I founded Sufficient Grace Ministries for Women in 2004, eight years after the loss of my twin daughters Faith and Grace and about six years after the loss of my son, Thomas. Faith and Grace were born still in 1996 at 26 weeks, while Thomas only lived for six hours after he was born full-term. When I was pregnant, he’d been diagnosed with Potter’s Syndrome, which was termed ‘incompatible with life.’ I chose to continue to love and carry Thomas to term so we could meet and hold him before he went back home to Heaven. One of the greatest privileges of my life has been to sing to my sweet boy in my arms as he went to the arms of Jesus.
While many mothers naturally find themselves searching for purpose in the pain or beauty from the ashes after the loss of a child, I was hesitant in the early years of raw grief to enter into the bereavement support world.
It wasn’t until I was searching for a way to support a friend who was walking through the grief when her daughter was born still in 2003 that I began to ask myself, “What would I have wanted? What would’ve been a comfort to me?” It was like waking up from a deep sleep, as God brought to my heart the great need of the grieving mothers around me.
I began with the Dreams of You Memory Book, a baby book created especially for babies with a brief life–a place to write memories and the dreams parents held in their hearts for their baby, a place to say a treasured life had been here. Next, we added the Comfort Bear, originally created by my mother, Kathy Bodenbender. Today, each one is handmade by volunteer seamstresses and stuffed with love by community organizations, schools, and even a fraternity at Bowling Green State University.
Over the years, we published resources for grieving mothers, fathers, and grandparents, and expanded our services to include both online and in-person support from trained comfort companions and remembrance photographers, and perinatal loss support education from birth professionals.
Today, Sufficient Grace Ministries is changing the story for thousands of grieving parents each year as we continue to offer comfort and hope in a time of raw grief and brokenness.