Thursday, May 22, 2008

Special prayer request: The Webb family

As I have mentioned before, when Trayc and I first started out on this Trisomy 18 road in August we felt so alone because we did not know anything about T-18 nor did we know anyone going through this. Since that time the Lord has brought so many sweet Christian girls into my life, via the Internet. A few months ago I met a girl named Ashley, who is pregnant with a precious little girl named Faith Ann, who was also diagnosed with Trisomy 18. I would ask that you please join me in prayer for Ashley, her husband Adam, and their two daughters Brooke and Hannah as they go to the hospital today. Please specifically pray that Faith Ann will be born alive, that her heart rate will remain strong, that she will not be in distress and that Ashley and her family will be able to share some very precious moments with Faith Ann.


Faith Ann
was born at 12:12 pm. She weighed 4 lb. 10 oz and is 18 inches long. She is alive and bright-eyed. Please pray for this family as they enjoy precious time with their new little girl.


Faith Ann
passed away at 5:32 pm, she is now in the arms of Jesus!!!!! Oh my heart just breaks for this family this evening as I know what they are feeling. Please continue to pray for the Webb family in the days and weeks again. For further information please check their blog "Faith Ann Webb" (their link is located under our family picture: Trisomy 18: Journeys of Love)

James 5:16 says: "Confess your faults to one another and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (friend) availeth much."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lazarus, come out!

We have an awesome church and an incredible children's program. Every year, approximately 400, 2nd-5th graders, perform in the Christmas and Summer musical. Tanner tried out and received a main part in 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade. However, he was not able to try out in September for the Christmas musical because the performance was on December 2nd (Tristan's birthday was the next day). Tanner knew he would have to wait until the Summer musical to try out, this is one of the many things he willingly, and with a sweet spirit, gave up for Tristan.

Tryouts for the Summer musical were in March. Tanner has constantly said he REALLY hoped he got a main part, especially because this was his last year - yes, Middle School in August!!!!! I tried to sweetly remind him day-after-day that he may not get a main part and that it would be okay if he didn't. He anxiously awaited for the parts to be passed out and even counted down the days on his calendar.

After church, on March 26th, Tanner ran up and said, "Guess what, I got a part, I'm Lazarus" I said, "That's great Tanner. Is that a main part?" He said, "No, it's the boy's dance routine but it's okay, the song is Lazarus, Come out!, look what the part is, isn't that neat? I'm going to dedicate my part to Tristan!" The scene surrounding his dance routine is from John 11 (Tristan's verse is John 11:4).

The name of the musical was Simon Says - The Rockin' Trial of Simon Peter. The musical began with Simon Peter in the courtroom charged with fraud for preaching that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and Messiah. He must prove what he says is true or stop preaching. Then, we heard eyewitness testimonies from people who knew Jesus because they were there(Mary, Martha, Samaratian Woman, James and John), and they gave evidence that Jesus is exactly who "Simon Says".

Every musical the kids are given a Devo book, which contains a devotion for each week leading up to the musical. Each devotion title is the name of a song from the musical, once the devotion page is completed the parent's sign their name at the bottom. I was reading over Tanner's answers and wanted to share a portion of what he wrote under Week 1, Day 4: "We're Gonna Prove It!" (his answers are in bold):
Did the men in the Sanhedrin know what Peter and John said was true? Yes. In Acts 4:16-20, what did they order them not to do? Speak or teach at all in His name. How did Peter and John reply? "For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard." They were eyewitness - they saw and heard what Jesus did. It made such a big impact on them, they had to share it! Can you give a testimony about Jesus because you have actually experienced His life changing love? Yes. The testimony in a trial that has the most impact is from someone who experienced it. The same is true for spiritual matters. When God has done something real in your life and you share it, it makes a difference to the people you share it with. Write one thing God has done for you. God gave "56" days to my baby brother Tristan, who the doctors said would not live, they were wrong.
I was wiping tears away as I read the precious words of our 12 yr old - he gets it! He is not angry, he is not bitter, he does not question why, he just loves Jesus enough to trust and believe in His perfect plan! We are so excited Tanner got a part, but more importantly that he loves Jesus, he loves his church and that he loves his little brother, Tristan, so much that he dedicated his part to him.

Tanner (aka Lazarus),

You were great tonight! We are so proud of you - for doing your best, for loving Jesus with all your heart and for loving your brother so much that you dedicated your part to him.
We love you, Mom, Dad & Tayden

John 11:4 says
: This sickness is not unto death but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tristan's award

This is Natalie Emmons, a 17 year old Christian girl from Oregon. On January 29th, just 2 days after Tristan passed away, we received an email from her stating that she found our blog through another Trisomy 18 blog. She had been following Tristan's story and said that our family's testimony had touched her life and that Tristan's life was a miracle as he was in God's perfect plan. Natalie went on to explain that she was writing a speech for the National Right to Life Oratory Contest and was focusing on why abortion was wrong. She wanted to use Tristan's life as an example as to why abortion isn't an option, even if the doctors believe it would save heartache in the end.

Trayc and I talked about it, we prayed about it and then we responded a few days later. We told Natalie that, even in the midst of our present loss and grief, we would feel honored that she use our little boy's life and name to explain why abortion is wrong. Natalie wrote her speech and forwarded it to us for approval - it was incredible!

We received an email in February stating that her essay received 1st place in her local county contest and that she would be promoted to the state contest. We received an email in April stating that her essay received 1st place in the Oregon State contest which promoted her to the National Right to Life contest to be held on July 5th in Arlington, VA.

We are thankful for young people, like Natalie, who believe in life regardless of the diagnosis and we feel so honored that she chose our little boy's 56 DAYS to be used as an example.

Congratulations Natalie, we are so proud of you!

***Natalie and her 3 sisters have a Bluegrass Gospel band, check out their website at

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Today is my 12th "Mother's Day" as Tanner's mommy, my 3rd "Mother's Day" as Tayden's mommy,

and today would have been my 1st "Mother's day" as Tristan's mommy. Even though he is not here, I will ALWAYS be his mommy.

I'll be honest, I really did not expect this weekend to be as hard as it has been. Trayc was off work on Friday so we were able to spend 3 days together as a family. We were all really excited and had lots of things planned. Friday was great and Saturday started out that way. We went to Tanner's soccer game and then spent the afternoon shopping - this is where it all changed. As we pulled into the same parking lot and walked through the same store, where we had our Santa pictures taken with Tristan, I was doing my best to fight back the tears as we went to several stores. I was ready to get back in the car and get to the next mall just because of all the memories I was recalling, having just been there 4 1/2 months ago. We went to another mall and it only got worse. I think everyone who could have possibly had a "new" baby was out! They were everywhere - in strollers, in carriers, in body slings, happy mommies with new babies! I can handle anything BUT the newborn cry, that's just too much! We were in one store and a baby started crying. Tanner looked at me and said, "Do you hear that baby?" How could I not, it was one of those new baby cries, so I just squeezed his hand and said, "It's okay honey" and smiled. Then he said, "That makes me think of Tristan" and he looked so sad. I said, "You know what, let's get out of here", he looked up at me and smiled. I was secretly holding it together ALL DAY (for Tanner's sake), and did so until we sat down at Ruby Tuesday's to eat dinner. We were talking about what we were going to eat and then all of a sudden - a newborn baby cries out. I literally swallowed, looked away and then held the menu up in front of my face. The baby kept crying and Trayc said "Are you okay?" As I slowly pulled the menu down I said, "I'm fine" Obviously I wasn't, tears were flowing so fast. He said, "Let's go!" I said, "No, I'm fine", He said, "You're not and I'm not, I can't do this either!" So we got up and Trayc quietly told the hostess at the front that we needed to leave. I was so embarrassed but at the same time I had to get out of there, I did not feel like I could even breathe as we sat there hearing that baby cry. We left the restaurant, got in the car and went to the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A. All the way home from the mall I kept debating back and forth, with myself, as to whether I should even attempt to make it to church this morning but I knew I needed to.

This morning was emotional again! I laid in bed, while Trayc took a shower, and just cried! I so much wanted to walk into a nursery painted with soft blue walls, reach down and pick up my precious little boy out of the same Cherry crib that once held Tanner and Tayden. Tristan would have be 5 months old as we celebrated our 1st Mother's Day together, today. It was even harder only dressing 2 boys in matching outfits instead of 3 and opening 2 cards and gifts instead of 3. We didn't make it to Sunday School but we did make it to church. This weekend was hard but it was soooo comforting to stand beside Tanner, at church, with my arm around him singing and worshiping the Lord. Having children has not come easy for us, so I have never take my boys for granted but today I was especially thankful for Tanner and Tayden. After church we went to lunch and then back home so the boys could give me their cards and presents. We love to celebrate holidays and events and although the past few days have been hard, today was no exception in their little minds, they had been waiting all week just for today!

Grieving is strange sometimes. I had just mentioned to Trayc, the other night, that I was concerned that maybe I am in denial because I'm really doing better than I thought I would only 3 1/2 months after losing Tristan - we're moving forward in our family life, we are starting the foundation, we are helping other couples and the tears don't seem to come anymore. Well, if I ever questioned it before, I don't now - I AM NOT in denial about losing our little boy! I am still grieving, but I just have such a peace about our time with Tristan that I been fortunate enough to have experienced a lot of really good days, even though this was not one of them. I don't ever spend my days looking back because we were so blessed, we were given 56 DAYS, but on days like today it brings a lot of "what if's" or "what would've been" to mind which makes me really miss my little boy!

This past month I have read several articles on the Internet and in magazines that say Mother's Day is a very hard day for moms who have lost babies, I can certainly relate this year. Here is a quote from the Trisomy 18 Foundation:

A web-based survey asking grieving mothers, "What can others say, do or give that would bring you comfort on Mother's Day?". Over 80 percent of the nearly 100 respondents answered, "Recognize that I am a mother" to the question. In addition, nearly every mother surveyed wanted their loss to be remembered with a card, a phone call, a gift or a hug. Over half of the mothers surveyed considered Mother's Day to be their most difficult holiday.

I think, too often, family and friends believe that if you have other children it fills the void of your precious baby not being here - it does not!!!! Yes, it does help to have other children to love and celebrate with, but it in no way takes away the pain/loss you feel. If you know someone that has lost a baby, please let them know you are thinking about them and their precious baby today. How sweet it would be to be remembered on this day!

Thank you so much to everyone who has already emailed, commented or texted me today - it means so much on this very difficult day!

Angie, Kenzie, Kim, Emily, Kristy and Chrissy

Proverbs 31:28-31

28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her;

29 Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.

30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise here in the gates.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gift for me?

Going to the mailbox is not the same as it used to be. For months we have been abundantly blessed by the amount of "Congratulations", "Thinking of You" or "Sympathy" cards received on behalf of our little boy. However, now that Tristan has been gone for almost 4 months, the cards have slowly stopped and now our box is filled with the normal stuff like bills, junk mail, letters with Tristan's name on the front from doctor's offices, lab companies and insurance companies and the worst of all, the letter from the funeral home that contained Tristan's death certificate (this was the hard one!). Obviously this is going to happen over time, people go on with their lives as they are supposed to, but as grieving mommies we tend to feel forgotten after having been showered with so much love and encouragement - as I have read from so many girls on their own blogs.

But last week, oh last week was different. Trayc walked in the door with several cards and an envelope, one of those that had bubbles inside, which meant it was more than just a card. It was something special - a gift for me? Maybe, just maybe someone hasn't forgotten that I am here, that I am a mommy who is still grieving the loss of her little boy and that although I smile and laugh, there are days that can be harder than others and that is when I need to be lifted up, and this was certainly one of those days! I was right, it was for me and I was so excited. As I quickly opened the envelope and reached inside I pulled out a soft little green bag. Inside the bag was a handwritten note from Kenzie along with this beautiful silver bracelet that has Jeremiah 29:11 etched around it: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I literally had tears streaming down my face. This is so special to me. Not only is it from one of my best friends but this verse has also become our family verse as we continue to move forward after the loss of our precious little boy.

Thank you so much Kenzie, you made my day! Every time I wear it I will think of you, of our sweet friendship and this journey we have traveled together. I love you sweet friend!

Monday, May 5, 2008


Last night at 9:30 pm our blog received the 200,000th hit.

Last Fall, after much prayer, we took my personal journal and created this blog. What started out as a way to simply keep our family and church friends updated on our pregnancy, after receiving a Trisomy 18 diagnosis, turned into much more than we ever imagined. We are absolutely amazed and humbled at how the Lord has used the precious life of our little boy to touch the lives of thousands of people around the world.

This blog is about the life and miracles that our Heavenly Father bestowed upon our family from the moment our little boy was conceived in March 2007 through all 56 DAYS of his life. The blog has been a way for Trayc and I to share our thoughts, our fears, our hopes and our dreams. In return, it became one of our greatest sources of strength and encouragement as you, the blogging world, have reached out to us through comments and emails. This blog also allowed me to form many friendships, 4 of which have become my very best friends, that have carried me through some of the hardest days of my life. How does all of this happen over the Internet? Simply, the Lord. He knew we would need this kind of support while on this Trisomy 18 road, therefore He went before us and prepared our way so that every step would be filled with love, support, encouragement and newfound friendships. Now, we want to use our blog (and foundation, when finished) as a way to reach other couples that are or will be traveling the same Trisomy 18 road and give them the same kind of support we have received.

Thank you to each person that has been a part of our story, whether you were the 1st or the 200,000th hit - we are truly humbled. We hope that our blog has reflected the love we have for each other, the love and trust we have in the Lord and that our little boy's 56 DAYS of life gives hope and encouragement to those who have received a Trisomy 18 diagnosis. Our little boy, Tristan Asher Hostetter, has forever changed us.

Psalms 40:1-5

1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.

2 He also brought me up out
of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.

3 He has put a new song in
my mouth -
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.

4 Blessed is that man who
makes the Lord his trust,
And does not respect the
proud, nor such as turn
aside to lies.

5 Many, O Lord my God, are
Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts which
are toward us
Cannot be recounted to
You in order;
If I would declare and
speak of them,
They are more than can be

Sunday, May 4, 2008

God is there: In the storms of life

This is the fifth Sunday our pastor preached in his series entitled "Shipwrecked: What do you do when life's toughest storms threaten to destroy you?" This morning his sermon was in Acts 28:11-15 and this evening he continued with verses 16-23. The messages over the last 5 weeks have been so incredible, they have truly motivated Trayc and I each week as we attempt to move through this storm in our lives and minister to others.

Paul's storms were not your ordinary problems, he suffered through real problems. He had been arrested and thrown in prison, he had been snake bitten and shipwrecked. The Apostle Paul had been in the storm and was casted away for 3 months. If someone would have asked Paul "Where is your God now?" do you know what he would have said? Paul would've said "He's right here next to me". Paul knew through the storms of life that God would show his presence, that He had a plan and that He had a purpose. In Acts 27:23 Paul said "For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and who I serve". Why did he say that? Because he knew God was present, he was right beside him. Paul also knew God had a plan because his heart and life belonged to Him. Why did God allow these unusual storms to come Paul's way? Because He had a plan, he wanted to use Paul to reach others through the storms of his own life and to use it for ministry. And although Paul did not know, nor do we, what the purpose is, we can trust that because the Lord has allowed the storm, He will be right there beside us carrying us through.

Dr. Brunson was saying that like Paul, we need to reach out and minister to others. He was saying that with a church our size, there are so many opportunities to reach out so we should find a place and minister. So many times we as Christians have the tendency to just sit back and let everyone else do the ministering and yet we are the first to get jealous when we are not asked to be used. Our pastor responded by saying that specific people are being used because they want to be used, they want to minister, they are not just sitting on the couch whining about not being used! He said we have to make a step toward ministry instead of waiting for someone to ask us and that we need to do this even in the midst of our own storms.

Each week these messages give us a desire to be more like the Apostle Paul. It's like the pastor was saying, these were no ordinary storms, these were serious! I am sure Paul must have been frightened, scared, discouraged and stressed out at times but regardless of the storm he thanked God and took courage. We felt the presence of God in our pregnancy - it was very real and we know God had a plan and purpose for our little boy's life. Although we do not know the plan or the purpose right now, we cannot just sit back, we cannot just be quiet. We must thank the Lord, we must take courage, we must step out and we must minister because we KNOW THAT WE ARE BEING CALLED to minister to other hurting families even in the midst of our storm. So, how could we walk away from the calling of the Lord? We cannot. We have had several people ask if we felt like we could reach out to others this soon after our loss, afraid that we have not grieved long enough. I often think to myself, is there really a timeline for grief? I really don't think so. Some days are great and some days are simply filled with sadness but we cannot wait until the pain and grief of our storm is gone. Honestly it's never going to be gone, not this side of Heaven. But oh the moment we step over into glory and see not only the face of our Savior, but the precious face of our little boy that I held for 56 DAYS, then and only then will the true pain and grief we are feeling be gone! (I am sure there are lots of sweet mommies agreeing with me here!) So until then, we can either choose to quietly live day-by-day remembering our little boy or we can step up, reach out and minister to other hurting families through our little boy's story. WE CHOOSE TO MINISTER!

I would ask that you please pray for our family as we continue to heal from our loss and I would ask that you please pray for Trayc and I as we are being led to several local families that have either just delivered a Trisomy 18 baby or who are pregnant. Pray that the Lord will give us an incredible amount of strength to help these families with the right words of encouragement. We cannot take their pain away but we can be an emotional support for them, we can listen, we can tell our story and we can give them ways to make the most of their time by "living in the moment".

Acts 28:15 says: "And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage."

Philippians 1:12-13 says: "But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ;"