Natalie Adamo
(2005-2007)
Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
Timeline
 
Natalie's Beautiful Life

Natalie was a sweet and loving little girl. Thank you for sharing in this tribute to her happy, happy life.

 
June 22, 2005
Big sister Roslyn kisses Natalie still inside her mommy's belly.
 
July 29, 2005
Natalie is born at 9:38 p.m. in Providence, Rhode Island. A healthy 7 lbs. 1 oz. Welcome to our family!
 
July 30, 2005
Natalie comes home from the hospital the next morning.
 
August 2, 2005
Baby Natalie with her big sister, Roslyn.
 
August 13, 2005

Grandma Fouser comes from Las Vegas and Uncle Bobby comes all the way from Japan to meet Natalie!

 
August 29, 2005
Natalie is a month old today.
 
September 22, 2005
Look at that smile!
 
October 4, 2005
Look how big I'm getting!
 
October 31, 2005
Natalie's first Halloween. Daddy is dressed up in a matching bunny costume! And Roslyn is a tiger!
 
November 14, 2005
Enjoying a beautiful fall day at the playground.
 
November 20, 2005
Natalie is looking particularly adorable in her new cozy outfit.
 
November 24, 2005
Natalie's first Thanksgiving at Aunt Maribeth's in New York. No turkey for Natalie this year, though.
 
November 30, 2005
Mommy and Natalie are so happy. Photo taken by big sister Roslyn.
 
December 25, 2005
Natalie's first Christmas.
 
December 30, 2005
All tuckered out at Target.
 
January 1, 2006
Happy New Year, Roslyn and Natalie!
 
January 5, 2006
Natalie helps Daddy celebrate his birthday!
 
January 18, 2006
Natalie gets a massage from Daddy after her bath. Nice!
 
February 11, 2006
Natalie has her first solid food: baby cereal. She didn't like it very much. In the days and weeks that followed, she loved sweet potatoes, pears, and especially blueberries.
 
February 16, 2006
This is the look Natalie gave me when I tucked her in for bed on the last night of her life. Sweet, content, peaceful.
 
February 28, 2006
Natalie gets her first tooth!
 
March 2, 2006
There's that gorgeous smile! What a happy girl.
 
March 11, 2006
Happy sweetie.
 
April 2, 2006
Natalie gets her picture in the newspaper! She and her family are featured in an article on hypnobirthing, a natural birthing technique, in The Providence Journal. Already she's a star.
 
April 14, 2006
Natalie and Roslyn play with blocks together.
 
April 15, 2006
Natalie loved finger foods like Cheerios and especially blueberries. Mmmmm... Much better than that baby mush.
 
April 18, 2006
Natalie's first (and only) Easter, with Grandma Adamo in New York.
 
May 26, 2006
Natalie starts waving hello and goodbye.
 
May 27, 2006
Natalie, Roslyn, and Mommy getting ready to go to a birthday party in their pretty matching dresses.
 
June 2, 2006
Natalie started crawling AND clapped her hands for the first time today! Wow! What a busy girl!
 
June 23, 2006
Our beautiful Natalie Joy.
 
July 5, 2006
Natalie looking radiant and happy on her mommy's 40th birthday.
 
July 22, 2006
Two happy girls, Natalie and mommy.
 
July 29, 2006
Natalie turns 1! Happy Birthday, sweet girl!
 
July 29, 2006
The birthday girl opens her presents. She loved her birthday cake with blueberry sauce. Yum!
 
August 15, 2006
Lots of Natalies in the mirrors at the Long Island Children's Museum.
 
August 20, 2006
Natalie and her friend, Jamey, at the Roger Williams Park Zoo. She loved going to see the animals.
 
August 23, 2006
Natalie gets covered in mud in the sandbox at Margaret's birthday party. Too bad mommy forgot her camera that day and we don't have any pictures to share.
 
September 7, 2006
Natalie comes to play at Roslyn's first day at the East Side Nursery School. Natalie would have started school there in 2008.
 
September 30, 2006
Rolling around and playing and looking as sweet as ever.
 
October 7, 2006
Natalie is walking!
 
October 25, 2006
Here's Natalie and Roslyn drawing beautiful pictures together.
 
October 31, 2006
Natalie as Captain Hook for Halloween. Roslyn was Tinkerbell, Mommy was Wendy, and Daddy was, you guessed it, Peter Pan! We all had so much fun.
 
November 1, 2006
Another spectacular fall day at the playground. We all had so much fun sliding, swinging, bouncing, and playing with all the push toys.
 
November 2, 2006
Couldn't resist taking a few pics of Natalie in the Cat in the Hat costume. Can't get much cuter than this!
 
November 3, 2006
Daddy's three beautiful girls: Mommy, Roslyn, and Natalie.
 
November 11, 2006
Wheeee! Here comes Natalie down the slide.
 
December 17, 2006
Natalie feeds herself yogurt. She was so proud of herself.
 
December 25, 2006
Merry Christmas, Natalie. Put the blocks together to hear the animal sounds: mooooo, baaaa, woof, meow, rooooar!
 
December 26, 2006
Beaming in her Daddy's arms with big sister Roslyn.
 
January 7, 2007
Natalie and her family. Picture taken by Grandma Fouser who visited us for Christmas.
 
January 15, 2006
Natalie doing one of her favorite things -- taking all the videos off the shelf and dumping them on the floor. Whee!
 
February 1, 2007
Natalie in her Winnie-the-Pooh fleece with mommy. She loved to point and say "Pooh Pooh". What a sweet voice she had. Mommy trimmed Natalie's bangs for the first time today.
 
February 6, 2007
Natalie and Daddy celebrating big sister Roslyn's 4th birthday, one day early.
 
February 7, 2007
Natalie has a febrile seizure after lunch. Mommy calls 911 and we all go to the hospital. Doctor says Natalie will be just fine.
 
February 11, 2007
Natalie in her decorated birthday hat at Roslyn's birthday party.
 
February 12, 2007
Natalie wakes up at 2 a.m. and again at 5 a.m., each time with a nosebleed. Doctor says it's probably just the dry winter air.
 
February 14, 2007
Natalie has her 18-month checkup. Doctor says she's doing great.
 
Febraury 15, 2007
Give me that camera, Mommy! Natalie loved playing with the digital camera.
 
February 17, 2007
Natalie loved to climb and get into things. Here she is on the craft table!
 
February 17, 2007
Natalie loved this Dora the Explorer vest. "Dora" was one of the first words she ever said. Purple was also Natalie's favorite color.
 
March 3, 2007
Natalie in her newest favorite pink fleecy vest, a gift from our dear friends in England. Sadly, this is the last picture ever taken of our beautiful Natalie.
 
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Today was a beautiful early spring day. I took Roslyn and Natalie to the playground near our house, and we stayed for over two hours. We were all having so much fun. We played in the sandbox, on the slide, the swings, and running in the softball fields. I would push Natalie on the swings and bend over then pop up and say "peek-a-boo!" She giggled each and every time I did it. We played chase in the fields and Natalie was getting to be so fast. The mud is still on her sneakers.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that this would be the third-to-last day I would enjoy with my darling Natalie.

Natalie slept well that night, exhausted from all the fresh air and exercise, I'm sure.
 
Thursday, March 15, 2007
It was another beautiful day. Roslyn was at nursery school, so Natalie and I went to the playground by ourselves. I held her little hand the whole way as we walked the short distance to the park. She wanted to swing most of the time we were there. After quite awhile, I saw Daddy pull into the driveway, home for lunch. So I told Natalie it was time to go home. She didn't want to leave and started to fuss. When we got home, she saw Daddy and went running to greet him. He scooped her up and gave her a big hug, as he always did.

After dinner, I really wanted to go out for ice cream. Roslyn was sick with a cold so Daddy stayed home with her and I took Natalie to Cold Stone Creamery. It was our first time there. We shared a waffle cone with dark chocolate ice cream and banana ice cream. No mix-ins because I didn't think Natalie would be able to chew them. She loved looking out the window at the hustle and bustle of Thayer Street. All of the college students, not accustomed to seeing a small child, were enchanted with her. We brought some ice cream home for Daddy and Roslyn, too.

Natalie slept well again, all the way until morning. Finally, things were getting better in the sleep department.
 
Friday, March 16, 2007
Daddy was home with the girls because I work on Fridays. Before breakfast, they were having so much fun giggling and laughing. Later we found out from Roslyn that she was making silly faces and making her little sister laugh. Daddy said that the sound of their giggles was the best sound in the world.

Both Natalie and I came down with a mild cough that day. It also snowed about 5 inches. Natalie didn't sleep well and she woke up several times during the night coughing. We were all tired the next day.
 
Saturday, March 17, 2007
After a rough night, we awoke to rain and slush. Natalie was surprisingly chipper despite her coughing the night before. I kept a close eye on her to check for fever, but she was normal. It seemed like just a mild cold. Mid-morning we all bundled up to go outside so I could shovel the walkway. I didn't want the slush to freeze. Natalie refused to put on her one-piece snowsuit, so boots, winter coat, and hat it was. She wasn't a big fan of the snow and stood watching me most of the time. We went and played with a ball in the backyard for a few minutes. Then she put up her arms and said "up" and I picked her up. We went back inside, had lunch, and then it was time for Natalie to take her nap.

She had a hard time staying asleep for her nap. I nursed her again and stayed with her for awhile and then left her to look at books by herself. When I checked on her a short while later, she was asleep.

After dinner, Natalie and Roslyn played "Go!", a game Natalie invented where the girls would borrow our pedometers (we were both competing in the Shape Up Rhode Island competition), clip it onto their pants and chase each other around the house. It was one of my favorite times of the day, the last burst of energy before bedtime.

After "Go!", Natalie and I sat together on the couch, while Daddy and Roslyn sat in the chair across from us. Nobody was really talking. Then Natalie grabbed her foot, brought it up to her mouth, and licked her toes. We all saw it at the same time -- and we all started laughing. Natalie stopped, looked around at each of us, and smiled, very pleased with herself. Her expression was like "What? What did I do?" We were all connected in that special moment, and it's something I will always remember and treasure.

But it was time for bed, so up we went. I got Natalie ready for bed, as I always did. She was happy to wear her favorite flannel nightie with the snowflakes on it and some long-john bottoms. I gave her 1 mL of children's cough medicine in the hopes that it would help her get some much-needed sleep. It was like any other night. I read her a few books (she loved to read books!), then turned off the light and nursed her, and then I said goodnight. For some reason, I looked at her face in the darkness and she just looked up at me with the most calm and peaceful expression. I told her I loved her and said "Night-night, Natalie. I love you, sweet girl." How could I have known it would be the last time?

I could hear her babbling for a few minutes after I left the room and then it was quiet. She had fallen asleep.
 
Sunday, March 18, 2007
I woke up Sunday morning feeling pretty rested and encouraged that Natalie had slept through the night again. We expected her to get up any minute, but didn't want to disturb her. So we waited a bit more. Finally around 8:30, I went in to check on her. She was lieing on her front. I rushed over to check to make sure she could breathe. But she was completely face down on the bed. As soon as I touched her back, I knew something was wrong. She felt different. I quickly turned her over and saw the most horrible sight of my life. My beautiful girl was so clearly dead. She was cold and stiff. There was nothing anyone could do to save her. I screamed out, "Oh, my god! She's gone!" and I scooped her up in my arms. I remember thinking how light she felt, like the weight of her life had left her body. Daddy and Roslyn came running in and we were all crying and in complete and utter shock. Our worst, most unthinkable nightmare had just begun.

 
March 26, 2007
Natalie's Memorial Service was a beautiful and moving celebration of her life. Words cannot express the depth of our gratitude to everyone who came from far and near to share in our sorrow and remember our beloved Natalie Joy.
 
May 11, 2007
A tree for Natalie is planted in Roger Williams Park in Providence. Thank you to all of our friends in the Communications Services Department at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island for making this tree possible. We hope this sweet little red oak tree will grow to be big and strong in honor of our beloved little girl who didn't get her chance to grow up.
 
May 14, 2007
Today was Mother's Day and we had a picnic by Natalie's tree. Every time we visit her tree, Roslyn and I give it a little kiss. We love this tree.
 
July 29, 2007
Today would have been Natalie's second birthday. We are so sad we won't be watching Natalie blow out her two candles. In honor of her beautiful life and to help us in our grief, we dedicated a garden in our yard to Natalie's memory. Everything in the garden has special meaning.

We released butterflies, the ultimate symbol of transformation. Since March 18, I have identified with butterflies on an instinctive level. I feel that just as these beautiful creatures transform so dramatically from a caterpillar into a butterfly, so did Natalie transform from the beautiful little girl we know and love into something else... what, I don't know for sure. But I know that, although she is not here with us physically, she is here. We hope that in setting these beautiful butterflies free, that Natalie is now free.

We will never forget that magical day, two years ago, when Natalie came into this world. Thank you, Natalie, for blessing us with your life.



 
October 16, 2007
We met with the Medical Examiner (ME) who performed Natalie's autopsy today. It was extremely painful and difficult to go through this process, but was also very necessary as we have struggled over the past seven months to understand what happened to our sweet baby girl.

While we have some answers, there are many questions that we will never have answers for. The cause of death has been ruled bronchiolitis due a virus. This is an infection of the small airways. Natalie's lungs appeared normal upon initial examination, but when they did a microscopic analysis, it showed that the infection was present in all quadrants of her lungs. The ME thinks that the inflammation caused her tiny airways to become constricted to the point where she couldn't breathe. All evidence suggests that Natalie did not wake up and did not suffer when she died. She just fell asleep. It is a small comfort.

The hardest part for us in trying to understand all of this is that Natalie did not exhibit the symptoms of bronchiolitis. The day before, she came down with a cold and had a mild cough. There was no wheezing, no fever, no difficulty breathing. When I nursed her at bedtime that last night, she was able to breathe just fine through her nose. Her behavior was normal, not lethargic, not irritable. She was her usual happy self. She just didn't seem that sick. We had a humidifier on in her room to help her breathe easier.

We are struggling to comprehend how she went from having minor cold symptoms to a fatal attack from this virus in such a short period of time. Bronchiolitis is usually not fatal (only about 1% of cases). When you look at the profile of children most likely to get bronchiolitis, Natalie doesn't fit the profile. She was female, she was breastfed, she was not exposed to cigarette smoke or living in crowded conditions. She was strong and healthy. None of it makes any sense.

As we continue to live our lives without our beloved Natalie, we are deeply grateful for the time we had with her. The 19 months and 18 days were filled with so much happiness. We feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to have had her at all. Natalie was a gift of pure joy and unconditional love that, sadly, we only had for a short time. Now we are left with her loving memory and we will cherish her forever.

Life is so fragile.
 
March 10, 2008
Several months before Natalie died, her Daddy's cell phone disappeared. It was last seen in Natalie’s grasp and since she loved to play with it, we assumed that she must have put it somewhere. This cell phone is very important for Christopher’s business, so we spent many days searching the house high and low, but we couldn’t find it. We even asked Natalie directly, “Natalie, where did you put Daddy’s phone?” She just looked at us with those big brown eyes. We tried our best to find it, but finally concluded that she must have thrown it in the trash. Oh well, we thought. And Chris went out and bought a new phone. It took quite awhile for him to input all of the data he’d accumulated over several years into the new phone. But he did, and that was that.

Today, as Roslyn was playing in her toy kitchen, lo and behold… she found the cell phone! It had somehow ended up in the very bottom of the kitchen, in a compartment under the oven. I didn’t even know things could end up in there. And the cell phone wasn’t alone. With it was the little Dora the Explorer doll that came with Roslyn’s Dora dollhouse. I had wondered where it had gone as well. It’s very fitting since Natalie loved Dora so much.

Bless Natalie’s heart for her innocent toddler antics. What a special gift she left for us to discover today, almost a year later. Thank you so much, Natalie! We love you and we miss you soooo much, sweetie.
 
March 18, 2008
The day passed with constant thoughts of the events of March 18 last year. Many tears were shed as we all remembered the beauty and joy that was our little Natalie. Even after a year, it is still incomprehensible that she passed away. We marked the occasion with a candle lighting service at our home.

This is how we began the service, and then invited each person to share their memories about Natalie's life and feelings about her passing. Thank you to all of the friends who came to share this difficult day with us. It is the first of many.

Memory of Candles
As we light these five candles in honor of Natalie, we light one for GRIEF, one for COURAGE, one for our MEMORIES, one for LOVE, and one for HOPE.

This candle represents our GRIEF. The pain of losing Natalie is intense, but it reminds us of the depth of our love for her.

This candle represents our COURAGE. The courage to confront our sorrow, to comfort each other, and to live our lives with joy.

This candle we light in MEMORY of Natalie. Remembering the times we laughed, all the funny things she did, all the joy she brought to our lives. This light is also for the memories that never were. Even though our memories bring pain, we look upon our memories of Natalie as gifts.

This candle is the light of LOVE. It reminds us of our love for Natalie—now and forever. We cherish the special place in our hearts that will always be reserved for her. We thank you, Natalie, for the gift of your love. We thank you for blessing us with your life.

This candle is the light of HOPE. We light this candle so that Natalie’s light will always shine. May the glow of the flame be our source of hope, now and always.

We love you, Natalie. Our hearts were forever broken one year ago today. We will never forget you.
 
March 18, 2009
It is unbelievable that two years have passed since that horrible day. Natalie would 3 1/2 now. It is heartbreaking to think about what she'd be like now, how much she'd have changed, what she'd be saying and doing, how she and Roslyn would be getting along. My hope is that they'd be having a ball together as two sisters should. But that is not our reality. Natalie is not here. Roslyn is alone. We are not whole.

This second anniversary was, in many ways, harder than the first. They say that the second year is worse than the first because the numbness has worn off. For me, they were both bad, just different. Now, two years later, the yearning is more intense. I keep missing her more and more as time goes on. I have become more comfortable with the fact that I must live with this grief all the time. It never goes away. Early on, there were times when I'd cry and wish as hard as I could that it would go away and give me just a moment of relief. Now, I know that is not possible. But I also know that it is possible to find joy in the moment. And I try to enjoy it as best I can. But the lingering sadness and loss is always there.

This year, we didn't have a ceremony or any formal acknowledgment of the day. Several friends stopped by with hugs and flowers. Some emailed. Some sent cards. It was nice to feel the collective arms of our friends around us that day. Thank you to all who reached out to us, even just to let me know that you remember Natalie. It may not seem like a lot to you, but it really is to me.

I hope that Natalie will never be forgotten. I hope that her legacy of love and living life to its fullest will never be forgotten. As we go on, I am doing my best to embrace Natalie's joy of life and really live it.
 
May 10, 2010
Natalie's family welcomes her baby brother Gabriel Robert Adamo. Born 12:55 a.m. 9 lbs. 5 oz. 21 inches.

While I was in labor I sat in a chair in above the main entrance to the new wing of Women & Infants Hospital right over the brick we donated in Natalie's memory. I took comfort that Natalie was there with me helping me through each agonizing contraction toward a quick and healthy birth of her baby brother. Thank you sweet Natalie Joy. You are forever loved and missed. We look forward to telling your new brother all about you. He looks a lot like you!
 
Natalie's Brick
Natalie's brick at Women & Infants Hospital
 
May 10, 2011
Gabriel's first birthday brought back so many wonderful memories of Natalie's first birthday. She was so sweet trying to put on her hat and saying "da!" She was such a happy girl. Gabriel will love you too.
 
September 21, 2011
Recently we received the report from the Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) Research Program on the cause of Natalie’s death. The original autopsy from 2007 listed the cause of death as “acute bronchitis and bronchiolitis.” This came after seven months of investigation that involved microscopic analysis of brain tissues, heart, and other vital organs. At the time the Medical Examiner told us that her diagnosis came because there was nothing else wrong with Natalie. She said “I had to put something.” Needless to say, this hardly gave us much confidence in the diagnosis. When we googled bronchiolitis, we learned that it is an illness with a steady progression over a period of days to weeks before it becomes life threatening. This did not fit Natalie’s symptoms or her sudden death.

Now after years of going through all of Natalie’s prenatal, pediatric, and post-mortem records, as well as a detailed family history and description of events leading up to her death, Dr. Krous, the head researcher for the SUDC Research Program, has shared his opinion with us. He wrote, “In the final analysis none of Natalie’s pathologic findings are sufficiently severe either singly or in combination to be considered lethal. Therefore based on the information available at this time, we consider Natalie’s cause of death to be SUDC.”

SUDC is a diagnosis of exclusion. It means they don’t know. There is no reason why Natalie, a happy healthy little girl, just stopped breathing and quietly died in her sleep. No reason. No reason.

On the one hand it is reaffirming that my instinct at the time was that her illness (which seemed like a cold), was not severe enough to be fatal. Therefore I didn’t miss something and there was nothing else I could have done or should have done. It’s a start to putting my mind at ease.

However it is also infuriating because we are left with nothing, no explanation, no answer for why our precious girl left us.

We are extremely grateful to the SUDC program for the time and effort they put into finding an answer for us. SUDC is rare but we are not alone. Please watch this video to learn more about it:

Since SIDS research spread the word about putting babies to sleep on their back and other simple safety measures parents can take, the SIDS rate has been cut in half. Perhaps one day with the important work of Dr. Krous and the SUDC Program, the same will be true of SUDC. It won’t bring Natalie back but it might help save another child and another family from having to endure the tragedy we have to live with every single day. (I’m never comfortable asking for money but if you can, please consider sending a donation to the SUDC Research Program in Natalie’s memory. You can donate through their website. There I did it.)

It is hard to believe that we are now 4 1/2 years from losing Natalie. Much has changed in our lives — we now have sweet little Gabriel who is rapidly approaching the age Natalie was (he’ll be that age on December 28 this year) and our beautiful Roslyn is a 3rd grader and a wonderful big sister again. And much has stayed the same — we will never stop missing and longing for our Natalie Joy.
 
If you have any material to add to this section, please contact the website manager. If you are the website manager, you can enter edit mode to change the timeline by clicking here.