It has been a little over a week since Avery died and I am beginning to work through the reality of our situation. Over the past few months there has been nothing but "in the moment". Those of you who know me well, know that I am a planner. Well that whole planner thing went right out the window after Avery was born. The bottom line is that it is simply not possible to plan anything when you have a sick baby. Things change minute by minute. So, I readjusted and tried to do what felt right at the time. That being said, we are now left to sift through the decisions that were made "in the moment".

As many of you know, during the time that Avery was sick, Shane changed jobs so that we could be closer to Avery and keep up with her care. Now trust me, there were other reasons why he quit. We knew it was possible that Avery would never come home and that we would still move from Fayetteville. "In the moment" I did not care how crazy it sounded to change jobs and move. Shane and I simply wanted to be close to our baby. Well the aftermath of all of this is that we have a house on the market in Fayetteville, a job in Little Rock, and basically no place to call home. We were so blessed to have Pulaski Heights Baptist Church offer their house for us to stay in, but we are coming up on our time to move on. The church and its members have been so kind and unbelievably giving and we are so thankful for their loving spirits. Anyways, Kaitlyn will be starting kindergarten in a few weeks and I am freaking out a little bit about how all of this is going to work out. I desperately want to be "home" and have some sense of comfort in my everyday life.

So after all this blabbing, basically I am in need of prayers. Please pray that this situation will work itself out. Pray our house will sell quickly...pray we can get somewhat settled before Kaitlyn starts school...pray that we as a family can remain glued together. I am scared, and I feel like I have very little control over things right now.



  1. Oh my heart goes out to you and your family. Remember that you have a loving Heavenly Father who is mindful of you and your family and he is watching over you. You continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. every time i read your blog, i am just overwhelmed at the connection and the memory of those early days. I REALLY don't say that to compare, as much as just..share that it's a feeling i can relate to....

    It's scary. I remember a feeling of "who am i now?" I was a youth minister and had to step down because even tho we "knew", we still didn't know how long we'd have her and there was no way to maintain the ym job AND have a toddler AND a sick baby that we may have home or in NICU at texas children's. About a week after we gave her back to God, I remember sitting on the edge of the bed just overcome with the feeling of "what do i do now that i have no job to distract me...and why did I quit? why didn't i wait? how will we pay this bill, etc..?" And i remember even MORE vividly, turning to God (like physically turning upward with my arms and body) and asking "this too, Lord? how do i carry THIS too? Isn't just losing her enough for me to focus on healing from and thinking about...why add all of this other stuff to deal with.."
    It was as if i was asking to just be able to ignore all the regular life stuff. it just didn't seem fair. But people step up.

    I can't imagine sending travis to school full time just after giving up cana. My heart is with you in that for sure!!

    peace and prayers...i'm proud of you for continuing to ask!!!


  3. AnonymousJuly 23, 2009

    Praying for you in Kentucky.

    "Have no anxiety at all, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

  4. Carissa, you have our prayers. We're praying that you would quickly sell your house and that you could feel as settled as possible very soon. We're praying Shane's job is going well and that Kaitlyn will love school and be well-adjusted wherever she starts (or finishes) her first year. We're also praying that your family not only stays glued together but continues to grow closer and stronger through the good times and bad. We're praying that Avery's life continue to touch people. We love you guys and are doing more than wishing your the best. We're praying for it!

  5. AnonymousJuly 23, 2009

    If I know anything from knowing your family for several years and keeping up with you through this momentous ordeal, I know that you have the perseverance and fortitude to push through this. Keep your heads as high as can be held and enjoy the reprieve from pain in getting Kaitlyn ready for her big new journey.
    My thoughts and tears are with you.


  6. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I've been following your family and am amazed at the strength in you all. Hugs from Utah, Chanda

  7. Linda BrennanJuly 23, 2009

    Aww sweetie your family has been in my thoughts and prayers for months now. I just pray that God will wrap his arm around you and keep you guys safe and give you the stregnth you need to get through all this. Your experience has changed MY life in sooo many ways....I try everyday to NOT be selfish and be very thankful for everything I have. God bless you all!

  8. AnonymousJuly 23, 2009

    Try to find peace in knowing that there is no way you can control what happens next. Keep breathing! Remember your worrying doesn't change the situation, it just makes you more anxious. Sending love your way.

  9. AnonymousJuly 23, 2009

    Praying every day... Hope the packing and painting goes smoothly this weekend.


  10. AnonymousJuly 23, 2009

    You are in our thoughts and prayers for peace, comfort, wisdom and many blessings in the days ahead!

  11. AnonymousJuly 23, 2009

    I just wanted you to know that I think about you guys everyday so just because I do not call you are still on my mind. I know that this is crazy to say but try not to worry and always remember that God is awesome and he will help you through. Give God all your worries and let him take care of you. I love you guys. If you need anything even if you just want to hang out please call me I am a good listener (that is what I do you know)! Love ya,
    Shawna Meyers

  12. Thanks for sharing your inner-most personal thoughts and feelings with us. I admire your strength and courage. I will continue to pray for you and your 'move' and changes that are up ahead. May God continue to wram his loving arms around you. Hang in there- know we are all here for you in the blogging worl and will pray, pray, pray.

  13. AnonymousJuly 23, 2009

    My dear friend,

    "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid, for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

    Please rest assured that even during difficult times, God has already worked through our situations, and he will never fail you or leave you. He is with you always, by your side to lean on and trust. When we let go God promises to take care of us! Peace is a possibility, and it is a promise from Jesus.

    Love you, Lindsey

  14. Your family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time.

  15. It's gonna be okay, you hear,it's gonna be okay. You keep your grace and strength. I don't know what else to say, but this!

  16. Hi Carissa,
    We are praying for you during this difficult period. May God give you and your family peace and may all his blessings be upon you.
    Big hugs from the UK.

  17. AnonymousJuly 24, 2009

    When the world seems a bit too much to take, our family resorts to a 'group hug' (it reminds us our 'circle' and allows us all to know that we are loved and no one is alone in that circle). So, grab Shane, Kaitlyn, and a picture of Avery and form a circle with your arms. Our family loves it and anyone is able to ask for it at any time. . . .
    Praying daily for you.
    Pittsburgh friend

  18. AnonymousJuly 24, 2009

    We're still here for you and so are our prayers... hang in there...

    Much love,

  19. Carissa,
    I just watched the memorial video and cried my eyes out. Avery is so beautiful! I think of you every day and all that your family has been through. Remember when our biggest problem was a really rude teacher? Wow, Avery's life puts everything in proportion. I miss you so much and I love you all.


  20. AnonymousJuly 25, 2009

    Carissa, I know you do not know me, but I have met Shane a few times. As you know, I have been a regular at posting comments on your blog. I have been so amazed at your openness and honesty about everything. I have felt for all of you all the way through your trials and experiences and have learned to love all of you. It is hard to know what to say to help you feel better, but just know that in my life's experiences I have learned the most valuable lesson: "Let Go and Let God." Each of us have to learn in our own way just what that means and how to do it. But it works. My love and best wishes and prayers continue with all your family. Goldie McGarrah

  21. AnonymousJuly 25, 2009

    Carissa, I know that you do not know me or my family, but I do want to extend a listening ear. I posted a response on you blog a little while back when I learned of your little girl passing. We too have recently lost our son, Andrew, do to complications as the result of CDH. He just passed on July 1st. We understand what you are going through because we are still trying to pick up the pieces ourselves. I lived at the Ronald McDonald house in Charleston, SC for the duration of Andrew's short life. My husband and daughter remained in Walterboro, SC during that time because he had work and she had school. I have never been seperated from my loved ones like that before, but I would do it again all over if I could just have my little boy back. If you ever wanted to talk to someone who shares you pain, feel free to contact me. I have an e-mail that I check often at whittenjh44601@yahoo.com. God Bless you and your family and I pray for you all often. Heather Whitten

  22. AnonymousJuly 25, 2009

    Praying that you look back on this time as a growing together time. As you know, God works in mysterious ways. Good always comes out of bad. xoxoxo
    Much love,

  23. AnonymousJuly 25, 2009

    Hi Shane, Carissa & Kaitlyn. My name is Jim Whitten and my family has just experienced the loss of our little boy on July 1st. He fought long & hard to overcome his battle with cdh & just wasn't able to fight any longer. I know what you are talking about when you say the feeling of getting back to normal. We had known since Nov. '08 about Andrew's complications and when he passed it was hard, yet comforting to know he is with God. We miss him every day & will never forget him & will always charish the time we had with him. My mother lost a child, my brother, when he was only about a month old(I was 1 at the time). My dad never wanted to remember him again. He made my mother get rid of anything & everything that had to with my brother. He never had a grave marker either. So when i got older and my dad passed away, I used the money that was left from his retirement account that my mom split with my 2 sisters and me & got my brother a beautiful marker. I will not be like that with my son. I want to remember him & never forget loving him. I know you will be okay. I have prayed for your family every since finding about Avery & will go on praying.