Wednesday, April 8, 2015

for the Kindness of Strangers

When it feels like everything is breaking, when your pain is so raw that it can't be hidden away, at those most vulnerable times the world might surprise you with kindness, so much kindness.

drawstring thank-you bags

Before our family was faced with the heartbreaking circumstances of our baby's birth I would not have thought that perfect strangers could care so much.  I'm not the outgoing type that makes new friends in checkout lines or expects to find community with the folks next door.  I generally keep to myself in public.  Our friends have been amazing and so has this community.  You've all brought so much comfort!  But, there have also been nurses and doctors and receptionists and social workers who have treated our family with kindness that I'll never forget.  Just little things - providing a chair, helping us check into the NICU that little bit faster, patiently answering questions, never making us feel rushed, saying just the right things to help us celebrate little gains or not saying the hard things we weren't ready to hear.  It went far beyond doing a job well.  It became serving and comforting us, not just our baby daughter.

drawstring thank-you bags

So naturally I'm plotting to express my gratitude with little bits of thread and cloth.  Isn't that how it goes for all of us quilty people?  I've started making drawstring bags for several kind souls and I have a bigger gift planned for a very special nurse.

drawstring thank-you bags

It might look messy, but this is going somewhere.  And just look what good company I get to enjoy!

wearing a mama-made gown!

Baby has been progressing some with her suck and swallow.  Plus, yesterday she lifted her head three times during tummy time.  I am very, very encouraged by her progress!  Thanks for holding all of us in your hearts.  And thank YOU for your kindness.

77 comments:

  1. <3 So glad that you are working through all this through craft. And what a beautiful update about Eleni.

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  2. It's great to hear that Eleni's making progress, what a little sweetie.
    Whenever I'm going through a bad time, I find it's the little acts of kindness that really stick with me.
    All the best to you and your family.

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  3. She looks gorgeous! Don't tire yourself out.

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  4. I'm so happy for all of you! Your daughter is beautiful.

    Take care & Dutch greetings, Carolien

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  5. Thank you for such a beautiful post and speaking as the mom of a nurse in a children's hospital. They do not expect a gift but a gift or kind word from a family means more than you can ever imagine. The jobs they do are not easy and it is very emotionally draining. Thank you for being so kind to the people who were there to help you. Eleni is such a beautiful baby and her little nightgown is precious!

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    1. I would find it so difficult emotionally to care for high-risk newborns. These nurses are very brave and compassionate souls.

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  6. I am soooo happy to see the little Eleni onto the pictures! She's so lovely!
    Wish you all the best for you, your family and your little daughter!
    Greetings from Germany, Rike

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  8. Eleni is so beautiful! I think of you often and wish the best for you and your family.

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  9. Such great progress for this beautiful little girl! The world can be amazing and kind....its good to remember....thank you for the post

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  10. It's so nice to hear about Eleni's progress! She is such a doll!

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  11. Prayers are sent your way all the way from Israel. May your baby continue to improve.

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  12. All the very best wishes for sweet little baby Eleni - God bless her and you richly!!

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  13. How wonderful that Eleni is getting stronger by the day. Continued best wishes for you and your entire family!

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  14. sweet sweet Eleni! so happy to read about so much kindness and goodness in your life, and to see a photo of a gorgeous baby, too!

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  15. I pray every day for God to heal Eleni's brain cells so she will overcome her difficulties from birth and I'm so encouraged when you post her progress! She's so precious in the little gown you made her.

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  16. I pray every day for God to heal Eleni's brain cells so she will overcome her difficulties from birth and I'm so encouraged when you post her progress! She's so precious in the little gown you made her.

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  17. I'm so glad to see a picture of sweet little Eleni. She is lovely. I'm always happy to see an update to your blog as it tells me you are making your way through things in the best possible way. Hugs to you and all your family.

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  18. I think you have paid it forward a lot with your ministry and there's no doubt that blessings will flow to you when you need them. Your baby is beautiful. Best wishes.

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  19. Thank you so much for your updates on sweet Eleni and your family. You all are in my thoughts!

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  20. A beautiful baby! And it looks like some fun scrappy projects too.

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  21. I look so forward to updates about Eleni. I love that the internet can knit together a tight community that truly does care. Yay for progress! The bags are a beautiful wip and I know will be well received as well as good for your soul to make. Continued prayers for you and family!

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  22. She is wonderfully made and precious in His eyes as well as everyone else's.

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  23. Eleni is a such a cutie! What a blessing! Prayers continue.

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  24. Rachel, Eleni is beautiful. I know you will be strong for her and she will do amazing things. I love the little nightgown you made for her.
    Prayers and hugs, Barbara R

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  25. Rosemary here, dear Rachel. Eleni is soooo cute, what a precious doll.
    Most people going in and out of the hospital, medical places for whatever, never think about those brave nurses. And then there are the ones that stand out.
    As a "former" RN, I can say that we chose this profession because we love people, All of us are different, just like our patients, or those people we care for.
    I think your gesture, to make something beautiful for those that reached out to you, is very sweet. You might be somewhat introverted but you have a giving and caring, outward loving heart.
    All of you are in my prayers every day.

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  26. She is just precious :o) I love her little outfit. You are such an amazing Mom!!!

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  27. Beautiful baby, great news!
    Keep it up!!

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  28. Thanks for the update. I pray daily for your little darling.

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  29. Oh she is so very sweet and I love seeing her surrounded by so many pretty fabrics and all of her mama's handmade things. Thanks for keeping us updated, you are all very much in my thoughts and prayers.

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  30. Eleni is just absolutely precious! Wonderful to hear of her progress - keep it up sweet girl! We are all cheering you (and your family) on.

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  31. Great to hear about Eleni and always encouraging to hear about the good in this world stories of kindness & love of strangers is beautiful!

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  32. I know how hard it is, we were there. Fox girl is now 7 she is thriving and well. Is her own super hero and most times goes to a different drum to the rest of us, we were told many things that were upsetting as a baby, I feel and remember your pain. It will be alright, it wont be easy nothing that good was ever easy. Much love.

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  33. That is wonderful progress! I loved hearing of the kindness and love that your family has received. It also struck me that you do likewise for others.

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  34. Beautiful baby. Thanks for the good news on her progress.

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  35. Oh, Rachel, she's beautiful. Thank you so much for putting a sweet face to our prayers for your luminous little one. You are each in my thoughts and prayers every day and her progress is a testament to the power of the positive thoughts of those who have taken your sweet one into their hearts.


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  36. She is beautiful and watching you work with colors!

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  37. Eleni is just beautiful. I so look forward to the updates. It sounds like she is gaining and learning new things all the time. I am still praying for her and your family.

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  38. So glad to hear of your sweet little girl's progress, and I love that little gown you made on her. I hope you will experience much more kindness from many, and that you'll have countless milestones big and small to celebrate.

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  39. She is so beautiful.
    your are all in our thoughts and prayers

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  40. Beautiful blessed child and beautiful blessed Mother. Rachel, God has given you a wonderful gift of creativity, it seems that it is soothing your soul.

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  41. It seems that your baby girl has made a lot of progress in mere weeks. And you seem to be enjoying her a lot. The swallowing/sucking will be a huge milestone--and it looks like it isn't far away.

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  42. Such a beautiful, sweet baby girl! Thanks for your update. I've been holding all of you in my heart and prayers and checking back daily in hopes of seeing continued improvements!! All improvements, big or small are good improvements!! So thankful to hear your news. Your creative stitching is absolutely beautiful!!! Love little Eleni's precious little gown!! Keeping you close to my heart and in my prayers. Hugs from Texas, Diana B

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  43. Your daughter, Eleni, is beautiful. So is the daughter you showed in her Easter dress. I will continue to keep all of you in my prayers.

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  44. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family. It is good to hear of Eleni's progress.

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  45. Such great progress for Eleni!!! There are so many good people out there...

    Hugs from Spain

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  46. Eleni is gorgeous. So glad to hear you have lots of support around you :) x

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  47. Darling little Eleni ~ so good to hear she's making progress. The kindness of others is so encouraging and I'm so glad you and your family are experiencing it ~ sending love and light to all of you.

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  48. Thank you for sharing pictures of little Eleni. She is so beautiful.
    Praying for her continued progress

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  49. Thank you for sharing these lovely news, Rachel! Your little daughter is so sweet. Jolana

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  50. Oh Rachel, I only know you through blogging but I have prayed for you and your family. Eleni, is a beautiful name and she is so pretty. Small gains everyday is wonderful. xx

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  51. Eleni is just beautiful! And I am so happy when you share news with us about her. We are all here for you. Even though you can't physically feel our hugs, know they are being given. :) BTW, her sleep sack is too cute! I love the fabric!!!

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  52. I'm mostly a reader and don't comment much but I am so glad Eleni is home with you and making progress. She's a beauty!

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  53. Eleni is ever so beautiful and it is so wonderful so see her there by your side where she belongs as your create such beautiful and thoughtful gifts for those who have helped you.

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  54. First of all, your little baby is such a cutie pie! What a blessing that she is making progress!!! And you are so sweet to make gifts for all those special nurses and hospital workers who have shown you such kindness. They will certainly feel your love and gratitude in these special gifts. xoxo

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  55. Rachel this is such AWESOME Eleni news! Her progress is so deserving to be celebrated :o) How these nurses and other hospital workers will be touched by the drawstring bags! I'm sure their jobs brings them in daily contact with a roller coaster of emotion - both their own and the patients & families they care for. Your own nurturing soul is shining through :o)

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  56. Eleni is beautiful! So lovely to see her by your side!

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  57. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures of Eleni, and also for sharing the news of her progress.
    Much Love to you and your family.

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  58. You and your family continue in my prayers. Thank you for taking the time to share these little snippets with us. She's beautiful.

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  59. What a little sweetie she looks and lovely to hear of her little milestones.

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  60. que bonito Bebe!!! ya veras como apenas le quedan seculas, con cariño y mucho trabajo, sera una niña guapisima y llena de felicidad y cariño, un besito

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  61. Grace, courage....and great love....I sense this from you....and all the good wishes from people all over the world. Small pieces of colorful fabric....stitched together into something new and whole. You are simply amazing to me. I wonder if you have any idea how much goodness you are sending out into the world by sharing this story about your family. Much love to you and those you love.

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  62. Yay, Eleni! And you look adorable in your birdy gown your mama made for you :)


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  63. Joy! Beautiful baby Eleni, you are one lucky girl. Thinking of you& your family often. 💕

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  64. I love seeing these progress reports.

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  65. She is so adorable and her little nightie in the bird fabric is so cute. I am glad she is progressing Day by day. I love that you take the time to keep us up to date. Prayers and Blessings

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  66. She looks so lovely in her little nightie. Good for you baby Eleni! You are gorgeous, clever little girl and keep up you hard work.

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  67. Best wishes to you your family and Eleni. Thinking of you :)

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  68. Oh my she certainly is so adorable and hurray for her progress. One day at a time.

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  69. Your baby girl Eleni is so beautiful! She knows she is being touched with love, and that is all that matters sometimes.
    I know how much you are hurting. Our son also has cerebral palsy, he is turning ten this year and sometimes we were afraid he wouldn't make it, it was a very rocky road but looking at him being happy makes it all worthwhile.
    You are blessed by having the grandparents near you, it is so important to have support. It's a job in itself and you need all the help you can get.
    Take every day for what it is. Every tiny progress counts, don't dwell on the setbacks and don't look back.
    All the best for your family, hold on to each other.

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  70. Yay yay yay for home comings and being together. So glad to hear that news.

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