Yesterday Amanda was a month old. I'm sure she had quite the party in heaven with her Great Grandparents, dog Jake and fish Rainbow Fish. Yesterday we sent a few balloons to her and Kara wrote a note to her sister that we attached. Kara's been fairly quiet about Amanda, but yesterday the balloon release seemed to open her up a bit. We talked about Amanda's heavenly party and I reminded her that she has her own dog in heaven (Kara remembers Jake's death 3 years ago) and Kara reminded me about Rainbow Fish being in heaven too. I think having her pets with her sister made Kara feel better.
Corey and I want to thank everyone for their prayers for Amanda. We've kept to ourselves for a month but it's time to open ourselves up to life again. We needed time to begin to process the loss of Amanda, to be with Kara and Emily and to just think about her and the time we had with her. I updated our blog's profile picture to add Amanda. The picture is at my parents' house on Christmas Eve. I'm pregnant so the picture is of the five of us:) As many of you may know, naming our children is for some reason VERY difficult for Corey and I and takes us FOREVER to decide on a name. We hadn't finalized a name for Amanda when the time came to need one but all the sudden it was a very easy decision. When we were dating, I was probably 18, I sat at Corey's parents' table and was writing the usual "Kristen loves Corey", etc. and I wrote Lauren Elizabeth and Amanda Lynn as "our children's names"-I guess I knew we were always destined for girls:) When it came time to name Kara and Em, neither one of the names seemed to perfectly fit them (tried to name Kara Amanda but Shell had a fit:). When we were discussing names for Amanda, we both brought it up and liked it but were still exploring others. Kara was getting tired of the name game so one day said, "Mom, we need to name our baby. What name do you and Dad agree on?" Amanda was the only one so I told her that. Her reply, "Boom, then it's Amanda." So, at the hospital when asked what her name would be, Kara had made the decision easy for us.
In the spring we're going to plant a tree for our baby girl. The need to remember her, to make her more real is something I feel everyday. Please don't be afraid to mention her to us--I say this on behalf of Corey and myself--I can't speak for the rest of our families. God blessed us with three beautiful girls. No matter how heartbreaking the outcome, we're ever so grateful for the time we had with Amanda.
Kristen and Corey