A few weeks before Lillian was born an over sized envelope arrived from England. I instantly wondered what could possibly be inside? Too impatient to wait for my husband Ken to come home from work I immediately ripped the package open. The contents spilled out revealing three Cadbury chocolate bars, a hand written note and the most adorable hand knit teddy bear I had ever seen! Tears welled in my eyes when I realized the package was a gift from a cyber friend who I had met through an online infertility support group. A friend I had talked to online but had never met. The hand written note said the candy bars were for me (but I could share them with my husband if I wanted) and the hand knitted teddy bear, whose name was Albert, was for my little girl when she was born.
Albert the bear was such a special gift that we had our newborn photographer take a picture of Lillian with her noteworthy little bear. A bear that was knitted with love. Now that she is older she sleeps with Albert and he is beginning to show some wear and tear after being hugged and tugged and cuddled night after night. He is beginning to come apart at the neck and he looks a little funny because he has lost his nose. Albert may look a bit rough around the edges but that doesn’t stop Lillian from loving him any less.
A few months after Lillian was born my cyber sister from England began to post knitting projects she had completed on Facebook. She posted picture after picture of hand knitted bears, one cuter than the next! Some were dark brown like Albert but others were light brown or cream. She recently posted a picture of a pink bear and a custom black and gold Batman bear complete with the Batman logo on his chest!
She has made well over 70 bears, many for women she has never met and only knows online through infertility support groups. This cyber sister is an angel who gives so much of herself. Day after day, week after week and month after month, she sent bears to ecstatic mothers to be while she was experiencing heartache and pain patiently praying for a baby of her own. Somehow she found the strength to celebrate the blessings of others and give a gift to women she barely knows. It is the ultimate example of giving and unconditional love and is something I don’t think I would ever have the ability to do.
Although she has knitted many bears over the past two years, she is currently working on a very special bear. I am unsure of its color or if it will have a special theme or design but I know she does not care about any of the details. You see, this bear will be for her unborn child. A child she has wished for and dreamed about for over six years. A child she must have prayed for as she hand knit 70 bears for other miracle babies. A child that surprised her and her husband and was conceived naturally after years of trying and after a failed ivf cycle.
This little miracle baby who is due to arrive in late September is a lucky baby because he or she has a beautiful mommy. A mommy who never gave up hope. A mommy who showers others with love and support and has celebrated with women from around the world. A mommy who thinks of others before herself. A mommy who supported me during my struggles and heartbreaks on my journey to motherhood. A talented mommy, named Jeannette Dean, who knits teddy bears with love.