Loss of child leads to Kirksville ministry - Word&Way

Loss of child leads to Kirksville ministry

It wasn't supposed to be this way. When parents go to the hospital to have a baby, they are supposed to come home with a bundle of joy.

On Aug. 19, 2005, Tony and Stacy Tucker-Potter left the hospital empty-handed and broken-hearted.

Stacy Tucker-Potter holds daughter Lily on June 20, 2005. The infant lived just two months, and now Stacy crochets hats, like the one Lily wears, and blankets as a ministry to new moms. (Photo courtesy of Stacy Tucker-Potter)

Their daughter, Lily, had lived only two months after being born prematurely with Down syndrome and a heart defect. But her life continues to impact families today.

Her mother, Stacy Tucker-Potter, started a ministry called "Love, Lily" to show God's love to other families.

"When I found out that about 90 percent of babies with Down syndrome are aborted, I really wanted to reach out to women who are considering an abortion to tell them they are loved, and their baby is loved," Tucker-Potter said.

It was from that heart of love and desire to reach out to women with unplanned pregnancies that she started crocheting baby blankets for a pregnancy center.

"My mother taught me how to crochet years ago, and I almost always make blankets for women I know having babies," she said. "It was watching the reaction to something that was pretty easy for me that made it sink in that this is a big deal.

"As I thought about women going through an unplanned pregnancy, I thought, 'There might not be a really excited grandma making this baby a blanket. But I can.'"

The women's ministry of Hamilton Street Baptist Church in Kirksville, where she and her husband are members, joined in making handcrafted items for the new ministry, Love, Lily.

With each handcrafted gift, they attach a handwritten card, congratulating the mother and baby and blessing them with God's love.

The cards and blankets are given to newborns and their mothers as part of a gift basket from the Lifeline Pregnancy Resource Center in Kirksville.

"I want to see Love, Lily spread nationwide and give blankets to women and their babies across the nation," she said. "I want to show love to a world that so desperately needs it, one blanket at a time."

And in that way, Lily's love lives on.

Individuals or groups interested in starting a Love, Lily ministry may contact Tucker-Potter by e-mail at tucker-potter@yahoo.com.