WRITTEN BY SARAH AND ALEX, SOPHIE’S PARENTS
Sophie was in a big hurry to enter the world. On June 3, 2013, after hours of excruciating pain and emotional anguish, our beautiful baby girl was born weighing only two pounds and 12 ounces. As my husband, Alex, and I sat with our tiny, tiny baby, all we could hear were words like “brain bleeds,” “developmental delays,” “heart murmur” and “surgery”. Among these incredibly frightening words, Sophie’s nurses kept saying “JW House.” We didn’t know what JW House was, but we thought it was worth the walk across the parking lot to check it out.
We were so consumed with helping our tiny, precious baby that our own basic needs were neglected our first few days at the hospital. After barely eating and drinking, we came to the point that we were too exhausted to drive to our San Jose home, but were terrified by the prospect of leaving Sophie.
We first stepped foot on the front porch of JW House exhausted and emotionally drained. As we were welcomed inside and shown “our” fridge and “our” home, I broke down crying as I realized people wanted to provide for us during this incredibly difficult time.
JW House immediately became our sanctuary, our place away from the loud beeps and bright lights of the hospital. For the 14 weeks our Sophie was in the hospital, we spent a few hours of nearly every day at JW House. It provided a safe place for us to nap, rejuvenate, do work, and speak to other NICU families. At dinnertime, we would laugh, pray, cry, and share stories. JW House provided us with a place of hope, where we could gain the energy to face the realities of our daughter’s condition.
On the day we found out Sophie would be graduating from the NICU, Alex and I were overjoyed. We finally got to bring our tiny baby home to grow and play in her own home. But we will never forget the support, love, hospitality, and healing we felt from the JW House family. Before we left the hospital, Alex and I collected money from family and friends to provide a computer for JW House guests to use in the living room. Giving back felt so important after all of the love we received from JW House. Please join my family in helping continue the hope, hospitality, and healing of JW House.