The story of Olivia Hope

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Super Big Girl!

So many changes have been happening in our house, actually in our family. Mostly just milestones and with each new one brings excitement, of course, but also the tiniest little ache that there is someone missing amidst all this celebration.

In the last couple of weeks we have (FINALLY) started potting training, which is going GREAT by the way. Still a few accidents here and there but she gets it and is trying and of course we act super stupid and make a huge big deal for each poopy and tinkle that makes it into the potty!! It's fun! Along with the potty training came the big-girl bed and that's going great as well! The first dentist appointment (great as well! She actually asked them to clean her teeth again when it was all done!), starting to understand things like Andy showing her how to race cows on the wii and even just getting to the age where we can start doing fun things like painting bird houses! I will say some of the fun was sucked out of that when I felt like I couldn't leave my spot standing behind her chair with my wet rag in hand to wipe every fresh smear of paint off of my red kitchen chairs before it dried!! However, they really DO grow up so fast and I am having a blast with my big 2 1/2 year old but I miss Olivia so much. Each new development that comes our way makes me instantly think that I won't get to enjoy these things with her, or she should be here to celebrate with, or Gwen should have the privilege of showing her little sister how to do these things...

I've been going through a devotional written by Nancy Guthrie called Hope. Ironically shortly after we decided on a name for Olivia a friend loaned me a book written by the same women who lost an infant daughter named Hope and while the circumstances are different most of it hits home. I was given the devotional and it has been a blessing to work through. More recently a chapter called Rest in Peace.

"I began to see that Hope's brief life on earth and quick deliverance into eternal life in the presence of God was not cruel or tragic. It was, in many ways, a gift to her, a protection from evil to come. Not that it felt less cruel or tragic to me. I felt robbed. I felt cheated...I don't want to loose Hope. I would like to see her grow. I would like to know her as an adult. But I also know that this life is filled with pain. And I don't think it is a tragedy that she will have the opportunity to be spared from evil, from the pain of this life, and be in the presence of God. This is what I believe. It is not necessarily how I feel. But believing this makes a difference in how I feel..."

Replace Hope's name with Olivia (or leave it for that matter since we did name her Olivia Hope) and this was pretty much written for me. And I CAN Rest in Peace knowing that I will see her again. I couldn't ask for a better situation for HER. Now ME is another story but if I've learned anything it's that this is not about me. Remind me of that later when I forget!!

Please don't stop praying for us. We do still hurt. It's only been six months! Some days it seems more and some days it seems less. I picture that while Gwen is learning to not get out of her big-girl bed each nap time Olivia would be in the next room in her crib starting to sit up by herself and maybe even crawling...Each new milestone is bittersweet.


  1. Gwen is such a beautiful little girl, thank you for posting pictures for those of us who don't get to see her as often as we like! She's growing up so fast and I'm glad to hear she's tackling each new thing with excitement.

    We're always praying for you guys.

  2. the milestones are so very difficult! you are often in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. I'm so sad with you, Jennifer, over your loss of Olivia Hope. That six month mark for me was perhaps the lowest. I'm grateful to know that The One Year Book of Hope is a companion to you on this journey. My husband and I hold retreats for couples who have lost children that you and your husband may want to consider. You can find info on my website.