Love to Zaria

08/30/2011 at 11:39 am | Posted in Friends, Love, Love to Zaria | 245 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

I can’t write this without crying.

Just a few days after this photo was taken, my friend Hope (bottom right) went into labor at 21 weeks pregnant.

Twin girls were born.

Abigail was stillborn. And little Zaria, who survived the NICU for just more than a month, left this world on Sunday morning.

The emergency delivery happened while Hope and her family were on vacation very far from home. I just can’t imagine. The good thing is that they were visiting family, so they had a place to stay. And a car to borrow for countless trips to and from the hospital. But they’ve been displaced, with two kids who miss life back home.

The family had to break their lease here in North Carolina and move their belongings into temporary storage. They’ve also had to put their pets (including a flock of backyard chickens) into foster care.

But soon, they’ll return home, carrying an unimaginable burden of loss and grief.

Here is a photo of Zaria. You can see Hope’s hand beside her:

Hope for Zaria

Here is Hope holding Zaria for the very first time, on Wednesday:

And here is Luke giving his daughter some comfort:

In Hope’s words:


From the early ‘honeymoon’ week Zaria introduced us to what a strong little fighter she was. She faced chronic lung disease, grade 3 brain bleeds, and heart surgery within the first few weeks of her stay. Every time she met these obstacles we were all surprised because she didn’t want to show us any signs of her distress.

As she healed from each trauma we breathed a collective sigh of relief. We spent hours and hours at her bedside peering into a plastic womb and getting to know our littlest daughter. When possible we held her head and feet as she spread out her toes and caressed our fingertips as we sought to soothe her and her us.

Finally we met the scariest and biggest challenge, the life-threatening gut disease NEC. She didn’t show a sign as most babies do, but eventually a bloody diaper and failing body signals finally sent her back to the O.R. to have a little over half of her gut removed. We waited and loved her for just a very few days before more signs of NEC were detected. This was only showing on an x-ray, as she showed no signs of deterioration and was revisiting the characteristics we saw in that original ‘honeymoon phase.’

After holding such strong hope for our girl through all the ‘you must give up care’-s for her from the doctors, we could not allow our minds to fathom that she had more of the disease. The surgeon finally realized that it was futile to convince us as we saw the glimmer of hope in her words of “most likely will not live”. ‘Most likely’ can’t convince two loving parents who want with all their hearts for their daughter to survive the NICU and come home with them. The doctor realized she would have to show us proof.

After an exploratory bedside surgery and a photograph of the perforated gut and decaying tissue, we finally began to swallow our hope for saving our daughter.

Still she showed great health in her micro-preemie way. We were given free reign of holding her and spending hours of ‘kangaroo care,’ or skin-to-skin loving. On Saturday we starting noticing the signs of health deterioration and watched as she began to wince more in pain. We spent one last night holding, singing, loving, cherishing and getting to know our daughter.

On Sunday morning, August 28, we realized we should let go (I couldn’t use the term ‘withdraw care’ because what mother can really withdraw care of their child?)

Luke and I stood by her bedside singing lullabies and caressing and reassuring our daughter of what was to happen, how she would be released from the pain of her body and would always be loved by her family. We told her how countless people who had not even met her loved her and supported her journey. The nurse removed the tape holding on her breathing tube and Zaria quickly yanked it out of her mouth.

Finally! She had been trying to do that for a few days. I held her warm body to my bare chest and soothed her fears. She lay in Luke’s lap at sunrise by the window; and as her heart faintly beat she lightened our loads as she flew away home. We studied her beautiful face (looking much like her brother’s), stroked her reddish brown hair and held her little fingers.

How do we get through the countless moments of sadness, desire, uncertainty, and loss? One moment at a time.

We love, have always loved and will continue to love this sweet strong soul who honored our lives with her presence.

Her loving brother has proclaimed and taught us these words with each meal’s blessing: “LOVE TO ZARIA!”


I have felt so helpless, sending up prayers and hugging my children extra tight. Until a couple of weeks ago, when I realized I can help in a way that’s bigger than just me. I have a platform.

So here I am, asking you to help my friend and her sweet family.

To dig into your pockets and your hearts and help alleviate some of the stress of hospital bills, lost income and mounting expenses back home.

Some amazing people have rallied together to help me host this fundraiser. Their contributions and kindness toward perfect strangers are overwhelming.

Check out all of the wonderful items up for grabs in this giveaway:

Featured Sponsor:  Scandinavian Child // Svan high chair

Petunia Pickle Bottom // Touring Tote
North American Bear Company // $100 gift certificate
Jam Jewelry Designs // $100 gift certificate
Charm Design // FOUR zipper pouches (valued at $25 each)
Modern Nursery // $50 gift certificate (and, if at least $50 is spent over the original $50, the company will donate an additional 10% of the difference)
Emma Dear Vintage Goods // $50 gift certificate
chock full of … // custom name banner
Hot Pink and Sequins // set that includes headband, earrings, ring
Michelle Smith Designs // Watercolor flowers pillow
Sweetpea Prints // $40 gift certificate
Epona & Oak // new baby gift basket (includes Coconut Milk & Oatmeal Organic Baby Soap from Ablutions Organic Skin Care, Organic Shea Butter Baby Lotion from Ablutions Organic Skin Care, an adorable handmade Bunny from Mr. Sogs Creatures, and a 30-minute massage from Epona & Oak)
Roulette Vintage // $25 gift certificate + vintage apron
Brilliant Handmade // $25 gift certificate
The Blooming Tulip // set of personalized stationery
paperbird (available at Epona & Oak) // set of notecards
Marbles Kids Museum
// Family 4-Pack

For a $5 minimum donation, you could win one of these awesome prizes. My goal is to raise $1,000 for Hope and her family. You can make your donation by clicking on the “donate” link at the bottom of this post, or in the right-hand sidebar. All funds will go directly into a PayPal account for the family.

Leave a comment below letting us know that you’ve donated, and please provide your email address (which will not be displayed publicly) so that we’ll be able to reach you if you win.

For ONE extra entry in the giveaway, leave a comment below telling me one way you’re going to help spread the word about the “Love to Zaria” fundraiser. Think Facebook, Twitter, email. Link back to this post, and please use the #love2zaria hashtag.

Here’s a sample tweet: “Help a family in need and enter to win one of many cool prizes: {link} #love2zaria”

The giveaway will close at midnight EST on Tuesday, September 20. I’ll draw the winners at random and will announce here the following day, along with the grand total of your donations.

Thank you for opening your hearts.

Love to Zaria



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  1. Oh my goodness… sending them all my best wishes. You’re a wonderful friend to do this, Suzanne. I donated and will tweet to spread the word.

  2. This is where social media meets compassion ~ beautifully done Suzanne ~ going to donate now and sharing via Twitter, our FB Fan page, and will be adding a badge to my site for the month. Blessings for comfort ~

  3. I cannot begin to imagine the strength it takes to have a child in NICU. will share on fb and tweet as well as donate.

  4. Suzanne, I always love reading your blog when I see a facebook post and take a moment to go look. Thanks for snapping me back to reality that NONE of my problems matter because I have 3 healthy wonderful children. Such a sad story for your friend and my heart aches for them. I am donating as soon as I post this. I look forward to seeing how much you can raise for your friends!

  5. Oh, Suzanne, these are the moments that I am most grateful as a parentless woman that I joined the “mommy blogger” group and met you. Thank you for sharing both Zaria’s and Abigail’s story with us. My heart hurts for this couple and their family and friends. I donated in honor of Zaria and Abigail. I’m certain that they were met by two angels.
    Ben’s story is here.
    Audra’s is here.
    Much love and light,

  6. There are simply no words to say to ease the pain…but know that I am praying like mad for this family and their beautiful angels.
    I will do anything that I can to help this family.

  7. I have donated and will share on facebook, I can only hope there will be overwhelming support to relieve some financial suffering. My heart and prayers are with this family.

  8. Shared on facebook and tweeted as @arimethia. I really hope and pray that your fundraising goal is exceeded! I long to make this family a meal and take their older kids to the park for the day. I hope they are getting as much social support as they need.

  9. Suzanne, you have really amazed me with what you have been able to do with your voice and “platform”. Your compassion and love for our “circle of friends” – your extended family always – is so appreciated and continues to inspire. Thank you for your creative passion and for reminding us that compassion from strangers exists – you just have to know how to reach out …

  10. Suzanne, I’m so sorry. How sad. And how incredible, too. I donated – sorry it couldn’t be more. I also sent out your tweet, have the button and am going to go post it on TM, as well. Much love to you and to your friend and her family. I will keep them all in my thoughts.

  11. I tweeted, and donated, and I’ll post, and put up a badge. I can’t even imagine what this would feel like. Please tell Hope people will remember her beautiful daughters.

  12. I’m so sorry for their loss. This is a beautiful memorial to both babies. I just donated, and the family is in my prayers.

  13. What a beautiful but heartbreaking story of love and loss. I’ve got to be honest I almost always click off these stories because it’s just so difficult on my psyche right now. But this one just called to me. I had to read and I’m glad I did. I will tweet and donate and post the badge because this family and Zaria and Abigail are on my heart now.

    As hard as it was for you, thank you for sharing this.

    • Okay, I donated and already put up the badge 🙂

  14. Oh Suzanne, this is such a sad update since the last time we chatted 😦 I’m so sorry for their loss, both of them. You are amazing for putting this together. I donated and am off to share it with my Facebook page and Twitter. I hope you smash that $1,000 goal.

  15. oh my goodness. as the mom of preemie boys who stayed almost 3 months in the ICN, my heart breaks for them. off to spread the word + donate.

  16. Donated, and I wish I could do more than just that amount.

  17. aw so sorry. I donated 5 dollars. Prayers…Jeremiah 29:11

  18. I shared this link on Facebook, I hope many, many people come to help. Please know that Abigail and Zaria are in the hearts of many people now.

  19. My heart just breaks for this family. I’ve donated and shared this with my readers via Facebook & Twitter. Bless you for your work on this.

  20. Suzanne, I donated. My son was in the NICU for 2 weeks, and it was the hardest time of my life. I am so sorry to hear what your friend has gone through. My heart goes out to them.

  21. Just donated. As a new mom, I just can’t imagine the heartbreak this family must be feeling. I hope that with time they are able to only remember fondly the short time they had with their sweet girls.

  22. I donated & posted to fb & twitter. I, too, hope you shatter your goal! I will be thinking of & praying for these girls every time I hug my boys today.

  23. Suzanne,
    You have touched my heart this afternoon and I couldn’t help but shed a few tears for this beautiful family and especially for their two daughters. We all have our own problems, but after reading this, not one person’s problems compare to this family’s tragedy. Please let your friend know,
    to have hope in tomorrow, have faith in the everlasting, and take comfort in the love of friends and family. I have donated to this worthwhile cause, forwarded an e-mail and want to thank you for your loving, generous and caring heart. Aunt Mauree

  24. Cant even imagine. A small dontationdoesn’t feel like enough. Many many prayers.

  25. I don’t normally read these type of post but saw it on Baby Rabies FB and couldn’t click away without helping. My heart goes out to their family but mostly to the mommy that lost 2 precious lives.

  26. I came across this story through Jill @ Baby Rabies…this family will be in my prayers as they grieve unimaginable loss. I was happy to donate.

  27. My heart breaks for them. I donated. Wish it could have been more.
    Will hug my little miss a little tighter tonight for sure.

  28. Oh honey, how awful. I’ve made a donation, and will be re-blogging this on my blog shortly (and I’ll add the button as well). Biggest hugs to you and your friend and her family.

  29. Oh this breaks my heart. I donated and will spread the word via my blog’s facebook page and twitter.

  30. Praying for this family. I have 10 month old twins and my heart just aches for this Mom. Will go hug them extra today. Thank you for doing this for them!

  31. I can’t even imagine. So many tears. I donated $20. You’re doing an amazing thing for your friends!

  32. Helping spread the word on Facebook

    We had a 30 week preemie, so this is near and dear to my heart. Off to twitter and will blog about it later on tonight. Thank you again for doing this.

  33. This is so heartbreaking. I had to stop my baby boy’s swing and kiss, then catch my 3 year old to give him hugs and kisses and thank God my boys are healthy. What strength Hope and her husband have! I have made a donation and I will be spreading the word on Facebook. My prayers are with the family.

  34. I have reposted from Scandinavian Child on Facebook.

  35. Tears were rolling down my face by the end of this post. My first son was born 9 weeks early so I understand some of the heartache the family went through but we were lucky and have a beautiful healthy 6 year old now. My heart hurts so much for this family. I donated and I hope every penny you are raising for them helps to heal them just a little tiny bit!

  36. this made me think of all my little babies that I was able to care for and were lost when I was their nurse in L&D and NICU. I will always have a special place in my heart for them. I donated and posted on FB about Zaria and hope you make your donation goal.

  37. Good job Sue! So gracious, kind and heartbreaking.

  38. Heartbreaking 😦 I just donated and will share in FB and twitter

  39. I made a donation, but am also happy to spread the word. Such a wonderful cause–I hope this goes well.

  40. Wow, thank you for sharing this. As a soon-to-be mother and someone who has had close family members go through the same type of loss, I will be praying for them continuously.

  41. this story broke my heart. I donated $5.

  42. As a mom who spent time in the NICU with a baby this story breaks my heart. I donated and wish I could give even more.

  43. I’m here thanks to Somer. Having lost my son at 23 weeks last year, I have a taste of what they’re going through – though it is different for everyone and I only lost one baby (two others through miscarriage also but it’s even more intense when you can hold them – at least for me). I will hold them in my heart and share their story. In writing about my journey over the last year and now, working with people who are grieving, this kind of loss never gets easy to hear about. It devastates families every single day in shocking numbers and no one knows what to do or say.
    Thank you for doing something for them. I hope others in their lives rally too – delivering food, holding space for their tears, holding them. It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a village to mourn one too.
    with love…

  44. My heart aches for them. Sending love, prayers, hugs, and a donation. Will be sharing this via facebook.

  45. Prayers for the family and your entire group of friends as you all grieve together. Since I don’t have kids of my own, I can only imagine the heartbreak they feel. I donated, tweeted and fb’d. You’re doing an amazing thing, Suzanne…for freely you have received, freely give.

  46. I just donated. Many hugs to your friend & her family as they struggle though their loss. Suzanne, what a wonderful way to support Hope & her family & give beautiful tribute to Zaria’s too-short life.

  47. I shared on facebook & twitter. I will continue to do so.

  48. My heart hurts for that family
    Donated & sharing!

  49. […] had a difficult time breathing while I reading about Zaria, a tiny fighter who graduated from her month-long NICU stay but never left through the […]

  50. I am friends with Laurie LoCicero. She just told me about little Zaria today. My heart was broken. My daughter, who is 16 now, was also a preemie, so, I could relate to a lot of Hope’s story. Hope, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that Abigail and Zaria are in a much better place and you will see them again oneday! I will share your story with my friends on Facebook. I know it will touch them as it has truly touched me. With much love, Connie South

  51. I donated. You did a great job with pulling together such a thoughtful tribute.

  52. I also had to blog about Zaria, which means I’m tweeting, too. ❤

  53. Donated and oh, my heart aches for her loss. What a sweet friend you are.

  54. Shared on FB and Twitter.

  55. Just donated and wanted to thank you tremendously for sharing this story. My pregnant heart is aching for these incredibly courageous parents. I can only begin to imagine their strength and pain. Zaria was such a fighter. Hope her loving parents can keep her memory alive by fighting just as hard for peace and comfort. They will be in my prayers.

  56. My whole heart goes out to their entire family. I have donated. I will be praying for their angels and their family.

  57. I will share their story via Twitter and Facebook.

  58. Just reposted on FB and will post on Twitter tomorrow.

  59. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I know how hard it is to loose a child. My son was born early and with multiple health problems and he only lived for 4hours. I made a donation to your family.

  60. Mason’s Cause may be able to help. If not financially, the mom who started it lost her little boy to SIDS.

  61. Such sadness….I was very moved by the story and their strength in such a time of stress and tragedy. I’ve donated and will encourage others to do the same. Sending a lot of love and positive thoughts even though I don’t know them…

  62. God bless this family. I’ve donated but more importantly will pray for this family.

  63. I donated!
    Blessings to the family and to you, Suzanne, for coordinating this effort.

  64. I donated. I only wish we had more to give to this family. My heart aches for them.

  65. You have such compassion and love that you share with your family and friends. We’ve donated and I have also sent an email. Love to you always!

  66. Posted on my facebook. I’ll be spreading the word in many ways.

  67. I donated! Thank you so much for doing this Suzanne. I can’t even imagine what this family is going through.

  68. I donated.
    You are such a good friend to coordinate this whole thing.
    Praying for them.

  69. I tweeted about this.

  70. I tweeted and will continue to tweet!/bkeepsushonest/status/108898978166358016

  71. I donated. Only wish we had more to give.

  72. I posted a link on Facebook. Here’s hoping for more help from friends!

  73. What a wonderful thing you are doing for them! Thank you so much. I just donated.

  74. I tweeted this and will definitely continue! I also did a tweet from my work @babycenter

  75. Just shared on my FB wall and my Blog’s FB wall as well. ((HUGS)). Thank you again!

  76. I read this, and cried as I am in a similar stage of pregnancy as when she went in labor. So sad, my heart goes out to this family. I just donated.

  77. Such a strong family! They will be in my prayers. I have donated and will encourage others to do as well.

  78. I shared on Facebook and tweeted also.

  79. It wasn’t much, but I donated. Thank you for doing this. You are a good friend.

    And I’ll tweet this too.

  80. I donated in honor of my little niece Maya, who was born just over a month ago at Duke, and also spent time in the NICU. You might also want to look into getting a PAT box from Caleb Ministries for your friend. CM was a huge source of hope and healing for me after I lost my sweet baby in 2007. I will share the link to this page on facebook.

  81. I donated, and wish I could do so much more. Hugs to their family, and to Zaria.

  82. I donated, and I’m sorry I can’t do more.

    Praying for them…

  83. Tweeted (!/tiffanyblitz/status/108907666948104192), and also shared on Facebook!

  84. […] A very dear friend of mine, Suzanne from pretty*swell has a friend who needs help. Her friend Hope was pregnant with twins and went into labour at 21 weeks. Baby Abigail was a stillborn and her sister Zaria gave her all at the NICU for over a month. She went to play with her sister and other baby angels who have left far too soon. You can read the story here.  […]

  85. Sending love to your friend & her family. I am so sorry for their loss & for what they are going through now. I will share your post & hopefully people can give what they can – even if just good thoughts and hugs.

  86. donated. I went into preterm labor at 26.5 weeks, but she stayed put. My heart goes out to all preemie parents. Prayers for this sweet family.

  87. We donated! Thanks Suzanne for doing this. Our hearts go out to the whole family. We can’t wait to give them a big hug when they come back.

  88. posted to my facebook page

  89. I donated.

  90. Sending all our love to the little angels and their family. We’ve made a donation.

  91. I donated immediately, I cannot imagine the grief of this family… it is just a constant reminder to live life to the fullest because you just never know what tomorrow will hold.

  92. I blogged about it and will be praying for them. xxo

  93. I also posted on FB, hoping that if nothing else more thoughts and prayers are headed their way!

  94. My heart goes out to this family! I donated to Zaria’s fund, and I hope the family finds some relief in the near future.

  95. I made a donation and will be liking this to post on my facebook.
    I hope you surpass your goal today!!!!

  96. I donated. My heart breaks for this family. I lost my own twin girls last October at 22 weeks. Only the love and peace of God can carry us through.

  97. I also posted a link on my facebook profile.

  98. commented. heart breaking but rejoicing in her precious life. thank you for doing this. im sure you bless this family beyond belief.

    i donated.

    kblair.s.mcleod (at)gmail(DOT)com

  99. tweeted

    will also put on my blog facebook page

    thank you for doing this!!

    kblair.s.mcleod (at)

  100. Thanks so much for doing this for the McMullan family. Donated today– our thoughts have been with them during this time, and I’m glad we can do something to help.

  101. These wonderful people are worth skipping lattes & cakepops.

  102. I donated! Sending many prayers to this family, and will be holding my babies extra tight. Thank you for posting this, I absolutely hope that they find peace and comfort, and can forgo some of the cost of this experience.

  103. I donated to this wonderful family. Love and prayers.

  104. Made a donation, shared it around and will continue getting the word out!

  105. I donated. A friend of mine went through something similar last week at 31weeks pregnant and it just breaks my heart. I am so thankful every day for my healthy and happy baby boy, and I wish there was more that I could do to help families in need. Thank you for posting this.

  106. I donated, and am sending love and virtual hugs to this family. Thank you for helping them.

  107. I made a donation today and only wish it could have been bigger. I am hugging my boys even tighter and sending love to your friend.

  108. I don’t know if anything will come of this, but I also shared this story with the Ellen show ( Maybe some other people could do the same? I suggested that if nothing else, she might be able to point to the link where people can donate. I know it’s a long shot, but maybe something would come out of it. Sending love to this family.

  109. You have no idea who I am, but I found your story and was moved to tears. I am so very sorry for your losses, and as a mother myself I can’t even imagine the pain you have endured. I have donated to the fundraiser and posted about little Zaria on my own blog, in the hopes of calling more to action for you. Please do take care – you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  110. I tweeted about this.

  111. […] Svan high chair is the featured prize in our Love to Zaria […]

  112. I am so heartbroken for your loss. I hope that I will be able to help in a more concrete way as a fellow CHS family in the coming weeks and months as you come back home.

  113. Our family donated, and we spread the word to our extended family and friends, as well. We are also local in NC (same homeschool group) and will do our best to help from that end:-)

  114. What a wonderful way to help! It’s amazing seeing so much support pouring out for this family! We’ve donated and will send a tweet/facebook post now!

  115. We have been pulling and praying for Zaria since July 21st when she arrived early. It has been a rollercoaster ride feeling hopeful one momment and the next heart-broken. I feel so blessed that I got to meet Zaria and witness a beautiful example of how precious life is. It’s been an honor to see what an amazing father and mother Luke and Hope are and we are so proud of them.
    My family appreciates any support anyone can offer Luke and Hope and their kiddos, as they are looking at a difficult road ahead re-building their lives. Thank you so much Suzanne for creating a way for myself and others to help.
    I donated to the fund and will be sharing the site on my Facebook account. Love and hugs,
    (cousin in Sparks, NV)

  116. I made a donation.

  117. Donated but if I win, send Hope my prize. My heart hurts for her.

  118. donation made from a fellow hmn mama! this is so heartbreaking. will post to my facebook wall as well.

  119. My heart aches for these parents losing their twins. It was only a few months ago I was pregnant and praying for a healthy baby boy – which I am blessed to have. I donated to help this family in need.

  120. I donated and send love and light to this family during this very difficult time.

  121. *sigh* Just too much loss in this world. My heart goes out to her and her family. Will donate and help spread the message.

  122. Just donated. A good friend just lost her baby girl at 23 weeks. This hit a little to close to home. 😦 My heart goes out to that little family.

  123. […] how much is in the Love to Zaria bank account right […]

  124. […] has put together an amazing fundraiser for Hope and her family. (You can also go directly to the donation page through the button on my sidebar […]

  125. Hard to read that and not donate especially with all people close to me having babies and thinking “what if….”. My heart aches for your friends. Will post on fb in the hopes of reaching more folks. It’s a good thing you doo Suzanne.

  126. I am in the HMN Raleigh group with Hope and I am so glad you have set this up for them. They are a wonderful family and our thoughts and prayers go out to them. If I win please give it to Hope.

  127. I just donated. Sending lots of love too!

  128. I also linked up here on my blog & tweeted.

  129. […] Love to Zaria  […]

  130. I shared this story on my bog

  131. […] close to her who have lost their twins. Delivered at 21 weeks, one was stillborn and the other, Zaria passed away at only one month old. Not only that, this all happened when the family was out of town so they have been displaced and […]

  132. I just also donated, wish I could do more.

  133. I left a small donation, wish I could do more. My heart is bleeding for Hope and her family. I’m posting this on my facebook and also in my Mom’s Club and MOPS groups.

    Love to Zaria

  134. I donated. I will be keeping this dear, sweet family in my thoughts and prayers.

  135. I’ve also tweeted about this the past few days as far as letting other people know about it:!/mistymathews/status/109312211905810432. I would love to see this family’s needs completely taken care of!

  136. I donated

  137. I also mentioned it in our “So Glad Today is our Friday” blog post:

  138. You have put together a powerhouse of hope for this family through this! Amazing prizes. Prayers for Abigail and Zaria’s family. Beautiful names.

  139. I donated to this precious family and will certainly spread the word!

  140. Donating right now. I have spent many, many weeks over many years in the NICU with my micro preemies. Thank you for doing this for them. Nothing compounds grief more than financial stress and worrying about how to care for your family while they mourn and try to find their sea legs. It will make a difference like you can not understand.

  141. i made a donation. being a mother of twin girls i can’t even imagine what you and your family are going through but sending lots of love & prayers your way. i am also posting this to facebook for others to see. what a wonderful thing youre doing. ❤

  142. As a mama, I can imagine how excruciating this loss must have been. I wish we could do more, but I hope this donation helps.

  143. Our son spent a week in the NICU following his birth in May and it was the most terrifying experience. I can’t imagine the heartbreak your friends are experiencing.

    My family is contributing to your fund, and I will be sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter.

  144. Facebook posted!

  145. Just made a donation and put it out on my FB page, I hope it helps. Please tell Hope and Luke that many loving wishes are coming their way.

  146. I made a small monetary donation. Every little bit helps.

  147. This story breaks any mother’s heart. I hope these donations and support from so many people will ease their burden a little.

  148. I donated.

  149. I donated. Posting on FB & my blog as well. Love to the entire family from a complete stranger.

  150. I’m praying for this family. I had preemie twin boys with a monthlong NICU stay so stories like this hit home for me.

  151. Thank you for setting up this fundraiser, Suzanne. I have donated and spread the word.

  152. Suzanne -Thank you so very much for providing this way to help. We have donated, and we’ve also spread the word via facebook and our personal blog.

    To Others:
    Hope is Stephen’s sister, and we can not thank you all enough for your prayers, and any contribution. This has been extremely difficult for the family – your acts of kindness are so appreciated!!! Thanks for sharing your love!!

  153. I donated and am asking my friends and loved ones to help as well. If I win any prize, please pass it on to the family. Any support we can offer during this time.

  154. We donated and are hoping that this gift can help to alleviate a small amount of worry from their hearts.

  155. I will spread the word on my facebook I know many people that would love to help and pray for this family. prayers&love. Heather

  156. […] you so much to those of you who, having found about Hope’s story through my blog, decided to help out. The fundraiser/giveaway will be going on for three more weeks […]

  157. I donated – I work with a micro-preemie focused organization (Graham’s Foundation) and I know how difficult a road this family walked and the difficulties still to come. They can request a free remembrance care package from Graham’s Foundation by going to It’s not much, but it can help with healing.

  158. oh suzanne, i’m so sorry to hear this… my heart goes out to your friends, i simply cannot imagine what they are going through. so much loss in such a short time. i donated, i sure hope every little bit helps alleviate some of the day to day so they can focus on each other.

  159. This is terribly sad. I just made a donation and will spread the word on Facebook and Google+.

  160. I don’t know how I came across this beautiful and yet tragic story, but the message these angels bring is one I needed to hear. I will pray for Hope and her husband so that they can heal and draw closer and find more beauty in life. And I will donate to the fund as well.

    • As a follow up, I just made my donation.

  161. While I don’t know the family, my heart aches for them. I hope this donation is able to helping some small way.

  162. I am so heartbroken about this… but what strength their family is showing! And good support is hard to find on any day, but the amazing support of so many is truly a blessing. I posted this on Facebook and pray you get above and beyond the financial support needed for their family, and, more importantly, even more prayers for peace, healing, and continued joy in the midst of such a horrendous loss. We love you, Abigail and Zaria!

  163. […] We’ve raised more than $5,000 for Hope and her family!!!! […]

  164. What a beautiful thing to do for this family. I am just so sorry for their losses. I donated.

  165. I tweeted @MotherUnadorned

  166. I came from the PPB facebook page. Who knew that my obsession with fancy diaper bags could have introduced me to this heartbreaking story, these sweet girls, this strong family. This post brought me to tears. Thank you to Hope for letting us in. I am so sorry for your loss. Your story will stick with me for a very long time. I hope that you, your husband and your family find comfort and peace ❤ Bee

    I donated.

  167. What a heartbreaking thing for these parents. I donated, glad to be a part of something that hopefully helps them.

  168. Oh, and I also tweeted the link. Hope some of my followers join me & donate!

  169. I’m so sorry that your family is going through such a difficult time. Our prayers are with you.

  170. We donated and we will spread the word through friends and Facebook.

  171. I am truly so sad for your loss. I pray that God will give your family all the strength that is needed to get through this time. I will post on my FB and my customer’s. God Bless

    The McCorts

  172. I’ve just read Hope & Luke’s story. My heart breaks for them. Grieving for the loss of your children while dealing with such financial strains away from your home…I know you have a long road ahead of you. Sending prayers and a small donation. Praying that you will find peace.

  173. I am praying you and your family are finding peace and comfort in knowing Abigail and Zaria are together again. I was and am continued to be amazed by your strength and courage. Sending lots of prayers and hugs your way.

  174. As a mother of a micro preemie myself, I can only imagine what they are going through. I’ve not experienced the loss of one, let alone two beautiful babies, but I will pray for the family.


  175. I have posted a link to this blog/fundraiser on my facebook page

  176. I contributed, and I pray that this outpouring of love and support will help your family heal and find peace. God loves you and so do so many around you. Hugs…

  177. Hope & Luke,
    We just want to say how sorry for your loss, but then again how blessed you were to have such an a angel for the time you did have her ; in fact you were blessed with two angels! Charlie and I know sometimes you get through it at a min. at a time! Love & Payars
    Shirley Pratt

  178. This is just heartbreaking. Happy to help – I donated and will spread the word.

  179. Tweeted (@FarewellStrangr) and Stumbled it too for good measure. Hope that will help people find it.

  180. I donated and send my prayers of strength and love to Luke and his family.
    I haven’t seen Luke since he was in high school and was friends with my daughter.

  181. We donated as well…. with love.

  182. (found this story via WRAL’s Mom Blog)

    I donated and will be remembering this family in my prayers in the days to come. Tonight, I’m holding my little dude even tighter.

  183. What a heartbreaking story. I donated, and I will add their family to my prayers.

  184. Hi,

    I stumbled upon this story in the “Go Ask Mom” section of WRAL’s website and it hit so close to home that I had to donate. My husband and I are expecting our first child, a girl, and I’m 24 weeks along right now. Hope and I were close to the same schedule as far as our pregnancies go, and I can’t even imagine the loss and hurt she and her family are feeling right now. Thank you for doing this, you are an awesome friend. I plan to forward this story to all of my family, friends, and co-workers who are parents.

  185. Much love and comfort to this family. I donated and hope they find solace in due time.

  186. Thank you so much Suzanne for creatively calling in all of this support for our family. While there is at this time a lot of pain and confusion due to the loss of Abigail and Zaria it is such an amazing and humbling experience to read your posts and the comments of so many people who have given of themselves. Even as we sit three thousand miles from our home we feel completely supported not only by our friends and family but also by a huge community of people(mostly complete strangers) who read our story and actively responded from the fullness of their hearts. Thank you…all of you for letting us know that we are not alone.

  187. We are so sorry to hear of this. We have donated and shared the story on Facebook. We hope that our donation will join with the others to provide some solace to Hope and her family and help them get home.

  188. My heart just breaks for Hope and this family. I have made a donation and will try to donate more in the days ahead if I can.

  189. Oops, oh, and I will also tweet about it. I’m realsarah on twitter.

  190. Just shared this on Twitter (I’m gogorabbit.) Sending love to Hope, Luke, & family. xo

  191. […] In just one week, we’ve raised more than $6,500 for the Love to Zaria fund. […]

  192. This story really touched my heart. I made a donation, and will encourage others to do so as well. I hope that together we can provide some solace to Hope and her family and help them get home. She and her family will be in my prayers.

  193. I have posted this on Facebook as well. Constantly thinking of them and sending them love.

  194. My heart aches for this family and I can’t even imagine what they are going through! I made a donation and hope that it blesses them. Thank you for what you are doing for your sweet friends.

  195. My donation is in honor of my baby friend, Charlie, who was also born prematurely.

  196. I have been a blog lurker off and on and never ever commented or participated in giveaways,etc. But wow- what a beautiful vehicle to help gather support and prayers for this family in their time of need. We have donated and are grateful that you offered us a platform to help! God bless.

  197. i made a donation! what a heart breaking story to read!

  198. i have shared on my facebook fanpage-

  199. It is so difficult to make sense of why these things happen. I pray for this family to find strength and meaning in this incredibly difficult time. My son was born at 32 weeks and spent almost 7 weeks in the NICU. We are blessed to have him and it is in his name that I make a donation to this family.

  200. I made a donation and shared the story on facebook.
    I hope that their faith in God gives them the strength to get past this tragic event. My heart breaks for this family. Their story serves as a reminder of how blessed I am to have my twins. I needed that this morning. Thank you.

  201. I just made a donation of ten dollars. I was so saddened by this story that I had to get up and kiss my 5mo daughter for Zaria. xoxox

  202. I made a small donation and am happy to be able to support this family
    who gave so much love to their daughter. I’ll post the link on Facebook.

  203. My heart goes out to this family. They are in my thoughts. Made a donation.

  204. I’ve donated $10 and will donate more soon.

  205. […] be back Monday, with a Love to Zaria update. One week left! Things have really started to slow down, but I’m hoping we can make […]

  206. This story brought me to my knees. I pray that God not only covers ALL of their finances but blesses their marriage and family. I feel blessed to have made a donation.

  207. Hope and family, we have been thinking of you all this time and sending our love. I just donated and will post on FB. Please let me know how else we can help.

  208. […] This is how much we’ve raised for Hope and her family. […]

  209. I tweeted to encourage others to help provide love to Zaria!!/FrusTracey/status/113289009169567744 (and will continue to do so! They’re in my thoughts and prayers daily)

  210. I donated to assist in helping Hope and her family. This is such a heartbreaking story, and I will continue to spread the word so more people can hear about their struggles in an effort to encourage others to help, too. I think it’s wonderful that you’ve been so successful in your efforts thus far, and hope you’re able to keep it going!

  211. Sending donations and love and prayers to Hope and her family.

  212. I just made a donation. I’ll put up a link in my blog. My thoughts and prayers to the family.

  213. Donated. My heart breaks for Hope and her family.

    What a wonderful thing you’re doing. Many thanks to all the sponsors, too.

  214. Tweeted using the hashtag.

  215. My prayers are with this family. I donated and only wish I could do more for them. I can’t imagine what they’ve been through. I hope they find peace. God bless them and those two babies.

  216. I have just donated to this amazing movement. Good work Suzanne, I hope it can help alleviate a bit of their suffering at this time! I will send it by email as well!

  217. We just donated what we could and I am sharing this with my FB family. Tis was the toughest article to read, I barely made it through. Thoughts and prayers are with the family…

  218. Thanks for providing this opportunity for us provide a little help to a lovely family – erin and peyote

  219. […] The support we received from all corners of the country was immense.  In Reno my brother Peter (who put this site together)and his wife Kadie were there with us on our journey every step of the way and I thank them immensely for everything from crying with me to child care.  My parents helped out a lot too with transportation, housing, and child care.  In North Carolina Hope’s brother Stephen and his wife Victoria along with friends and members of our community gardens organized themselves to move and store literally all of our belongings including plants and chickens.  And then there is the incalculable support from hundreds of people we don’t even know which you can read about here. […]

  220. Sending healing thoughts to this family.

  221. Suzanne: Thank you so much for spearheading this effort. I so hope it provides a bit of relief.

  222. Luke and Hope, I dont know if you remember me but I was one of the RT’s that took care of little Zaria. From day one she was a fighter and we were all so amazed with the strength she had in her. I am so sorry for your loss and am even sadder that it happened to such great people. I hope that my donation can help in some small way and wish nothing but the best for you and your family.

    Love to Zaria…

  223. amazing! done and will tweet!

  224. Been praying for them. Almost forgot to make the actual donation. Here it is though. Not only hope you’ve reached the goal but surpassed it. Sent an email to some friends and family who are not so savvy with the modern social media.

  225. Donated! Prayers for the whole family.

  226. […] raised for the Love to Zaria […]

  227. I’m a day late but I hope my donation can still make it’s way to Hope and her family.
    Also, wanted to mention this website, which might be helpful going forward:

    Thanks for all your updates. Hope and her family are lucky to have you on their side Suzanne!

    • Thanks, Emily! Your donation will definitely be included. Thanks also for the link … pretty cool.

  228. […] I’ve been struggling to find the right words to describe the memorial Saturday for Abigail and Zaria. […]

  229. i keep wondering when is the drawing?

  230. also could you tell us what the total collected was for the family? Thanks.

  231. […] been asking for your help a lot lately. Between the fundraiser for my friend Hope’s family and the StrollerThon, I know you’re tired of hearing from […]

  232. My thoughts and prayers to the family. i keep wondering when is the drawing? done and will tweet! Luke and Hope, I dont know if you remember me but I was one of the RT’s that took care of little Zaria.

  233. amazing! Almost forgot to make the actual donation.

  234. We just donated what we could and I am sharing this with my FB family. Been praying for them.

  235. […] cute is this clutch?! even better, i won it off of suzanne’s “love to zaria” fundraiser.  ranja lee is super talented and pretty darn awesome for lending a helping hand […]

  236. prayers for the whole family..

    Neuse River North Carolina

  237. […] American Bear was a generous sponsor of our Love to Zaria fundraiser, and above all, is a friend to our little […]

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