COAL CITY – Even though it has been 10 months since her twins were born, Laurie Kwasigroch still looks at her sons in awe and disbelief.
“I just said to my husband this morning, we actually have two little boys crawling around in our kitchen,” Kwasigroch said Saturday at the Angels of Hope open house at the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Coal City office.
Kwasigroch and her husband, Dusty, tried having a baby for five years. They tried with the assistance of fertility drugs and an intrauterine insemination procedure before applying for Angels of Hope’s Creating Miracles Grant. The grant helped them afford to try in vitro fertilization.
Thanks to the help of Angels of Hope, Spencer and Nicholas will soon celebrate their first birthday.
“Just watching them sit there laughing – we thought it would never happen,” Kwasigroch said. “I just can’t put into words how grateful we are.”
In 2008, four babies were born with the assistance of Angels of Hope. On Saturday, all three families came together to celebrate and allow their children to meet each other.
Angels of Hope was created in 2005 to help anyone dealing with the emotional or physical absence of a child. The organization helps in many ways, including a Creating Miracles grant to assist couples with infertility procedures and an Everlasting Footprints grant to help those who have lost a child with burial and headstone fees.
It looked a little like a baby exchange as the room full of mothers and fathers took turns holding each others’ children and sharing their stories. The babies were just amused to crawl around and check each other out.
The first baby born with the help of Angels of Hope was Rhylan Brackett. Ray and Lisa Brackett of Coal City tried having a child for 10 years. They lost twins before having their daughter in March 2008.
Rhylan loved her first “big pink birthday party,” Lisa Brackett said.
“It was wonderful, but bittersweet because she’s a year old already,” she said. “It’s just so nice that we got through the first year. It was a rough pregnancy, but she is healthy and happy. I thank God every night and I know she has two beautiful angels watching over her.”
Madelyn Allison of Joliet is the most recent addition to the Angels of Hope family. She is 9 months old and is Lisa and John Allison's second child. The Allisons went through several in vitro fertilization treatments to conceive both of their daughters.
“It’s very emotional. It’s like our family is finally complete,” Lisa Allison said. “I didn’t feel that way before . . . It’s a very desperate feeling. When you get married you think you’re going to have babies without any problems.”
All three of the families said they now feel whole and are thankful for every day they pushed themselves to keep fighting.
“We’ve received e-mails from people as far as Egypt and Bulgaria. This is a worldwide issue . . . but we have limited funds and we need to concentrate on those who need our help here,” Russelle Holsinger, Angels of Hope vice president, said.
Angels of Hope awarded another Creating Miracles Grant in April to Colleen and Curt Hanson of Wilmington. The organization is now taking applications for grants to be given out in August.
For more information on Angels of Hope, or to apply for either of the organization’s grants, visit [www.angelsofhopeinc.org or call (815) 634-8139.