Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Not because a mother could ever forget.
But because a mother never forgets.

Joy is a part of our everyday life.
Even without my efforts to include her in our story,
the girls include her.
They ask about her.
How old is she?
What does she eat in Heaven?
Does she have a nightlight?
When will they get to meet her?
Every night Halley sleeps with this
lamb that I was given at Joy's shower.
She even brought it to school to share today.
To her it is neither sad nor scary to have a sister in Heaven.
At the park the other day a boy asked if she was the biggest sister.
Without hesitation she answered:
"No, I have a big sister who lives with Jesus."
then kept right on playing.
The boy didn't make an excuse to get away.
He didn't find it awkward.
He just kept playing too.

So if I could share anything with the world it would be this:
Please don't be scared off when you hear about a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. Don't feel bad for asking. Don't think that bringing it up will upset the mother. That baby is part of her story. Part of her family. Remember that baby. Because the mother will never forget.

I visited Joy's grave today.

In the past seven years
God has brought us so far.
Our lives are so full.
There is so much happiness in our home.

But I still miss her.
I wonder what she would be like.

I ponder what our family would be like.

What Halley would be like.
She was not meant to be the oldest.

But as I patiently wait to meet her.
To hold her.
I find solace in the fact that she is with Jesus.
Happy, safe, perfect.

The words on her grave marker are taken from the song,

Each lyric has comforted my heart in many a dark hour.

I challenge you to take a moment to write a quick
note to a mother who has lost a child.

Whether it was last week or
fifty years ago.
Just a simple
"I am thinking of you today and remembering your sweet little one."
Twelve words.
Immeasurably meaningful. Immensely thoughtful.


  1. Thought of you and Joy today as I read Mel's post at The Larson Lingo. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  2. I've been a reader of your blog for quite some time. Just wanted you to know that as I remembered my own 2 sweet angels in heaven I also thought of you and your Joy.

  3. Thank you for sharing more about Joy's life. I love hearing how she is still part of your everyday life. Joy is creating lasting effects on this earth, even 7.5 years later. Praying for you and your family today. Thank you for being such an encouragement to others. I can't wait until the day we can hold our babies in heaven.

  4. You took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you for that.
    When things feel dark for me I recite over and over, "I am always with you" and I feel peace because I know Jesus is with me and my sweet Samuel is with him.

  5. Thinking of you, thanks for sharing.

    You may or may not have heard of this before, but back in my summer camp days, each week, someone would receive the "JOY" award. It stood for Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last. It's a good reminder of how we're to live.

  6. thinking of you and your family.hugs.

  7. So sorry for your loss - I too believe it is important to talk about and acknowledge the loss - it makes us truly grateful for what we are given.

  8. what a beautiful post, for a beautiful child. Blessings of peace to you and your family. *Hugs*

  9. I started following your blog for your craftiness, I did not realize you had a baby in Heaven too. Our firstborn, Ethan, was born still this April. I hope that if we have more children they will speak affectionately of him like your daughter does! Beautiful post.

  10. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Thinking of you...beautiful, beautiful post. xoxo

  12. this is beautiful, I had no idea there was a day for this! I have lost three out of six babies to miscarriage. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. He gave me the children He wanted me to have and He took away three others. What comfort knowing that His plan is perfect and sovereign, even when painful. My prayers go out to mothers who have gone through this without Christ, that they may soon know fully the joy and hope of the Lord!

  13. Dear Julie,
    I thought of you yesterday, as we too remembered our John Stephen...thank you for such a beautiful post!
    Big hugs and Many Blessings!

  14. You are an amazing lady. You are such a strength to so many of us. I am sure Joy is watching down from heaven thankful that you are her mother. That you love her so immensly and cannot wait for the days until you get to be reunited at last. I am sure she is watching over you all. Thank you for blessing all of us with her story.

  15. Thank you for sharing this beautiful blog about joy...
    Thinking about all the mothers with children in heaven...

  16. you and your family are so beautiful. joy is a very lucky little soul. i'm saying a loving prayer for you guys today!

  17. Thinking of you and your family Julie. I think it is so wonderful that your girls know all about Joy and love her so much even though they never got to meet her. My mom lost her little boy in her 4th or
    5th month and I always wonder what it would be like to have our brother here with us.... and why it wasn't meant to be? I think God had his plan. Perhaps, my youngest sister would have never been born if he was here? So I think it was all part of a bigger plan. Life is always that way. Thinking of you and Joy today and always!

  18. You're an amazing, strong Godly woman. You're such an inspiration.

  19. I've been reading your blog now for months, I think, laughing at your funny sense of humor and enjoying the adorable pictures of your little ones. I never had any clue of the journey you've been on. I send to you the hugs of a stranger who cares despite our not knowing each other. I just spent the last while reading through all of your other posts about Joy, getting chocked up, but not crying because of the great hope you have for her and for yourself.

    I have a couple of friends who are close to me emotionally and geographically who struggle with infertility and I've learned to be sensitive about such things, but it's hard to feel like I'm being completely sensitive when I'm holding my darling little one month old daughter. Part of me feels like I ought to hide her when I'm with them because they're so grief-stricken. Somehow your posts helped me not feel so guilty for the joy I feel in my own daughter here in my arms. Perhaps that seems backwards, but I'm grateful. It's hard to explain.

    Thanks for all you share, happy, funny, and heartfelt together. I so much enjoy all that you write.

  20. I'm so glad you shared this today and for sharing about Joy. My sister has lost 2 babies at about 15 weeks in the last year and I always want to say something, but I'm never sure what to say. Thank you for reminding me.

  21. Though I have never had the particular trial of losing a baby, 3 of my 4 babies were under 3# at birth and we were very afraid of losing them. I have recently come across a great cause, and have activated it in our area, called GREYSON'S GIFT that makes blankets for parents to hold their tiny little babies.

    Just thought I would share the information if you haven't heard already. It's right up your alley :)

    Thank you for always being such a strong and inspirational example to me and so many others.

  22. Great post! I love your daughters response to the little boy on the playground! What a blessing!
    Thanks for the advice on how to talk about a lost child with another mommy!

  23. Julie, I just want to let you know how much I look up to you and Jason. I think you are such amazing parents to all four of your beautiful girls. I feel so honored to have been able to spend Joy's last birthday with you all. It was such an awesome experience. Really, truly it is so amazing to see how your family has come full circle from something so tragic and unfair. You are constantly honoring Joy's memory in everything you do and even though she isn't here, she is. Love to you guys :)

  24. Awesome post, Julie. Thank you so much for sharing. Makes me so grateful for what I have.

  25. Thank you! I am a day late. My oldest child, Jake, was stillborn on February 7, 2002 due to an undiagnosed condition called Vasa Previa. I have a precious, miracle son named Luke. I agree that we are NEVER hurt when someone mentions our Angel's names. To me, it is a blessing. That means they have not forgotten Jake either. People are always calling Luke, Jake. Just as I would if both of my son's were here. It does not bother me at all. I wanted to cry the other day because Luke to me something that happened to him in Kindergarten. He is in 1st now. He said he told his teacher that he has a brother and she quickly told him, "No, Luke, you don't have a brother." It crushed my heart. He knows all about Jake and we have a picture of Jake on our fire place mantel. He is part of our family as much as Luke is. Ditto to everything you said. I have the same thoughts and questions, a lot.

    Thank you! Terri

  26. I just sent an email to a gal I met last month in a bible study class who lost her daughter not that long ago. Thank you for sharing. I wouldn't have even thought to do that unless I read it here.

  27. Thank you for this beautiful post and the reminder to not be scared of talking about someone's loss. God bless you today!

  28. Joys story touches my heart so much. I love that your family keep her in your everyday life. Not all mothers who lose a child do. Im sorry that you have to have to be included in this day Julie ((HUGS))

  29. Mamas like you who share these things make those of us with no immediate experience of it so much braver to go out and say words of comfort to someone else!

  30. I am overtaken by your post today. My heart is full. To hear you speak of baby Joy now with Jesus made me cry. Happy tears and tears of sadness. I don't know what it's like to lose a child. I know it's scary, and unbelievable. Having our Faith in Christ makes things easier... which I don't think is the right word. Christ is there with us always, and knowing that comforts me. Always. You are an inspiration to me, Julie. I am thinking of you today, and often.


  31. That was a beautiful post. I'm so sorry for your loss

  32. "I am thinking of you today and remembering your sweet little one."

    One of the things I admire about you is that you rely so much on the Lord. I wish I were more like you.

    I lost two babies to miscarriage. The first one, the worst one, he was 12 weeks. I saw his ultrasound, and then he was gone. It is so nice to know that we can all support each other when times are tough!

  33. thank you for sharing this. I lost a baby 5 years ago and still think of her. you are right that a mother can never forget.

  34. I love that song! It is absolutely, absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing your heart in this post. If anything, have a hard time WAITING to see your baby girl again, because you KNOW you will see her! Glory baby :)


  35. tears are rolling down. i think of you often and will always remember the day i read your complete story.

    i have love 4 pregnancy's, the last being in my second trimester. we have just decided to stop trying. we are complete.
    thank you for this post.
    what you do everyday. loving your family the way you do. sharing your life with us on your blog.....thank you. you touch so many of us.

  36. Praying for you guys. I think of you often, think of Joy.

  37. I'm sorry that you too have a baby far away. Thanks for this post. What do you tell people when they ask how many children you have? I am now pregnant with #4. Or 5. I hate answering that question.

  38. First of all I am sorry for your loss. This is my first visit to your site. I would love for you to visit my For Your Tears blog.
    I hear you. I am very new to this, my heart is heavy with sorrow for all the mother's who have lost their children. I don't understand why people can't communicate with you. I hear that all the time in the blogs I read.
    I think that the world need to know this, we need to spread the word so all the baby lost mothers can be noticed and talked to by friends and family. God Bless.