...to those who are keeping Haley and Baby Brayley wrapped so warmly in prayers, to all who have so generously donated so far, and to those who have helped to spread the word through blog posts, email, Google reader share and Facebook.
A couple of people have suggested looking for a program/ministry to help with funeral costs. I wish there was something like that in the DFW area (if anyone knows of one, please let me know). If you have a program like this in your area, count yourself very blessed! Those of you who know about the video, Choosing Thomas (warning: very painful to watch, a box of tissues just isn't enough), will recognize the writer of this note posted on Jill Stanek's blog. In it, Thomas's mother marvels at how in a large metropolitan area like DFW, there is no official perinatal hospice program.
Right now, I am wondering how there is no program for assistance with burial costs for these infants. Burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy and something no mother plans for unless she is forced to by the heart breaking news of a fatal pre-natal diagnosis. Sadly, since most children with a diagnosis like anencephaly or Trisomy 18 are killed in their mother's wombs rather than allowed to live in Love's embrace for however long Our Lord sees fit, some doctors have never had the experience of delivering an anencephalic child and most funeral homes have never had the task of arranging a burial for one. It seems there are no resources for these poor grieving mothers.
This is where the pro-life community can step in.
I have spoken with a friend very active in the pro-life community who has spent many years helping young mothers, single mothers, mothers who choose life in the face of the Culture of Death find ways to provide for their babies either themselves or through the gift of adoption. These mothers need diapers, blankets and sometimes even job training and education and there are many resources within the pro-life community to help with that. But there doesn't seem to be any assistance program for a young mother who chooses to carry her dying baby to term just so she can hold her too briefly and love her for those sweet minutes, hours, maybe days. These mothers don't need diapers. These mothers need something more heart wrenching. These mothers just want to bury their child with the dignity and the respect that a short, precious life deserves and they should be encouraged and assisted in doing so as a testament to the beauty of all life. If anyone knows of another way to assist these brave women, please let me know.
Also, for those of you who have asked, yes, Paypal does charge a fee for transferring donations from one account to another, but Sean and I have chosen to assume those costs ourselves so that your entire donation amount will go Haley and Baby Brayley. Thank you, again!