FLOURISH: Trading Treasures on Earth for Treasures in Heaven. #EleanorRoseLine #TheAngelProject

 the ink cafe greeting cards invitations stationery bereavement cards
Eight months ago we gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Pearl.  The pregnancy came with a lot of fear as we were labeled “at risk” and visited the ER more times that I am comfortable with. We waited to tell people we were pregnant because of an intense fear that we would lose her. I wondered if I would ever get to hold her and hear her cries.
Around the same time, several of our friends lost their babies and struggled with infertility.  It was hard to get excited about our little one.  I was wondering if God was preparing us for the worse. A few months after Pearl was born our good friend lost her daughter, Eleanor Rose.  It was only a month before their due date and Eleanor had grown full term.  We made the programs for her funeral, and my heart ached for her.  My worst nightmare was her reality.
We knew of a support group called Graceful Wait that met once a month after hours at a retail shop named Plume for the loss of a child and infertility. I eventually told her about the group and decided to go with her the first time she visited. Can I just say that the impressions of these mothers stayed with me?! I was/am amazed at how many mothers grieve the loss of their babies. I wanted to do something. 
One day the owner of the shop, asked if we would make bereavement baby cards to sell.  She said there was a need for them, but orders for invitations occupied most of our days and nights so I put it on the back burner.  It felt like almost daily I was reminded about creating these cards for moms who were hurting, but everyday seemed to lack time to create.  Then out of the blue I got an email from a dear friend that I admired tremendously.  It changed the course of everything. 
My friend Michele had found an organization called Real Imprints that would take real wedding dresses and turn them into Angel Gowns.  It was known as The Angel Gowns Project.  The project coordinates volunteers to deconstruct donated old wedding gowns and make tiny gowns for parents who have lost their babies. I loved the idea of taking these treasured wedding dresses and making them into a beautiful outfit for treasured babies who have died prematurily.  When she approached us about including stationery with the dresses, it dawned on us that this could have been the path God was leading us on.
With the help of local mothers who had lost their children, we created the cards to go with the dresses.  We wanted the cards to be sensitive to what they were going through.  I asked a friend who owns a video/media company to video tape the day we delivered the dresses. The video is below.  (A big thanks to our friends at Byler Media.)  This started the beginning of something so beautiful!

When we were asked to created cards for these dresses being delivered to Boone our hearts exploded and we wanted to get behind the endeavor a 100%.  So we signed up to be the local representative of Real Imprints and head up the efforts to collect dresses for the hospital right here in COMO.  My job will be to collect the dresses, ship them, and organize an assembly and delivery party to Boone Hospital or MU Hospital.

We are creating bereavement cards to included with each dress and to also be sold at Plume.  The line of cards is named after our friend’s sweet daughter, Eleanor Rose.  The cards will be sold at Plume and will help cover the costs of shipping and assembling the dresses in boxes with cards.  We are so excited to be a part of something that truly gives back to those who are hurting.

We are trying to find local seamstresses to make the wait time faster, but at this point, Real Imprints (The Angel Gowns Project) is expecting the wait time to be at least 1 year.   If you know of anyone wanting to be a seamstress, please have them reach out to us.

The Angel Project requests a minimum donation of $25 for them to clean, prepare, cut, sew, and embellish the gowns.  Dresses do not need be to be dry cleaned prior to bringing them to us. The Angel Project takes care of all of that. Bring us your dress with the $25 check made out to Real Imprints (The Angel Project) and we will take care of the shipping costs.   The drop-off location for the dresses will be at Plume.  They are located at 165 East Hoe Down Drive Unit B, Columbia, MO 65203.  They are open from Thursday-Saturday from 10AM-6PM.  They are accepting the dresses starting this week.

Once the dresses are returned, we will notify everyone so that they can see their dress, assemble them into gift boxes with stationery included by The Ink Cafe and set a date to drop them off at Boone Hospital.  

Let us here your story! How have you FLOURISHED in a season of loss?  Would you like to help? We want to hear your thoughts!

XoXo- Christy, Jon Marc and Miss Pearl


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