Welcome to the Sweet Pea Project's Blog, part of the Sweet Pea Project's effort to create a supportive and compassionate community for those of us affected by the death of a child. Here you will find updates on the Sweet Pea Project, as well as anything going on in the world that relates to childloss. If you have a suggestion for a topic you would like to see discussed here, I'd love to hear it. Please make sure you stop by the official website, www.sweetpeaproject.org and feel free to email me for any reason at anytime at Stephanie@sweetpeaproject.org.
peace, Stephanie Cole (Madeline's Mom)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Finally, a Victory for Pennsylvania Parents!

When my daughter was stillborn in 2007, I was offered a death certificate but no birth certificate. A few months later I decided to look into it further, because it seemed so illogical to me. I came across the MISS Foundation and the MISSing Angels Bill and contacted Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, who returned my email with a phone call that same afternoon. Her knowledge seems limitless and her passion is infectious. I learned that my state, Pennsylvania, had already been fighting for years to pass a bill that would offer parents a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth. I added my voice to the already booming chorus by meeting with my Senator and State Representative, collecting names on a petition and speaking out about the need to pass this legislation. A few years later another local mother, Nicole Jackson, decided to get involved after her son was stillborn. She collected over 1,000 names on her petition and opened herself up to the community by appearing in numerous television interviews and newspaper articles to speak eloquently and emotionally about her son, her experience and the importance of this bill. And on July 27, 2011, Nicole and I were able to watch as the Governor finally signed that bill into law. We were a very small part of a very large process, one that took 11 years and the sweat and tears of countless individuals, many of whom worked much harder and longer than us, and it was such an honor to be there together as we witnessed Pennsylvania become the 31st state to adopt this type of bill. All of us here at Sweet Pea Project are anxiously awaiting September 6th so that we can finally apply for something that should have been offered to us a long time ago: birth certificates for our babies.

Please scroll down to view photo highlights from our time at the Capitol and click on the links below to check out the media coverage we received. And to everyone who played a role in the passage of this bill, we are so very grateful. Thank you.

Front page article in the Patriot News: http://www.sweetpeaproject.org/in-the-news/cherishing-the-life-of-a-stillborn
WGAL television news segment: http://www.wgal.com/video/28685447/detail.html

Please visit www.sweetpeaproject.org/in-the-news to view more media coverage and www.sweetpeaproject.org/legislation to learn more about this bill.

PA parents may file for a certificate for their child at this link:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sweet Pea Sisters & Brothers Picnic Pictures!

A few weeks ago, Sweet Pea Project held a new community event for kids, the Sweet Pea Sisters & Brothers Picnic. This year's picnic, presented by Angel Bracelets, was held at Hands on House Childrens Museum on July 9th and was an absolutely incredible event. We are already excitedly brainstorming up ways to make next year's picnic even better, and we hope you will join us there next summer. In the meantime, I wanted to give you a sneak peak into the event by sharing a short video with beautiful images from Molly S. Photography. Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGpg0bYsWqw

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to the picnic, volunteered their time, made donations or sponsored the picnic. More information about the event and our generous sponsors can be found online at www.sweetpeaproject.org/picnic.