I'm having a virtual baby shower, and I'd love if you could attend!!
I've never done one of these, and I imagine that there are dozens of ways you could do them, but here is how and why we're doing it.
Since we initially found out about Ewan's congenital heart defect, the blogging community has become very, very important to us. Through blogging (and other social media like Twitter), we've been connected to other families who have been through what we are facing and about to face -- you are the people who truly understand what it's like to have a child with a congenital heart defect.
We've also connected with many others, who though they may not have faced the same things, have faced other extraordinary challenges with their pregnancies and in the first weeks, months, and years of their children's lives. We've connected with so many amazing people who have offered and continue to offer a level of encouragement, love, and support that, on a daily basis, blows me away. You are ALL integral parts of the team we have supporting us.
If you're reading this blog, this is you.
The point of this event is not to secure more gifts. Don't get me wrong, if you want to send us something, we would love and cherish it. The goal of this virtual baby shower is for us (and Ewan, when he's old enough to read it) to have a tangible expression of the prayers, encouragement, support, and love that you have already been showering on our family.
Here's what you can do to participate:
1. Send a note!
Send an email to my sister Kaari at IRAAK413 [at] aol [dot] com with a note of encouragement, prayer, love, your own story ... whatever you like. This can be addressed to me, Ewan, James, or all three of us. Whatever moves you, however you feel led. Feel free to include pictures or anything that can be attached in an e-mail. Don't limit yourself!!
2. It doesn't have to fit with a particular schedule.
The great thing about the "virtual" element of this is that it's not something you have to send or be available for at any particular time -- it's whenever it suits you (we just aren't savvy or tech-y enough to do it "live"). If that time is in your pajamas at 1 a.m. on a Tuesday, I'll never know! The notes will be collected, printed out, and read at my shower. Kaari will be taking video of when these notes are read (again, this isn't live because we aren't that hip) and we'll post it to the blog at a later time.
3. We will tape everything for you to see later.
"Later" is operative word here. Once we receive everything, the e-mails will be printed out and read aloud (hopefully at my upcoming shower on September 11) and videotaped, and will later be posted on the blog so everyone can see and share in the love of the day (which you can also read/watch in your pajamas at 1 a.m.). I won't be seeing or hearing anything until these are read aloud, so I will definitely be surprised! After Ewan is born, I intend to include all of these in a book with photographs taken throughout my pregnancy and during his hospital stay (and will definitely share that here as well when the time comes).
4. It's really not about more stuff.
Honestly. In the days following Ewan's diagnosis and all the days that have followed since then, it's affirmations of prayer, words of encouragement, shared stories, and offers of hope that have sustained us. It's been your words, and that's what this is about. Your words: prayer, encouragement, shared stories and experience, and hope. It's almost impossible to describe how much they've meant to us, but if I could try, I'd say your impact was HUGE. Massive. Lots and lots and lots. Somewhere in that range. ;o)
I will post a reminder on Monday, September 6 (or thereabouts) and will also include a button on the sidebar with a link to this post so you can access this information easily.
If you have any questions I haven't answered, feel free to leave a note in the comments, and I will be sure to address it. Thank you for your continued love and support, and I hope you can attend!
P.S. If you'd like to mail something, send an e-mail to the same address listed above to find out where you can send it. If you want to choose something from our registry, you can find our listing at Target.com.