I love Instagram.
I have found so many of my cyber friends and co-parents in special needs through hashtags and photos that p
my attention and capture my heart. I follow other mommas (and poppas) who have babies with an extra chromosome and I learn from them. I am inspired by them. I support them as they support me.
It's that special club that I have referred to. The kinda club where you can actually say very little, and yet say so much. It's where we share our hopes and our fears without reservation, without fear of being judged, and without any worry of being misunderstood. We get it.
Together, we can become a collective. A POWERHOUSE. A net. Individually, we are sources of strength for one another. Most especially, when we are new to an unfamiliar diagnosis.
I know that when I was handed Gelli's diagnosis at birth, I felt alone. There was so much I didn't know and didn't understand. I went through a slew of emotions and had no idea how to navigate the darkness in which I felt thrown into.
No one wants to feel alone. Or overwhelmed. Or unsure of themselves or the future.
This is why when I saw another Momma I follow on Instagram, congratulate Krista, on getting another basket out to a momma who was just handed a diagnosis of Down Syndrome, I took notice. I started
stalking her feed looking for any indication that we might belong to the same club that Gelli's birth has given me access to.
And there I found her
daughter. As I explored her feed, I realized she was a momma on a mission. She reminded me of another friend I met on the internet, Jamie Freeman. She was doing her part in this big old world in making it a better place for mommas like us in the very beginning stages of raising up a lil one with an extra chromosome.
She put together beautiful baskets filled with goodies for mommas who just welcomed a brand new baby with a little something extra into their families. I asked her if I could feature her on my site, because I think she is doing some amazing work, AND I would like others to know what she is doing.
Perhaps so someone here in the Philippines can do something like this. Perhaps, so I can connect people who would like to donate to her to further her cause. One thing I know, is that when
see someone doing something amazing, I just have to share it…
So, here are my questions for Krista as I posed them, and as she answered them candidly through our email conversation, because, well you know Mommas like us are quite busy…
Tell me about Adele and her birth. Did you know she was going to be born with D.S.? How was your pregnancy?
We found out about Adele's diagnosis when I was 15 weeks pregnant. We felt overwhelmed and our emotions took over. We feared the unknown and we felt like our hopes of having the 'perfect' child had been crushed. It was a difficult time for our family. It took a few weeks to digest the information and then we got educated and stayed off of Google! Pregnancy is not my most favourite thing to do! HA! HA! I didn't feel well, there were lots of appointments and I was trying to wrap my head around the journey that we were about to travel. I had so many questions, but I wasn't too sure if I wanted to hear all of the answers. My emotions were all over the place, but every time I heard her heart beat and when one doctor said that she "looked perfect", my fears began to subside and I knew that it was all systems GO! Let's get her room ready, buy cute outfits, talk about how Brinley is going to be a big sister and continue to grow a sweet little miracle.
How did you come up with the name?
My sister Angela came up with the name. I thought about Adele's Baskets of Hope and my sister said that I needed my own name, something fun and meaningful to our family.
How do you choose who to deliver to?
That was the easy part! I knew that we would deliver to all of the hospitals in Calgary, Alberta and surrounding areas. We recently expanded to Red Deer and Edmonton, Alberta. It's a huge undertaking but we are up for the challenge! There are some stories that tug at the heartstrings, so a few baskets have made their way to Ontario, British Columbia and even Texas. It's hard to say "no." It's difficult to mail baskets though as it costs a fortune and we just don't have the funds to be shipping them all over the world. My dear friend Tanya in the US (Skyler Sharing Smiles) ships her baskets to families in the United States.
How can others help you in furthering your service?
We LOVE donations! We have been so blessed these past 3.5 years! We have received donations from all over the world, as far as Holland. We gladly accept monetary donations as well as items for baby and the family. I like to include goodies for mom, dad and siblings too. We are not a registered charity, so we are unable to provide a tax receipt. It's funny though, when people are passionate about a cause, they really don't care about receiving a tax receipt. We have been so lucky!
If you had the opportunity what three things would you tell the new mom who receives your basket full of blessings? Think-along the lines of what would you tell your younger self when you gave birth to Adele…
I always leave the hospital room with a comforting message -
1) "Congratulations! It'll be ok!" It's very simple but those words carry a lot of weight.
Thank you Krista. Thank you for shining your light so bright that I get to bask in it all the way over here in Manila. Thank you for helping all the other mommas who automatically get admission into our special club in a way that is loving, nurturing, and healing.
If you would like to know how you can help, or make a donation to Adele's Over the Rainbow baskets you can also contact Krista on Instagram. Follow her