Tuesday, September 6, 2011

More about Jamie the Giraffe

Well, I know that Matthew told the story of what happened Thursday, but I thought I would give my two cents as well.

My sweet friends at the press conference
First, let me express how incredibly grateful I am to all of our kind friends, friends of friends, family, blog readers, and complete strangers who worked so hard to fill out so many forms!  I am in complete and utter awe about the amount of forms that were mailed in to name "Jamie" after James.  I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to do this.  It is so heart-warming to think of all of those who thought about James to do it.  I am seriously just overwhelmed with gratitude.

Matthew and I with Scotty Landry,
the CEO of Make a Wish of North Texas
Secondly, Michael Meadows, who is the CEO of the Dallas Zoo, is one of the most compassionate, kindest men I have ever met.  He and I had the opportunity to speak a few times during this process, and he is nothing but gracious and warm.  I think you can learn so much about an organization by whom they choose the leader to be.  He is such a positive person and you can really tell that he treats every employee at the zoo with so much respect. 

So Friday night, after 5:00, I received a call from Michael Meadows telling me the good news about Jamie the Giraffe.  I think I was in complete and utter shock!  I had no idea that they would deciding the name that soon.  And then he told me that the winner of the trip had decided to donate it to Make a Wish so that a child with cancer could enjoy a vacation with his or her family.  Jeff Fehlis at American Airlines made that possible, and I was over the moon. 

Gregg Hudson, the Zoo's Executive Director unveiling the name
I don't know how I got to be so lucky that I am surrounded by the salt of the earth on a regular basis.  One reporter asked me how I felt about the winner of the trip donating it to Make a Wish.  I think my only response was that I wasn't surprised- throughout this entire process I seen the great kindness of people.  People's generous hearts have been so consistent to us during this process, that I can't be surprised by their very goodness anymore.  I am so thankful for it and this whole process has, in a way cemented my view that people are genuinely loving and good.

I wasn't supposed to tell anyone the good news- I called Matthew at work and he was elated.  I did tell my family and a few select friends....I am terrible at keeping a secret.  Plus, I knew that they would be so excited also!  (Tip- don't tell me secrets.  I am horrible at keeping them.  Just FYI). 

Gregg Hudson presenting us with a photo of Jamie and Momma Katie
And so that is how the announcement came to be.  We went to the zoo this weekend and took my Mom to meet Jamie- she loved her just as much as we do!  I feel a little obsessed with her.  Would it be ridiculous for me to go every day to see her?!  She is just the cutest thing. 
With Dallas City Council Member Monica Alonzo

Giving interviews

Watching our girl!

Gregg Hudson, Giraffe handlers, and Michael Meadows
We got to meet her handlers on Thursday at the press conference.  I asked about her personality- and the word the handlers used to describe her is "ballsy".  Love it.  She definitely rules the roost out there.  Sometimes she just stares off into space and then will randomly start running around.  She's a hoot. 

I'm thinking about setting up a picture gallery so that if ya'll go to the zoo, then send me a picture with your little one and a giraffe.  (Or you and a giraffe, or your friend/boyfriend/husband or dog).  That is, if someone can teach me how to do it.  Does that sound like a good idea? 

And if you are in Dallas, venture out to the zoo and see Jamie the Giraffe!  She's so adorable and definitely worth the drive! :)


  1. you look beautiful kara!!!!! can't wait to go meet jamie!

  2. You look gorgeous in that giraffe top! I needed to tell you...today I bought my puppy a giraffe toy. He loves it and every time I see it I fondly think of you and James.

  3. I'm a stranger who found this blog back in early July through facebook. I have never left a comment before but I must say that I can't wait to go see Jamie and to tell everyone I am with that day that she was named after an amazing, perfect little boy who I never met, but will remember always.

  4. We can't wait to meet Jamie! Planning a trip up this fall to meet her :)

  5. We are looking forward to going to the Dallas Zoo just to meet Jamie! Thank you for posting this story. So heartwarming. And you look fabulous, by the way.

  6. The giraffe gallery is such a cute idea! I'm not quite sure how to do it either--maybe you could set up a shutterfly site?

  7. Kara - I've been following your story but haven't yet commented. First, I'm so terribly sorry for your loss.

    Second, it warms my heart that not only did Jamie the Giraffe get her name because of so many of your readers but that this brings a light of happiness to your face again.

    If I'm ever in Dallas I will visit Jamie for sure!

  8. I love the giraffe top!

    If I'm ever in Dallas, I'll definitely be visiting Jamie the Giraffe!!

  9. We were there on Monday and saw Jamie. I wondered briefly if they had decided on the name yet--it was way too crowded to see the "Zoo Born" sign so I missed anything that would have given it away while we were there. SO glad to read the good news! She did seem very energetic when we saw her :)

  10. hi kara,
    one of the blogs i read went to the dallas zoo and did a post on it, and i wanted to share with you :)