In late February 2011 we found out we could expect our third child in September of that same year. However, 20 weeks into the pregnancy we were confronted with the news that our third child, Mercy Elizabeth, had a genetic disorder know as Trisomy 13. This fatal condition – in which most babies do not survive to term and those who do will only live briefly – changed our family. We decided to take it day by day. We would spend the time we had with Mercy living and loving to the fullest. Mercy Elizabeth was born September 8, 2011. She lived knowing nothing but love for her brief, but full, 13 days!
Mercy’s Gift came about because the preschool our other two children were attending, Vista Ridge Methodist Discovery Preschool, asked us if they could set up a scholarship fund in Mercy Elizabeth’s honor. Although Mercy did not live long enough to attend the preschool, other young children could attend in her honor. The fund allowed children whose parents were fiscally challenged to receive a tuition scholarship.
TeamMercy.org seeks to offer this type financial support to families so that other siblings may also experience stability in the midst of the chaos surrounding the loss of a young sibling. Mercy’s Gift helps families. Yet, we want to help a specific population of families, the siblings in families who are facing, or have recently faced, the loss of a young child/infant.
The stability provided by VRDPS for our older two children during the time of Mercy’s brief life and the year following it, was priceless to our family. Because they remained in a familiar stable environment, continuing their normal daily routines, we could attend to the many other issues surrounding our family.
If your family is facing or has recently experienced a loss and could benefit from Mercy’s Gift, please complete the application HERE.