our joy

There is a story that goes along with our announcement. I had planned on.. wanted to write about it. But i sit down and I find my mind is already going to another place. ..

Yesterday we announced our 5th child is due August 22nd. It was a happy day for us.. a joyous day. I got messages and emails and FB postings and replies on the blog.. I read every one.. I appreciated every single letter. And when I did that I remembered. ..

Jennifer.

A long road to her.. 5 losses and failed adoption. .. a broken road that lead me straight to her.. One I would have ridden a thousand times to get to that destination of her. I was part of a local online forum at the time. It became like a virtual group of friends.. solid friends surprisingly. When Jennifer was finally placed in my arms I couldn’t wait to share with them. This group of woman that I probably wouldn’t even recognize if I passed them on the street. And they went crazy for her. So happy to see me finally become a mom.. Then when I announced I was pregnant with Jonathan.. the hysteria erupted again. ..

The messages of overwhelming happiness for us.. incredible. And then with Nicholas too .. by the time it was with Charlotte I think they just started to think I was a little crazy!.. But always such excitement knowing how hard fought these 4 were.

joy

So I remembered that again yesterday. Reading messages from people … many whom I have never met.. of love and support and genuine happiness for our news.

How lucky we are. I look at it and I wonder how in that aspect we have been so lucky.. so blessed to have always had people care deeply about our little family.

Writing now I also am pulled to a memory Oct 2013.. Writing that Jennifer had a brain tumor. Finding out it would take her life.. likely very quickly. And how this group rallied again. Woman I likely wouldn’t recognize walking past on the street..

A group hug at Jennifers services.
A group hug with a quarter of them that came to Jennifer’s services.

Woman I am grateful for but will forever wish I never met in person.

Maybe those feelings resurged because yesterday I went on Facebook and the blog often.. I truly enjoyed reading the comments. . My mom teased me asking if I had gotten enough attention. . Mid day though it changed. 2 families in this new community of mine lost their children yesterday. Simultaneously the joy of my yesterday and 2 families (though we all know there are more) started the most horrific steps into a new life nobody wants. And both of these boys were taken by the same DIPG tumor that stole our Jennifer.

A.J and Nathan Street.

And I was pulled back down. To reality. That everyday .. without fail children are dying from cancer. I thought about the day I am lucky enough to give birth to this baby. That on that incredible day of ours, Mommy’s and Daddy’s will be saying a forever goodbye..And it happened on the birthday of all 4 of my other children too.. I just didn’t know it.

Lack of knowledge isn’t prevention though.. exact opposite really. .

I place my hand on the incredible thing that is my rounding belly.. and I cry. And I promise outloud to take care of this baby. To be a good mom. To turn no’s into yeses.. to ask myself if what they are doing with matter in a month ..to help them remember the sister that brought them to us… And I vow to do my best to keep them and their children safe from the same beast that took her.

I will not just be sorry .. for AJ or Nathan or Jennifer. I will be active.

For Jonathan, Nicholas, Charlotte and this little dandelion of a wish growing inside of me.

secrets out sissy!

But for now this baby is ours

just yours and mine

you never got to carry a baby

but you are doing this with me

thank you buggers.

joy1…until there is a cure..

42 Responses to “our joy”

  1. Goosebumps, Libby. I can’t imagine the multitude of feelings you must be having now. Warmest congratulations on your growing wish. You are a brave momma bear.

  2. Mixed emotions…be grateful for what you have. You are so lucky compared to some of us. Maybe, just maybe, your/our prayers are being answered…until there is a cure

  3. I’ve followed your blog for quite sometime and have cried many tears and changed my outlook on parenting,but never posted. I’m not a religious person, but I wholeheartedly feel (and I’m sure you know), that you were brought to Jennifer so that she would be able to experience the most amazing love while she was here. It seems insignificant to even write anything because I don’t know how anything could help ease the unimaginable pain that you are all dealing with, but I hope everyone’s words help in some small way❤️

  4. Libby, I am so very touched by your post. This is amazing news and a gift from God. I so believe Jennifer is watching over her new brother or sister. That’s what big sisters do! Congratulations!

  5. I’m balling. God that sweet precious Jennifer. This is her baby and she sent it to you, such a blessing. I cannot express how happy I am for u all

  6. I cried when I read your news yesterday – tears of joy for you. And here I sit crying again tonight as I imagine Jennifer in heaven so sweetly snuggling that tiny little bundle, keeping him or her warm and safe until she places that baby into your arms … and looking at him or her so adoringly, just as I have seen her look at her other siblings in photos you’ve posted. What a gift, what a legacy, what an amazing big sister. Beyond happy for your family.

  7. I have only commented once before, but have been following you for a year. You are incredible, and have touched me so very deeply. Your words and example move and encourage me to be a better mother and person. What a blessing this sweet baby is, to such a deserving family. Jennifer is busily teaching her new sibling. God is so good, even when we do not always understand his trials and blessings.
    Congratulations Kranz Family,
    From a mommy of 6 that you have never met, but continue to influence through your examples.

  8. I know Jennifer is watching over you all. We love you Jennifer. You will never be forgotten. LOVE4JLK♡ FOREVER6 Until there is a cure.

  9. I can’t imagine how many highs and lows you and Tony have gone through in your marriage. The lost babies and failed adoptions to being blessed with five wonderful children. And of course the lowest of lows I’m sure, of having to burry a child. I know they say the hard times in life are supposed to make you stronger but sometimes I think that’s just to make those who are suffering feel better. Not sure it works.

    I will say my favorite part of your story is that once you were blessed with Jennifer you were then blessed with (pending) four more children. She must have been your good luck charm. Your stepping stone to the world of motherhood. It’s like her mothering instinct brought you and Tony the gift of more children. She sure did amazing things in her six short years.

    Congratulations, again. I know it doesn’t deminish your pain of loss but I’m glad you’ve been blessed with one more soul to love. You deserve every moment of happiness. Thank you, Jennifer for sending your Mama and Daddy another gift.

  10. Joy I think is complicated, wonderfully so in that I believe joy allows us to feel exquisite happiness amidst against profound sadness, to emotionally ‘walk and chew gum at the same time’. Joy for you is what I felt when I read your announcement, happiness for this new life, with sadness and anger that you are sharing this experience with Jennifer from heaven and not here on earth. A different and unfair type of sharing that I wish was not so. It is my wish for you that as this year shapes you, that you will continue to experience true joy as you and Jennifer inspire us all to be active in this fight.

    Isn’t it wonderfully strange how technology has morphed our friendships as women and mothers. Friends for life that we have never met, that we hope to never “have” to meet… Sometimes I think technology separates us, but reading your blog today reminded me of the many ways technology mends us together in ways that just don’t occur in our in-person life. I am grateful for this 🙂

  11. I’m so very happy for you and your family and I’m sure Jennifer is doing a happy dance in celebration. Sending you warm wishes and big hugs!

  12. I’m just so happy for you and always so sad for the families that have to lose a child. I hope some day it doesn’t have to be this way. Congrats.

  13. Congratulations on your blessing!! I am so happy for you and your family!! Jennifer is sending you a blessing and also something she will be part of always. Wishing your family lots of joy with this new addition!! Praying that soon there will be a cure and Jennifer will also be a important part of that!!!!

  14. Oh my, oh yes. . .congratulations for sure to all of you BUT the FIRST thing that popped into my head as I just today found time to read yesterday’s post. . .

    You have been searching for a sign from Jennifer, something to give you peace that she is fine, she knows you are the best Mommy ever. . .and here it is. . .

    She has sent this child to you and Tony. It is truly a gift from Jennifer to help all of you heal just a speck more!

    Much love. . .

  15. So happy for you! Been reading for about a year too and never commented because I never found anything I could say that would possibly be of comfort. You are living my worst nightmare and I have become more compassionate to families of loss because of you. Thank you for being so real and honest and I realize now the urgency in finding a cure or hopefully prevention. Wish there was more I could do. But today I am grateful for you good news, congratulations! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  16. I am so happy thrilled for you and your family for this wonderful blessing you are receiving. Jennifer certainly sent you a big sign that she is watching over you and walking with you. I think this little baby should be nicknamed “Little (water)melon” since you are going to have a little piece of heaven here on earth.

  17. Libby, I knew it. Don’t know why but I did.
    I’m doing daycare at MOPS. Anyway I adopted my 3 kids. Before we adopted my second daughter I knew she was coming. I told my husband. I believe God gave me a sense of babies etc. I can usually guess the gender too. That’s why it was so hard when we never got pregnant because I’m a Mom through and through. That’s why losing Jennifer has been so hard on me to witness because I know how hard it is to fight to be a Mom. Before my 2nd was born and still in Debbie’s tummy in LA I felt so close to her. I had special songs. And it’s still that way 16 years later. I believe that if I can have a spiritual connection to my girl like that you can also have one with sweet JLK and her new brother or sister. I also know that you are going to make it. You are traveling to a place where all of this grief , loss , love, the non-profit, your family is going to somehow just be ok. Not that it happened but you will have peace with it. That is my prayer for you. Thank you for your amazing writing. You are giving all of us a gift. Congratulations on the new baby. Children are gift from The Lord !!

  18. Libby, so very thrilled for you and your family at the prospect of this new little (and big) life! I will still be here, hoping to make a difference alongside you and Jennifer.

  19. Love you so much Libby and also wishing we didn’t meet in person under such circumstances. No doubt that you’re the shiz and you’re doing amazing things in Jennifer’s name. Sending so much love to all of you and the little bean. I’m sure big sister Jennifer is watching over from heaven.

  20. I hope you know that you have taught me (and a community of moms) so much about loving, being, grieving… and loving more. And sharing AJ’s story and other stories is such a reminder that as life continues and babies come (yea!!!) we must all carry on and not forget what we know… everything from turning nos into yesses to big things like funding cancer research esp for peds. Libby, you and Jennifer have made me a better mommy… and a better wife… a better non-profit director… a better daughter.. a better friend. You’ve made me better. God bless you.

  21. Libby I’m so excited for you and I know Jennifer is smiling from ear to ear, knowing that the sweet angel she sent you growing in your tummy will watch over all of you for her. You are truly blessed and now your going to be a family of 7. I can’t wait to watch your tummy grow. Big hugs

  22. The highs and the lows…we will always remember Jennifer and the other children in the midst of redeeming joy about your new child that Jennifer is helping you mold and shape there in your womb! 🙂 (at least it makes me smile to think about that).

  23. We love you Libby and are so blessed to be a part of our wonderful online group. I too wish that i didnt meet you under the circumstances that i did last February. I can still feel the emotions from that big group hug in the picture… I am honored to know such an amazing mom and such an amazing fighter for our children. Sending so many blessings to that beautiful, sweet little soul growing inside of you and being watched over by his/her big sis JLK. Love and hugs and prayers to you always <3

  24. You are an amazing mom and dad to 5. it wasn’t until I found your blog over a year ago that I started wanting to get active and help. Your story is an inspiration, and I am so sorry it had to be you. I want to fight for my future children, for all families, and for Jennifer. Thanks for doing what you do and spreading the glitter!

  25. I am so happy for you and your family. This truly is a blessing that Jennifer has given to you. A way for you not just to think of her but to really feel her. To know that she is and always will be with you. Love to you and your growing and forever family xoxo

  26. Your words about Jennifer carrying this baby with you brought tears to my eyes. But a different kind than I usually experience reading your blog. I know that I personally take great comfort knowing the time Olive’s spirit spent in heaven with my mom before she came to us and the connection they share because of it. I know they are connected in a deep and special way because olive’s presence makes me feel close to my mother and my love for her helps fill the whole in my heart my mother left behind. I am so truly happy for this blessing, some well deserved light in times of darkness.

  27. I am so touched by this recent blog….carrying together….truly beautiful. I am so happy for you…..blessings, deep blessings.

  28. I prayed you and your precious family could have some joy again. So happy that this new life will bring that. Much love. Thank you Jennifer.

  29. Libby…Nathan ‘ s tumor is now with Dr. Monje. He and Jennifer fought so hard and thanks to you and the Street family…they will continue.fighting until there is a cure. Thank you for being so honest and generous with your journey. Congratulations on your news.

  30. I’m a grown woman now 2 daughters of my own, but I was 4 years old when my big sister died from a brain tumor (not dipg). My mother was three months pregnant with my brother when she passed away. Although my brother never met our sister here on earth, he has a very strong connection to her. He says it’s something he can physically feel, and that there is something between the two of them that no one could ever understand. It’s like they were together before he was born. I know Jennifer and your new baby will have a strong connection, she’s right there taking care of that little baby until she’s (I think it’s a girl?!) ready to come out and meet the rest of her siblings!! Congratulations on your precious news.

  31. Congratulations, and I want to share with you something. I have 5 children, 1 an angel. There is an 8 year gap between my eldest and last child. My oldest was convinced I was having this baby for her. Amber was so very excited, even naming my daughter Brittany after (the chipmunks..chipettes?) This was approximately a year after losing our own little angel. To see their joy knowing a baby sister was coming was beyond words. Brittany isn’t a replacement, she is an addition that we love with all our hearts, she truly was meant to be. <3 <3 <3

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