The Email I sent to family and friends:

  1. One year ago today a tiny angel graced us with her presence. She came into this world as quickly as she left and she only ever knew love.

  2. Janell has given us a lot over this past year that I'm sure most parents never expect from their child. She showed us first what parental love feels like, an emotion so strong that there is no words to describe it and the only way to experience it is to be a parent to another. Janell also showed us grief and what it really feels like to lost the thing you love most in the world. She taught us how precious life is and to cherish everyone and everything in it. Janell opened our eyes to a different side of life that I know we didn't really want to see but through that we have met amazing people and learned more than I think we'd care to know about pregnancy. By opening this new door in our hearts, Janell has allowed us to love each other more fully. I never thought that I could love Ethan anymore than I already did but every time I look into his eyes I fall more deeply in love because we have lived through this together. Janell's death also gave opportunity for new life and I'm sure she'll be there as her baby brother enters the world within the next couple months. You see, we miss our little girl everyday and we still cry often because she's not here but we also know what a blessing her short stay was.

  3. I hope you all today take time out to remember our angel, Janell Victory, by loving each other a little bit more and taking time out for what is truly important.

Ethan took Janell’s first birthday off and it was really nice. I think it would have been way worse had I been home alone all day. We just spent time together. It is so hard to see your husband break down and cry. He's such a big guy... We went and bought balloons - lavender, pink and white - then we wrote messages on them in marker. Ethan wrote on one "We'll see you in heaven someday. Don't forget us." It was so sweet especially since he didn't believe in heaven before we lost Janell. He also wrote things like "Your Dad misses you and loves you." We took the balloons to a park and released then and we cried and watched them until we couldn't see them anymore. Then we went out to dinner with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. It was really a nice night.

First Christmas

Second Christmas

First Birthday

Second Birthday

We’ve started a tradition that every year we buy a “Janell Ornament” and give it to the grandparents and have one for ourselves. This is our Christmas 2004 Janell Ornament, it’s called ‘Angels Embrace’.

The second Christmas was a lot easier emotionally. I think a lot had to do with Janell’s little brother, Phoenix, being in our lives.

Christmas 2005 Ornament - ‘Angel on Earth’. We thought it was perfect because it’s a little brown haired girl (like Janell) in the arms of an angel.

The Email I sent to family and friends:

  1. Two years ago our daughter, Janell Victory entered the world silently at 6:48p. She was small and perfect and more beautiful that one could ever imagine. Two years ago we held her, and kissed her and told her that she'd never be forgotten. We have lived our lives for her, knowing that she has given us so much that most would never understand. Our grief is a journey that we'll be on for the rest of our lives because Janell will always be in our hearts. A lot has changed in these past two years - our little Phoenix was born, we've started a non-profit in Janell's memory, we've meet many wonderful people and joined the fight to pass the MISSing Angels Bill in Washington State. We've had good times and bad, and she's been with us through it all.

  2. *Sleep well sweet angel, Mommy and Daddy miss you terribly, watch out for your little brother and visit us in our dreams... We love you.*

Janell’s second birthday was pretty good. I didn't cry all that much, though I did on the 24th and a bunch on the 23rd.

The 23rd was the last time I felt Janell move and I watched "What Dreams May Come" (one of my favorite movies). At the end the shrink (in heaven) tells Robin Williams' wife "I have a surprise for you," and from behind her she hears "Mommy?" It's her son and daughter. Oh man I was crying. How I would love to hear Janell's voice. After that was "Dragonfly" which I thought was weird. That night, Ethan and I reminisced about feeling her move for the last time.

On the 24th, the day Janell died, I lost it when a man on "Miami Ink" was talking about how his daughter brings meaning to his life. I just broke down.

On the 25th, Janell’s actual birthday, the whole family (including the in-laws) came for dinner and angel food cake. They all brought plants for a memory garden we started. We also ate Angel Food Cake and watched a video montage I made. Everyone cried. Poor Nicé (my brother's friend's 10 year old daughter) really was crying hard. I think hearing about a baby die and seeing pictures of that baby are totally different things. I gave her a big long hug. I wanted to say something but the words didn't come.

Later, Ethan and I released some lady bugs in the yard. There were a TON! They don't sell dragonflies to release but lady bugs are cute and fun too.

click to see Janell’s photo montagemontage.htmlmontage.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0
Janell’s Spother_spot.html
Our Storyour_story.html
Janell’s Photojanell.html
Special Days

Third Christmas

The holidays get easier as time passes but it is still very clear that something will always be missing in our lives.

For this Christmas Janell’s ornament was engraved with her name and date. It has a little poem on it that reads, “When someone you love becomes a memory the memory becomes a treasure.”

Third Birthday

The Email I sent to family and friends:

  1. Three years ago Ethan and I sat in our recovery room at the hospital holding on to a tiny hat, a snip of hair and a card with perfect footprints on it. We were not holding our new baby. We were not laughing over her newborn facial expressions or trying to figure out how to change our first diapers. We were not discussing breastfeeding or what she would be like when she got older. We were mourning the loss of our daughter. A tiny glint of perfection that entered our lives and touched our hearts forever. Janell would be three years old today. Undoubtedly, curly haired and spirited, she would have excitedly opened presents and ate cake and ice cream. Instead she is somewhere beyond us and we had angel food cake in her honor. Janell has given us the gifts that I long to have given to her. She has taught us lessons that I wish no parent ever have to learn. Lessons about the eternal bond a parent feels for their child, even after death, and that nothing ever has to be in vain. I will never regret Janell. Never wish her away. She is my daughter and she always will be. I do wish that things had turned out different, that we had two little ones running around right now as we prepare for our third, but life does not always allow us what we want. There is not a day that goes by that we do not think of our Janell and today is especially important. Today we remember the first, and the last, time we held her in our arms, kissed her tiny head and whispered our "I love you's". ~~We will always love you baby girl, and we will never forget. Thank you for what you have given to us. Thank you for being in our lives. Never forget how much you mean to us all.~~

The days leading up to Janell’s birthday are the hardest for me. I always think back and wonder what I was doing at this time three years ago...

Janell’s birthday was nice, but we were really disappointed on Ethan’s parents and their reaction to our gathering. We had our family to our house for a BBQ and angel food cake. I like this tradition but we are beginning to see that other people do not feel the same way. Next year we will remember her together, separate from the rest of our family.

Fourth Christmas

The fourth Christmas was easier still. With two children to brighten our Christmas, our homes are filled with hope again. The holidays are always bitter-sweet though, knowing we should be celebrating the season with three little ones and not just two.

Christmas 2007 Ornament - Serenity Angels ‘Miss You’. Because we miss her... now and always.

Fourth Birthday

The Email I sent to family and friends:

  1. On July 25th, 2004 at 6:48PM the most important thing in our lives happened - our daughter, Janell Victory Allen, was born silently. 

  2. It's been four years since that night we briefly held Janell in our arms. Four years and she has been the thing missing in our lives - through moves, pregnancies and the birth of two more beautiful children. Phoenix is now at the age where he knows who Janell is and cries for her. Though they never met, he misses his sister. Janell may have been in our arms for a short time but she lives on in our hearts and in the stars. She is with us always. She is everywhere. 

  3. Ethan and I are thankful to have such a strong community of support. We have meet so many other parents who are grieving the loss of their children as well. We are also thankful to have each other - our love has only grown over the years.

  4. Ethan and I would like to invite you to light a candle tonight at 6:48PM PST in memory of Janell and all the other babies who have been lost. If you chose to take part in this, we'd love a picture.

  5. Losing a person you love is never something you get over or forget. Our hearts will always ache for our Janell. But, through the years the pain is less like a knife in your hearts and more like someone just punched you in the gut.

  6. Thank you for remembering Janell today - she has changed our lives and I hope she has had an influence in yours. Please tell those who are special to you how you feel today - right now, call someone and tell them you love them. Never miss an opportunity to hold your children or to kiss your partner. Never let a minute of life pass by with regret in your heart.

  7. If you never have, or it's been a while, we invite you to visit Janell's website at and see the work we are doing in her honor at

  8. ~Baby Nell, we love you more than our words could ever express. We miss you every day and our lives are incomplete with out you. If I could go back, just for one day, it would only be to hold you a little closer and a little longer. Please watch over your brother and sister. You are with us always.~

  9. Look for dragonflies everywhere,

  10. Liz, Ethan, Phoenix & Scarlett Allen

We started a new tradition for Janell’s birthday. Because some members of our family have shown us they would rather not be involved, we decided it would be best to turn it into a special family day. We decided to go to the zoo and visit Janell’s brick and also have a good time as a family. I tried to get a picture of the kids with Janell’s brick but it didn’t work too well. Later we came home and, that evening, we wrote messages to Janell on balloons and released them into the sky.

Friends from all over sent us pictures of their candles that they had lit in memory of Janell. We were so touched and emotional that people remembered with us.

Fifth Christmas

Could it really be the five Christmas’ have passed without Janell?

For Janell’s fifth Christmas, we were pretty tight for money so I made her ornament this year. I totally forgot to take a picture however. It was a red glass ornament and I painted a white dragonfly on it. It’s simple but perfectly represents our Janell.

We only made two though, we didn’t include Ethan’s parents - they didn’t seem to mind.