What started out as a normal Sunday of me getting up, getting ready for work, peeking in on my sleeping babies, Liam then 3 and Cate then 17 months, before slipping out the door to go to work as an ICU RN, ended in the most excruciating way.
While I was at work I received a call that one of my babies was next door at the local children's hospital after an incident that occurred in my home. When I got there my son, Liam, was in the trauma bay receiving CPR. He didn't make it.
While I was at work the person I trusted to watch my children left them unattended for 3 hours while he went to sleep. While I was at work taking care of others my babies were left on their own to take care of themselves. While I was at work saving lives my own son was losing his.
I was in shock. I didn't know what to do or where to turn. Nothing in my years as a nurse at a level one trauma center could prepare me to handle a trauma like this in my own life.
When Shannon reached out to me she knew the right things to say and do because she too had experienced an unimaginable trauma. She gave me helpful advice and tips on how to just survive the everyday. Shannon also gave me a Liam Bear (a stuffed bear that contains an urn) making me the first recipient of an Acts For Adalyn. At the time Acts for Adalyn was just a dream of her's in the making, creating a legacy in Adalyn's name to help others in their greatest time of need. What it has since turned into is so much more.
I sleep with the Liam Bear every night. It brings me comfort and makes me feel closer to my son who I miss more than words every minute of everyday. I am so thankful for Acts for Adalyn and the mission Adalyn has inspired.
2018 - 2020
The loss of a child is an unimaginably dark and lonely road. When my Daugter Aria passed away, I was overwhelmed by, well, just everthing. Shannon was by my side immediately; she offered guidance and advice, but most importantly hope.
My Acts for Adalyn bunny continues to give me a sense of peace and a reminder that while my precious daugter in no longer here physically, her spirit will always be. Holding the bunny has offered an unexpected comfort during some of the most difficult moments. I will be forever greatful to Shannon and Acts for Adalyn for reminding me that I am not alone, and for giving me the strength to continue through unspeakable tragedy.
2019 - 2021
Sawyer Matthew Kanofsky, born on July 28th 2019. The sweet boy that made me a mama after a long heart breaking road of struggling with infertility and IVF. He was my angel on earth, the light of our lives. Sawyer had the most infectious personality with his array of facial expressions, unique giggles and smiles that could light up a room. He loved people, his family and his puppy Dexter. Snuggling with mama was his favorite of all though. I always felt so lucky that even as we approached toddlerhood he still snuggled right up into me since the day he was born. The sweetest, most gentle soul I’ve ever known.
On January 20th of 2021, at nearly 18 months, Sawyer was taken from us in a tragic choking incident at his new daycare. Our world was completely shattered, our hearts broken beyond repair. This wasn’t supposed to happen. We’re not supposed to go on loving life with our Sawyer in it. The pain is unbearable and world feels less bright without our sweet boy, everything feels wrong. We cling so much tighter to our faith because it is the only way we can find comfort in knowing that Sawyer is happy in heaven and we will get to hold him in our arms again one beautiful day.
In the days and weeks after Sawyer left us, I just searched and searched for someone, anyone who could relate to an ounce of pain I was feeling. I found a lot of support for pregnancy and infant loss mama’s, but toddler loss was hardly found. Somehow I eventually came across Acts for Adalyn. I scrolled the page and read Adalyn’s story with tears streaming down my face. She was nearly the same age my Sawyer, gone too fast, too soon. Not fair. When Shannon reached out to me, we spoke on the phone for over an hour. As soon as I heard her speak, I could hear the same pain I had been feeling in her voice. She knew exactly what I was feeling. After the initial phone call, Shannon continued and still continues to check in with me, text, let me know she praying for me, anything. She made me feel less alone. A few weeks later my Acts for Adalyn bunny arrived in the mail and I was amazed. It was a gift I didn’t know I needed. Finally being able to hold a piece of my sweet boy again was strangely comforting. Acts for Adalyn has not only been a comfort to me but an incredible inspiration. I have hope knowing that I can continue keeping Sawyers light shining through me, just like Shannon does for Adalyn.
2017 - 2019
This is Owen. He was a very smart, loving, big hearted little boy. He loved animals, being outside, and running around playing with his big brothers. His favorite movies were Moana and The Grinch. He would laugh so hard at these and he would always wait on me to sing along to them with him. He loved to dance. We would always break it down in the kitchen together. He was mommy’s little helper. He loved to help his mommy pick up around the house.
July 28 2019, I lost my sweet boy due to a drowning accident. My life has never been the same. After this nightmare I felt so alone. I felt like nobody understood my pain until Shannon reached out to me. Acts For Adalyn Foundation sent Owen Bunny and I carry him everywhere with me now. This bunny brings me so much comfort. I’m grateful to Shannon for all toddler loss moms that she has brought together. Because of them, I don't feel so alone anymore and feel like I have a safe place to share my baby boy. ❤
2017 - 2019
Fred Walker Humphryes was born on August 15, 2017. He weighed 7lbs and was born exactly at noon.
He was the sweetest and calmest baby. He was always grinning and loved everyone he met. He never met a stranger. He had the most precious giggle of any baby.
He loved to dance with me in the kitchen and even loved my singing. He was always mesmerized by my voice. Buzz Lightyear was his favorite along with Donald Duck. He loved to run around barefooted with nothing but a diaper on but due to his eczema that hardly ever happened. He loved sleeping on my chest even as he got bigger. He loved to hear himself scream with excitement. He was a happy little boy. He loved his brother so much. They were two peas in a pod… but now one pea is missing.
Walker lived 777 days. His tragic death was October 1, 2019. Life is not the same without him and I pray that justice will be served in his honor. I wish I could get into it, but because it has to go to trial, I can’t. There are still a lot of answers I don’t have…
Thank you for allowing me to share my baby boy here and thank you for your act of love through your daughter. I love my Walker bunny.