Friday, December 30, 2011

Sharing HIS Blessing

This year when sending out our Christmas letter I sent it to almost everyone.  I wanted each and everyone of you to know about Elliott.  To hear his story.  To know why we are the way we are.  I believe that's part of being bold and courageous...sharing how our faith has carried us through this extraordinary journey.  Over Christmas numerous friends and relatives have shared with me how the letter has touched them.  How they read it with tears in their eyes and in a lump in their throats.  Aaron and I have accepted many extra hugs and kisses and "I'm so sorry" has been shared with us more times than I can count.  And we greatly appreciate this.  We've had two offers from amazing women who wanted nothing more than to carry our baby for us.  Being a surrogate Mommy.  WOW.  The same day I had the first offer for surrogacy a dear friend of mine offered money for our adoption.  That literally brought me to tears.  Offering to give what little extra they had.  I didn't send out that letter for pity.  I only wanted to share what words Jesus gave me to share.  Our testimony.  Elliott's short yet, so meaningful life on earth.

On Christmas Eve, my Aunt shared with me how her brother had picked up that letter and after reading it let her know what an impact it had had on him.  He shared with her how "it put everything into perspective".  I saw her brother a few days later and he thanked me for writing my words.  He explained how it had made his fact, it had made his week.  He ended his conversation with these two words, "Be blessed".  AND you know what....we are.  I shared with him how I had hoped it would minister to those who read it.  Another friend of mine shared our testimony with her Mom's bible study group.  When she received our letter she asked if it would be all right if she shared the letter with the same group??  I did not hesitate.  If this letter ministers to just one person I have done my job sharing the love of Jesus through sweet Elliott's birth.  And that is exactly what I had prayed for.  If you haven't read our letter you can find it here.  Be blessed.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Grief through the Holidays

I read Jessica Turner's blog "The Mom Creative".  Her blog is choked full of fabulous's where I get my coupon codes for Paper Coterie to make Memory Keepers and photo books...and browse the Day Spring deals....she also is a fabulous scrap booker and memory maker!  I was just reading through some of her previous posts and came across this one all about grief and getting through the holidays.  If you, like my family, have experienced great loss this year.....or, if you also are experiencing infertility this is a great read.

ps....want extra fabulous deals??  "Like" The Mom Creative on Facebook!

Friday, December 23, 2011


In my mind lately I've been wrestling with a few things.  Praying through them...talking with Aaron.  After, I decided this was silly and why was I keeping this all inside when my husband may very well feel the same way?  I needed to talk with Jesus....and rest in HIM.  I'm sure you're wondering what I've been wrestling with.  Well, should we or should we not try again to grow our family the conventional way....with me carrying that baby in my belly?  Right after Elliott I was so ready to be done...and move on to adoption.  We even had a phone conversation with our adoption agency.  We were ready.  I don't know what happened after that.  I'm guessing it was that mean old doubt.  Creeping in.  Who was I to decide what God was going to do in our lives??  Did we have a right to make this decision?  Would others think we were selfish?  Are we without faith?  I read blogs of women who had lost their first babies near the same time as me and now were pregnant again.  They were required to be on bed rest for enormous amounts of time, living near hospitals.  This could be me.  Could I do that??  Leave my home, my daughter, my husband and my job?  Just to carry our child knowing even that may not work.  The more I thought about it the more I wrestled. Did I want to be pregnant again?  Holding my breath for the first 12, but more likely, 20 weeks?  Would I have gestational diabetes again? Could I even get pregnant?

Finally, last Saturday I sat down and talked with Aaron.  I approached the subject with a big lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. "Are we making the right choice?  Should we stop trying?"  His answer was quick and without hesitation.  "Yes." He then explained that Jesus had spoken clearly to him a few Sundays ago at church.  Our Pastor had been talking about an impromptu offering we had taken specifically for feed them, as the cost of this had gone up hugely and the organization that did so was very short of funds.  That Sunday we raised thousands of dollars for this very cause.  We gave money to that offering because Jesus had prompted Aaron to get cash back when at the bank a few days before that.  While our Pastor stood before the congregation thanking them our Jesus whispered to Aaron, "I'm proud of you both and the choices you have made...choosing adoption." I'm paraphrasing here as Aaron did when telling me, but...that was definitely the gist of the conversation.  The next day we went to church and it felt like signs from Jesus were everywhere.  Our Pastor mentioned adoption many times in his message.  But, he was speaking about how God adopted us into his family.  To me that was all I needed.  I knew without a shadow of a doubt what our Jesus wanted us to do.

We are passionate about adoption.  Not just because we are unable to carry biological children.  This is not just another means for us to grow our family.  As Christians, we all should be....Jesus clearly tell us to in James 1:27.  Just yesterday we received a newsletter from our adoption agency.  I poured over it and read how adoption had changed many lives.  I hope to share with you some of those stories.  As we approach CHRISTmas in two days, I am in awe of our Savior and all He has done for us.  Ever mindful that it all began with a little baby boy.  Our Jesus.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

CHRISTmas Letter 2011

This is the letter I sent along with our Christmas card this year.  Enjoy!!

Hello Dear Friends and Family,
We hope this finds all of you well, happy & blessed!  I’m going to change it up a little so….this will not follow the typical Christmas letter format you’ve been used to.  Trust me when I say change is good! This year has been extraordinary in many ways.  Halle is growing by leaps and bounds and still the light of our lives. This silly little girl never ceases to amaze Aaron and I with her singing, dancing, quick wit and sweet spirit.  She is such a gift!  She started Pre-School/Day Care at the Gingerbread House this year two days a week and absolutely loves it!  She loves her teachers and is always talking about all her little friends there.  Not long ago, Halle had her first sleepover with her Grammie & Titi (April’s sister) and a few short weeks ago she stayed over at Papa & Nana’s, of course, she loved it so much she didn’t want to come home.

I know most of you know our struggles with infertility that led us to adoption and our sweet Halle girl.  In July, Aaron and I were ecstatic to find out I was pregnant and due in March.  We approached this new journey very cautiously, with lots and lots of prayer.  Having three previous miscarriages will do that to you.  As I neared the second trimester we felt like we could finally breathe and enjoy the precious life Jesus was knitting together in my womb.  I began to experience some complications at a few days shy of nineteen weeks that led to Doctor’s appointments, unexpected ultrasounds and a trip to the University of Washington Medical Center.  It was then we learned our precious gift was a little boy, who we chose to name Elliott Aamodt. We do not know why, but these complications, unfortunately, caused my cervix to open up early and Elliott was born on October 13, almost five months too soon. You may not think extraordinary is a word to describe what we have experienced.  I would ask you to re-think that.  Our Jesus gave us a precious, unforgettable gift in the form of our little, tiny 10.4 oz boy that was just 9 ½” long.  From the moment Elliott was conceived our Jesus knew the plans He had for him.  Plans for greatness.  Plans to teach others about His love.  As Aaron and I reflect on the days following Elliott’s birth, one word always comes to mind faithful. Our Jesus has been so, so faithful.  We have grown so much spiritually because of Elliott. I have become bold and courageous to share my faith, for it is the only reason I have made it through this trial. Without our Jesus we would not be able to live this life without our son.  We know without a shadow of a doubt where our son is.  We know we will see him one day.  We also know that Jesus does not promise us a world without trials and tribulations. “Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NIV 

This Christmas finds us loving our Jesus more and more everyday.  We are finding such joy in seeing Halle’s love for this season and trying to remind her daily that Jesus is truly the reason for the season. We pray you will experience Jesus this CHRISTmas as you never have before!

April for all three of us J

I have kept our blog updated through this time and would love for you all to follow our continued journey there.  You can find it here:

Prayers Answered

I have waited an incredible amount of time for one of these to be placed on my fridge.  I consider these a "stamp of Mommy approval".  When I was in High School and Middle School for that matter I taught the 2-3 year old Sunday School class at my church.  Later after I graduated from High School I taught Pre-School for two years....I so envied those Mommy's receiving their treasured artwork from their son or daughter.  I could not wait for the day I would be a Mommy and have artwork to put on my fridge.  My road to motherhood has been ever so long and quite bumpy at times, but...when my girl brings home these treasures I melt.  I will display these proudly for all to see.  Yes, my fridge may look messy and I might need to buy more magnets, heart is full and Halle is so very excited when she gets to see these everyday.  

This Thursday Halle had her very first Christmas Program at our church.  Of course, with all the kids it was so hard to see our girl.  Yes, I was that Mommy that grabbed her camera to trek to the other side of the church just to get a better view.  I'm so glad I did.  I will tell you it was hard to hold the camera, take pictures and control the tears from flowing.  Little kids in Christmas Programs have always made me that I have my own little girl in the mix I was even more so.  WOW.  Our Jesus is so faithful.  Sometimes, it felt like I would never have a Christmas Program to attend as a Mommy.  When she was singing those songs and doing every.single.motion. my heart was bursting with pride for my little girl.  AND...she's pretty cute if I do say so myself.  I was so glad the dress her Foster Mommy made her last year still fit.  It was perfect.  And yesterday Halle wanted to do the very same thing all.over.again.  I love that girl!

Friday, December 16, 2011


Tuesday this week marked two whole months since we had said good-bye to our sweet Elliott.  I have to be honest and say I didn't even think of it...until about 4pm that day while I was sitting at my desk at work. Then it suddenly hit me.  It was December 13.  Two months ago I held my sweet boy for the first time and said good-bye to him as he joined his Grampie in heaven.  Even now, it so very fresh in my mind.  I'm sad.  My heart is heavy.  Others around me are pregnant and I'm so very happy and excited for them.  I truly, truly am.  So, dear friends and sweet sister-in-law if you are reading this....please, please do not think you must hide from me your joy of expecting another gift into your family. New life is precious.  So very so.  And...a miracle straight from our Jesus...whether those gifts are planned or not.  In fact, surprises are the very best.  Elliott was a huge surprise to us.  Maybe that's why it so very hard to grasp what is Jesus is planning here.  The plans he has for our family....I know they are good and just.  I know they are BIG.  Here again is where patience comes in.  Over and over our family has been hit with trials and tribulations.  So, when my husband was holding me as I sobbed on Tuesday night and my sweet little girl was asking me if I was sad because I missed Jesus (She has Christmas and Jesus on her brain...and that is fine by me!)....I wondered aloud "why can't anything be easy for us?"  I just can't get that part.  I watch as others around me are blessed beyond measure with a quiver-full....while we struggle to grow or family by one.  

After our third miscarriage I was so ready to stop the whole trying-to-conceive roller more Dr's visits, infertility drugs or tears.   I had definitely prayed through all my feelings of "needing" to have a biological child.  Aaron and I had cried many, many tears over the loss of our three babies.  And talked much about our next step.  We joked as we filled out adoption paperwork where it asked about race.  To us, it did not matter...could we put purple?  Do you see my point?  Our arms ached to be filled with a little, breathing person.  One that Jesus had picked just for us.  It did not matter that this baby could very well be brown, have curly, curly hair and wouldn't look a thing like either one of us. Now, we are coming to the place again in our lives.  I, personally, am having to pray through those very same feelings again.  I'm not going to lie. It's a very, very hard place to be. I know my Jesus made me to be a Mommy...and my arms ache with wanting to hold a child. My child.  Let me just say I don't differentiate between biological and adopted.  Both Halle and Elliott are my children.  One grew in my heart and the other grew in my belly. I want to smell that sweet baby smell and wash those cute, tiny clothes.  And you know what?  I want a little boy.  Our girl needs a little brother, my husband needs someone to work in the garage with and pass his Bronco on to....a little boy to learn about tube amps and everything works. Yes, Halle does love her Daddy's Bronco and she would probably work in the garage, gladly.  She will do anything if it includes spending uninterrupted time with her Daddy.  But, you understand my point.  I have his name picked out and I'm praying for him, specifically.  Jesus knows the desires of my heart.  But, that doesn't make this any easier.  Adoption involves much cost and prayer. The first we don't have much of, thankfully, the last we have lots and lots of, along with friends and family that will come along side us.  We spoke with our Adoption Agency last week and were encouraged by our sweet, kind contact Margaret.  But, the fact still will cost us money that we don't have to bring home our sweet baby.  This is how Jesus wants us to grow our family and we will gladly walk this road again....because he has asked us to do so.

"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

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Christmas...with a Three Year Old

We love how Halle is really understanding Christmas this year.  You should know the kitty, yarn & random toys are no longer in our tree!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday--Our Sweet Elliott

A few more photos for you to enjoy.  Our precious little boy.....this will give you a better idea of what size he actually was.  I am holding him in the middle picture.  AND...the bottom he has his Daddy's ring on his hand.  Again, I am reminded of how Jesus knits these precious gifts together in our womb's.  We serve a truly amazing Heavenly Father.  WOW.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Memorial Tats

Yes, we did it.  In honor of our son, both Aaron and I got tattoos last friday.  Which just also happened to be the anniversary of my Dad's heavenly graduation.  Yes, the footprints are true to size....and the three hibiscus represent the other three miscarriages I had.  The verse is significant to me because without a shadow of a doubt I believe all my babies were a gift....straight from our Jesus.  And...their sister Halle also has a sign in her bedroom with James 1:17 on it.  "Laus Deo" means "Praise be to God" in Latin....Aaron has had this phrase on a post-it-note attached to our printer for months now.  I think even before we found out I was pregnant.  It is so important to him.  Just because my husband is creative and all that stuff, he designed both of these tattoos.  Did I mention I love him very much for doing this?  It is definitely his way of processing October 13 and the days that lead up to it.  You know what? We will show these off proudly.....and what a testimony.  I have already ministered to many with these I believe Jesus works through these??  You bet I do! Dad would be proud!