Danielle and Christopher Jones are a fun-loving Cincinnati couple whose vows have been put to the test in just six short years of marriage. From unemployment to Chris’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis to the death of their 10-day-old son, Danielle and Christopher have weathered a variety of storms while holding on to their faith in God and their love for each other.
Founders of the Angel Baby Network, Danielle and Christopher are passionate about supporting families who have endured child loss, and they seek to inspire others with their story, As Sure As Tomorrow Comes: One Couple’s Journey through Loss and Love.
What was your main purpose behind writing As Sure As Tomorrow Comes?
We wanted to share our story of loss and love and let others know that if we were able to get through tough times, they could too. We also wanted to inspire others to turn those tough times into opportunities to bless others and to have a different perspective on their troubles.
What is the main message you hope readers will take away from your book?
We want readers to know that no matter what, if they make the decision to stay together, even in the midst of hard times, they will get through, and they will do it together. And we want parents who have lost children to know they are not alone.
You suffered an unfathomable loss when your son, Christopher Junior, died. How did you get through that time and then begin to create a legacy for him?
We depended on our faith in God and our love for each other. We decided early on that Junior would have a great purpose, and that didn’t stop when he died. We started creating a legacy for him by donating his organs to research so researchers could discover what the true cause of his death was. We also consented for him to be a part of research studies so other babies would be helped in the future. We created a donation fund at the hospital where he lived his life so that people could donate money toward Neonatal Intensive Care Unit causes at the hospital. Since Junior couldn’t consume breastmilk, we donated all of it to other babies across three different states and seven different NICUs. We learned that it ended up providing more than 3,000 feedings for other babies. And we started the Angel Baby Network to help other families who had lost children. We also got involved in legislation to enact a law that will help reduce the infant mortality rate across the state of Ohio.
How do you handle getting through difficult days, such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day?
We still celebrate them by living our truth—that we are still parents. Even though our son isn’t with us here on earth, we’ll always be Junior’s mommy and daddy. So if someone at church hands out a flower for Mother’s Day, or if someone asks for fathers to stand, you can bet we’re going to take that flower and we’re going to stand proudly with other parents. Yes, those days are still hard. We’d give anything to have our little boy with us. But we will always rejoice in being Junior’s parents. The 10 days he was with us on earth were 10 of the best days, and the hardest days, or our lives.
What advice do you have for other married couples going through challenges such as financial difficulty, health crises, or family struggles?
Our advice for other couples is to make the decision to stay together and to weather the storm together. The storm will eventually pass.
Chris, why was it especially important to you to share a father’s perspective on the topic of infant mortality?
I wanted people to know that dads hurt, too, and that we have a voice that needs to be heard. I had great plans and visions for my boy, and in his short life, he blessed me by being my son. Often, when a baby dies, men don’t share how they feel, but the hurt is very real. He was my boy, my pride and joy. I want people to remember that.
Moving forward, what are you both most looking forward to in life now? What’s next for you two?
We plan to keep on living life to the fullest and laughing every day. We’re both looking forward to seeing how many families we can help with the Angel Baby Network.