A rainbow of footprints
“When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will be seen in the clouds…”
Do you believe that beauty can rise from pain?
I do because I experienced it in my own life.
The day we got the diagnosis of anencephaly for our daughter, was the day real pain entered my life.
The day she died, my heart broke and I thought that it would never be whole again.
But through all my pain and heartbrokenness, one thing always remained: the certainty that my daughter was important, precious and that she could be a source of joy.
Her life was valuable not because of what she did, but just because she was.
The clouds in my life were heavy, but from the beginning, I decided to look out for the rainbow. For the beauty that would rise.
And I cannot even begin to tell you about all the beauty and joy she brought in our lives.
Over the years, the things I would never have thought possible happened: God healed our hearts completely and made them whole. He removed the pain of her loss. What now remains is the joy of having known her.
It’s like the rainbow, you can hardly believe how such a wonderful thing can appear when it rains…
I wanted to make something with her keepsakes that shows the joy she brought into our lives and the imprints she let on our hearts. So came the idea of the “rainbow of footprints”.
Make your own rainbow of footprints
After your baby’s birth:
- A rainbow inkpad with removable pads for each colour or separate inkpads in as much colours as you want
- White postcards
- Some warm water and soap
- a towel
- Acrylic paint in at least 4 colours (white, yellow, blue, red), more if you don’t like mix colours
- Wooden frames (e.g. from IKEA, they sell 3 frames for less than 3$)
- A saucer and a brush
How to proceed:
Begin with the lightest colour.
Take the inkpad and make sure that there is paint all over your baby’s little foot. Then take a postcard and press the foot well in the middle of the card. If you don’t like the print, do it again. Make more than one card, you may want to use the others for something else later (or do another set for the baby’s grandparents).
Wash the foot with some warm water and a little soap, dry well.
Take the next colour and do the same procedure.
At home, mix your acrylic paint to obtain the same colours than the footprints on the cards. Give one layer of paint and let dry.
Put the cards in the matching frame and hang up.
If your baby already died and you only have one black footprint, you can still make a rainbow.
Scan the footprint and with a graphic program, change its colour before you print it.
If you don’t have a scanner, program or colour printer, you may want to ask a friend to
lend you a hand. And if you don’t have a friend who can help you, I’ll do it for you.
Just write me an e-mail.
Some Children come into our lives and go quickly.
Some children come into our lives and stay awhile.
All our children come into our lives and leave footprints.
Some oh so small; Some a little larger; Some, larger still,
But all have left their footprint on our lives; in our hearts,
And we will never, never be the same.
Doreen Sexton in “Children’s' Footprints”
Last updated November 17, 2009