Saturday, July 30, 2011

Polls

Danny's mom has a pair of polls active to get people's opinions about the disposition of deceased babies. She will be talking to one of her friends who is a state senator about pertinent legislation and is hoping to have some data to take with her. Please show your support by visiting her blog and voting in the two polls.

Thank you!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Page: Websites and blogs

There's a new page, Websites and Blogs, on Lost Innocents. Feel free to email me with sites you feel should be included including personal blogs you've found helpful. If you have a site and don't see it included, don't feel slighted, just email me. After two hours of working on the page this evening I just got tired!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July Site Updates

Since I last posted an update about the "Your Stories" page, we have added some new stories. Welcome and many thanks to Franki, who wrote about her son Danny, and Kristi, who wrote about her daughter Naomi Faith.

In addition, thanks to Kara who featured Lost Innocents on her blog, Random Musings. Kara's stories about her children Julia and Evan are on the "Your Stories" page. Kara continues to blog about her journey through grief, in addition to trying to conceive.

Also, Kristi (mentioned above) will be listing Lost Innocents on her site, Naomi's Circle, a Christian-based site for bereaved parents, friends and professionals. I encourage you to visit it.

I am considering adding a section listing sites and blogs by categories (multiple loss, stillbirth loss, early loss, etc.) if any would be interested. I have amassed quite a collection in my bookmarks and I refer to them myself. Please let me know if you think this would be helpful.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Holy Martyrs Theodore and John

From the Prologue of Ochrid, July 12th:

THE HOLY MARTYRS THEODORE AND JOHN (+983)
Theodore and John were father and son, and by descent Varangians (Vikings) who were baptized and then settled in the pagan city of Kiev. The enraged pagans destroyed their home with them in it and, thus, both suffered for Christ. Their relics repose in the monastery of the Caves of Anthony in Kiev. Those without children and those who miscarry invoke their intercession.

I have been unable to find out why they are asked to intercede on behalf of those who miscarry, but that part of the story may have been lost in the last 1,000 years. Interesting notes: (1) Their martyrdom predates the conversion of Russia by 5 years. (2) They were Vikings, specifically from the area which is now Sweden.

Portion of their lives from the OCA site:

"Among the Kievans," reports St Nestor the Chronicler, "lived a Varangian by the name of Theodore, who was in military service at Constantinople long before this, and was baptized there. His pagan name, preserved in the term "Turov pagan temple," was Tur (Scandinavian Thor) or Utor (Scandinavian Ottar), and this other signature is also found in the old manuscripts. Theodore had a son John, a devout and handsome youth, confessing Christianity like his father."

"And the elders and boyars said: let us cast lots upon the boys and girls. Upon whichever one it falls, that one we shall slaughter in sacrifice to the gods." The lots thrown by the pagan priests, evidently not by chance, fell upon the Christian John.

When the messengers told Theodore that his son "had been chosen by the gods themselves to be sacrificed to them," the old warrior decisively answered: "This is not a god, but wood. Today it is, and tomorrow it rots. They do not eat, nor drink nor speak, but are crafted by human hands from wood. God however is One, and the Greeks serve and worship Him. He created heaven and earth, the stars and the moon, the sun and man, and foreordained him to live upon the earth. But these gods, what have they created? They themselves are made. I shall not give my son over to devils."

This was a direct challenge by the Christian to the customs and beliefs of the pagans. An enraged crowd of pagans rushed at Theodore, smashed up his courtyard, and surrounded the house. Theodore, in the words of the chronicler, "stood at the entrance way with his son," and with weapon in hand he bravely met the enemy. (The entrance way in old Russian houses as mentioned was set up on posts of a roofed gallery of the second storey, which was reached by a ladder). He calmly gazed upon the demon-possessed pagans and said: "If they are gods, let them send one of the gods to take my son." Seeing that the brave and seasoned warriors Theodore and John could not be beaten in a fair fight, the besiegers knocked down the gallery posts. When they were broken, the crowd rushed upon the confessors and murdered them.

Already during the time of St Nestor, less than a hundred years after the confessor's deed of the Varangians, the Russian Orthodox Church numbered them among the Saints. Theodore and John became the first martyrs for the holy Orthodox Faith in the Russian land. They were called the first "Russian citizens of the heavenly city" by the transcriber of the Kiev Caves Paterikon, the holy Bishop Simon of Suzdal (May 10). The last of the bloody pagan sacrifices at Kiev became the first holy Christian sacrifice with a co-suffering for Christ. The pathway "from the Varangians to the Greeks" became for Rus the pathway from paganism to Orthodoxy, from darkness to light.

On the place of the martyrdom of the Varangians, St Vladimir later built the Desyatin Church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, consecrated on May 12, 996. The relics of St Olga were transferred into it in the year 1007.

Wondrous is God in His saints! Time does not spare stones and bronze, but the lower framework of the wooden house of the holy Varangrian martyrs, burned a thousand years before, has been preserved to our day. It was discovered in the year 1908 during the excavation of the altar of the Desyatin church at Kiev.

Sts Theodore and John are invoked by women who have miscarried.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Our babies are not medical waste [Updated]

[Update below...]

I had the blessing of talking to a long-time friend this weekend who has also suffered a loss - her 16 week baby a few years ago. Sadly, I found that she was both pushed into a D&C she didn't want (an all too common occurrence) and afterward when she requested the body of her baby to bury, her requests were refused. To this day she doesn't even know the sex of the baby. This is heart-breaking and angering. I've decided that this barbarism needs to stop. I will be contacting my local hospital (not the same hospital) and speaking to the director of pathology about their policies concerning the disposition of the bodies of babies removed during surgery. If that policy is not clear about releasing the body to the parents if they so desire, then I will do whatever necessary to make sure it is changed. Then I will speak to the director of preoperative nursing to ensure that patients are informed of their right to claim their baby's body after a D&C or laparoscopy for an ectopic pregnancy.

This is just one hospital, in one town, in one state. I will not stop here, but I can hardly effect change in the entire country. Will you step forward in your own community? See what the laws are in your state. Contact your local hospital. The barbaric "custom" of refusing to release the bodies of our unborn children to us for respectful burial must end.

Update: I have been talking to Sherokee Ilse and will be merging my efforts in this direction with hers. If you have had an experience similar to that of the friend I described above, please email me (lostinnocentsorthodox @ gmail dot com (no spaces)). I would like to hear from you. I will be documenting some of my progress here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Thousand Words

If you are a photographer, consider giving your time and talent to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. You might be the only resource in your area. These photographs mean the world to families who have lost their babies.

(video does not show in Google Reader)