The Family Branches “I got this tattoo from Faith Tattoo Gallery in Golden, CO. It is for my daughter and my family. I wanted something pretty and timeless and I love trees. My daughter is under the tree and her birthday is in her shoe. There are initials carved in the tree for my parents, siblings, sister-in-law, my daughter and my niece and nephew. The owl is a symbol from my childhood of wisdom and family.” -- Vera Widmar, mother TK, 3, of Northglenn, Colorado
“My husband got this tattoo to memorialize our children in a family tree – now I have two grandchildren that I am planning to add in the near future. The tattoo was done over three different sessions and took about 15 hours in total to complete. The tattoo artist copied the pictures from the kids’ school photos.” -- Joe of Newburyport, Mass.
“My first daughter, Elise, passed away from a genetic disease called Tay-Sachs. She was almost 7-years-old. I had a portrait tattoo done of Elise on the front of my left shoulder when she was 2-years-old because I knew that I would eventually need a striking visual reminder of her. It was a way of permanently preserving her beautiful face. Whenever Elise and I would snuggle together on the couch, her head would lay on the front of my left shoulder. Even thou she's gone; she's still with me..
Hope Tattoo "I have two daughters, a 5- and 3-year-old with special needs. I got this tattoo for a couple of reasons: The obvious, my 5-year-old's name is Hope and I always have never ending hope for my 3-year-old, Emma. She suffers from blindness and severe cognitive delays; she cannot sit up, crawl, walk or talk. I can't help but have hope for her." -- Emily of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, mom to Hope and Emma
Star Tattoo “Each star stands for each of our children; Emma, Ethan and Abby. The colors correspond with their birthstones – blue topaz (December) and ruby (July). The shooting star is for Ethan, our son who passed away. I am still getting used to it and I am already planning on adding a bunch of other little stars. I figured I could easily add to it should we be lucky enough to have more children.” -- Michele, mom to Emma, Ethan and Abby
Elements Tattoo “Primarily I just wanted to mask the scar on my upper left arm, but then I decided to create a unique tattoo that’s dedicated to my beloved son Daniel. There are four elements in this tattoo – corresponding to the four natural elements – fire, water, earth and air. The name Daniel and his birth date are representing Daniel himself, meaning the element earth. There’s an eye within the sun and it represents the Egyptian symbol of power. Horus, an ancient Egyptian deity....
Sonogram Tattoo "The tattoo on my arm is from a drawing I made from one of my son's sonogram images. It took me four years after my son was born to save the money for the tattoo. The tattoo was my Mother's Day gift to myself the year my son turned four. I wanted my son to know how special he is to me. Now, I can take him with me everywhere I go, even when he grows up and becomes independent.” -- Frances
Turtle Tattoo “My tattoo is of a turtle that I found in a kids’ book. I decided on this design because I love turtles and I thought it would be neat to have my favorite animal with my two favorite people in the world – my kids. It reminds me of how much love my two kids give me, and how much fun they bring into my life. My tattoo reminds me of them.” -- Amanda of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, mom to Kylee and Dacey
Dragonfly Tattoo “Originally I had a dragonfly tattoo on my leg and never really liked the way it looked so I got another tattoo to mask it. Our kids names -- Lexus, Rylee and Wynter -- cover the old tattoo.” -- Kemah of Amarillo, Texas, mom to Lexus, Rylee and Wynter
Footprints Tattoo "When I was in the tattoo parlor getting my first tattoo, I'd seen some cute ideas of kids' handprints, so that's what I decided to get -- my second baby's footprint. After I had two more babies, I got the other two. They are the original from the birth certificates. To me, they symbolize motherhood and show how much I love my babies. People have commented that they're little ones walking on my back." -- Candice, mom to Austen, Natashia, Isabelle and Tysen, of Volga, S.D.
name and butterfly tattoo "I always wanted a tattoo for my daughter, Abigail, and from the second I found out I was pregnant it was a given. I finally got it done shortly after she turned nine months. The nine stars represent the nine months and the butterfly is her Celtic animal sign." -- Sarah, mother to Abigail
gaelic dove tattoo "This is my mommy tattoo for my first child, Finley. Before I got pregnant, I'd been told there was a good chance I would be unable to successfully carry a pregnancy. Mo Stoirin is Gaelic for "My Treasure" or "My Darling One,” which is precisely what Finley is to me. This tattoo is a tribute to the wonderful gift that Finley has been not only to myself, but to my entire family." -- Ashlie, mom to Finley
Footprint Tattoo “These tattoos are identical to my kids’ birth certificates. I always wanted to get a tattoo on my forearm, but could never think of something worthy of permanent view in an area I couldn't easily cover. Then my daughter was born and I knew. These tattoos are a constant reminder of how delicate and important my kids’ lives are to me.” -- Jon, dad to Kyle Ann and Evan
celtic elk tattoo When Ed was born, I wanted a tat that represented him. Some friends had footprints and birth dates, but since Ed's initials were E.L.K., I wanted a Celtic black work elk. I initially wanted it on my lower back but I'm not terribly subtle. My cousin (his godmother) found me a tattoo artist and it took until after midnight. It’s my favorite piece to date. --Maribel