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2016 Forever Footprints Compassion Award

The Forever Footprints Compassion Award is given to an individual or individuals in recognition of their contribution to the pregnancy and infant loss community.  Each year, support group leaders, doctors, nurses, parents, volunteers or other individuals who have made an impact in the lives of parents and families who have suffered a pregnancy or infant loss are nominated for this award. Congratulations to our 2016 Compassion Award nominees: Laurel Taylor Ciara Johnson Jennifer Beers Rene Ray De La Cruz Dr. Donald Henderson Aracely Rodriguez Gemma Acevedo Kristin Hernandez Congratulations to our 2016 Compassion Award recipient: Ciara Johnson Ciara has been nominated for the award for three consecutive years. Ciara has been an active Forever Footprints board member for three years, where she organized the Golf to Remember and Night to Remember events. She has also taken a large role this year in planning the OC Walk to Remember. Ciara’s dedication has resulted in thousands of dollars in fundraising and sponsorship for Forever Footprints, which benefits all of the families Forever Footprints serves. In addition to her dedication to Forever Footprints, she is an example of strength, love, and dedication to pregnancy and infant loss. This quote is from Nancy, who nominated Ciara: “Ciara epitomizes true compassion, as she has literally walked beside me in the aftermath of losing my firstborn son Noah. Ciara is truly a loving Mother and caring friend, who inspires me with how she has transformed her grief from losing her sweet Colton into helping others through her active involvement with Forever Footprints.  I can think of no one who is more deserving than Ciara to win...

Meet the 2016 Forever Footprints Ambassador Family

A little over four and a half years ago my life was perfect. I had an incredible husband, two amazing, healthy, beautiful kids, and I was pregnant with our third. We found out baby #3 was a little girl, and we started to prepare for her arrival. We bought clothes, started putting her room together, and life was what I had dreamed. Then I went to my 20-week appointment, and my life crumbled. I walked into the doctor and laid on the table to get a sonogram of our baby girl. Then the ultrasound technician asked the doctor to come in. He told us that our baby girl’s heart had stopped, and she is no longer living. Our hearts shattered. After a talk with the doctor, I started to prepare for the delivery of our lifeless baby girl. I was induced the following morning and went through thirteen hours of labor. When I delivered our sweet girl the room was unlike anything I have ever felt. It was peaceful, full of love, full of pain, full of tears, but what I remember the most was the sound. It was so quiet, but at the same time, I could hear the most beautiful sound. To me it was the sound of an angel being born. As I held my baby girl in my arms, I fell in love and felt broken all at the same time. We named her Harper Kayte Valenzuela. Going home to an empty nursery and having empty arms made it feel like I couldn’t go on. Surprisingly, my arms physically ached to hold a baby. Many...

A Mother’s Love

In October of 2009 we were shocked to learn that we were expecting triplet boys. The news brought the eventuality of bedrest, NICU, and the like. In spite of all the risks associated with a multiple pregnancy, we never even considered the possibility of a loss. We were in good hands, we were being watched carefully, and there was no reason to believe that something would go wrong. Until it did. At 32 weeks and 5 days, I went in for a routine check, and we were given the devastating news that Baby B’s heart had stop beating. In an instant our life changed. We went from anticipating the arrival of three beautiful boys, to mourning the loss of one, and praying like mad for the other two. Later that same day, all three boys had to be delivered. It was the most bittersweet moment of our lives. Hearing Adler and Cameron cry and seeing their tiny pink bodies was a joy, but feeling Boe being pulled from my body silent and still was heartbreaking. So many emotions and thoughts ran through my mind. How could the other two be here, be alive, and not Boe? How could we have made it this far for this to be the result? In the days that followed, we were so fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends-people who were there for us in our darkest days. We were also fortunate to be provided with amazing resources to aid in the grieving process. How would we parent the beautiful daughter we already had at home? How would we parent Boe’s surviving...

Thank you to our Memory Box Volunteers

Several years ago, Forever Footprints learned that families at many Orange County hospitals did not receive memory boxes. Worse yet, we heard stories of families being sent home with their baby’s precious memories in empty milk containers, torn paper bags, or used boxes. We immediately went into action, purchasing memory boxes and supplies. And an amazing group of volunteers has lovingly decorated more than 400 memory boxes that have gone directly to families who have had a baby die in pregnancy or infancy. Erin, Eve, Becca, Lindsay, we are so grateful for your dedication and love to Forever Footprints and all the families we serve. Thank you for all you do. If you would like to make a donation toward our memory box program, please visit Our Donation Website or email kvonrotz@foreverfootprints.org. We are in need of supplies to continue this program and would be so grateful for your financial...