Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sydney Grace's Impact on Our Lives

Jamison (Sydney's aunt) shared this with me today. I asked if she would mind if I shared this with everyone. This once again shows how much impact Sydney made here with her short time on earth. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Lindsey

On January 7 at 5:11 am Sydney Grace Fodrie was born into our family. Like her namesake, Grace Fodrie, Sydney Grace was destined to be a great educator. She may have only had 20 days, but in her brief time on earth Sydney taught us all so many invaluable lessons.
Sydney Grace’s life reminded us all of how very precious each day should be. She was such a fighting little spirit. No one could have struggled to stay alive harder than she. Many, many, many, times we thought that it was her last moment. She continued to surprise us all by working so hard for one more breath and then another. To see that tiny sick body cycle from dusty purple to pink over and over, to see her work for a little more time to be with her family, to see this taught me to appreciate every moment of each day more.

Sydney Grace’s story touched so many hearts and inspired a network of support that spanned the entire world. The outpouring of love for her and her family was almost beyond comprehension. Letters, blogs, Facebook fans, prayers, phone calls, cards, visits, gifts, blankets, and the most delicious meals showered down. The great outpouring of love from friends, family, and even total strangers sustained our bodies (Light Rolls, Chew Bread, casseroles and more) and our souls throughout her life. Sydney Grace taught me so much about how to care for others. There are so many times when I have not known what to do or say when a friend or a family member was hurting and so I was silent. From her I’ve learned that the words “I’m thinking of you” are powerful and strong. I learned the power and the blessing of “being there.”

As Sydney Grace’s story unfolded I learned so much about each person’s hidden potential. After the first sonogram Joel called to tell me the doctors had seen some problems. He said that for about 30 seconds he was disappointed and worried about the demands a special needs child would present. Then he said that he realized every child is born with challenges and gifts. He said, “It is each parent’s job to help their child meet his or her fullest potential, whatever that potential may be. ” I am still awed by the wisdom and bravery of these words. Joel and Lindsey accepted the job of raising a child with severe challenges. They accepted that Sydney’s potential may have been only to breathe a few seconds. They were still determined to give Sydney her chance. When I first saw this tiny four pound child I could not have dreamed the impact she would have on her world. None of us could have imagined that Sydney would have the power to touch more lives in her twenty days than most people do in their entire lifetimes. I thank Sydney for making me realized I can never know the true potential, unseen and unimaginable, inside each person.

There are so many lessons of love I have learned from Sydney. I learned so much of the love of a mother as I watched strength flow from Sheri to Lindsey, from Lindsey to Sydney, from Sydney to the world. I have seen sisterly love as Lindsey, Paige, and Jessica leaned on each other, forming a triangle of strength. I saw love spring to life, instant and strong, in the eyes of my Jessica, as she held Sydney in her arms for the first time. I watched Joel and Glenn watch over their women with such love and concern and turned to see that same look in J and Will’s eyes. I so appreciate Kayla being there even when she was recovering from surgery. I have learned how friends carry you through the darkest times with love. I feel such gratitude for the kindness of the Hancock family, Hilary, Janet, Josie, and so many more. I learned love makes laughter bubble up in the worst minutes and most awkward moments, transforming them into sweet memories.

Lindsey spoke at Sydney’s funeral to say, “So to those of you that might fear we did not get the miracle we all prayed for, I say we received the full measure of that miracle and more.” I so agree. I am so humbled to have witnessed so many miracles throughout Sydney’s short life. Thank you, Sydney Grace. Thank you for making me see the miraculous gift of each precious day. Thank you for teaching me so many things about the miracle inside a caring gesture. Thank you for making me realize that miraculous hidden potential may lie inside each of us. Most of all Sydney Grace, thank you so much for each of the 20 days in which you showed us all the miracle that is LOVE.


  1. Just beautiful! Thank you for sharing. Praying for strength for your family.

  2. this little girl did more in her short life then great "men" have done in a lifetime, ty for all updates and sharing her with the world. God Bless her Family.....val in ontario

  3. I couldn't have said this any better! I love you Sydney Grace! Aunt "P"

  4. I am not sure it could be said any better than that. I know what Sydney has taught me and many others, strength and love. I will never forget your story and family.


  5. even though i never knew your family in this life i know we will meet some day in Heaven and what a sweet day that will as well as little miss johannah taught me how blessed i am to have my babies and how i often take those "little things" for granted. thank you for sharing your story of faith and unimaginable strength with us,you have made me thankful for, as i call them "typical mondays" and made me realize that all those things that seemed so important really don't matter that much. i am way more likely to let the laundry or dishes go to play dress~up with my little ones or take a break to read a story book. this and so much more has been such a blessing in my life. we will continue to call your family's name out to our Lord for strength and peace during these days. Love in Christ~ jennifer and family

  6. ....“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.” 
    I saw this on facebook and thought of you and your family. Just wanted to share. Diana Scyphers (Steven's mother)

  7. I learned about Sydeny's through my sister. My nephew and Rafe' are in the same preschool class. I want to thank the Fodrie family for sharing their story during such a difficult time. I will be honest, I have never heard of Trisomy 18 until Sydney Grace. Not only have Sydney and her family shown tremendous faith and courage but they have provided awareness of Trisomy 18 and what it means. I pray God can heal the hurting hearts and that he will remind us of his love as he takes care of his child. Until we meet you again Sydney grace....

  8. Praying always for the strength,courage and love that little Sydney Grace gave this world and may it continue through each of us,Love your whole family Val NC

  9. Your story is a beautiful one - one that will last for eternity. This is not the end but only a temporary separation. Thank you for sharing your strength. I know I am a better person because you have shared. What a blessing this experience has been for so many.

  10. Praising and thanking you for the fingerprints on my heart =)

  11. Just wanted to let you know that I blogged about Sydney Grace and her family today.

    Praying for you all.

  12. Jamison, your remarks are so beautiful and thank you for sharing Sydney's special story from your eyes. That's one of the things that has touched me- Sydney gave all of us something very personal and special. I will always remember her- and all of the family as you tended to her every need. I have no doubt that the care she received gave her extra days-

    My husband Joel has mentioned over the years what a kind and wonderful mother you had- Grace Fodrie was a significant influence in his life, and he received many newspaper clippings through the years cut from articles mentioning him- it was something that she and Ann Salter did so well... their students were always important to them.

    I believe that if Sydney Grace had anything to do with who might have "met" her to take her home, I'd say the odds are pretty good that her grandmother, Grace Fodrie, would have been that person. What a happy meeting that would have been.