Our second son, Noah Wilde Rooney, was born on March 9, 2021.
It didn’t take long after he was born still for me to search online for pregnancy and infant loss support groups on Facebook. I was really naïve to the statistics and had a lot of questions on why stillbirth happens.
I, also, wanted to hear the stories of other parents who had lost a child and what helped them during grieving.
For weeks, I just observed the posts and stories, always staying hidden in the background. I wasn’t ready to share Noah’s birth story or his photos. It was still foggy to me and reality had not yet set in.
My faith was shaken, my marriage was shaken, and I was running on autopilot for the sake of taking care of our first son.
It didn’t take long for me to realize the online “support groups” were doing me more damage than good. My spirit was heavier. My grief was suffocating. Depression was starting to take a front seat.
The “support groups” weren’t faith-based so perhaps that was my first mistake. However, one thing did come from joining these groups.
The realization that hope desperately needed to be poured into the child loss community. And not just any hope, the hope of Christ.
The common theme in all of the groups was not only that mothers had lost babies — but that they had no opportunities to share their baby’s photo and details surrounding their birth.
This saddened me that the details about their child were never asked about by family and friends. Then, I realized many of my own family members and friends never asked those details about Noah.
I believe this is when God created a stirring in my heart.
He planted the seed to create a memorial print that showcased our children in such a delicate, intimate way. The combination of hope-filled scripture, with our child’s photo and their sweet birth details all in one place.
The thought of Noah’s photo being on display in the walls of our home, just like our living son, made me teary. I wasn’t ashamed of him. I didn’t want his photos to be hidden in the box I came home from the hospital with.
I wanted his story to be told. I wanted his name to be spoken. I wanted people to ask about him. I wanted people to know I have two sons, even though they only physically see one.
And, more than anything, I wanted to be reminded daily of the eternal life he has in heaven.
And that’s how our ministry, Mother of Wilde began — birthed only three months after Noah was born. The concepts, the partnerships, and even down to the materials for the remembrance prints was nothing more than God pointing me in the right direction.
Many nights I asked the Lord if this is what He wanted to come from Noah’s short life. Many nights I asked the Lord if He picked the right mother for this ministry. Many nights I asked the Lord to heal my broken heart. Many nights I asked the Lord to help me keep the faith.
And He did.
I started having dreams and visions of this ministry.
As I kept my feet planted in His word, He continued to send families to our ministry. Families that had lost a child from all across the country. Families that all had a story to tell. Families that all were grieving just like me.
The suffering and pain were all pretty similar but the stories and children all completely different — the way God intended.
Stillborn babies at full term with no explanation. Babies born with anencephaly. Children that passed away due to SIDS. Babies given a “life-limiting” diagnosis with parents still choosing to carry their baby to term. Pregnancy loss in every trimester. Shaken baby syndrome from a close member of the family. Babies born with trisomy. Families with multiple baby losses. Aborted babies at every gestation. Accidental toddler deaths by motor vehicle. Birth-related medical malpractice.
We saw these types of stories in less than a year — and the stories went on and on.
God continued to embolden me to speak healing over these families. Restoration over these families and to meet them in their grief with a reminder of His hope.
I, truly, believe that as I created these remembrance prints the Lord was not only meeting these families where they were, but He was meeting me where I was.
I was nothing more than a broken mom that lost her son who was clinging to Jesus. How in the world was I attempting to minister to the hearts of other broken moms when my heart wasn't healed yet?
But, I kept the faith. And God was faithful to me.
With every new order, God poured strength into my spirit and gave me the words to pray over these families. He gave me the courage to intercede for their healing and for restoration of their faith.
If they didn't know Him before, maybe wandering the wilderness of child loss would bring them to His feet.
I quickly realized that our ministry would never be truly quantifiable because healing and redemption was only something God could do in the hearts of these families. Yes, I could point them to Jesus and our memorial prints could continually point to His faithfulness in every season but, beyond that, it was up to them.
The true definition of redemption is gaining possession of something in exchange for payment or to win back something. The antonym of redemption is bondage and that's exactly where the enemy wanted me.
The enemy wanted me paralyzed by Noah's death so that I wouldn't be able to walk out God's calling on my life.
The enemy wanted me to be in such a state of depression, anxiety and fear that I would question God and turn my back on Him. The enemy wanted to plant lies in my mind that would destroy my marriage, my family, and my faith in Christ. The enemy wanted me to blame God for the death of Noah.
But Noah lives. Only because of Christ, Noah lives eternally. And one day, I will be reunited with him.
Redemption for me was the Lord revealing this ministry to me through Noah's life.
Redemption was the Lord allowing me to find purpose in my pain.
Redemption was growing an even stronger relationship with Christ.
Redemption was using Noah's story to point others to Jesus.
My story is one of redemption and yours can be, too.
You don't have to create a ministry or do anything elaborate to realize that God isn't finished with your story. Your child is deeply loved and lives eternally with Christ. Redemption is a mindset. As long as you have breath in your lungs, your story is not finished.
This article was written by Moria Rooney, Christ-follower, wife, mother, and Founder of the ministry, Mother of Wilde. Moria is based out of Wilmington, North Carolina and has been married to her husband, Brian, for 8 years. Together, they have three children - Roman, who turns 3 in January, Noah, who was stillborn at 35 weeks, and they are currently expecting their first daughter, Eden in December 2022. Moria is passionate about pouring hope and healing into the loss community through her ministry