Thursday, July 31, 2008

Footprints LIVE!

We had a great time yesterday on Alabama Live at WSFA! To see the video please click here. Peyton did a great job! She had fun talking on her 1st interview. She is just Precious! Beth also did an Amazing job! Glenn, my husband, also known as "Greg" did wonderful too! He has been incredible planning our golf tournament. Thank you so much Beth and Glenn for doing this interview!!! I think we all were a little(or maybe very) nervous. One thing about Live TV is there are no do-overs. What if we all lived our lives like we should, as if we were on LIVE tv? I think we see some pretty incredible things happen! A big thank you to Judd Davis, Kim Hendrix and Bethany Wales for arranging this interview. It is a HUGE help in allowing more people to learn about this special ministry. We continue to Praise the Lord for allowing this ministry to grow and thrive like it has! It's neat to see how the Lord took 8-10 women who wanted to see this ministry started and he has multiplied our group to over 300!!! And this is only the beginning......

"How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:14-15

Just Beautiful!

Peyton is giving her "movie star" wave

Friday, July 25, 2008

Light at the End of this Tunnel

This past Sunday we made our Footprints bags. We had a biggest turnout EVER in volunteers! As usual I was running around a little crazy, ok, very crazy, gathering some last minute items. I always try to have something prepared to share with the group as a devotional before we stuff our bags, however the week before I never quite came across what I felt I was supposed to share. One of the ladies that afternoon told me, well maybe the Lord was telling you to “Be still”. I have reflected all week on our bag stuffing. I believe he was telling me to “Be still”. As I look back at each of these special people that came to serve HIM that day. Each of them had such a special glow about them. Each of them just smiling when they came in. Putting whatever plans they had for the afternoon to the side, putting whatever problems they may be facing behind them and putting someone else’s needs before themselves so they could serve our great God! We even had our first two men come help! I’m looking for more men out there to come and help. I know you’re out there! So all week I’ve been reflecting on Sunday. Last night I had the privilege to go visit with one of our Footprints’ families before they took their baby home. On my way to the hospital I heard the song “Tunnel” by Third Day it really put this week into perspective. I feel like each of you that came Sunday are the Light! Each of you that pray for these families everyday are the Light! Each of you that send cards are the Light! Each person who has donated time, baby items and money to Footprints you are the Light! Every golfer and sponsor for golf tournament, you are the Light! Every newspaper and television station that has shared our stories you are the Light! Every doctor and nurse in the NICU you are the Light! Thank you to everyone involved with Footprints for being the LIGHT at the end of the tunnel to these families! Below are the amazing people who joined us for our bag stuffing and also the lyrics to this amazing song.

Jessica Azar, Laura Barrow, Robyn Bernier, Lindsey Carroll, Pam Carroll, Ryan Carroll, Gina Clifford, Aaron Folta, Kelli Griffin, Peggy Kelly, Renae Hill, Joyce Hill, Kim Keefe, Rachele Landers, Ashley Laye, Molly MacLean, Patti MacLean, Lindsey Stephens, Charlene Walker, Tracy Welch, and Jennie Young

"Help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon." Isaiah 58:10

"Tunnel" by Third Day

I won’t pretend to know what you’re thinking
I can’t begin to know what you’re going through
I won’t deny the pain that you’re feeling
But I’m gonna try and give a little hope to you
Just remember what I’ve told you

There’s so much you’re living for

Chorus: There’s a light at the end of this tunnel

There’s a light at the end of this tunnel For you, for you

There’s a light at the end of this tunnel

Shinin’ bright at the end of this tunnel For you, for you

So keep holdin’ on

You’ve got your disappointments and sorrows

You ought to share the weight of that load with me

Then you will find that the light of tomorrow

Brings a life for your eyes to see

So remember what I’ve told you

There’s so much you’re living for

Friday, July 18, 2008

Welcome Home Harper and Lilly!!

Welcome Home Harper and Lilly!!! I'm so excited to share that after 8 long weeks are sweet Mielke twins have gone home!!! Harper was born at 1lb 13oz and Lilly was born at 2lbs 5 oz and now they are both over 4lbs! The Lord has worked many miracles in the lives of these precious twins! Compare the pictures below and there is no question that the Lord's hands were at work in the lives of these babies. Thank you to Nick and Laura for allowing the Footprints Ministry to be a part of your NICU experience. Your strength and faith during this difficult time has inspired us all! We look forward to watching Harper and Lilly continue to grow. Congratulations Mielke Family!

"Come and see what our God has done,what awesome miracles he performs for people!"
Psalm 66:5

Harper Elizabeth

Lilly Martin

Thursday, July 10, 2008

God's Perfect Plan

Below is a testimony from Nicole Collier. She is the amazing mother of our Footprints' baby Ethan. What an incredible story of how each of you are touching lives through this ministry! Enjoy and grab a tissue!

When Kim asked me to write about our experience in NICU I thought no problem. This will be easy as pie.
Not the case.
How do you write about one of the hardest things you have faced in your life both physically and spiritually? How do you try to convey to others the guilt you felt? Maybe if I had not had gestational diabetes Ethan would have never had to go through this traumatic ordeal.
Our story really begins on January 21st, 2008 when I found out I had gestational diabetes. I took the class with my momma at my side, as always. I read my sugar levels 3x daily. I understood the consequences of not taking care of myself and the effects it could have on Ethan but I did not listen. I assumed that since I was taking medication that was keeping it under control everything would be okay.
It wasn’t.
Fast forward to May; May 19th, 2008 @ 9:30am to be exact during the 2nd attempt to register a blood sugar reading on Ethan with no success they admitted him to NICU for only a few hours. A few hours turned into 20 days and countless tears later.
Ethan was admitted with hypoglycemic and what they call wimpy white boy syndrome; meaning he had fluid in his lungs. The fluid in his lungs came from him being born C-Section. His blood sugar registered at 1- it needed to be 40 or higher.
For the first week to week and half Ethan was on an IV drip of dextrose to help him regulate his own sugars, he was receiving his formula through a tube inserted into his tummy through his mouth. It was over Memorial Day weekend that he was able to have his first bottle since leaving the birthing suite. His breathing regulated itself out on his own. During all of this he had a PICC line inserted. Due to this, we were unable to hold him. They did not like you to hold him but maybe once a day if that. When we touched him, we were asked to only lay our hands on him; not to pat him or rub his back and such. All I could do was tell him to be strong and he would come home soon.

Shortly after this Ethan was moved to a crib where we were able to finally hold him and feed him. We thought for sure that we were going to be out of NICU soon. Praise God our prayers were going to be answered. Wrong, remember Nicole, God does not work on your schedule but on His. He knew this child before my mother knew me. What was the problem now, why couldn’t I take my son home? I am not a patient person; it runs in the family. We learned that when Ethan would take his bottles he would stop breathing and become what they like to call a “dusky” color. I can go the rest of my life without hearing the word dusky. In the words of Meredith Grey, “Seriously?”

This happened for at least a week before the doctors decided to have him go down for an infant Upper GI which I could not go with him on. The results were that he has reflux. On a scale of 1-5; it rated a 3. With rice cereal added to his formula we were on our way to success. Ethan’s Upper GI was done on June 2nd and on June 7th he was released into our awaiting arms and car. He was finally ours, as weird as this seems.

Through all of this all I could do was pray; something I have not done on a regular basis in a long time. I was raised in a wonderful church, Forest Park Baptist, where I learned and grew in God. However, once I became an adult it was Christmas Eve and Easter that I attended church. I knew what I had to do. I had to hand it over to Him. I had to let my stubbornness go and let God. This is what I did. At the same time as doing this, I would cry myself to sleep with guilt. Guilt that it was my fault for him having to suffer throughout this ordeal. Would things have been different it I had eaten better? Would things have turned out differently if I had not had a c-section? I finally realized that I could not go through what if’s of life; obviously this was what God had planned for us and He would see us through.

One of the ways He showed me He was there with me every step of the way is through Footprints Ministry. I had heard of it and had heard parts of the story of the Wilson’s. I thought it was a great thing they were doing but did not give much more thought to it.
However that all changed when our friend brought a package from Footprints to my room. The fact that they would provide me with this package when I was in a hospital they did not have a relationship with made me feel special and cared for. I felt there were others out there who understood what I was going through and did not even know a face to go with it. The one thing that helped me through the nights in the hospital before my discharge is the receiving blanket they provide for the mother to sleep and snuggle with. The mother will then give it to the nurses in NICU to use so that their baby has your scent with them. The poem that comes with it makes me cry to this day and will forever stay in Ethan’s baby book.

While I would sit in Ethan’s little corner and hold him I would look at the other parents whose babies were in way worse shape than Ethan and feel such heartache for them. I would feel guilt that I was able to hold my son when there were parents who had been there for months who were now able to hold their own child for the first time. I felt guilt there were babies in there who were born addicted to drugs and were born with the cards stacked against them. Who was I to feel bad for myself? I knew right then that I had to get involved with something, anything that allowed me to help those who would unfortunately follow behind me.
God heard my prayers when I started to follow Footprints more closely and saw Kim wanted to reach out to other hospitals in other cities. I knew it was He that was leading my heart to reach out and offer any assistance in helping with Birmingham. After all we do have 2 of the best hospitals for children in the state here; UAB and Children’s Hospital. However, I wanted to start with St. Vincent’s where the staff was phenomenal and answered any question I had. They were always there with reassurance it would be okay. Most importantly they were there with caring and delicate hands in taking care of my child. After all, they were his surrogate mothers in a sense.

Overall this experience has made me realize just how fortunate we are. How in our darkest hour there is always light as long as we have God and his angels. Kim Wilson and everyone involved in Footprints are just that, angels. Some of these angels I have known for the better half of my life. The two angels who I could not have gotten through any of it without are my mother and husband. Without them I would not be here. They held my hand when I needed it most and let me cry when all I wanted to do is cry.

Ethan today is 7 weeks and 2 days old. He is thriving and I cry almost every time he looks up at me and smiles. He is looking forward to his first Saturday football game; he is already a HUGE Bama fan; thanks to his Uncle Nick.
I never knew that the Lord would allow us to feel this much love, this type of love. If it is only a minuscule part of the love he feels for us then we never truly realize how fortunate we are.

"I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb." Jeremiah 1:5

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

1 day old
7 weeks old at home!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Footprints in the Fairways-HELP WANTED

Our 1st annual Footprints in the Fairways golf tournament is just one month away! We are so excited about this event! It will take place at Lagoon Park at 8am on August 9th. There are many ways you can help with the tournament. First, if you play golf you can sign up to play in the tournament. Secondly, you can sponsor our tournament. You may also choose to do a sponsorship "In Honor Of" or "In Memory Of" a baby or child who has been in the NICU. Our cheapest sponsorship($200) will provide 8 Footprints bags to families. That is 8 families who will hear about the Love of Christ because of your sponsorship. Lastly, we will need volunteers the day of the event to work registration, lunch and drink carts. We also need goodies for our goody bags and door prizes from local businesses. If you would like more information on how you can help with Footprints in the Faiways please email or Please be in prayer for this great event!

"Praise the name of the Lord! Praise him, you who serve the Lord" Psalm 135:1