This blog entry was written by my husband. There's no way I could have told this story like he did! I was not at the concert with him he mentions, but there are no words for how much this touches us. A big thanks to Nicole -- someone I have never met, but the kindness you have shown to our family is incredible. Here's the story:
Just a few months after saying both hello and goodbye to my beautiful boy Jackson, I was at a concert and through a mutual friend, met a woman named Nicole Gillette. Being where I was with the loss of my son, I started to tell Nicole about Jackson. Then this amazing connection happened. Nicole was just getting involved with a non-profit ministry called Door of Hope. She has this amazing heart for doing God’s work, especially through helping children. She told me how she was preparing to travel to South Africa to live at the Door of Hope house where they take in abandoned or unwanted babies, care for them, and help place them into loving adoptive families. And the weirdest coincidence – Nicole’s trip to S. Africa was scheduled for Oct 19th 2010 – EXACTLY one year to the day of Jackson’s birth. Somehow after learning all this, I felt some peace and hope knowing that although we lost our son, there were other babies whose lives were being saved thanks to groups like Door of Hope.
Now you would think this alone is an amazing story, and it is, but there’s more. Nearly a year had gone by, and I hadn’t heard anything from Nicole since just after that concert. But I still occasionally thought about her trip to S. Africa and the amazing work she was doing there. Then just last week, I got this incredibly touching message from Nicole. As I understand it, the babies are dropped off at Door of Hope with basically no notice; many of them anonymously and quite literally, through a door in the wall at the house. Meaning some of these babies may not even have a name. Well, this beautiful boy was dropped off without a name, and Nicole had the privilege of naming him. She chose to name him Jackson, in honor of my son! Apparently he’s a beautiful little boy with dark curly hair, and she already feels a special connection to him. I was so deeply moved when I heard this. Just a crazy mix of joy and tears; happiness and remembrance of my son.
I feel incredibly honored that there’s a little baby boy halfway around the world who carries this special connection and bond with my son. Though there’s sadness and loss that my Jackson’s life here was ended so soon, there’s also happiness and peace in knowing that another Jackson’s life was saved. It’s sort of like a “life coming full circle” situation or something.
So there you have it. One amazing story. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Let me ask one more thing of you though: please ask yourself, what can you do to help those around you who are lost or hurting? Is there someone or something that you are being called to? Maybe you could simply say a prayer for Nicole. Or you might even want to give a donation to the Door of Hope ministry. Whatever is placed on your heart, please be courageous and act on those feelings!
If you want more info:
Door of Hope website - http://www.doorofhope.co.za/
Nicole’s blog from South Africa - http://nicoleshopefuladventure.blogspot.com/