Nicole Harris has 6-month-old twin girls, but she can’t help thinking of three other babies, too.
The new mother recently made connections with three families with babies suffering from serious illnesses, and she began following their stories on Facebook when links to their pages showed up on hers.
Their stories are, as Harris says, “broken and beautiful.”
Sarah Grace Phillips of Charlotte was born with a large noncancerous tumor that doctors are shrinking with chemotherapy so they can remove it surgically.
Fourteen-month-old Jude Peters of Mooresville was born with rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata, a lethal form of dwarfism.
Adley Hifko, whose family lives in Ohio, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a rare progressive disease that has no treatment or cure.
“I think about them all the time when I’m putting my children to bed,” Harris said. “I wonder what they are going through to put their children to bed.
“I always think it has to be easier for me.”
Wanting to do more than just read updates on the babies, Harris decided to record a CD of lullabies to raise money for the three families, who face escalating medical bills. She’s always loved singing and children, and, Harris said, she’s blessed to be part of “something that’s bigger than my little world.”
Harris, 29, grew up in Charlotte and graduated from Grace Academy in Union County. She started singing at a young age, and she has sung in pageants and recorded songs before.
She first reached out to the families and asked if there was a lullaby their baby particularly liked.
The mothers responded with songs, two of which were new to Harris.
While her parents, who live in the same south Charlotte neighborhood, helped with her twins, Harris worked with Gat3 Productions to record songs for her CD, which is titled “Wonderfully Made.”
The title comes from one of the lullabies.
“Each of these individual babies is wonderfully made, and God has a purpose for them,” Harris said.
Other songs on the CD include “You Are My Sunshine,” “Be Still and Know,” “Lalalu” and an a capella version of Amazing Grace, which Harris included in honor of a close friend’s daughter who died of SIDS.
Harris is sending each family a copy of the CD, which she is releasing this week, and all proceeds from each $15 sale will be split between the three families. Each CD package contains an insert with pictures of the three babies and their stories, which Harris hopes will raise awareness about their conditions.
She also hopes to meet all three babies in person, though their medical issues have made getting together complicated. Harris said she will be selling her CD at upcoming events, including an Aug. 4 event at Fire Church in Concord to mobilize a group to raise awareness for Jude Peters’ disease.
“It’s probably the most important thing in my life besides having these girls,” Harris said of her work on the CD. “I give all the glory to God that all this has come together the way it has.”
If you want to buy a CD, contact Harris at email@example.com.
Marty Minchin is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.