While the world prepares for a beautiful moment with their baby on their first Christmas, many parents celebrate in a different way. On this day 155 babies in the NICU in two hospitals are celebrating their first Christmas in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) because they were born too early. It is a difficult time when as a parent you are told that your baby will not be going home with you for Christmas. This is why The Gift of Life started this tradition of delivering cookies when founders Rosie and Marcus had their baby in the NICU. Through the years they started deliveiring hats and love bears that were made by the senior citizens at the Good Samaritan Village. This year they had two additional outside volunteers in the community that made bears. Thanks to these two ladies and the seniors from Good Samaritan Villahge, 155 babies in two hospitals received love bears and red hats for Christmas.
Founders Rosie and Marcus Moore along with miracle Kaleb and board member Anitra Manning delivered the hats and bears one by one to all the babies at FL Hospital with child life specialist Summer.
Winnie Palmer Hospital received their hats and bears in the volunteer office on the same day to distribute to their babies in the NICU.
Happy Thanksgiving 2018. Today is a day of feasting, family, friends, and making new fond memories. For many, it’s all about food. Passionate home chefs show off the best of their cooking skills. Passionate eaters show off their ability to put it all away.
For some, it’s a spiritual time as they reflect on goodness and count their blessings. The patriotic, philosophical, and political minded look to history to justify the day’s significance. To the lonely and the heartbroken this and any holiday that’s all about gathering is just another reminder of their sorrows. Their state is an opportunity for a miracle.
Extending love to someone that’s hurting can enrich your own joy this holiday season. At the Gift of Life, we extend love to the family of preemies in the NICU. It’s difficult not being able to bring your newborn home for the holidays. It can be heart wrenching to spend Thanksgiving in the NICU, hoping but not certain that your beautiful brand new baby will survive.
Such an experience tests faith, character, and family bonds. To these parents we offer love, encouragement, and support. They find hope in founders Rosie and Marcus’ testimony about their son Kaleb, who now thrives but was given less than a 10% chance of survival at birth.
Here at The Gift of Life we’ve established a tradition of celebrating birthdays by dedicating a blog post to the celebrant. Birthdays are extremely important occasions to us because their very meaning touches so close to home when home is what we’re all about; too many preemies don’t get to celebrate even turning one year old.
So we take a lot of joy when someone we know and love gets to celebrate another year of life. Today, we’d like to send out a very happy birthday greeting to our own Marcus Moore, co-founder of The Gift of Life.
Now Marcus is a special kind of guy, indeed. When his son Kaleb was born a preemie and needed special at-home care, Marcus stepped up and left his career to stay at home and take care of his newborn son.
Life is so precious that not one moment ought to be taken for granted, and Marcus realized this. Kaleb had defied the odds when he lived despite warnings from medical experts who said he wasn’t going to make it. And the sad fact is that a lot of preemies who have this prediction placed over them by doctors indeed perish, even if they survive a few years.
Marcus took it upon himself to oversee his son’s well-being firsthand. It’s rare to hear of a stay-at-home dad, but considering what it takes to take care of a preemie, Marcus took the position of stay-at-home dad to a whole other level – it’s what he wanted to do and it’s what had to be done.
And we can see the results of Marcus’ love and care for his preemie son. We have a living witness that serves as the evidence of this man’s prayers come true – Kaleb himself, who just so happened to have turned a whopping 7 years old last year.
In a world where broken homes and general brokenness is not uncommon men like Marcus Moore are of particular noteworthiness. No way would we at The Gift of Life let the day go by without extending to him our well wishes for Marcus’ birthday.
Happy Birthday Marcus Moore! You too are a gift of life.
Want to join in on the birthday celebration? Consider making a donation to The Gift of Life.
Like with most holidays, gift giving is often the first thing that comes to mind when Father’s Day rolls around. But the things that can be done to make this day extra special for dad aren’t limited to buying him presents – in fact, Father’s Day presents, for whatever reason, have a reputation for being quite awful. Of a truth, some gifts for dad are so bad that they’re just plain hilarious.
Men whose children have grown beyond toddlerhood are the ones most likely to suffer getting tacky neckties, musk-scented soap-on-a-rope, dress socks with “I heart dad” printed on them, or perhaps a toolbelt (so that he can remember just how much work is still lingering on his to-do list). Spectacular, isn’t it?
What happens when the only child a man has is still a baby, a newborn, by the time Father’s Day comes? What about if 2016 marks his first Father’s Day ever? How about those men whose child(ren) have passed on – such as if their baby was born a preemie and is either in the NICU or didn’t make it, and this is the first time this holiday has come since it happened? There’s no reason that any of these men should have to miss out on the celebration of their own fatherhood if they don’t want to.
4 Ways to Make Father’s Day Great for First Time Dads
Ease His Burdens
The ability to enjoy less stress on his special day can mean a lot more to dad than any new trinket or tool. While he likely has responsibilities that nobody else can manage but him, finding any way to take the load off his shoulders for the day is an excellent way to show him love and appreciation. For example, you might not be able to attend that business meeting with his pushy boss for him, but you can pick up his suit from the dry cleaners and take care of his other household chores. Note, however, that giving him the day off from responsibilities without having the work covered is not an effective way of easing his burdens – he’ll know full well that the work will just be waiting for him, all piled up for Monday.
Crown Him the VIP for the Day
Make his first Father’s Day, and every Father’s Day that follows special by treating him like a king. Let him have his way – even if only for this one day. Do those things that he’s been asking for but have yet to be done. Treat him like your very own VIP for the day. Giving dad this extraordinary care and attention may require laying your ego aside and biting your lip at times, but it’s worth it. He’ll feel the love and appreciation and you’ll have succeeded in achieving your goal of making his day great – hopefully, it won’t all go to his head!
Give Him Understanding
It isn’t just women and moms who crave to be listened to; dads like to have understanding too. Although every day is a great day to give fathers understanding, it should especially be done on Father’s day. This is especially important for first time fathers, even if they are the silent type, because their newfound fatherhood means that some big changes have taken place in their lives recently. It might be so that men are not always open to sharing feelings or emotions, but it doesn’t matter much if the dad in your life is this way. Just spend some time with him – even if it’s watching sports with him when you are anything but a sports fan.
Show Him Love
Real dads have earned their right to appreciation. They’ve earned their rest days, celebrations, honor, and respect – they give so much! They give according to what they have. It’s not the length of time spent as a father that matters, but the heart behind fatherhood that matters. Love is the best present that anyone could give, but sometimes the people that we love the most can go without feeling that love. On this Father’s Day, whether the man in your life is an experienced dad, a new father, or a dad whose child is gone, go out of your way to show him love and that will make this day one of the most special of them all. If you’re really focused on buying dad a great present this year, consider making a donation in his name to The Gift of Life.
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