We've realized, however, that not everyone with little ones in the hospital has people sending them itunes gift cards, money for parking, making them food, cleaning their houses . . . Beyond that, I can scarcely begin to imagine spending the holidays at my baby's bedside in the CICU.
Because we are thankful, and because we want to pass along some of the encouragement and love y'all showered us with during Caden's hospital stay . . . we are planning something fun for families in the CICU this holiday season. We want to put together gift baskets/bags/what-have-you for each child (and their family) in the CICU. We spoke with CHOA and they said they are staffed for 14 beds, can hold up to 27 children, but at their busiest usually have 18-20 kids . . . So we want to put together 20 bags.
Some ideas as to what we want to include in the bags are: gift certificates for surrounding restaurants, parking passes, CDs, hand-written notes, handmade goodies, baby blankets, hats, toys etc . . .
What we want is your help. We would love for y'all to be a part of what we're doing. Whether it's by contributing ideas for what to include (especially from my fellow heart-parents - what would you have wanted when you were in the hospital?), money contributions, or if you have something specific you'd like to donate for us for the bags (maybe you make something like baby hats or dolls etc).
I'm always kind of nervous about doing stuff like this, because I'm afraid that no one will respond. But we feel led to love these families, who are undoubtedly facing some of the hardest moments you can imagine. And if a simple act of love and kindness can point them to Jesus, then I feel like it's something we desperately want to be a part of. So please humor me by at least contributing some ideas for us!
We are also going to do something small for all the nurses and staff in the CICU. We are so excited to give back, to honor Caden's days in the CICU, and to thank you for all you have done for us and our family. And also to show those who loved and cared for Caden how thankful we are for the work they do day in and day out.
CHOA has given us a letter that anyone donating can use, because every contribution made is tax-deductible. I will be happy to email that letter out to anyone who is interested! I really think this will mean a lot to the families who have to spend the holidays in the hospital, I know that we couldn't have been more grateful for every single note, prayer, gift, and encouraging word. Seriously, they completely carried us through each day, and I dont think we would have made it without them.
If you'd rather email me ideas, or want an address for sending donations, or need that letter, you can reach me at Becca1612 at hotmail dot com.