child’s future. We never imagined in a million years that our pregnancy would be anything but normal.
On June 15, 2006, our daughter Hannah was born, arriving early at 28 weeks. Hannah had a brain bleed due to a lack of oxygen, caused by a dysfunctional placenta. The severe brain bleed took away any chance of her survival and also, our eager anticipation of a healthy baby. Hannah was born still –
Nothing can ever prepare parents for an outcome as heartbreaking and life changing as the death of their child. In the delivery room, there were no loud cries of a baby, only the silent cries of my husband and the nurses as they watched me hold my precious daughter, Hannah.
Hello and goodbye in one breath. I had lost all faith in life, and in God after Hannah left us.
"I had lost all faith in life and God after losing Hannah..."
On May 3, 2008, Hannah’s sister, Amelia Sander was born early at 26 weeks. She joined her sister, Hannah, in Angel Heaven- Amelia had passed while we were out for dinner. At the hospital, I knew she was gone and refused to push her out - I knew there would be no crying baby once she came out. My faith weakened even more so after losing our second daughter, Amelia.
After the loss of Amelia, life felt worthless and I felt lost. The same thought would cross my mind over and over- WHY? I was angry and questioned God’s motive – what was the God I once believed in trying to tell me? I knew Hannah and Amelia's short time on earth had a purpose. I had to search for it. As a mother, it was also very important for me to keep Hannah and Amelia's memories alive.
In February 2013, a visit to India would help shed clarity to that one question (WHY?) constantly in my head. A visit to an all girl’s orphanage would give me that "AHA" moment. I knew I wanted to do something to help with the orphanage and, at the same time, honour my daughters.
"It was from that trip Hannah and Amelia's Angels Foundation was founded."
It was from that trip Hannah and Amelia's Angels Foundation was founded. My hope is to inspire other women who share similar journeys to fulfill their purpose in life and to honour their babies. I strive to make my daughter's proud. Their memory is alive in the faces of the children this foundation is helping. Keeping Hannah and Amelia’s short journey
alive through this foundation has given me the fulfillment and purpose that I felt empty for. I never dreamed my life would be what it is today. I never imagined a life without children.
Life handed me this pain, a pain that leaves an everlasting impression. I made the choice to embrace the pain and make a small difference by easing some of the heartache by helping underprivileged children. My life's journey is full of love and purpose. A journey which stems from not only helping underprivileged children reach some of their life's goals, but simply seeing them smile. I see my daughters shining at me through this charitable work. I feel Hannah and Amelia’s love, support and strength, which is the driving force behind this foundation.
I feel privileged and blessed to be able to leave a legacy in honour of my daughters. I hope reading through my journey will inspire others to turn heartbreaks into a heartwarming purpose-filled life. Holding on to faith in the face of tragedy and heartache is the most difficult thing to do, but it can lead to something meaningful. There is a profound purpose in everyone’s lives. There are signs all around us that lead to paths that will help fulfill our life's purpose. One must keep hope and faith, especially at the most trying and challenging times. I have always felt, if one's life journey is more difficult than others, it is because we have a higher purpose. I believe this now more than ever.
“Life does not happen to you but for you” – Tony Robbins.