Sharing my Journey

I had the privilege of sharing my testimony at Cedarville University back on the 18th of October. I shared about "Leaving a Wake of JOY" through the storms of life. I'm working on the possibility of posting the video here on my blog, but for now you can click here to go to the university's Chapel Archive. In the search bar type in my name "Kristin Koning" or search for Oct 18 and it should pop up. You can listen to the audio version or watch the video which includes my powerpoint pictures and scripture. I pray it will be an encouragement to you...


A Walk to Remember

I got to be a part of this Remembrance Walk on Saturday - Honoring and Remembering our babies together. It was a sappy "sad/happy" day, but it is always a good thing for me to be able to create good memories alongside such painful ones.

I also wanted to spread the word about Dupont's new support group. I do actually look forward to going! This is a place where I "belong," where I feel like I can breathe deeply, share honestly, and I don't have to explain anything…the other moms just get it. We meet the first Thursday of each month at 7pm.

A Walk to Remember
By Kathie Mayo 

I walk to remember the steps you’ll never take.
I carry you with me as I firmly plant my feet.
Our trek started long ago, before my belly swelled.
You were a love that grew like butterfly wings that beat.
Your gentle flutters then become kicks upon which I would dwell.
And I would talk to you, sweet babe, about the world you soon would meet
the sun always shown upon us then - when you were in my womb.
And I was eager to show you the world that would have been your home.
How you’d have loved the sun shining - blue skies without a cloud.
The autumn leaves turning - the snow falling all around.
The flowers in the summer- would have filled your eyes with smiles.
And the rain that might have fallen would have caused you great surprise.
You would have traveled far with me holding me by the hand.
And I’d have shown you all I could more than I can imagine.
You hold my heart tightly now, as though we’re holding hands.
How far we’ve traveled, little one and my life with you has been sweet.
For I carry you in my heart as I firmly plant my feet.


October 15th

And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do
Every beating of my heart says
"I Remember You"

For those of you who are wondering about all the candle pics popping up, today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day - No, we Don't need one day to Remember…we remember them EVERY day! But I am thankful this is becoming less taboo to talk about!

I'll be thinking about and praying for the moms tonight who, like me, have loved and lost. We all light candles tonight as we remember. We create a #waveoflight. It's nice to be able to feel we are NOT alone on this journey. We gather. We honor. We remember.

My heart aches for the day I get to see my children again. I saw a quote that went something like, "I miss you with all of the pieces of my heart." Yep, a heart once shattered has begun to heal.

The world may never notice
If a rosebud doesn't bloom:
Or even pause to wonder if the petals fall too soon.

But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be
Touches the World in some small way
For all eternity.

The little ones we longed for
Were swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.

And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do

Every beating of my heart says
"I Remember You"

Author unknown


Noah's Hope

This is what we include inside the photo book, so moms have an idea of how and why this ministry was started.

"Noah's Hope is a special ministry born out of heartbreaking loss.  Expecting their third son, in August 2006, Kristin and Mike went in for a routine doctor visit at 15 weeks.  What an ultrasound that day revealed would change their lives forever. The doctor told them that their baby, Noah, had a genetic syndrome incompatible with life.  The Konings were heartbroken, but trusted in the One who holds the future.  Their Wallen Baptist Church family rallied around them, supporting them in prayer. Noah defied the odds and the doctor's predictions and was born alive at 34 weeks. Mike and Kristin cherish the two hours they had to hold and love Noah here on earth.

In honor of what would have been Noah's first birthday some friends from church helped Kristin put together some special gifts to give to the hospital for other families experiencing the loss of a baby. This project in memory of Noah continued each year, and as the Wallen family embraced this ourtreach of love it grew into the ministry of Noah's Hope. The women of Wallen now meet several times each year to assemble hand-made photo memory goods. Each book is pieced, each page is glued, and each ribbon chosen with prayers for comfort and healing.

Witnessing the gift of time and creativity devoted to Noah's Hope from the Wallen family has been an encouragement to Mike and Kristin in their grief. It is their prayer that through Wallen, Noah's Hope can continue to offer comfort to families in our community experiencing the loss of a baby.  This small gift we give to affirm that each life is special, no matter how small. Our Wallen family cares for you in your loss too.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." -2 Corinthians 1:3-4



I think about what might have been...

...about what might not have been...

...if YOU had never been...

...and today, we choose to celebrate this day that you were born...

...thankful to have had 1 hour and 42 minutes...

...especially, knowing now what it's like not to have that precious time...

...grateful for that answer to prayer...

...thankful for lessons learned...

...full of hope that YOU, Noah, were made not just for this earthly life, but for eternity, and we'll get to see you again...

...in disbelief that 5 years have passed...

...heartwarming to know T & D look forward to sending you balloons...and made sure we knew this morning before they left for school that it was important to them...

...amazed at the special group of friends that share in our sorrow -still- and lift us up in prayer continually, what a treasure...

...thankful for His Provision and Goodness through it all...

...but still missing you, Noah...


A Gift, A Thank You

At the end of February, on a Wednesday evening...after coming home from church, Mike and I noticed a gift bag on the side of our driveway by the flowerbed.  Mike parked the van and I ran back outside to see what was there.  I picked up the bag and it was surprisingly heavy!  As I looked inside I saw 3 copies of A Gift of Time.  (I wrote a post about it here.)  I mentioned earlier this was the book for which I submitted Noah's Story.  I also mentioned that I wanted to donate a few copies to my perinatologists office.  Not only did I think it would be insightful for the staff, but more importantly they have a lending library for moms/families to utilize.
I searched in the bag for a card or note or something...NOTHING.  An anonymous gift?!  I was SOOO excited to be able to deliver these to the doctors office in memory of Noah and Joanna.  So, whoever you are...THANK YOU FOR BLESSING ME, and many other families who will read Noah's story as well as those of many other families who have walked this difficult road of loss!


A Milestone

This last week I made it to 27 weeks.  Lots of emotions as I thought about/compared my pregnancy now with Joanna's - the last week I carried her.  So many memories...

I'm thoroughly enjoying feeling Baby K move and kick, not so much the heartburn, but I'll take it.  Can't wait to see what SHE will look like.  Trent and Drew have indulged me by walking throughout the baby sections of whatever store we happen to be in.  I got a 10 dollar reward from JCPenny and I thought it would be fun to see if we could find a good deal...preferably free.  I haven't allowed myself to buy anything for her yet!  When I commented to Drew that there were just too many outfits to choose from...he gladly took over and picked out a cute outfit set for his sister and it only cost $2!!

I also received my copy of the book A Gift of Time.  Not quite a year after Noah was born I saw on the Perinatal Hospice website that two ladies were asking for submissions to help write this book.  I sent in Noah's story, answering various questions they supplied on a questionnaire.  So, Tuesday I sat on the couch - 3 years later - and just cried as I read several of my very own quotes...bringing me back to those very moments...emotions so raw.  So thankful that Noah's legacy will continue to touch the lives of families that are going through similar situations even now.  I trust this will be a great resource for families to read when given their own devastating diagnosis.  I'll be saving up to get a few copies to give to my doctors office!!  You can read a few excerpts on amazon.com, just click on the book cover.

After the boy's b-ball games, Mike helped me clear out our catch all/office/craft/computer room.  We set up the crib our friend gave us (thanks Ian for moving to your big boy bed!).  One of about the only things that didn't sell at our garage sale was the baby bedding.  So, I just got that out too.  The other half of the room will continue to house my office and the boy's desk/computer.  I organized the closet floor to ceiling with all my craft stuff.  So, needless to say, I'm glad to get this part done while I'm still feeling good.  Want a peek of the work in progress?


Missing you..

...today especially! 

Boy, 3 years?  Can it really be!  I think it's hitting hard this year because...

I can almost see him here...

following Trent and Drew aroud,
getting into stuff and making messes like his big brothers,
talking, asking lots of questions,
carrying around his favorite blanket and stuffed animal,
playing with Thomas the Train,
dancing around,
messing up the pieces on the board as his older brothers play Candy Land,
tearing into all his Christmas presents and jumping up and down with delight.

It's the little things that I'm grieving today, not experiencing WITH him.

...today especially...


Noah's Hope

This was the first time I organized and prepared for ladies from Wallen to make the memory books.  My friend Carol moved down to Florida and she was such a big help organizing and making a tutorial for us to follow.  {It worked GREAT!  Thanks so much, Carol.}  It was a great success.  We kept everyone busy and I think the ladies enjoyed working together to make such a cherished gift for grieving moms.  Thank you ladies for helping me!!  Your time and willingness to help is a special gift to me too.


Hittin' the Road...

We (Jen and I) are very excited about a new opportunity to share about our life experiences and our children. We will be traveling to Alabama in just two weeks, and speaking on the 20th! While we relflect on the value and miracle of new life, we will be focusing on how our children, Noah, Owen, and Joanna are WONDERFULLY MADE too.

Please be in prayer for us...
* that God would be glorified by all that we say and do
* as we pen out and prepare to share what is on our hearts -we are
  in the thick of this now!
* that our message would be heard loud and clear
* that we can deal effectively with the emotions that companion
  "going back there" (and specifically for me as Joanna's due date
  would have been Oct. 24 - these milestone anniversary dates can
  be emotional)
* that all the details come together smoothly
* for our physical health
* safety as we travel
* as our husbands care for our kids while we are away
* that we have an encouraging time with friends, old and new



Song of the Grieving

My mom gave me a cd before Noah was born. I like this song...you can hear part of it here.

Song of the Grieving

Lord, you can see our hearts filled with sorrow,
The tears that are falling down,
Someone we love has gone on before us,
And we're left with the questions now,

And we know in the bigger scheme it would seem
We'll see you again 'fore we know it,
But the truth is it feels like this wound might not heal,
We need Your mercy, Lord show it,
Please, hear our Prayer...

Give us grace to weather this storm,
And strength to grieve our loss,
And trust that you have not abandoned us in our pain,
Give us faith to believe that there's more than this,
And hope for out final home,
We stand here before You broken but still believing,
The song of the grieving.

We smile at the fact that your journey is done,
And your spirit is where it has longed to be,
We picture you now as you laugh with the angels,
Thanking the Lord that you're finally free,

And we know in the bigger scheme it would seem
We'll see you again 'fore we know it,
But the truth is it feels like this wound might not heal,
We need Your mercy, Lord show it,
Please hear our cry...

The song of the grieving
We're broken and beaten
We need your healing

-Matt Rexford


Hope Clinic Banquet

Many of you prayed for Jen and I last Thursday. I thought I'd share a little bit about that night. We estimated there were about 240 people in attendance, and from our conversations with the men and women afterwords there was quite a mix of people (yes, including the Amish family that came up to share about the 3 sons they had lost). I wished somehow we could have presented the gospel more clearly, although, Mike assured me that people could not deny hearing the different ways we shared about having a personal relationship with Christ that night...NOT a religion, but a relationship. I do pray that Noah and Owen's lives continue to speak to the hearts of those that heard that night. He is truly the God of the Calm and the Storm. I have to say I could totally feel your prayers, as I was speaking, the words seemed to flow more as in a conversation and less rehearsed and read (which I wasn't sure would happen considering all that is heavy on my heart about baby #4). I looked down to see steady hands-not the trembling fingers and knocking knees- as I turned page after page...I guess by the 5th time around I'm getting more comfortable in front of a crowd. Can I just say - GRACE of GOD. I do have to say it was nice to see some familiar faces. My good friends parents, one of Mike's co-workers, and even a mom I met at support group almost 2 1/2 years ago.
Thanks again for your prayers...I look forward to seeing/meeting the lives touched by our boys when we reach heaven.


Birthday gifts

Yesterday was Noah's birthday. We continued the tradition from last year and released balloons. The boys really liked doing that and asked if we were going to do it again this year. Trent wanted blue and Drew (of course) asked for green. They each drew a picture/wrote a note to Noah and we tied them to their balloon. It was sooo windy and so Mike and I were trying to untangle the balloon ribbons. Meanwhile Trent was getting anxious and said, "Can we start singing NOW?!" He lead in singing "Happy Birthday."

Later on in the evening we went to the hospital to drop off all of the goodies that my friends helped make or donate. The boys were excited to help carry the teddy bears! My nurse friend said she is "so excited and honored to be able to share these, in memory of Noah, with other moms who are hurting." A big Thank You to all of you who helped me even be able to do this, it is truly a blessing!

(Drew was so sweet, he had to make sure that my friend knew that "this one has a heart on his foot!")
Someone who attended our church wrote this "song" for Noah and gave it to me just after his memorial service. It hangs in my bedroon under a picture of Noah and I thought I'd share it today.

Hello Noah.

I'm glad to see, you've finally come to be with me.
With other boys who laugh and play,
and great adventures along the way.
By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.

I've made a place just for you,
prepared before the world was new,
where all that's joy runs through and through,
and you can be with grandpa too.

By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.
We'll dance amidst the fields of green,
such beauty mortals have not yet seen.

Play "hide and seek" and "king of the hill"
"catch the flag", or better still,
run through clear streams with great amaze,
with shouts of joy - our hearts ablaze!
Catch salamanders with speckled spots,
and frogs that jump from rock to rock.
We'll climb a tree or fly a kite,
Then take a sailboat late at night,
to hear the call of

Father's Love,

Which surely brings our gaze above.

You'll sing to him who gave you grace,
it's here we find our resting place.
By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.

And someday soon, your mom and dad,
will rest with us in this land of glad,
and clasp the hand that once

let go

My perfect love they'll soon know,
Where all who come can be truly free.
By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.


A chance to celebrate

We are coming up on a very important date for our family. If you remember, two years ago this Sunday we welcomed and said goodbye to our third little boy. Noah was such a sweet boy and he forever changed our lives. Because of my involvement in the Christmas musical at our church, (which also happens to fall on the 14th - Noah's birthday) we decided to go as a family and get away a week early. Some friends of ours gave us a gift certificate to a water park in Indy. It was a much needed reprieve. We all enjoyed time as a family, and it really gave me something fun to look forward to amidst the anticipation of an emotional anniversary. So, I say Thank you friends, for your generosity to our family. It was a time to celebrate among our tears.


In Memory...

Last year a few of my friends got together to help me make some presents to take to the hospital where Noah was born. We had so much fun, the girls wanted to do it again this year. It really was fun for me to take everything we had made and collected and drop it off at the hospital...it gave me something happy to do on a day that I anticipated dreading.

I keep in contact with one of the nurses at the hospital and so she was able to share with me about giving these items to moms who had just lost their baby. I'm so thankful to be able to make a small impact on the lives of moms who now walk the path I did almost two years ago. At a time when they feel all alone and that know one understands, they receive a gift from a mom that "knows." And I hope it helps, seeing in a tangible way, that they are not alone!

It is such a special thing for me to have friends who want to remember Noah's life with me. I can't thank them enough for their prayer, encouragement, and friendship. You (and you know who you are!) have been Christ's hands and feet to me - your gentle reminders of love, concern, and comfort have taught me so much!

A few pictures of us hard at work...

What the books look like...

The reason why I wanted to do something with pictures stems from this scene...

"After our friends and family had all left the hospital for the night, the hospital photographer peeked in with a small white envelope in her hand. She had printed four or five pictures she had taken of our son. When I saw the pictures of his tiny hand, wrinkly feet, and his face, I could not hold back the tears. They were a priceless treasure! His time with us had come and gone. Now, I held in my hand the only link to remembering his face. He was beautiful!! It was just what I needed, and it couldn't have been better timing. Our time was winding down, we were about to give Noah over to the funeral home, and I felt as though she made it a little easier. We would trade his little body for the pictures we could hold onto for the rest of our lives. I had these beautiful pictures to look at anytime I needed to see him."
Think about how a mom would feel when she receives her baby's pictures, not in a white envelope, but a precious "photo book." It says to a mom who wants something special and unique for her baby...someone cares about your baby too! They are precious and valuable and the "cover" matches the beautiful pictures. I carry my little photo book in my purse even today. Anytime I want to show someone, or look at them myself I have them with me! I hope this becomes something special to the moms that receive them too.


Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

I just wanted to write a quick post and thank everyone for your prayers for Jen and me last night. I believe there were 288 in attendence. Everything went great, Jen and I made it through without "falling apart" with tears, though I saw many men even wipe their faces with their dinner napkins. We were grateful that through our stories, many could see how God truly worked in our lives. It was NOT our own strength. Our prayer is that God continues to use the lives of our boys to touch others hearts. To God be the glory.

I'll try to add some photos later...we decided to post our links and more info we have found helpful in a resource blog of sorts...check out our new blog here.

Thanks again, friends!


In Memory

My friend Jen and I have the privilege of speaking together at a banquet. I just got a copy of the invitation. Now, I have to get busy preparing. I'm excited about all the opportunities God has given me to share of Noah's impact on my life. I hope that those who are there will be impacted by the value and preciousness of human life. I would covet your prayers as I prepare, my nerves as I speak, and for the event itself to be God honoring.