Rachel Elaine Grapes Memorial Celebration 2009

On Rachel's first birthday we celebrated her life with us and her life now with God. Everyone that attended released a balloon in memory of Rachel. Family members sent a letter to Rachel inside of their balloons and friends (and family) sent a picture of Rachel attached to the balloons.

If you have found one of Rachel's balloons please say a prayer for Rachel and her family and sign our guestbook to let us know where and when you found it.

God Bless Rachel, her family and all those that she has touched in her short time here on earth!

Rachel Elaine Grapes Memorial Celebration 2009 Part 1

Rachel Elaine Grapes Memorial Celebration 2009 Part 2

Friday, November 6, 2009

So i found a picture at the Hamburg NY tops grocery store. on the back of the picture it askes to visit this site and post when and where i found it. today is October 29, 2009 and it was found at aproximately 1:30pm in the dining area of the store. I myself work there and was cleaning the area. I dont know if you wish to have the picture returned or if you wish to have it placed in a random place so that another person might discover it(i am willing to do either) Although i don't personally subscribe to religious view points any more i did find it rather interesting that your baby girl was born the same day as i was October 8, 1983. i suppose with all honesty it is the only reason i took the time to post this comment. if you wish to reach me to let me know what to do with this photo you can e-mail me at mr_mart1n@yahoo.com. i am sorry for the loss of your daughter and i hope that your next child comes into this world as healthy and happy as could be. best wishes to you and your family.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jocelyn, Thank You so much for your prayers! My name is Amy, I am Rachel's aunt (Dad's sister) and it means so much to all of us that you took the time to let us know you found a balloon! Just sharing Rachel with others means that she can touch more people's lives than those she has already blessed. The impact she had on me is life changing, I have never experienced anything like it before, God sent me a message with that little angel and I just cannot put into words the joy, love and light that is now part of me because of her! Thank you again! God Bless you and your family!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dear Barb,

My husband and son found one of the balloons you and your family had released in honor of your daughter Rachel. They found it in the woods on October 18, 2009 in the town of Williamson, NY.

I have visited your site and was very pleased to see how much you love your daughter and the Lord who now cares for her and you. I also want to mention that in that same woods that your balloon was found in, my husband watched a double rainbow the day before. I can't help but think that God was trying to send you a message! He does keep His promises.

I have prayed for you and your family and am willing to continue to pray for you. I speak blessings to you and your family. May his favor go with you wherever you go and may the work of your hands and your mouth be blessed! May you feel the Lord very near every day of your lives and my His presence bring you peace and comfort.

Thank you for being so open and sharing your testimonies!



Friday, October 9, 2009

Yesterday was a mixed bag of emotions for me. I was profoundly sad and I really didnt expect to be, I saw a beautiful baby girl with features similat to yours whin I went shopping yesterday and it made me sad. I asked her mom how old she was and she told me she just turned 1(I could tell).,She was very cute. I have this ideal of you and what and who you would be in my mind and she represented alot of who I imagine you wuold be.
There was also a beautiful butterfly in the parking lot which is my " symbol" of you. It was very special that God sent it right at the moment I needed it.
The balloon release was even more special than I had imagined. So many family and friends came who wanted to support our family and honor you were here. It was a wonderful tribute to you. We put notes in some of the balloons and attached very special, lamanated photos with our name, birthdate, promotion to heaven date and your blog address on them. That was your Aunt Amys idea. That was so touching to me and a very great way to potentially witness to people who dont know Jesus and their savior. God works in ways that seem mysterious to us in our limited vision, but to Him, who sees all, his ways are perfect. I am so glad we can serve a perfect God.
I cant wait to see you. Untill then, I will hold you in my heart.

P.S. Thank you to everyone who came to help my family remember and honor Rachel Elaine.Thank you to all who wanted to be here but couldnt.We love you all..
What's with the touchng songs..i stared cryin when... What's with the touchng songs..i stared cryin when i was looking at the pictures...i still cant beleive she would be one tommorow it seems like she was born yesterday i miss her so much...at least tommorow there will be people there to celeabrate her birthday witch is great but it's also sad to know she past away..before rachel was born i never knew how precious life was..but now i understand that god put me on earth to beleve in him as my only savoior..Rachel touched me in so many ways then anyone else..i cant belive someone who was here for 4 days can change your life..and people who have been here for 90 years cant touch you like that...God Bless You Rachel I Miss You And Love you...Love Autumn

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wow...In just one short week we will be at the one year anniversary of your birth. I wonder how I will handle it. It seems so impossible that any of this really happened. Jesus has kept me in perfect peace because my mind has been stayed on him in this circumstance. He assures me often of the truth that you are safe and secure in the arms of God in heaven..I am so grateful that He is so good and that He made a way for me to be with him as well when he paid the price for my sins on that cruel Roman cross.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

July 11th,2009

Today was your big sister Samantha's graduation party.Pastor Mike and Jody came and brought Anna and baby Michael with them. I got to hold the baby. I was really looking forward to holding him but I was also nervous that I might react badly. I didn't. He is so special and beautiful and perfect, but he is also very different than you were. You were softer and obviously very unique and in your weakness you were very strong. You survived the trauma of labor and lived for 3 days despite how very ill you were. When I held you, I was holding a miracle. I know that God sent you for a short time to do some big things for His kingdom and for His glory. I miss you, but now , for the most part , when I think of you I find myself smiling instead of crying. God has made

beauty from ashes
oil of gladness from mourning
a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness
"Isaiah 61:3(paraphrased)"

Love forever,

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I used to resent people seeing me as "the one with the baby who died". I thought "that's not who I am", but I have come to realize that, in fact, is who I am, at least in part. It is something that defines my life as unique. Not that no one has never lost a baby before, but my life experiences are mine alone and the sum of them make me who I am. God has allowed every life experience I have ever had and ever will have to equip me for the unique job I have, and to mold me and transform me into the image of HIS Son.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I am so pleased that God saw fit to use me to carr...": Hi. I stumbled upon your blog while doing a search because my name is also Rachel Elaine. Your blog is so beautiful and very much appreciated by me. You see, I lost my first-born, only son, Blake on Nov. 28, 2007 when he was almost 17 years old. He was killed in an auto accident when a class mate hit his car and alammed him into a wall on the way to a very violent death. The boy was an illegal immigrant with no driver's license, unbeknownst to my son (or anyone) at the time. The boy fled the scene after killing my son. We forgave the boy immediately. As I said at the time, one life has been destroyed, I don't want to see anymore destruction if I can help it. After the police left, my first words to God were: "Lord I can accept this as long as I know Blake is in Heaven with You." God has let me know sooo many times with many signs and wonders that are too uncany to be anything else but from His undeniable Hand. Beginning with a very real Hand on my shoulder that actually moved my hair upon telling the family translator to relay to the family "Tell them that we love them." Our son is in Heaven, safe and protected. Although we have taken so much flak for the forgiveness that none can understand, I feel so close to the spirit of my son and oh so comforted by the only One who can give that Peace that transcends understanding, because of the unnatural act, showing the face of Christ at the most trying time there could ever be. There are constant heart-shaped "signs" left from my son even after all this time as his message to me that love never dies. Blake was to graduate high school in a few weeks (as well as having a two year degree from college - he was so smart) and I plan to attend and walk the stage for him as the young people from his class that I've stayed in touch with want to present me with a surprise.I feel like an ambassador for him and will keep my head up for him and to show what miracles God can do.I know what you mean about the legacy your beautiful, precious daughter has left and how a child can do more and leave more in this life than most people do or leave after 90 years. My son was the same. His MySpace.com page (still open at my request) gives a bit of a testimony of who he was. He named the person most wanted to meet as: "Jesus Christ (my savior)" as well as his Hero. He talked about how helping others is the greatest feeling in the world, etc. I am very privileged in being a part of God's plan through the death of my son as hard as it is to bear at times. I see the cause and effect reasons already. And that is only the beginning of seeing the unfinished tapestry and finally being able to see the front side of the tapestry with the clear eyes of eternity. This life is just a flash...just a grain of sand throughout all eternity. We have to keep going and run our race with our last breaths to the best of our abilities even when it takes the last bit of our strength and much borrowed Strength.I am truly sorry of the loss of your precious, Rachel Elaine. Yours and Rachel's blog has really touched me. I had a big cry, looking through her beautiful pictures and reading the words posted. I cry for the loss of your Rachel from your physical life as well as for all of us who have lost a child, in the tears we know so well.I have a small blog: thoughtsforthought.blog.comIt was started before Blake was killed but now consists mostly of grief poetry. It helps the healing process to write and hopefully educate others about the grief process.Sure didn't intend to be so long-winded here (Believe it or not, I am swamped with work right now.) but I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated you sharing Rachel's story and your subsequent journey that I can relate to.May you always find the Hand of the Comforter on your shoulder and the Peace that transcends all understanding of humankind, even through your tears....Love and hugs,Rachel

Monday, May 11, 2009

I am so pleased that God saw fit to use me to carry such a special baby as Rachel into the world. It is humbling to know that through Rachel many lives were changed and many more will be. Rachel left a legacy most people only dream of.
God is amazing. He truly does use ordinary people to accomplish his will. I am proof of that because I am very ordinary without the Holy Spirit working in and through me.
My prayer is that more people are willing to say "here I am Lord", and may that also be the desire of my heart as well.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

To Rachels friends and family,

This blog is entitled Waiting for Rachel but now Rachel is waiting for me.
She is waiting for all of those whose life she touched.
Waiting for you to decide to give your life over to God. To trust Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and the only way to a home in heaven.
She is waiting on your heart to decide once and for all that you are indeed a sinner, that you could never "do enough good" to "earn" your way to heaven, to turn from yourself and sin and come to the cross of Christ where ALL of your sins can be forgiven. All that you need to do is repent and ask Jesus into your heart. Let him into your life and be secure in the knowledge that you too will enjoy eternity with Jesus( and Rachel) in paradise. Nothing is better than that.

Monday, April 13, 2009

"Say their names"

Adapted from Say Olin to Say Good-Bye
written by Don Hackett

The time of concern is over. No longer are we asked how were doing. Never are the names of our children mentioned to us. A curtain descends. The moment has passed. Lives slip from frequent recall. There are expectations: close and cpmpassionate friends, sensitive and loving family. For most, the drama is over. The spotlight is off. Applause is silent. But for us the play will never end. The effects on us are timeless. Say THEIR NAMES to us. On the stage of our lives they have been both lead and supporting actors and actresses. Do not tiptoe around one of the greatest events of our lives. Love does not die. Their names are written on our lives. The sounds of their voices replay within our minds. You feel they are dead. We feel they are of the dead and still they live. They ghostwalk our soul, beckoning in future welcome. You say they were our children. We say they are. Say THEIR NAMES to us and say THEIR NAMES again. It hurts to bury their memory in silence. What they were in flesh is no longer with us. What they are in spirit stirs within us always. They are of our past but they are part of our now. They are our hope for the future. You say not to remind us. How little you understand we cannot forget. We would not if we could. We understand you, but feel pain in being forced to do so. We forgive you, because you cannot know. And we would forgive you anyway. We accept how you see us, but understand that you see us not at all. We strive not to judge you, for yesterday we were like you. We love you. We will make no exceptions toward you. But we wish you could understand that we dwell both in flesh and spirit. The mystery is that you do too, but know it not. We do not ask you to walk this road. The ascent is steep and the burden heavy. We walk it not by choice. We would rather walk with them in flesh, looking not to spirit roads beyond. We are what we have to be. What we have lost you cannot feel. What we have gained you cannot see. And we would not have you. Say THEIR NAMES for they are alive in us. They and we will meet again, though in many ways we've never parted. They and their lives play light songs on our minds, sunrises and sunsets on our dreams. They are real and shadow, were and are. Say THEIR NAMES to us and say THEIR NAMES again. They are our children and we love them as we always did. Say THEIR NAMES!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa with Rachel Elaine

Monday, March 16, 2009

To ALL my daughters
My Princess....
You are my precious daughter

You are a daughter of the King, and not just any king. You are My daughter, and I am the God of all heaven and earth. I'm delighted with you! You are the apple of My eye. You're Daddy's girl. Your earthly father may love and adore you, but his love is not perfect, no matter how great -or small -it is. Only My love is perfect ... because I am Love. I formed your body. I fashioned your mind and soul. I know your personality, and I understand your needs and desires. I see your heartaches and disappointments, and I love you passionately and patiently. My child, I bought you with a price so that we could have an intimate relationship together for all eternity. Soon we will see each other face-to-face, Father and daughter- and you will experience the wonderful place I have prepared for you in paradise. Until then, fix your eyes on heaven, and walk closely with Me. You will know that- although I am God -My arms are not too big to hold you, My beloved daughter.

Your King and your Daddy in heaven

"And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty,
2 Corinthians 6:18


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rachel, 1/30/08

Wow, In Jennifers' baby pictures you and she look so much alike-even the hair color-you just had more hair than Jen and your skin was darker like your Dad and your sister Kelly.
I try to imagine what you would look like today. You would be 16 weeks old and plumpin up. I can almost guarantee baby blue eyes just like all of your siblings. Hair, now thats another story-we all have slightly different haircolors so I just dont know.
Your brother Matthew cried last night while we were praying. He said " I wish I could have held her good-bye". I explained that it was a very good thing that he wasn't home the night she went home to heaven because it was very sad, but he said he didn't care, he wanted to (in his words) "hold you alot more times". I did too......
Missing You,
Baby Jacob has left a new comment on your post "Rachel, 1/23/09 I keep thinking ...": Hi Barb~I just wanted to say hello and let you know that I am truly blessed to have been in the presence of sweet Rachel not just once but twice! I wasn't sure if I would ever see another T18 baby and there she was, perfectly made by the Creator to grace this world for three days, do what He had her to do by winning our hearts with her pesence and then she went to be with the One who created her with such amazing purpose. She is a true miracle. We are bound by our greif for our precious babies made with such wonderful purpose. Love and thinking of you and your family,Karen

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rachel, 1/23/09
I keep thinking about the night(morning) you were born. When we finally knew if you had Trisome 18 or not. When we realized that God decided not to heal you, I was in shock. Part of me really believed God was going to heal you, and still another part of me knew that His work wouldn't be accomplished if you were born healthy and healed. The hardest part of that night was when the delivery was all over and everyone there came in the room. No one said anything for the longest time. The heaviness of it was so obvious.
I love everyone of those people who were in that room with me and I am so grateful for their support. Especially your Dad, he was so soft yet so strong for me and for you. I love and admire him so much more than I ever had before. I know also that your older brothers and sisters and your grandma and grandpa and your aunts and uncles were waiting anxiously for the news. So were many others who couldnt be present but were there in spirit nonetheless. I love you all.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Baby Rachel, 1/16/09

Your Grama Patty is such a beautiful, remarkable woman. She was with me throughought my entire labor and delivery, right through to a few days after your death.

She stayed in my hospital room on the most uncomfortable "bed" imaginable the night I delivered you. She took care of me in the hospital. She stayed with us at home and helped us with EVERYTHING.

God has blessed me with a very tender, generous woman as my Mom.

Thank you Mom.

I know she loved you very much Rachel.



Tuesday, February 3, 2009


It is truly amazing how beautiful you were when you were not having "an episode." Apenic is what the doctors and nurses called it I think.. You looked so healthy and "normal" sometimes, that it was hard to believe you were sick. .......But, then there were the other times when you WERE having an"episode", when you couldn't get enough oxygen into your lungs and your face would get all distorted and you would turn gray in color. It was in those moments I knew just how sick you were.

God blessed me with 3 glorious days with you, and in that time I experienced the beauty of life and the ugliness of death.

Praise Jesus for defeating death and giving any who will come to Him new life, not only in this world, but forever with Him in paradise.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Amy McFarland said...
Rachel Sings within His LightLook into your heart each day,God says, "I'm still right here for you"...Holding your hand, each step of the way,Knowing that your days are blue.He cannot take away the pain, He can only give you His love...For when the sunshine turns to rain,His angels come down from above.Surrounding your soul with His light,embracing your innermost fears, God's angels have come to sit by your side,and wipe away the tears.One day at a time is all we have,God knows the road is long...Rachel is now within that light,playing her own little song.Listen for it you will hear,her song that she sings for you...for with each tear is a glimmer of light,It's Rachel singing to you

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Aunt Rose said...


I know oh so well the hole you feel in your heart...it takes time..it really is a healer... You see loss is only an illusion..Rachel Elaine is just transformed into a beautful spirit...God sent her with An Angels Message...I believe God gives us the Grace to move forward even though that soul is not physically with us..as each day passes it gets a bit easier..I just know she is blooming like the flower ...God is so Pleased...I pray for you each and every day...I thank God you and your beautiful family are a part of my Life..I only wish we could be in eachothers presence daily...Perhaps one day ...For some reason today is a hard day for me as well...I was also Touched By An Angel...Not just one ...I Love and Miss Y'all so much it sometimes just hurts
Aunt Rose

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bad Day

Rachel, 1-1-09

Bad day!
I somehow had to let go of you again when I removed the 2008 calander from the wall.
What a year!
You were conceived in January, I found out we were expecting in February, had a sonogram in April that revealed a potential problem, found out with more accuracy in May( I think) that it was Trisome 18.
I fell more and more in love with you every day.
You were born and gone in October.
November and December went by so quickly.
I dont want to let go of 2008 because in some way that I cant put my finger on I feel as if I am loosing you again.

With the holidays over the pain of loosing you has resurfaced with a vengence. How foolish it was of me to think I was suddenly"all better". I love you and miss you.

Dear Rachel, 12/22/08

I am so torn, because a large part of me selfishly wants Jesus to return and rapture His church so suffering can end and we will never have to say goog-bye to people we love again, but another part of me knows there are so many people (including my own family and friends) that do not yet know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, and they would be left behind, and perhaps have to suffer eternally, seperated from God, in the lake of fire.
Please Lord, give me courage to tell people about you and your saving grace.

I am homesick.
Amy McFarland said...
Yes Barb that hole will always be there waiting for the day that you and Rachel are once again united! If you were to fill the hole then her place would not be there when you meet again...You see, the only difference from today and the tomorrows to come are this: that hole is there, each day it becomes a little easier to live with, each day is one day closer to when you will be together again, each day you will feel His Light within that hole grow stronger, each day her presence within grows stronger...Not one person that has crossed her path has forgotten!Not one person that has crossed her path was not moved in some way by meeting her.And not one person that has crossed her path will be the same ever again!I just know that as you grow and move forward in your life, fulfilling your purpose here on earth, Rachel is proud to have you for a mother, she is smiling upon now as I write this, she smiles upon you as you write all your thoughts and emotions.Believe it or not, she is in that "hole" that you speak of! It is now just a matter of when you truly feel her there. I love you all so very much!
December 29, 2008 4:05 PM
Anonymous Amy McFarland said...

You were not wrong! God, Love and Light transcends all! Loved the "shout" thank you! Although my path has taken me in a different direction always know that my heart is with my family! I cannot explain in words just why my life is headed in the direction it is presently going but I do know I am being guided by a power that can only be God's loving light, with Rachel at his side pulling the strings like all little girls do! :)

December 29, 2008 3:48 PM

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Amy McFarland said...
Rachel Elaine Grapes has found her way to Twitter! I "tweet" about her everyday! She is my inspiration, my guide and my assurance that God keeps us close! Thank you Rachel for blessing our lives each and every day!

December 17, 2008 7:26 AM

Aunt Rose said...




December 23, 2008 11:43 AM

I was wrong


How wrong was I? There are such beautiful people in my life who are still concerned with how I, and my family are doing. It is so overwhelming. I am surrounded by such undeserved love and I pray to God that I will be a blessing to others like these kind, wonderful people have been to me.

A shout out to P.M-J.H-J.H mom and dad- H.B,K.F-A.Mc-Aunt Rose and my mom. I love you all



I am closer to God now than I have ever been.
I am fully leaning on HIM for everything(big or small)
HE is walking me through the fire ( and I will come out the other side anew)


I have been so busy lately with Thanksgiving and Christmas that I havent had much time to write to you.
I was at the mall yesterday seeing all the Christmas decorations, and the Moms and Dads with their little babies, and it hit me pretty hard that you're not with us for Christmas.

HOWEVER...., you are with the very One whose birth we celebrate.
Praise God for leaving heaven and all of its splendor and privelage, to come to a fallen world as a helpless baby boy, to grow to become the sinless, perfect sacrifice for all who will believe on HIM. I am so glad that I know when I die I will be with you again in heaven, eternally praising the Lord for all he has done for me.


Monday, December 15, 2008

please understand that I am publishing some very personal emotional writings in hope that it will help me heal and prayerfully, that others who are grieving will know that what they are experiencing is not unusual.

Who am I?


Dear God,
Babies arent supposed to die.
Babies arent supposed to be gray.
Babies arent supposed to be so sick that Moms are afraid their going to die in their arms.
Moms arent supposed to be afraid that their babies are struggling to breathe.
Moms arent supposed to have to give their babies morphine to ease their babies pain and suffering.
Parents arent supposed to have to decide if you want your baby creamated or buried.
Moms arent supposed to ~

Im sorry God.
Who am I to decide what people are or are not supposed to experience.

Dear God,

Filling the hole in my heart

Today is Mommy and Daddys anniversary! Your Daddy doesnt usually take me out for our anniversary but since you came into our lives he is a changed man in alot of ways.He and I have been out 3 times in the last month and prior to you we had mayber gone out 3 times in the past year.
Honestly Rachel, I am in more pain in the last 5 days over your death than I was in the last 5 weeks. It is really hitting me hard now. The novelty of it all has worn off for most people around me and I feel so very alone im my sadness. I am not sure how your Dad is doing. He works so many hours. Maybe that is how he is coping. I keep tryint to fill that hole your death left in my heart with things like my locket with your adorable tiny face on it, or the ring with your color stone in it or busy work or working on your blog, but I have come to realize that the hole will forever be there. I am not the same.
My hope is in the Lord. HIS love keeps me going. The awareness that He has a plan and a purpose for this tragedy in my life gives me strength. Even when I am on my face with grief, I know He is with me.
Love Mom


My sweet baby Rachel,
Yesterday JH took me out to lunch.We had a very nice time and I thank God for her.She told me she was going to try to pray for me and the family everyday for the next year. How beautiful!
I learned from her and PM the beauty and power of prayer, but also the discipline and kindness and responsibility of prayer. They showed me how lacking I am in that area of my life and I desire that God will help me to grow in this area.
My locket came in yesterday it is so special to me. Lorissa also got a gold locket that holds 2 of your pictures and it is very meaningful to her.She has been deeply affected by your dying and I am glad that this simple token can aid in her healing.
I didnt think about you until 40 minutes after I woke up and then I felt really guilty because of it.Silly, huh?
KF called and I told her about that guilt. She totally understood. God is so good in the way he provided a Mom who can relate to all my emotions. Amazing. She also understands that I want people to still grieve with me. In some way it keeps you and her Jacob alive.
I love you Rachel

Friday, December 5, 2008

thank you Aaron

Thank you so much Aaron for getting up early and getting the video posted for me. I am exrtemly grateful.

Rachels journal

I have been writing alot of my feeling and thoughts in letter form to Rachel and God.
Some of them are very personal and I will not be posting, but I think perhaps if I share some of my letters with others it may help them in a time of need and it may help me to heal, knowing others are sharing in my grief.
Dear Rachel,
How sad it was to get your bassinette out of our room. I was using it as a memorial to you and I know it wasnt "healthy". I asked Jody to pray for me to be strong enough to get it out of here and she must have because your Dad gave me money to buy a new bedspread and when I put it on the bed the bassinette looked very awkward. All the clothes you never got to wear went in there as well, and I cried imagining what you might have looked like in them.
My heart actually, physically aches and my chest feels heavy.
I miss you so much.
Heres a verse that has been encouraging to me:

Zephaniah 3:17
The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Helping Others

Today,because of Rachel's life, we were able to give a substantial amount of money to a local family who lost everything in a house fire. A "Rachel fund" was started last month with the intention to give to others with serious needs while sharing our testimony.
With the Thanksgiving holiday being next week, I am grateful we are able (in some small way) to brighten this family's day and prayerfully, through this tragedy, be used by God to show this family the path to salvation.
I miss you Rachel....but I am glad to see you still working for the cause of Christ.

Thursday, November 13, 2008



Jennifer, my 4 year old daughter began to cry today, just out of the blue (like I seem to do so often). When I asked her what was wrong, expecting an answer like " I wanted mac and cheese for lunch" she hugged me then gently grabbed my face and tenderly said, " I feel sorry for you Mommy, because of Rachel dying".
It moved me so deeply that she has learned compassion during this trial in our lives.
Prior to Rachels passing, Jennifer, though very sweet, was not much of a kisser or hugger, but now she has become very affectionate.
Thank you Rachel for teaching your big sister sympathy, and thank you God for using tiny Rachel for such a great life lesson.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thank You to ALL involved:
Mere words could never express the gratitude I feel toward each and every one of you.
I have never known such love as I have experienced over the last 7 months.From gifts of maternity clothes and baby clothes & baby items, to all of the cards and letters, to words of compassion and encouragement, as well as gifts of your time, and also your devotion to fasting and praying on behalf of myself, Rachel and my family. Truly, the Spirit of Christ is at work in a mighty way within this body of believers.
I am aware that Pastor Mike has updated many(if not all) of you as to specific ways prayers have been answered, but I would like to add some that he made not have known about.
In the labor and delivery room there was a sweet, young nurse who witnessed not only a supernatural love between my husband and I, but she was also privy to many scripture verses and prayers shared between our Pastors, friends, family and us. I heard her whisper a comment to another nurse that we were different and we were "good people", and I KNOW that she saw Christ in us that night. I praise God the He allowed me to serve Him in such a wonderful way. Please pray that God continues to work in her life and untimately for her salvation.
Also, the Lord saw fit to use this circumstance to mend a broken relationship between myself and a family member. We had simply stopped speaking to one another because of a silly misunderstanding.
I have also, by Gods goodness, been priveleged to meet and get to know Karen; a mom who shares in my suffering, as she lost her son to Trisome 18. She lives right here in W.N.Y and she is also a Christian. That is not a coincindence, that is a fingerprint of God!
Unsaved family and friends were touched by the work of the Holy Spirit and were exposed to the gospel of Christ.Praise God that His word shall never return to Him void.
Please understand that I hurt immensly over the death of my beautiful baby girl. Tears pour down my cheeks like rain sometimes, and my heart has a hole in it that can never be filled by anything other that Christs love. I thank God though, for my salvation; because I know one day we will be together again and there will be no more sickness, no more suffering, no more hurt, and no more tears. In the meantime, I miss her.
Please pray diligently for Pasor Leary and Pastor Mike and their families. Pray for their physical abilities to preach and teach the gospel. Pray that they continue to be bold witnesses for Christ and pray especially for their protection as these pastors are good and Godly men who love and fear the Lord, and the enemy has much to hate them for.
Continue to pray that Rachels life , and death, will lead many to salvation.
I love you all and I pray that God will bless each of you in a very special way.
In His service,
Barb, Dave and all of the Grapes family
Psalm 126 vs 5&6
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bearing his sheaves with him.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My beautiful baby girl....Rachel Elaine, which means innocent light, has done more for the cause of Christ in her short life than most people do in 90 years.
God has used her in many amazing ways.
When I was told the news that she had trisome 18, I was encouraged to abort her and I was able to take a firm stand and tell the doctors who offered that, that I was a Christian and that was not going to happen.
My marriage prior to the news that we were expecting was in terrible trouble, But GOD, in his infinite wisdom, used this very special pregnancy and child to bring us closer together than we have ever been as well as closer to HIM.
My children have all learned to appreciate each other more and to value all human life.
The church I am a member of all rallied around Rachel and my family in a very special way...Soon after I told them that Rachel had been diagnosed with trisome 18 as well as a serious heart defect they started a prayer vigel for her and for my family...Tues evenings from 7pm untill Wed evening till 7pm, incredible people fasted for 24 hours and prayed exclusivly for Rachel and us...This lasted 6 and 1/2 months....It grew to church members nationwide as well as around the world.....
She has taught me how to surrender all to Him and to trust Him completley...
In the hospital where she was born my Pastors, as well as some of my church family, came and waited in the waiting room and prayed, almost without ceasing, for us...People who came in and out of the waiting room definately took notice and some even prayed with them.Glory to God
Unsaved friends and family witnessed the love we, as the body of Christ have for each other and were touched by the beauty of God.
Doctors and nurses were witness to their testimony for Christ as well as mine and my husbands love for Christ and each other.
There is so much more that I havent mentioned, plus so much more I do not even know this side of heaven.
I miss my baby girl very much and my heart aches because a piece of me is missing, but I KNOW, because I put my faith in Christ ALONE for my salvation 4 years ago, that I will see her again. I realized I was a sinner and could never earn my way into heaven because Gods standards are so high (He is after all a HOLY GOD)
Thank you LORD for using me and Rachel in this very special way.

the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. Job 1:21b

If I can be of any help to you in any way please post on Rachels blog or email me at barbgrapes@yahoo.com

May this be an encouragemet to all who view this and may God Bless You.
More to come.....check back daily


Friday, October 17, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm glad that I was able to meet Rachel. I will never forget her, and whenever I hear her name, I will think of her. She has been a blessing to so many people in the few days she was with us. This morning she went directly form her mother's arms to her Heavenly Father's arms. She's in good hands! I look forward to the day when we can meet again in Heaven. I'm thankful for each member of the Grapes family. We will always love you!

~ Pastor Mike, Jody, Anna

Friday, October 10, 2008

For what I have always wished to experience has finally come true. I have never seen such a amazing beautiful baby. Rachel has taught me so much and I have not even known her for 1 hour. It really shows how fragile life really it. I wish the best for her and what ever time we have with her will be so special. I am very thankful to be a part and to get closer to the Grapes family. This has been a life changing experience. I love this family, they deserve so much. God please give Rachel as much time as possible with us. Love forever,

Oh please Oh Gracious Lord God and our Precious Jesus Christ! Please allow little Rachel a longer life in which she can see and comprehend the beauty of this world you created. That’s all I ask so please grant this one desire and I would be entirely grateful. Thank you.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dear Little Rachel,
We have waited so long for your arrival. So many prayers for you we feel we already know you & love you. But the Great Creator knew you in your mother’s womb & loved you far greater than anyone else. He has special plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11). You are truly a miracle & God’s special gift, not only to your family, but also your church family. We love you!
~Sharon S.
Rachel is beautiful. Cute too. I pray that you have special days with her. She has already been a blessing.


~Phil Riggs
At arriving at the hospital we tried to find you, mom & dad. We went to the 6th floor & no one there. We went to the 3rd floor & the room was empty. We finally found you & mom & dad in the ICN. We saw you & you were just beautiful. Sharon talked to her & you loved her voice. Well Rachel, God brought into this world & there is a lot of love around you. We love you Rachel.

~Barb R.
I am soooooo glad that you’re finally here!!! Your ultrasound was just grey squiggly lines so you can imagine how great it is to see you on your Birthday! We send up praises to God for the way He has blessed you and your family. Stay pink and petite!

~Dr. Rob
Wishes from ~Tanya Hooper (mom), Steven LaFontin (dad), Ariel Grace LaFontin (baby)
What a blessing to see you & your mommy & daddy. You are definitely in the right family- they will love and take care of you. Love to all of you and God bless.

~Merdie Swallow
Dear Barb & Dave,
We’re so glad to have met your precious baby girl. We are grateful to the Lord for Hid faithfulness and strength and to see Him shining through your lives. Your lives have been a great example o us all. We love you and we’re praying for you and the family.

~Love, Jody
What a special occasion to have met Rachel - you are precious and beautiful. God knows you, designed you, and given you to all of us as a gift of life and joy. We have grown and been blessed as we have prayed for you and your precious family. Your life has impacted so many people, we'll only know in all of eternity how many people you have touched and drawn closer to our Lord.

We love you, and continue to pray for you and your family. Praise our great God for your life and testimony.

We are all blessed by your life.

~In our Lord's love & hope, Juliana Leary
When God chooses us to be his vessel, we are blessed for every moment that we have. Rachel Elaine has been chosen to bless everyone she comes in contact with. Although we do not know the future for Rachel, today is what we have. Tomorrow is not here and may not come for anyone; we must be thankful for every day, every moment, every breath that we all take.

The world is brighter today than yesterday, for Rachel's light does shine!
God blesses us with this soul to say, "The love through her is thine!"

Faith is your rock, her soul, the light shining upon us all.
One day at a time, the moments now, the love and joy is all we have to recall.

Fondness is the current plight- as tough is that may be,
Enjoy it all- much more to come- just you wait and see.

~In love and light, Amy a.k.a. "Aunt Amy"

I think this is what the family needs to bring us all closer. For as long as she lives, I’m sure we all will enjoy our time with her. She will always be with us no matter what. We know that she will be in a better place and someday we will see her again.

To Rachel,
You’re a special gift from God. We will treasure every minute we have with you. All our love forever.

~Grandma & Grandpa
Dearest Rachel,

Happy Birthday! You are almost 12 hours old. These moments with you are so surreal. Thank you Dave for being you. Rachel, you have a wonderful family. Grandma and Grandpa Grapes are here.

~Grandma & Grandpa Grapes
I think Rachel is beautiful and I hope she doesn't die. By Matthew Grapes

"No thoughts."

"Baby and mama are so sweet. I love mommy and Rachel. I liked coming here and seeing Rachel. When I saw Rachel, she looked good enough to eat! I felt happy when I saw Rachel because Baby Rachel was finally here. Baby Rachel and Mom and Dad, I love!"

~Jenny Grapes
We are so so blessed to even have Rachel here with us today. The Lord has been very good to us. I just hope that he puts his hand over her and heals her completely so she can live for the Lord! We have waited for the little precious life for a long time. Our church family has been so good to us. Thank you everybody for praying for us and for being for us always! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

I love U Rachel

~*Kelly Grapes*
I met you, Rachel, and I love you for these precious moments to share. I thank God & Jesus for the chance to know you. You are an angel. I love you, Barbara, and thank you for your love!

~ Grandma Patty

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rachel, you showed you and warmed our hearts. You’re beautiful and sweet as I knew you would be.
I hope you are not in pain in your new world.
I love you, and I know you can hear me. We pray every moment.

Dear Rachel,
In His time – the Lord makes everything beautiful in His time. From the months of praying, to the hours in the hospital, you have already been an inspiration to us all. Your life is a precious gift from God.
The group waiting for your arrival has grown since the first time today that was at the hospital. Your church family is also actively praying for you tonight. You have many people who already love you, but most of all, your Heavenly Father loves you and cares for you. And so we continue to wait for Him to make everything beautiful in His time.

Psalms 139:13-18 – the Lord encouraged us with that passage earlier in the day.

~Love, Pastor Leary
Pastor Leary showed up while we went to Barb’s room to pray. Even John(Paul) came in the room & he was fine.

~Rachel’s Grandmother
I love you very much. You are not even here yet and your have made a huge impact on my life and so many others. You are a goft from God. Thank you for teaching me patience and thank you for bringing me closer to God.

Latifa’s friend thanked me for hugging Latifa when she was sitting by the door alone. Grateful.

~ Rachel’s Grandmother
Dear Rachel,
This has been an amazing day at the end of an amazing 7 months. As we waited for you, we prayed for you, & your mom & your brothers and sisters. You have done more with your little life for God than many people do in 70 years. Folks have learned to pray & fast, to have faith in God's power, and to show the kind of love that many people never experience. We don't know what God is going to do in your life from now on. But your Mom & Dad have given you to Jesus & He loves you more than all of us and He will keep you close to His heart.

~ Love, Carol & Paul
This has been a very amazing experience for me. It is awe inspiring how strong, calm, and collected Rachel's mother is. She is already the mother of six amazing and beautiful children, one of which is my best friend. I am blessed to be welcome here on the joyous day. I can not wait to meet little Rachel. It is worth the wait to be here for my best friend and her wonderful family. There are no words to describe my joy. It is like fate that I could be here to welcome this precious baby girl. I am truly blessed and will thank God everyday.

~ Rina
It's been good to see how God has used this waiting time. A whole church came together to pray. God brought a great team of doctors together. We've prayed with people in the waiting room. It's been a wonderful day! I'm happy to have been part of it!

~Pastor Mike
My mother is strong. Possibly the strongest woman I know; strong in faith, hope, and especially love. I learn from her. She is an amazing woman; what would I do without her? Nothing.

~Sam Grapes
Hi baby Rach. Well we have been urgently awaiting your arrival. Mommy's getting more and more uncomfortable which is a good thing cause you should be here soon. I know your an angle sent from above whether you will be with us for a long or short time. Your presence in our hearts has given us so much already. God Bless you baby Rachel. So many love you.

~Auntie Linda
Pastor Mike, Paul, Carol, Samantha, Rena, Linda myself and of course Dave are still waiting patiently. We have sung "Happy Birthday" to Rachel.

They have stopped the induction medicine because Rachel's heart did not like it. Will start back in 1/2 hour at 1/2 dose. Barb is having stronger contractions on her own now. I gave Dave a backrub & he said "I'm ready to have my baby now."

Dr. Robinson prayed. He is the geneticist.

We met Djuana (rev.). She is studying sign language.

We met Shelda in the waiting area and we all prayed for her new 1st grandson.

~Rachel's Grandmother
Pastor Leary came in and Dave took him in the see Barb. Samantha is on Elmwood Ave. & should be here any moment. Pastor Mike is still in prayer.

~Rachel's Grandfather
Pastor Mike actually remembered my last name. Waiting with Paul & Carol (Church). It is now 3:09pm. Barb is resting. Contractions are getting closer. Dave is fine, incredibly so am I. Pastor Mike is praying quietly. Carol is reading & Paul is just sitting next to her. I spoke to my dear friend Linda & she said she will come here. I asked Dave if I can take pictures and he said Barb wants that too!

~Rachel's Grandmother
Here I am. I made it to Children's Hospital. In the foyer while waiting for the information clerk to tell me where my daughter is. I met Pastor Mike from her church. We rode the elevator to the 3rd floor and met 2 folks from her church. I asked reception to let Barb & Dave know that I am here. She said I can visit soon. My heart is beating fast and just waiting for God's decision on this one.

~Rachel's Grandmother