Saturday, October 27, 2018

Anastasha's Room...and a Brief Family Update (Eight Years Later)

It has been...gulp...nearly 6 years since I have posted to this blog.  A lot of life has happened since that time.  We've had two more children - Abigail (now 5) and Craig Jr. (now 3) - and 3 miscarriages since then.  Our oldest daughter, Ariana, graduated high school last year and is attending Texas A&M University in College Station.  Our youngest is recently potty trained, which means for the first time in NINETEEN YEARS we don't have a child in diapers (or two...or three).

Yesterday was Tonya and Anastasha's  birthday.  We celebrated in the usual fashion -  starting with breakfast in bed for Mommy and ending with cupcakes and lanterns at the cemetery for Anastasha.  It was a sweet day, and has become a regular routine for us.  In addition to Anastasha's tombstone, there are now three trees planted around her grave, one for each of the siblings who the Lord has taken home before we ever knew them.

The reason I am adding to the blog is because today we were a part of something very special.  A life long friend of ours, Cara Tully, is a labor and delivery nurse at Medical City, a hospital in Plano, TX.  She and some coworkers decided to create a bereavement room for families that experience a loss of a pre-born or newborn child during their time at the hospital.  She asked us if it could be dedicated and named in Anastasha's honor.  Of course we were thrilled to participate.

Today we went for the dedication for a chance to see "Anastasha's Room", located on the labor and delivery floor.  It was arranged like a newborn nursery, complete with a basinet and other baby items.  It was a great privilege to be a part of this room that will hopefully be a haven for families walking a similar journey of deep sorrow that we walked eight years ago.  And it was a blessing to see our little girl's name on a room, since she never got to have one here on Earth.

Here are some pictures of the room dedication followed by pictures of our birthday celebration at the cemetery.  Keep a lookout for Abi and little Craig since they've never appeared on this blog!

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Craig and Tonya

They asked us to write a little something for the room, briefly sharing her story.  This is what we wrote:

On October 26, 2010 we welcomed into the world our daughter, Anastasha Kalil DeLisi.  She lived inside her mother’s womb for a full 9 months, but in our arms for less than an hour. 

We learned of her terminal diagnosis, anencephaly, at 16 weeks gestation.  As followers of Jesus and parents who loved her, we were privileged to carry her until term. 

It has been 8 years since her death.  Even though her life on earth was short, the impact she has had on our lives has been immeasurable.  Because of Anastasha we parent differently. We try not to major in the minors, knowing that this life is short and that we aren’t promised tomorrow with any of our children. We long for heaven in a way that we have never before.  And most of all, because of her, we have greater gratitude in our hearts towards Jesus and what He did to make a way for us, and our sweet Anastasha, to spend eternity in heaven. 

As a family, we are so sorry that you are walking this path.  Whether this was expected and known ahead of time or an unexpected shock, the grief and surrealism you are experiencing is almost unbearable.  It is doubtful that there is greater pain this side of hell than losing a child.  And you will never be the same.  

As a father and mother and as brothers and sisters who are further down the same painful, broken road, may we encourage you that even though you can’t see it, there is healing ahead. If you will allow, the Great Shepherd in heaven will gently lead you beside still waters.  And, in time, though the pain will never truly be gone this side of heaven, He will turn your grief intojoy. 

Your son or daughter’s life matters.  Not just because you love them, but because they were made in the image of God who loves them, and they were given a soul that will live forever.  

We pray that Anastasha’s Room, a room she never was able to have, may be a place of comfort and of HIS peace to you and your family during this time of mourning.  And, yes, even joy…. 

Anastasha’s Family - the DeLisi’s

Craig, Tonya, Ariana, Charis, Adoniyah, Amalyah, Corban, Caelan, Cale, Caius, Anabella, Caleb, Abigail, and Craig Jr.

Birthday celebration....


  1. Thank you for posting an update. I have often thought about your story. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family.

  2. Like it! We would like to invite you to watch this Time Is Precious!