(Also cross-posted. I don't know if there are many who read both of my blogs, but if so, please excuse the identical postings right now. My family blog is still the place to go for regular family stuff - I just want to be able to share what I can about Daniel with whomever wants to read.)
About two weeks before we found out about Daniel's condition, I was shopping for a Christmas present for Dave when I found some hot air balloon wall hangings that I loved. I thought they would be perfect for the baby's room. Although I thought they would be great for either a boy or a girl, I decided to hold off until we found out the gender, just because I wanted to have a plan before I started buying stuff.
We learned on January 6, 2011, that our baby boy probably had dwarfism. The next day, we learned that it looked like it might be more serious and that there was a good chance that he had a lethal form of skeletal dysplasia.
I thought about the hot air balloons again, and I decided that I wanted them. If he survived, I would love them for his room. If he didn't, I thought they would be a fitting tribute to my little boy.
A couple months later, after it had become more certain that Daniel's little body wouldn't last long in this world, I was looking for a locket that I could wear to keep a picture of my sweet boy with me always. When I found this locket with hot air balloons on it on Etsy, I stopped looking. It was perfect. I loved that it went along with the wall hangings that we already had, and it just seemed so right. So I bought it.
A close friend of mine took some family photos of us a week or two before Daniel was born. We used the locket and a special blanket that my mom knitted for Daniel as special symbols of him for the photos.
I will never see a hot air balloon for the rest of my life without thinking of my sweet angel baby.