Thank You. Thank you. Thank you.

What a whirlwind.

I had no idea last night when I wrote that letter and posted it on this blog that so many people would share my plight. In the 15 hours since I posted that blog it has been viewed almost 4000 times. It has been shared on Facebook 226 times, and retweeted on twitter 45 times as well.

Thank you. When I wrote that letter I wasn’t sure anyone else would care. I know there are a lot of people that care about Everlee and care about me and my family, but I had no idea that so many people would care that my little girl didn’t have the piece of paper to recognize her little life that she deserves. Thank you for sharing my blog, but most of all, thank you for caring about her.

I sent that letter to the Minister at 7pm last night, and by 9:18am this morning I had a response from him personally. It read:

Rhonda

First of All please accept my deepest condolences. As a father I cannot even imagine the pain you have to live with forever. I cannot make a promise of a change however I will Work to make a change.

Nick

And honestly, I couldn’t ask for anymore from him. I know how bureaucracy works, and I know that change doesn’t happen over night. So knowing that this was on his radar was more than enough for me right now.  It is so reassuring to know that we have a government that is so committed to listening to the things that matter to its people.

Shortly after I received that email I got a message from CBC On The Go (a drive time talk radio program). My blog had reached their desk and they wanted to talk to me about what I had written and the response I had gotten. As much as it hurts, and as emotional and raw as this is for me, I could not turn down an opportunity to talk about my little girl to anyone willing to listen. I did the interview and it is supposed to be airing on CBC NL at around 5pm this evening. (more on this in a second)

Not 5 minutes after I hung up the phone with Maggie Gillis, I got a call from the head of vital statistics, the department responsible for birth and death certificates and the ones who would have to write the letter I need for Everlee. They had received my email from the Minister’s office this morning and were contacting me with some  good news.

  1. They have filled out all of the forms I need and are couriering the letter that I need to my door this afternoon. They were extraordinarily apologetic for everything I have had to go though, and the subsequent hoops that has caused me to have to jump through.
  2. They are directly dealing with the Department of Finance to ensure that my application for the parental child benefit goes through without having to cause me further grief. I won’t have to complete any more paper work, or go into their offices to go through the whole pain staking story all over again.
  3. Most importantly, as of this morning they have started reaching out to other jurisdictions to see what is done across Canada in recognizing stillborn babies in an official way and they are moving toward implementing a stillbirth certificate in Newfoundland and Labrador in the coming months.

All because of Everlee.

CBC called back shortly after to clarify some things in the interview, so I happily updated them with the information from Vital Statistics and the good news that they are moving towards a resolution for families like mine. Although the interviewer was happy to hear that, because of the change in the story they were unsure if they would run the interview now. Which is a shame. It was a horrible thing, that has had a positive outcome. I think hearing a story like that would give hope to families like mine, so I hope to hear them run the story this evening. If they do run it I will be updating and posting the audio here on the blog.

In the meantime, Thank you to Minister Nick McGrath for moving so quickly to do the right thing. But most of all, Thank you to all of you for following my daughter’s story and sharing in our journey. My life for the last four months has been agony. I struggle to get out of bed every single day, and my heart aches every single moment of every single day. There hasn’t been a day pass where I haven’t cried. And there hasn’t been a day where I haven’t wished I could take her place. But knowing that so many people out there care about my little girl, and care about me, is what keeps me going.

And with my little girl in my  heart, we’re going to change this. She will be recognized.

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” – Winnie the Pooh

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12 thoughts on “Thank You. Thank you. Thank you.

  1. Thank you Rhonda you will make a difference for us Parents who would like to have something to say your child was with you.

  2. Thats awesome news, hope it all works out, & u should feel proud for this, & u will be helping others who go through this also. Your daughter can never be replaced, but at least this way, she will be reconized. Good luck.

  3. I sit here reading your post with tears streaming down my face. This morning I read your post about the situation with Vital stats. I wanted to post a comment then but could not adequately find the words to say how ridiculous, cruel and unneeded that these regulations were. I am so happy that you reached out, wrote the letter and that it was heard. I hope that everything gets cleared up for you, but most of all I hope these regulations change, that certificates can be issued for parents and that the process is easier and does not make it any harder for parents who are going through far more than they should have to.

  4. So happy to hear of some positive outcome from the Government end. Although I know it won’t changevthe pain of losing your Everlee, be proud knowing you and your little girl are making a difference.

  5. Rhonda
    I am so happy to hear that change has begun and that Everlee made a positive impact and will alway be known for this. I have told a friend of mine about your story passed on your blog for her to read she works with my husband Mabel’s Labels in Hamilton, ON. She has appeared on HLN several times talking about parental issues maybe one day she can talk about Everlee…. if anything she has a large network of parents that she will pass your story along to.
    Lisa

  6. Rhonda I have followed through family your pictures and happiness during you pregnancy. I have followed your blog through Robert Ramsey on Facebook. All I can say is how proud of you I am. You have strength that was given to you that others don’t possess. I have a dear friend that I work with that went through the same thing, I asked her how she still does this, as she is funny and outgoing. After 6 years, one day at a time, and have those moments to reflect but get on with life, because we can’t change what is in the past. This is so true, but you are changing the future for others. Everlee Rose is smiling down on you….saying …Way to go mom! This is a mom to be proud of!
    Regards
    Sherry Gibbs

  7. I am so glad to hear that there is finally a positive outcome. no one should have to go through what you have had to deal with. Thanks for helping other parents who may find thmeselves in the same situation. So sorry for the loss of Everlee but her life will bring cahnge which is something to remember.

  8. Someday. In 2. 5.. 10 years you will look back and with the legacy you are building in her name and the memories you are making in her honour and you will smile. You might still cry. But you can cry knowing that she still had an impact. She is having an impact. She is changing lives.

  9. So proud of you. You’re a very strong person and make no wonder our Daughter loves you and Darcy so much. Wish I could hug you in person. All the best to you both.

  10. What an amazing way to honour your daughter. I don’t know you, but rest assured your daughter and your story will stick with me. And I will remember her beautiful name 🙂

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