Saturday, January 8, 2011

Gabe's Gifts

Gabe's Gifts
I was thrilled when my blogging buddies Amy (The Idea Room...but duh.  You knew that.  Amy's a superstar) and Megs said they would help me out with this special project.  I really owe them big time - they are seriously some of the sweetest gals I could ever get to know!  Thank you girls. 

I've never blogged about this, because I have rarely talked about it.  However, I knew that I wanted to do something positive.  And in order to do that... I have to share my story. 

Earlier this year I was pregnant.  And over the moon excited.  We moved so the baby could have his own room.  We started buying baby stuff.  We told our friends and family.  We picked out a name.  Everything was going well.  In fact that day I had bought a new stroller.  My due date?  My birthday.  

At the time, I was a part time manager at Gymboree.  I went into work that night and came home as usual.  Andy left for work when I got home (He works 3rd shift).  I fell asleep on the couch,  but kept having horrible dreams.  Something was wrong.  I prayed.  Somewhere I had heard that a Mother's prayer for her children was one that GOD listened to with the most urgency.  I tried to tell myself it was nothing.  A few hours later I knew, I was losing our baby. 

I didn't call Andy.  I couldn't tell him, mostly because I couldn't say the words myself.  I just laid there crying.  Praying.  And then yelling - I wasn't sure GOD had heard me.  When Andy got home he rushed me to the hospital.  We lost our little boy, Gabriel Austin Smith, on August 28. 

I walked into the hospital pregnant.  And later that day, I left.  Childless.  I was tired.  I was in shock. I was sad.  I was angry.  I was frustrated.  

Healing has been hard.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of our baby.  I have an extra room in our house with baby clothes hung up in the closet.  My craft stuff thrown in the closet in the front room.  I just can't bring myself to turn the baby's room into anything other than a baby's room.  My faith was tested beyond testing.  I couldn't understand.  Why had GOD taken away my baby, but given babies to people who don't take care of them?  And if something was wrong with my baby, why hadn't GOD just healed him?  I know he has the power to do so!

I quit my job.  {I was planning on quitting, but losing Gabe made me do so earlier.  It killed me seeing people come in and with their babies buying the same clothes that I have hanging in his closet.  Pregnant women were everywhere.  And I was no longer one of them.}  That's when I started blogging.  It's given me some sort of refuge.

Everyone (well, a lot) of people told me, "It's ok.  You're young.  You can try again."  I know that during a time like this people don't know what to say.  But, that was not what I wanted to hear.  It made me feel like I was just supposed to forget.  A do over.  Like how Joshua erases a mistake on his homework.  I vowed that I wouldn't forget.  And that I would do something -- something that would make Gabe proud.  Something that when I say his name I associate it with goodness, not tragedy.

So I decided to start a blanket drive.  Have you heard of Project Linus? Their mission is mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”  I can't think of a better way than to honor Gabe. 

Starting in January (well, you can start making one now!)  Gabe's Gifts will begin.  It is a year long blanket drive.  Each Monday I will feature a blanket tutorial (here, Today's Top 20 and We're the Joneses) and the last Monday of each month we can host a linky party showcasing any blankets made {Amy and Megs are hosting the party.  So make sure to check both of them to link up!}  I am in the process of creating tags for you to print off and fill out with your blanket (including what it's made of, any special washing instructions, your name and email if you wish).  As you finish your blankets I ask that you mail them to me (e-mail me for the address and I will make one large donation in Gabe's name.  (Also why I am making tags!  I want you creative ladies to get the credit you deserve on your awesome work!) Also, if there is a special child you would like your blanket to be donated to honor please include that information with your blanket.  I can't speak for everyone, but even just trying to put together this project - knowing something good will be attached to Gabe's name has helped the healing process more than I can express.

If you are a blogger and have a blanket tutorial (can be crochet, knit, how to bind, quilt patterns, sewing tutorials) and would like it featured (here as well as on Today's Top 20 and on We're the Joneses) please e-mail me. 

I would also REALLY appreciate anyone taking Gabe's button and helping pass the word along for me!   I'm hoping to have enough blankets to make the first donation on my birthday and Gabe's due date (3/14).  I know that it is going to be a hard day for me and this would really help. 

I know I pledge to make at least 12 blankets.  One each month to donate.  I hope I can count on you to help too!  Thanks for reading this -- I know it's long.  But I don't think you know how much I really appreciate it. :)

Any questions, comments, tutorial submissions or for my address to send in a blanket please e-mail me:


  1. Wow. What a touching story. I am grateful that I have never dealt with a miscarriage, but am amazed at the strength and courage you have to make it into something positive. Best wishes for Gabe's Gifts.

  2. I made a blanket for Project Linus last year and loved it! So excited to do it for Gabe this time!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. It is heart-wrenching and so brave of you to share. I was just looking in my craft closet at a bunch of flannel and I thought I should find out where I can send blankets that I can make with it. I will definitely be sending them to you! I might even get some quilts done. Thank you for this opportunity to serve and help others.

  4. Hi Amanda,

    I found your email in my spam, I have replied but now I can't find my reply, who knows what is going on there!

    I would be so happy for you to use my Bobble Blanket Tutorial, just let me know what you need me to do.

    (I've emailed you and now I'm littering your blogs!!)

    Also I'll take a button (how do I do that?) and I'll make a blanket. Are there any size specifications? I guess not too big or it would swamp a child!

    I read this with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, I'm sending you huge love.


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