Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Welcome To The World - Little Z

Dear beloved friends and family,

Jimmy and I are humbled, honored, and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we have received from each of you. The last 4 days have been an absolute whirlwind of activity...none of which we could have prepared for and quite frankly, none of which we have had time to process. But fortunately, none of which we have had to face alone thanks to our precious Lord and each of you.

Our "chosen" son was born unexpectedly on Tuesday, June 3, at 7:10pm, weighing 3 lbs, 15 oz. On Monday night, I thought I was in labor with consistent and somewhat painful contractions followed by a bit of bleeding. We went to triage at Celebration Health and they decided to keep me overnight for observation because ultrasound and monitoring showed potential signs of fetal distress. When continued monitoring on Tuesday failed to show progress for the baby (and alternatively showed additional signs of distress), we decided to heed the advice of our doctors and bring our baby into the world by emergency C-section.

Jimmy and I thought our biggest battle would be caring for our pre-mature baby. Instead, he was born with a series of "anomalies" that when pieced together, amount to an unfortunate diagnosis: Trisomy 13. In essence, each cell in our baby boy's body has three copies of chromosome 13 instead of the usual two copies. When a child has an extra 13th chromosome, the genetic messages are confused and contradictory – there’s just too much to juggle. This results in multiple significant defects in major organ systems. Trisomy 13 (also called Patau Syndrome) is fatal.

We don't know how long our son, Zachary, with be on this Earth. What we do know is that our Dear Lord entrusted Jimmy and I to parent this special baby and for that, we are deeply humbled and grateful. We also know that he was sent to us with our Savior knowing that Jimmy and I are surrounded by people like you who will help us, learn with us, laugh with us, cry with us, and love our baby. We can not thank you enough for all you have already done and all we will ask of you in the days, weeks, and perhaps months to come. Our greatest wish is to show Zachary the kind of love he deserves to feel in the potentially very short time he has in this life.

Each of you has asked, "what can we do?" and in our flurry of activity, we are trying to figure that out. We thank you and we praise our God for sending you to us. We promise we will ask and we thank you for everything you have already done. But beyond that, we invite you to join us on our journey. We believe it will be filled with lessons of hope, grace, love, and precious reminders of God's great glory. We aren't asking, "why did this happen?" Instead, we are asking, "how do we honor our dear son?". Jimmy and I have an awesome account of the many blessings we have already been given in the few short days he has been in our lives. Imagine what is still to come!

Your prayers, calls, e-mails, and messages are welcome and warm our souls. Our dear friend Julie is helping us with a blog (one of the MANY inspirations from the Sams family) to share updated information and pictures.

We feel the tender embrace of each of you and our precious Lord.

With love,

Kristen, Jimmy, Carter, Addison, and Zachary (which means, "Remembered by the Lord"; in our house, we'll call him "Little Z", "Z-Man", "ZJT", etc.)

(If you want to know more about Trisomy 13, this is one of the more inspiring and well-done sites we've seen so far:


Jon Schaeffer said...

Kristen and Jimmy,

I am so very relieved by your outlook for the challenge put before you. More importantly, God must be very well pleased with your humility, gratitude and trust in His infinite wisdom. Stephanie and I are humbled by your ability to see and express so quickly and clearly just how you will use Zachary's life to honor and glorify God. That is just Awesome!

Yesterday I was heartbroken for you. Now that I know that you are full of love for the Lord, I rejoice for you.

God is Holy and His justice is pure. Because of this, He must redeem the pain and sorrow brought on by things that He either causes or allows to happen. His plan is always perfect. Sometimes justice seems unfathomable and we cannot begin to see perfection in His plan. I am confident that those of us who choose to be in union with Him, through Christ, will one day understand how each and every difficulty we experienced on earth was or will be redeemed.

I also know that God has known Zachary James Tate the beginning of time, when his name was is inscribed in The Book of Life!

I will be a prayer warrior for you (especially) and for everyone affected by this until The Spirit leads me to cease. There is an entire army assembled here in N Texas doing the same.

I love you dearly and I am honored to be your brother and servant in Christ.


Caroline Kane said...

Your witness and faith in our Beloved Lord is amazing, inspiring and so pleasing to Him. God has created EACH life at the beginning of time for an Earthly purpose. Zachary’s purpose and life is most precious and awesome. We love you all both so very much and will be here whenever and for whatever you need.


Shannon said...

Hi guys,

I really don't have words right now but I'm feeling your sadness all the way in Maryland. :( I'm praying for you and have already asked my support system to include you in prayer as well.

I know that God never gives us more than we can handle and you both truly have been chosen to have Zachary in your life (LOVE that name by the way).

I know you must be surrounded by lots of loving people at this time. On a side note, I am completely okay with whatever you decide for next week. If you need me, I'd love to help. If you don't, please know that I understand and will wait to hear from you regarding when you need my help. Just take care of yourselves, the kids, and your new baby.

Love you guys,

The Reese's said...

Good morning Tate's. We are so honored to know you and to be able to call you friends. Your strength and faith is an inspiration to all who know you. Little baby Zachary is such a blessing and couldn't have been born into a more loving family.

Please know that you are loved and prayed for daily. Carter is being well cared for at school and it's been a pleasure to be a part of his last preschool year. Today will be nothing but fun at school - and I will be sure to take lots of photos.

I know we are one of many families that are offering support ~ but you can call on us for whatever you need or want.

Love to each of you,

The Reese's

Rebecca Grinnals said...

Jimmy + Kristen -

Thank you for sharing the news of your dear, precious gift Zachary. Your words are full of grace and love and serve as an inspiration to all. The strength of your amazing faith is so clear and your choice to celebrate the time that you have with him and invite us all to share your journey is just amazing.

You are all in our prayers and on our hearts. Zachary is such a lucky little boy to have you as his parents and Carter and Addison as his brother and sister. We know that you will make the most of each moment you have with him. We know that you are surrounded by so many family and friends who love you and please include the Grinnals family among them. We will do anything possible to be there for you.

With much love -

Rebecca, Patrick, Annie + Gracie

Eileen Wilson said...

Welcome Zachary James, little child of God! I so look forward to meeting you. I can't wait to tell you all about your beautiful Mom and Dad and sister and brother. God has placed you in a
precious loving family.
To Kristen and Jimmy and family, blessings on your new journey with Baby Zachary. May God bless you with many miracles!
Love and prayers, Eileen Marie

Mek said...

Kristen, Jimmy & family,

All I can say is that I will continue to pray, pray, pray. God has blessed you with such an attitude of love in this difficult time. When most would be saying “why me” your family is embracing Zachary for who he is and the mission God has entrusted you with. I am humbled by your attitude and am certainly learning a lesson from it!

Please reach out if you need me, DON’T respond to this email and know that many prayers are with you. God certainly is.


Melissa H.

Melissa Hudson said...

rprhlodKristen, Jimmy & family,

All I can say is that I will continue to pray, pray, pray. God has blessed you with such an attitude of love in this difficult time. When most would be saying “why me” your family is embracing Zachary for who he is and the mission God has entrusted you with. I am humbled by your attitude and am certainly learning a lesson from it!

Please reach out if you need me, DON’T respond to this email and know that many prayers are with you. God certainly is.


Melissa H.

Penton Wilbanks said...

Dear Kristen and Jimmy,

Gene had told me that there was a potential problem and I just spoke with you (Jimmy) this past week and you did not mention this.I had no idea of the magnitude.I want to say how sorry that I am first of all, but I couldn't agree with you more.God could not have chosen better parents to love this small child and He will be there with you EVERY step of the way.He will never give us more than we can handle and this is no exception.I will be constantly praying for you and Zachary.God will bless you in so many ways.I pray that you will clearly feel God's presence and peace and know that you are loved and being prayed for.I also pray that you will feel all of the prayers that are being lifted up for you.May God bless you and I know that He will.Please let me know if I can be of any assisstance whatsoever.In His name,Penton Wilbanks

Monica said...


I am truly inspired by your faith, and believe with all my heart that there is a plan for each of God's children. God could not have chosen a better family to place baby Zachary. He will never doubt for a second that he is loved. Please let me know if there is anything at all that I can do, and I can't wait to meet him!!

Angelo Rodriguez said...

A beautiful message. This morning started with tears, turning to joy seeing the heartwarming pics on the T13 site. I pray you get as much time with Zachary James as possible.

Love you guys, Ang

Chris Jurin said...


I am truly sorry to hear about this, but it is awesome to hear Kristen's sentiment. Please know that you and Kristen and the kids are in Danielle and my prayers. Please pass our best onto Kristen.


Chris Jurin

Betsy Kleiman said...

Hi Kristen and Jimmy,

Our hearts are with you during this precious, amazing and most challenging time. All of you are remembered constantly in prayer.

With much love,
Betsy, Hannah and Ainsley

Nicole Wolfe said...

I do not know what to say at all. Please call on me for anything a run to publix, a babysitter, someone to talk to anything. My children are going back to Tallahassee Tomorrow (Sat) I will be alone for a week so I am completely free if you need or want me.
Please know you will all be in our prayers today and always. I would love to meet you new son.
Thinking of you all,

George & Barbara Moran said...

Jimmy and Kristen:

You and your family are in our prayers. Please don't hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do or if there is anything you need. We are available 24/7.

George & Barbara Moran

Suzanne Schwing said...

Dear Jimmy and Kristen,

Thank you for including me in the email train. I have much admiration and love for the 2 of you and am grateful to be part of this journey.

While reading your email account I envisioned that God did choose you both for this chosen baby, Zachary. Additionally, he chose all of us to not only be there to support you, but to also bear witness to the miracle unfolding right before our very eyes. Already, you and Jimmy have embraced your spiritual responsibilities with honor and have so graciously included us all. I am genuinely humbled, as I believe my small part in this journey is an answer to my prayers for compassion, peace and healing. I have never experienced such an unselfish response to what many would deem for themselves as unfortunate or even as a punishment of some kind.

You both (as well as Zachary) are amazing and have elevated my quality of life as of this moment!

I hope that if you all need something specific from me that you will contact me. Until then, my prayers, admiration and undying support are everlasting. The world is a better place because of people like you!

With love,

Suzanne Schwing

Vance Rea said...

Dear Kristen, Jimmy, Carter, Addison and Zachary

Thank you for including us in the update of your sweet baby boy Zachary. We are praying for you and are available for any support you may need. Vance and I were trying to think how we may be some help to you. We would be happy to take care of Carter and Addison for you at any time. We are just down the street and you can call us day or night. Our hearts are filled with Love for your baby boy Zachary and your entire family. We will continue praying for you and will help in anyway you need us. Please call us if you need us for anything at anytime.

“Your love is so great it reaches to the skies. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.”

Psalm 57:10

With Love,

Stephanie, Vance, Vanessa and Stevan

Sahar el heraky said...

I struggled a lot to what to write but I am sure that you are great parents , and I prayed a lot to you yesterday and I want always to be there any time you need anything don’t hesitate to tell me ..

Sahar el heraky

Dan Paris said...


One of the things I have learned from Joe Stumpf is only speak when you can improve upon the silence. So I will be quiet here and just say another thing I have heard Joe say is that when people die before the age of 28 years old they came here to teach, when people die after 28 they are here to learn. From your note it is clear you are aware Zachary is our teacher.

Be well and love him.


Holly & Jim Graham said...

Dear Kristen and Jimmy,

We just want you know that you have been constantly in our thoughts and prayers since we have received this. We know there are no words or acts of comfort that could ease your pain, but the Lord works in mysterious ways & we will continue to pray for your healing & peace.

We just want you to know that we are sending you our love, compassion & prayers.

Your attitude and faith in this is a testament to your faith. You are an example for all of us that approach negative circumstances.

Little Z is so lucky to have you as parents.

Holly and Jim

The Baldasare Family said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all!

The Baldasare Family

Michelle Brown said...

Kristen & Jimmy:

I am very sad to read the news about your new son. Why God chooses to give us these trials in life is hard to understand. I do believe however that he never gives us more than we can handle (even though we can’t see that while in the midst of a crisis). I can tell from your email that your faith is strong and that you will somehow get through this because of it. All of you are certainly in our prayers and most especially “Little Z”. He is a very lucky little one to have landed in your family if even for just a short time. My prayer is that God will bless each of you and make your little ones time on earth a peaceful one. Take care of each other.

Love, Michelle

Kristin & Eric Olson said...

Dear Kristen and Jimmy,

Thank you so much for sharing with us all that has been going on, as we have not stopped thinking about you since we heard that your son had arrived. Above everything else, I am thankful that your perspective is so clear: that God has blessed you with a special son, and He will give you what you need to get through this difficult time. You both truly inspire me with your faith and peace in God's love. We will be honored to share this journey with you. Although we are far away, please think of us as people you can turn to every step of the way. We will look forward to more updates and pictures of your wonderful little Zachary.

May God continue to bless you and give you the comfort and strength you need in the journey ahead.

Kristin & Eric

P.S. - By the way Kristen, I know your first priority is spending time with Zachary and your friends and family. I also hope you can remember to take extra good care of yourself as well considering what your body has been through with your difficult surgery.

John Zimmer said...


I am so happy you have a new son to love. Congratulations!

It is my hope that his time here is special for everyone.

If there is anything I can do please let me know.


Sonja Ryder said...


Words cannot describe how my heart reaches out to you and your family.

You have thoughts and prayers surrounding you from around the country.


The Rodriguez Clan said...

Hey Luvies,

How are you?? You've been in our thoughts and prayers all day long.

Know that you are soo (see below) INCREDIBLY loved and cared for by soo many wonderful souls. It is a beautiful thing to witness and I feel incredibly blessed to have all of you in our lives. Meeting and befriending ya'll was truly an intercession from our Father in heaven. I've already felt many of the gifts of precious baby Zachary James Tate. What a blessing. You are both an inspiration and are a pillar of strength, grace and love at such a difficult time.

We can't wait to meet lil' Z...let us know "when" and we'll be there!

As far as meals go, how would you like me to orchestrate delivery? My goal is to make it as seamless as possible so that it is a help and not another scheduling hindrance. Would it be easiest to have them bring meals to the fridge in the garage or perhaps call me and I will coordinate schedules based on your daily planning? Just let me know. The last thing you need is to be flooded with calls about delivering meals. I'm here and available...put me to work!! I'm your official MEAL WENCH!!!! LOL

Love to the whole family.....soo glad your Mom is here Kris. Please give her our love.

The Rodriguez Clan

Saturday June 7th- The Rodriguez Family

Monday June 9th- The Robbins Family

Wednesday June 11th-The Lowell Family

Friday June 13th- The Kane Family

Sunday June 15th-The Ganley Family

Tuesday June 17th- The Servine Family

Thursday June 19th- The Deaton Family

Saturday June 21st- The Reese Family

Monday June 23rd- The Barnes Family

Wednesday June 25th- The Russell Family

Friday June 27th- The Sweeney Family

Sunday June 29th- The Tennant Family

Thursday July 3rd- The Rattigan Family

Christina Ganley said...

Jimmy -

The email that Kristen sent out was such an amazing testament to the faith that you both have. It was beautiful and truly took my breath away. I know that with Kristen's C-section, she can't drive for a few weeks. I would be honored to have an opportunity to take her to see Zachery. If at some point it is a help to your family, please let me know. I am available on the weekends and generally also on Wed and Fridays.

Much love and prayer -
Christina and the Ganley Family

Beth and Brian McAulay said...

Kristen and Jimmy -

I'm not sure how or what to say - so please bare with me. Ever since I was a little girl I knew I was put on this Earth to work with children. As I got older, I realized that my calling was to work with children with disabilities and their families. It is my passion. I have built my life, family and career around this passion. To be a parent of a child with a disability is an awesome responsibility. It is challenging and humbling - but greatest of all, it is a blessing. Unfortunately, you mentioned that you may not have much time on Earth with your blessing and for that I am sorry. I cannot begin to fathom the emotions that you are experiencing now. Your strength and grace are an inspiration. Please know that my thoughts, prayers and hopes are with you. My hope that every moment that you spend with Zachary is a moment of peace and love. My hope that you have many, many moments with Zachary. Know that Zachary is God's child. Know that you are God's child.


p.s. I'm sure that you are overwhelmed with the offers of help at this time, but add Brian and I to that list. We will do anything and everything that we can. Please let us know what you need. There is nothing too small or too big that we will do. Please tell us how we can support you and your family.

The Griffeys said...

Hi Kristen and Jimmy -- Bruce and I wanted to drop you a note to let you know that we are constantly thinking about you and praying for you, Addison, Carter and in particular "Little Z". I cannot express in words how inspiring and eloquent Kristen's e-mail was that she amazingly had time to circulate, and I continue to be amazed at your strength and faith during this stressful, painful and emotional time. I cannot even imagine what you must be going through right now. While we think about all of you repeatedly throughout the day, we have not called because we have not wanted to selfishly infringe on the precious time that you want and need to be spending with Zachary right now; however, we do want you to know that we are here for you and are ready, able and willing to do anything whatsoever we can to help you in any way. We are more than willing to keep/watch Addison and Carter (you know how much I love Addison and it would be an absolute joy to babysit her), run errands for you, provide meals, do grocery shopping for you -- anything you need. All of you are in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. The Griffeys

Dave Everhart said...

Dear Jimmy & Kristen-

Deb and I are saddened by the news regarding your son Zachary. Tim Tracey had been kind enough to inform us of your situation.

Please know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers and hoping that a miracle will happen for your son.

If there is anything you need , please do not hesitate to ask.

All the best,

Dave Everhart

Rick and CT Allen said...

Kristen and Jimmy - CT and I heard the news about your son Zachary and I saw the note you sent out. We wanted you to know how much we were thinking of you all and we would do anything to help. Your son "Z-Man" is the most fortunate little boy in the world to be born to such tremendous parents. You are both quite an inspiration and it is heartwarming to see how you are helping him get the most out of every moment of his life. It would be an honor to help in any way. We know you are way to busy to focus on everyone trying to help. Know we have you in our thoughts and prayers. We'll check in on the blog. You have a very strong family and a huge family of friends... I think your son could not be living his life in a better place.

Rick and CT Allen

Julie Swatek said...

You are so lucky to have been born to your wonderful parents, Jimmy & Kristen. God knew you needed special love, so he picked them out just for you. We will all be better human beings for having known you.


Your Aunt Julie

Jean Gallagher said...

Oh my gosh - I was so excited to see this email - and so glad that God chose you and Kristen for this role in Zachary's life!

OK - I cant write you in email, I am going to try to call you!


Dave & Mary Jo Kaszubinski said...

I don’t know what words to offer to you and your wife at this time. I can only tell you I feel your pain, we were blessed with a child many years ago that was full term and was only with us for hours, but she was a gift from GOD and will always be a part of our lives. Bad things happen to GOOD people, hold tight he has a plan. Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys, if there is anything we can do please just call or email.

Love Dave & Mary JO Kaszubinski

Robert.L Wehrman said...

Kristen and Jimmie, what a beautiful message. It makes me both humble and proud that I had something to do with you being in this world, and hopefully, your great character and strength. Jimmie, you are a very good man, husband and father and I'm so very happy that you have each other.

Peggy and I, Justin and Stephan are thinking about you and the Z-Man all of the time. We are with you and your kids.

Love, Dad and Peggy.

Leah said...

Dear Kristen and Jimmy,

Congratulations on Zachary's birth. What a special little boy! I have no doubt that when God looked at all the people on this earth to share the blessing of Zachary with he chose you with a purpose. What an excruciatingly sweet honor. His time here will be a blessing to you and to him. I am so sorry to hear about his diagnosis. Dan and I are praying for you continuously. I know that you feel like you have been completely ripped raw and humbled to your knees...my special prayer for you is that God will build you back even stronger and more like Him than ever. You are already a brilliant reflection of His heart and His love.

I miss you and love you. I am filled with joy for you and I am filled with sorrow, too. Many prayers for peace that passes all understanding.

Leah (and Dan)