Dearest Arianna

Dearest Arianna,
It’s been 2 months since we lost you, and even though I’ve been carrying on and feeling happy again, I still can’t bring myself to say that I’m ok.  Truth is, I’m not ok, and I don’t really expect to be ok, at least not for a little while longer…

And I must to tell you that I love you and think of you often, and I’m proud of you.  Yes, I’m proud…just as proud as I would be if you had just been placed in my arms because you are my daughter.  And while I pray and wish for just a glimpse of your beautiful face, I still have your name, and I say it often.  Arianna Joy, most holy joy, I know you and remember you.

Baby girl, your life is one of greatness; I know because you have already been so loved.  Even as tiny as you were inside my belly, you evoked such love and joy inside all of us, and we are better because of you.

You are beautiful.  You are fearfully and wonderfully created.  You are my daughter, and I am your mommy.  And until I can be with you there, know that I love you.  Save a place for me, I’ll be there soon.



Every Time I Hear Her Name

I was just sitting here doing reading about a home schooling family with 4 children – Sarah, Joel, Nathan, and Joy – and immediately my eyes filled with tears.  Every time I hear her name, every time I see it in writing, I’m overcome with indescribable emotion – literally, I cannot describe what it does to me, except to say that it moves me to tears.   

Arianna, Joy, Arianna Joy

My eyes still fill with tears every time I hear your name

Every time I see those beautiful words in writing, my heart cries

There’s joy and love accompanied by a stinging pain

And some times it’s as if something inside of me dies

But then, in a moment of Divine healing

Hope returns with a song arising

A gentle hand, in love, starts peeling

Back another layer and there’s beauty surprising

Yes there’s pain, but there’s also glory

For I know this is not the end of the story

You are mine and will forever be

And you’re face I still shall see

In this I find comfort, despite the pain

Yours is a life eternal not spent in vain

Daughter, I miss you, but this is my boast

My future holds you and He who loves me most


Not sure this is quite finished, but we’ll see.

Arianna Joy

It’s been one month today since we lost our baby. Already a month…just a month…time is funny that way. It’s goes by so quickly, and yet it seems so long. My friend Camille is right – I do have the need to talk about Arianna, to tell her story and have people know what I know – that her’s was a valid life in God, and though not on this earth, she is living in eternity. She is a life, and a life worth mentioning. So here is her story…

Arianna had been wanted, and longed for, for well over a year. If I had to say, the closest to an accurate number that I could give would be for 29 years.  For as long as there was a me, there was always a desire for her. Long before I was ever married and had kids, she existed as a dream in my heart. And after getting married and starting my life with Jason, I couldn’t wait to start our family.  And even after having all 3 of my beauties that I have now, she was still wanted - a much-needed piece of the puzzle I call family.

And of course I was not alone in my desires for her. Judah and Bella, and even Justice, had asked for a baby sister for a year. We heard their pleas and request for a baby sister every day. Judah would tell me that he wanted God to give me 4 kids, 2 boys and 2 girls, and Bella would ask Jesus for a baby sister almost every night. And even Justice, at age 2, saw his newborn baby cousin and exclaimed, “I want that! I want one!” It got to the point of him answering what he wanted for Christmas was a baby sister. Likewise, what Bella wanted for her birthday was a baby sister.

So it was like being in our own little fairy tale when we discovered that I was expecting again on Bella’s birthday, only our Happily Ever After had been delayed.  On December 17 I had a doctor’s appointment. It was just supposed to be a normal check-up, but all of a sudden I was having to listen to the doctor say, “Amanda, there’s no heartbeat, ” and I was having to let go of who I never got to hold.

It was just 12 weeks, but she was a part of me in way that only she and 3 others have ever been, and that’s long enough. She is my daughter, and I am a mother of 4, and I do have the need to share her life with others. But all I really know about her is that we wanted her so much, and that we were already so in love with her, and that she had already brought us so much joy.  So I just had to say to God, “I would like to tell people about her, but what do I say?  What is her purpose?  What is her destiny?”   And this is what He said…

Tell them she was formed by My hand, made in My image, and she is beautiful.  Her purpose is joy, and her destiny is holiness, and that is why she is here – to bring Me joy, in holiness.

This is her story -  that she was fearfully and wonderfully made, and known by God even before she was formed in her mother’s womb.  And she was loved by Him, and by us.

We have named her Arianna Joy - Arianna meaning most holy, and Joy meaning joy.  She has brought us much joy.  I love saying her name, and I love seeing it in writing.

Arieanna Joy Collage