Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Son

Let me take a moment and introduce you to our Son....Elliott Aamdot.  It's important to me that I do this.  He is still our son even though he's not here with us.  And we want all of you, those we love to know him just as we do.  Last week we got his pictures back from the photographer. Oh.My.Word. What an incredible job she did.  This is my very favorite one.  Why?  Because I can see his sweet button nose and that little mouth. After studying this multiple times....I can see pieces of Aaron and I in our precious gift.  His nose, could be like his Titi's (my sister, Amber...she has a button nose), but...then again, the Benner's also have cute button noses like Elliott's cousin Hayden.  And his mouth...every.single.time. I look at it I see his Daddy.  And...this face he's making is also just like his Daddy.  I'm so very thankful for the way Jesus is showing me these things. When I looked at him on the day he was born it was hard to tell if he looked like either one of us.  He was so little and I was so caught up in the moment...seeing this precious life that I had carried for 19 weeks...that Jesus had knit together in my womb. How simply amazing.  I don't know how anyone could look at this picture of our Elliott at just 19 weeks gestation and not know that a human life is a miracle.  One we should never ever take for granted.  Only our Jesus could make something as precious as this.  Let that sink in.  From the very moment Elliott was conceived our Jesus knew him and the plans He had for his life.  Plans of greatness.  Plans to teach other's about the love of Jesus.  I am so thankful for this.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


As the days move on things are becoming more normal at our house.  We are living and enjoying every day.  Remembering to be thankful, thankful for those 19 weeks Elliott was in our lives.  Thankful we got to hold him and count all his fingers and toes. Thankful we will receive his pictures today.  Thankful that my co-workers are letting me talk about Elliott and love to hear about him and his birth.  Thankful that November is National Adoption Month and the very month that our Halle came to live with us.  Thankful that our dear friend Rachel is pregnant with a little boy after many, many years of trying.  She and her husband, David and their son Hudson hold a very special place in our hearts.  We stayed with them in Austin, TX when we picked up Halle.  Thankful our friends and family are helping us search for the "perfect" gift for Halle...the Leap Frog Leappad Explorer Tablet.  They are, unfortunately, sold out every where.  Our hearts are healing slowly and we are aiming to be more intentional with our time and those we spend our time with.  Aaron and I are both looking forward to our appointment on Friday to get memorial tattoos celebrating Elliott and for me....the other three babies that are in Heaven with our Jesus.  The month of November holds many happy memories for us...the phone call from our adoption agency to let us know that we had been chosen to be Halle's Parent's, booking our plane tickets, flying to Tyler, Texas, meeting Halle and her Mommy Michelle, not to mention her fabulous Foster Family the Jones', staying with the Clark's who we had never met until the day we arrived at their house.  We instantly became fast friends.....knowing our Jesus brought us together for a reason.  The culmination of that week was flying home to arrive early on Thanksgiving morning with time to sleep and head out to spend the day with our family.  The best part of that day??  Introducing them to our daughter, Halle Grace.

But, this month is also bittersweet.  My Dad graduated to Heaven on November 25, just five years ago.  I know he is happy and whole, praising His Jesus and taking care of all my babies, but...that doesn't stop the sting, the hurt and the longing.  I know if he was here he would have so many faith-filled words of encouragement for Aaron and I.  I know he would race around with Halle and make her laugh, he'd probably teach her how to play all things sport related.  He would understand my struggle I'm having right now.  Yes, I'm still trying to understand why, if Elliott was going to heaven, did Jesus allow me to become pregnant?  I don't know if all of you know our history of infertility.  Never before was I able to conceive without infertility drugs.  Never. In November 2010 I felt Jesus was telling me to just trust Him and have faith.  So we stopped using birth control and 6 months later I found out I was pregnant with Elliott.  Our Jesus works in miracles....and Elliott was just that.  I have a close friend that I called when I found out I was pregnant.  She had been having a rough go of things, her Aunt had recently passed away unexpectedly and her cousin (her Aunt's daughter) who is also a classmate of mine,  had just found out she had breast cancer at 36.  Not easy things to take.  I knew she needed some happy news.  She was ecstatic when I told her our news.  Now, she like me is really struggling with the why's. She hugged me at church a few Sunday's ago with tears in her eyes.  Telling me she just didn't know what to say.  Sharing that she was having a hard time processing this.  You know what?  I love that about my friends.  They are honest and forthright.  I am so glad she told me that.

The message series at our church has been "Honest Answers for Hard Questions".  It has been so very good.  The other night I was reading my bible, going over some scripture I had marked during the message series.  It was hitting me right between the eyes.  Everything, I do mean everything I was reading was quietly saying patience. comfort. faith. perseverance.  Wow!  Aaron and I are often reminded of these things.  And we often think we have patience.  Sheesh, God has been working on that with us for at least six years.  You would think he was done teaching us.  Apparently not.  It's becoming clear He is teaching us many things through our sweet Elliott.  And you know what?  I'm also very thankful for that.  So, on this Thanksgiving Eve, would you join me in practicing thankfulness?  I'm certain there is at least one thing you can be thankful for.  If not, be thankful for Jesus and his unending faithfulness.  I know I am.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One month....

One month ago today at 4:50pm I gave birth to our son, Elliott Aamodt.  Do I miss him??  Of course I do.  Do I remember him, most definitely. Today I'm remembering him so fondly.  Wishing I could just hold him again....count his fingers and his little toes.  Kiss his little button nose. But, he is in heaven with my Jesus and his Grampie.  Yesterday, was kind of a sad day.  I knew Aaron was all set to go to "Pipe Club" with his buddies.  I also knew, and remembered that the last time he went was the fateful night/early morning that I coughed when getting into bed and felt that gush of blood...this led to our trip to the ER and eventually the delivery of sweet Elliott.  So, it was bittersweet for Aaron....spending time with his friends, enjoying their company and remembering what happened that last time.  When he got home from work last night I asked how his day had been....he told me he was sad.  Sad remembering that it had been one month.

I'm sad that Elliott is no longer here on earth.  But, I've decided I'm so glad he was born in the fall.  Fall is my most favorite time of the year.  I love, love, love the changing leaves,  the crisp fall days and the smell of all things spicy and pumpkin.  Eggnog latte's arrive and so does Starbuck's "Pumpkin Spice".  I will always remember this time of year as Elliott's time.  October 13 will be etched in my mind forever. The day I became a Mommy again. Now, when I see the leaves changing color and the days getting shorter and colder.  Elliott will definitely be in the forefront of my mind.  What a sweet reminder for me.  That night seems like just yesterday.  When I close my eyes, unfortunately, it all comes back to me.  The phone call to my Mom to stay with Halle, the trip in the car to the ER, the Dr. telling me "Looks like you're having a miscarriage"....the cold harsh reality that I was going to give birth to our son that day.....four months too soon.  So, there you have it.  Here is how we are doing one.month.later.  If you asked me today, "How are you?" Because that seems to be the question of the hour...I would say "good".  Three weeks ago I would have said, "ok".  It's getting better.  I cry less....I'm still grieving....I still miss my arms still ache without him in them.  But, I'm thankful, still so very thankful I carried him for 19 weeks.....11 weeks longer than I had carried any baby before.  I felt him move...all over the place (he was a mover & shaker...and did not like to be still).....I experienced childbirth and I get to see my sweet Elliott Aamodt again!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday--Meeting Halle for the FIRST time!

As long as I live I will not forget this moment.  It's frozen in my mind....the look on Halle's face as her Daddy held her.  Believe you me, she loves her Daddy with every ounce in her body!  He is her hero....November 19 is National Adoption Day and November is the month in which Halle came to live with us just three years ago.  This month brings back so many exciting, extraordinary memories for me.  I want to celebrate Halle and the the life her Mommy Michelle gave her.  We are so thankful for the gift of adoption!

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" James 1:27

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Just Because

I'm very thankful for this little brown girl in her penguin jammies loving on her pillow pet!!  

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bold and Courageous

Last weekend....I read this book by an extraordinary women named Angie Smith.  Wow. This book knocked my socks off.  It was exactly what I needed at this time.  I have been following Angie's blog since 2008 when they began to tell their story of sweet Audrey Caroline....she too is heaven with our Elliott Aamodt.  Before Elliott graduated to Heaven,  Aaron and I had suffered three early (8 weeks or before), when "I will Carry You" came out I chose not to read it.  I didn't think I needed the time our situations were different.  The week after I delivered our boy I knew I needed this book.  As I sat in the bath tub while Halle slept and my husband "tinkered"in the garage (he loves to do this!) I laughed cried & prayed all because of this book and how Jesus was working through Angie and her writing.  I found myself identifying with her in an uncanny way.  She had carried Audrey longer than I carried Elliott, but....we both left the hospital empty-handed without our sweet babies who had went on to be with Jesus.  This book is so faith filled and stuffed with scripture, a way that I can follow and understand.

In the book Angie talks about how Audrey made her strong and able to do things she would have never done before.  I really don't want to give everything away in case you too decide to read this book. friend you should.  If you have ever experienced a loss of a child or if you know someone who has please do yourself and your friend a favor...pick this up.  I knew exactly what she was talking about.  Delivering Elliott has made me stronger, more bold and certainly courageous.  I know it was not a coincidence that the Saturday before Elliott arrived Aaron and I went to see the movie "Courageous". Though nothing could prepare us to say good-bye to our son before we got to say hello this movie gave us the added faith boost we needed.  Angie writes about having such a peace upon entering the hospital for her scheduled c-section with Audrey.  I too felt that.  I did not like hospitals and the whole time I was pregnant I was so nervous to give birth.  My Dad was 53 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer that had already spread to his bones and his prognosis was not good.  He spent A LOT of time in that hospital and that is what I had remembered.  It scared me. Make no mistake that Jesus gave me that sense of calm I needed on October 13 to deliver our son.  HE carried me.  I'm not asking you to understand this I'm only asking you to consider it. How else could I do what I did??

I have never been one to be bold and courageous when speaking of my faith and love of Jesus.  I'm very, very sad to admit this.  My Parents taught me at a very early age what it means to love Jesus and when I was just seven I asked Him to live in my heart.  I grew up in a Christian home attending church on Sunday's and taking part in all church activities.  This is what we did.  This is what I knew.  When my Dad was diagnosed with his cancer he took a very bold approach to witnessing.  Not a fanatical, get in your face approach, but...I believe he knew his time on earth was limited.  He took his faith and his Jesus VERY seriously.  It was not uncommon for him to pray for others when they came to visit him either at home or in the hospital.  He sang worship songs while waiting to be seen by a Dr in the ER, he laid hands on and prayed for a Nun while waiting for a CT Scan, and he believed Jesus would heal him.  I have never been more proud to call him my Dad.  He is and will always be my Hero.  I'd like to think he was there with me that day, but...I know it was Jesus.  I could not help but remember how my Dad's body was broken and still he pressed on.  HE carried my Dad.  So today, if you tell me I am "so strong", "amazing"...."courageous"...I will not hesitate to tell you, whoever you may be, why I am this way.  Because of my Jesus.  I find myself speaking more freely about my faith these days.  I'm more thankful.  And can I just tell you? Jesus is working in our lives.  All of us.  Even my sweet little three year old Halle girl.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Deep Thoughts

The Sunday after I delivered Elliott, my sweet friend Dena came up to spend some time with me.  We went out for dinner and to see a movie with our friend Jessica and just spent time being together talking about the things women do after giving birth.  Dena spent the night with us and Monday we had an appointment to meet with the Funeral Home and arrange Elliott's service.  Dena graciously agreed to come with us and we were so glad.  After the arrangements had been made I asked Dena if she would like to see our sweet boy.  I knew Elliott was already there and knew that Auntie Dena would want to see him...she nodded yes and we waited while they got Elliott ready.  How did I know??  I knew not everyone would want to do this or see him, but...Auntie Dena had commented earlier on that it just wasn't fair that Grampie (in heaven) got to meet Elliott before she did!  We entered the viewing room and took our last peek at our sweet boy.  We checked out his fingers and toes and his long legs.  Dena asked if she could take a picture to show her Mom.  I agreed as I knew that this was exactly what she would do.  Fast forward about two weeks later.  Dena's daughter Jessica (age seven) is flipping through the pictures on her phone.  She stops on the picture of Elliott and says, "Whoa Mom, what is this??"'s understandable that Elliott looked different.  Not like a full term baby would....and days had passed since his graduation to Heaven.  Dena took a deep breath and knew she had to tell Jess more about Elliott.  She explained what had happened, how I was feeling and answered questions for her.  When Dena was done Jess turned to her Mommy and said, "I get it!".  Perplexed Dena said, "You do?"  Seriously, this seven-year-old little girl got it?? Wow....she turned to Dena and said, "Yes, sometimes you get Isaac, and get the lamb." Let it soak in.  Yes, friends....the lamb.