Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas

Well, this week's post will be a bit shorter than usual because:
a) we should already be on the road headed to Louisiana
b) I am battling back from a terrible bout of something awful (no I did not eat at Taco Bell, but it couldn't have been worse)

This Christmas we celebrate two children. We celebrate our son. It is our first Christmas as parents. We also celebrate the One to whom he pointed. We celebrate the birth of a child who came to die in order to take away the sins of the world.

This year Ginny & I read about the birth of Jesus differently. Here was God's only son, whom He sent to this world to die in order that we could know Him. What a God.

We hope all of you have a great Christmas. Thanks again for all the encouragement.

Matt & Ginny Mooney

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Luke 2

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Limping Along

We made a quick trip to Ginny’s hometown last weekend for a jewelry show. Lake Providence has been great to us throughout this experience, and it was great to get see a lot of folks.

We will be traveling again to Lake Providence for Christmas and then to Orlando for New Year’s with some of our friends. Ginny and her family managed to get us tickets to the Capitol One Bowl; anyone who knows me, knows of my love-hate relationship with my beloved Hoggies- they better win if I’m trekking all the way to Orlando, or it will be more hate than love. But I digress.

We also visited with a genetic nurse and counselor this week in order to educate ourselves. This appointment had been recommended for us. It was a good reminder that with Trisomy and genetic issues, there are not a whole lot of answers, but it was good to get the answers that were available.

For the first time that I am aware of, I did that which I had asked for the previous week. I tell you just so you know, but also in the event that you prayed for such. The memory of Eliot brought first a smile. May more of the same come.

Genesis 32 recounts an unusual story. A heavenly WrestleMania, if you will:

This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”

But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” … Then he blessed Jacob there.

Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.” The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip.

This story, strangely, was the first scripture that came to my mind upon finding out about Eliot’s diagnosis. I would love to insert some great epic reason for why that was the case, but the truth is- I had no idea why.

I assume from the story that this “man” is some sort of heavenly being. Particularly what sort of being is not important to me just now.

Here’s what I do see. Jacob got his blessing. He wanted it, asked for it, fought for it, and received it. But that is not all that he got.

Jacob left this encounter with a limp. Not a sermon often preached. However, Jacob’s story of blessing could not be told without the follow-up that he was never able to walk right again. That’s the funny thing about God, the blessing doesn’t always come as we expected and although we receive the blessing, we're left to limp along.

Eliot was a blessing. We’ll never be all right without him. But he was well worth the limp.

Matt & Ginny Mooney

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Contempt for the Commonplace

Apologies to anyone who noticed the failure to meet the self-imposed Wednesday deadline.

This last week brought winter with it. Ginny and I had the privilege of working with some friends of ours on a short film of Eliot's life. We are excited about this opportunity to share Eliot's story. We do, after all, feel that this is now our role- tell the story. His sweet life spoke so loudly, we can only hope to continue to let it do so. We will let you know more information as it comes.

This next sentence seems to find its way into every post now...we continue to seek exactly what we could do to help others. Please pray that if anything were to be done, it would be revealed.

Our pray as of late has been that the memory of Eliot would incite a smile on our face and in our hearts. This is a big request. Although, the smiles always come, they do not yet surface initially. Just the pain of missing him.

Recently, I have noticed that I have no patience for the mundane. This I readily attribute to my little guy. Ginny, I believe, would echo this sentiment. I would guess this is something that anyone going through life-altering experiences could relate to. It's become difficult to tolerate the trivial. I fear that my face may often give me away in conversations with others. Although, I am nodding my head and feigning interest as they tell me of their new job promotion, or holiday plans, or whatever- I am afraid my face is letting out my inner thoughts...Yeah, well my son died. I miss him. And I don't care.

The funny thing is, I do actually care more than ever. I care about the person telling me the story. I care to know him or her- their hurts, successes, what makes them tick. But I cannot tolerate small talk. I think the initial reaction to this revelation from others might be, "ah, it will pass. give it some time." Well, I hope not. As long as I can control my faces in public, I think this newfound focus might be a strength.

I am created to need a little more substance in my interaction with others than how the Hogs fared in the game last week. Don't get me wrong, I also need the small talk; and I am not promoting the loathed one whose every word is probing and serious. In Jesus, I see the perfect mixture. He interacted, went fishing, and frequented some parties. But He always saw through it, and managed to get to the heart. My hope is to get there. I am not. But, through Eliot, I am closer.

Now, I know some of you will fear talking to us next time you see us...don't. Just don't watch my face too closely.

Matt & Ginny Mooney

We have sold somewhere over 100 necklaces. Thanks to all of you who have let us know what it has meant to you. We're excited to use the money toward something worthwhile. eliot necklace.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


This week brought some tough news from Alabama. Claire has joined Eliot in heaven. We ask you to please pray for the Cox family. We have developed a friendship with this couple and a love for their little girl that defies understanding. Feel free to encourage them as you have us.

Ginny and I have been slowly tiptoeing back into the world. Ginny has been enjoying making jewelry and planning shows. I have continued working and am looking at going back to school. Some exciting ways of sharing Eliot’s story have developed. We will share more as they come to fruition. Brainstorming is still underway in regards to what direction we should take to help others. We are both openly seeking whatever the Lord would have for us from this point onward.

I missed posting pictures of Eliot. So I did. Enjoy.

Recently my thoughts have turned to hope. Hope is that which empowers us to make it through a day. To get out of bed, to look past the behemoth that is the now. The question that has been pressed upon me as of late is this: for what do I hope?

I had hoped that Eliot would still be here. That God would do a miracle. That he would be the kid that filled the pages of medical journals. I hoped that we would be a family for longer. I hoped that he was present at my funeral- just as it should be with a father and son.

I make no apologies for those hopes. Naïve as they are, I know a God who could have fulfilled these hopes with a single touch. But, today, we linger in a world that was absent that touch. So what is the subject of my hope now?

I hope that God is who He says He is. I hope beyond hope that His word is true.

Actually, this was my hope all along. God has not failed. I believe that one day I will be released from this body, and be at His feet. The questions will be answered and I will wonder no longer. Ginny & I believe that while we’re still here on earth, that something is waiting to be done.

My hopes cannot thwart God’s plans. And I am learning that this is a good thing. May His will be done. For therein lies my hope.

Matt & Ginny Mooney

Here are some scriptures that we have held to recently:

Hab. 3:17,18
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

II Cor. 1:3,4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Lam. 3:21-23
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Ginny & I have settled in after quite a bit of traveling. We visited New York City. We were able to create some great new memories and reminisce of past ones with our son. We took it all in: David Letterman, Mama Mia, and Ginny’s guided tours through the boroughs- until I was too sore to walk anymore. Being away and being together was good for us both. Ginny loves the city and I got to see her smile a little more often.

We then, through an incredible gift, were able to take six friends to the beach for a long weekend. This trip was a small thank you to a few close friends who we could never adequately thank. There was beach football, shopping, and a whole lot of sitting around. Any time with this group promised to be great, and it was.

With that said, one thing has become abundantly clear. We hurt. Whether in New York or home, busy or bored, together or alone. We miss him. There is a painful emptiness for which there is no cure. Our future hope has not dulled today’s pain.

Ginny and I, throughout this journey, have sought to be honest. We do not feel a responsibility to put a smiley face at the end of every account of pain. The fear of airing one’s true feelings, when dealing with pain, is a real one. For believers, we do not want to push others away by admitting our horrible thoughts and pain. However, anything else is hypocrisy. It is our belief that our God will be glorified through a truthful accounting of our experience. It will be ugly, and revealing as to our weakness. And this is precisely why we need Him.

I have feared this post. Fearful that I have nothing to say. I struggle to have a complete thought, for they are always being cut short with doubt. As I have fought with how I feel, I will tell of what I know. Throughout this time, I can say with full confidence that God has been present. He has not come with thunder & lightning as I had hoped for. He was not the healer that I had prayed for. However, He was ever lingering, always surprising. Making an appearance in the most unlikely manner at an improbable time. Then again, I guess that was the theme with Eliot.

Therefore, God was faithful- doing that which He promised. The word reminds us that He is able to do anything. But He is bound by very little. He will always love us and He will never leave us. He did not do all that I asked for. But He did all that He promised.

Thanks to all of you who have sent cards and prayed and encouraged us to continue to tell Eliot’s story. We are seeking ways to continue the impact of our little boy. Many things are in the discussion phase. Please know that you are a part of this story. If you feel so led, encourage someone to read the story or let us know if you have any ideas ( & We still love posts and more than anything, if Eliot’s story has meant something to you, please let us know. Thank you all for joining in on this journey.

The “eliot” necklace is now able to be ordered online ( Again, $10 from each sale will be placed in a fund for something great. Details will come, as we are currently investigating how we can best continue Eliot’s impact.

May you hug those close to you all a little tighter this holiday.

Matt & Ginny Mooney

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Check back

We are currently traveling. Thank you all for your posts and cards and calls and everything.

Please check back within the week. We plan on an update & hope to pass on continued lessons.

Ginny and I have enjoyed our time together. We continue to hurt and hope.

Matt & Ginny Mooney

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

From here on...

Ginny and I have been spending much time together figuring out what "from here on" looks like. Obviously, it has been difficult. Lots of looking at pictures (and, trust me, we have plenty), crying, and acknowledging to the other the emptiness created by our son's passing.

Thanks to all of you who have let us know what Eliot's life means to you. We love hearing how his life has impacted others.

We will continue to post (Wednesdays are still typical) what we are experiencing and learning as lessons from Eliot have outlasted his life. We intend to do a few things that will allow his life to continue to affect others. We are primarily at the idea stage, but ask you to check in periodically and see what steps Eliot's life spurs on. Also, feel free to share Eliot's story with whomever you feel might need it. It is, somehow, still a story of inspiring hope and a good God.

We are late to head out the door as I type. We are taking a vacation in order to just get away together. We welcome your continued prayers as we walk through this stage of the journey.


The first idea to come to fruition is the following. Ginny has designed a necklace named, "eliot". For those of you who may not know, Ginny designs and sales jewelry ( The design of this necklace is purposeful. Eighteen black beads and a single jade bead represents the unique creation that Eliot was to us. We hope to sale 1,000 of these necklaces. This is a lofty goal, so we'll take any help you can offer. The necklace will sale for $30 and 1/3 of each sale will go into a non-profit we have created. Quick math will tell you, we hope to raise $10,000 . We are still sifting through precisely how best to use the money. However, we will be sharing soon, and the ideas are good ones-dealing mostly with children. We will be selling the necklace online soon; however, if you know you would want one (or 10) just e-mail Ginny at It will be made in silver or gold.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

99 Balloons

Celebration of a Life

Ginny and I, and many of our friends and family, gathered Monday to celebrate Eliot's life. It was perfect. Following a song entitled, "Everything's Alright", I struggled through the following:

"'Everything’s Alright'…not your ordinary funeral song, and 'Don’t wear black' are not your ordinary funeral instructions. But Eliot was no ordinary boy. His life was extraordinary.

A dad speaking at his son’s funeral is probably a little strange as well. But Eliot’s is a story I must tell. Ginny and I have things to say, and I’m going to try to say them today. We also have a saying as of late which is “go ahead & cry. We do”
But, if at all possible, hold it in for the next couple of minutes, or I’ll probably lose it with you. I have a tag team partner on board so I can tap out at any moment. With that said, I apologize for reading. My communications teacher would be disappointed. But I am just gonna try to make it through.

I want to thank you all for being here today. Ginny & I wish we could personally sat down with each one of you and express how much your actions have made our burden lighter.
Thanks for making a call when it had to be awkward for you do so. Thanks for letters & birthday cards for Eliot. Thanks for feeding us, when food was the last thing on our mind. Thanks for surprise one month birthday parties & blog posts & law school softball tournaments for Eliot. Thank you- family- for your love and support. Thank you Josh, Becky, Heather & Paul for walking through this with us.

Thank you all for joining us today to celebrate the life of a special boy who impacted so many.

We view today as a celebration. We celebrate the greatest gift the Lord has ever given us. In Eliot, we enjoyed so much. We loved so much. We learned so much.

Although, Ginny and I had seats near the front of the class, you all joined in on the lessons & the classroom kept expanding to include people we had never even met. We all sat in awe as God, Himself, took a sick little boy and pulled back the veil to reveal lessons about Himself.

An underdeveloped lung. A heart with a hole in it. And DNA that placed faulty information into each and every cell of Eliot’s body - could not stop the living God from screaming of Himself through a child who never uttered a word. To an outsider it may seem nothing short of foolish to credit all this teaching to Eliot, but

I Corinthians says that…”the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

It goes on to say that God’s wisdom is unlike ours and his tools are not what we would imagine. His tools are not the ones we would craft.

Not a pulpit. Not a slick presentation. Not a bestselling book. But a 6lb. boy with Trisomy 18. God found great pleasure to take a lowly thing in the eyes of the world and show Truth.

Every aspect of Eliot’s life was a paradox. Because I hate it when people use words that I do not understand- let me define.

A paradox is defined as
“a seemingly absurd or contradictory proposition that upon investigation proves to be true”

Truly, all of Christianity is a paradox. G.K. Chesterton writes that, “Christianity is a superhuman paradox whereby two opposite passions may blaze beside each other”.

Our God teaches us that:
To become greatest I must become least.
That as a believer, I have total freedom & yet strive not to sin.
And ultimately, that I find life - in none other than the death of man named Jesus.
Through Eliot we experienced the paradox of joy and pain ablaze side by side.

Truly, the Lord did not ask us to take a path which He had not already traveled on our behalf. Although we did not willingly give up Eliot , his life & death have given new meaning to the sacrifice the Father made when He gave His only Son unto death, that we could have life.

And so today, we celebrate. Eliot is well. And, although we miss him more than we can express, we are only separated from him by our time left on earth. We anxiously wait to join Him in worshiping the Lord.

So today we propose a new standard.
How do you measure a life? By years? By esteem? By productivity?

Eliot Hartman Mooney
99 days, 98 birthday parties (& today makes 99)
18 nurses
17, 557 visits to his website
0 minutes unattended

Although these statistics are fun. They all fall woefully short of a metric whereby to judge Eliot’s life. We propose that Eliot’s life be measured by impact.

Thus, truly his was a full life.

We encourage you today to not forget Eliot. To not forget whatever his sweet life taught you. Please go & do that which has been stirred in you through his life. And we look forward to hearing of the ripples he has made in eternity.

Finally, when you arrived you were handed a flower. We believe that Eliot’s life is best understood when pictured much like the flower you hold.

A flower is picked to be enjoyed. Sweet to smell & viewed by all.

When your flower was picked, a process began whereby the flower’s life will end. But this is not the way we view a flower. We just enjoy it. We take it in.

Thank you, Eliot. You were the joy of mine & your mom’s life."

Saturday, October 28, 2006

July 20, 2006-October 27, 2006

Our fighter of a son has gone to be with Jesus. We celebrate his life and revel in the fact that he is finally well. We are sad. We miss our son. But do not mourn for us. Celebrate with us. Eliot's life points us all to worship. Join us.

More posts and details will come.

II Timothy 4:7,8
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

Revelation 21:3-5
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.' He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!' "

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Birthday Bash

Three Months

A Quarter of A Year

Dad……….10,630 days
Mom…….....9,860 days
Eliot……………96 days!!!

A quarter of a year. That is how one friend described it, and we liked it. Eliot’s three month party was Friday, and what a party it was. Friends, pizza, kids everywhere…can you beat it? Ginny and I attempted to address the group, but we each welled up with tears about a sentence into it. However, I hope the message was clear. Thank you, friends, for making this journey less lonely.

Eliot got his first ever cordless pictures (no feeding tube, oxygen, or stickers). This was no small accomplishment. We had scheduled everything out to have them taken, but Eliot’s feeding tube split the day of the scheduled change. We had to call our great nurse to change the tube immediately. The tube is changed every three weeks, so we tried to be all right with the fact that the pictures were not going to happen. But we had been excited about them. Just as she was about to change the tube, our friend, Brooke, came in with camera in hand. As you can see the lil’ man is quite photogenic. Thanks Brooke. (

We continue to fight fear. We continue to hope. We continue to laugh and experience joy. We continue to savor each moment with our son.

Ginny’s 27th birthday is Friday. Her first as a mom. Thus, already the best one yet. Although the subject matter is different, I continue to recite the lessons drawn from a special boy.

I always thought that Ginny would be a great mother. The kind who wore a smile through the chaos that is raising children and, unintentionally, made other moms feel inadequate. Like seeing one reach their destiny. I always thought that she was strong, courageous, and able to weather whatever this world brought. That she would sharpen me and prop me up when I could not stand on my own. All the while, acting as if she was doing nothing special. I always thought that she was the clearest picture of Christ that God had given me this side of heaven. Needless to say, I thought a lot of her- and now I know. Thanks Eliot.

"Two are better than one... If one falls down, his friend can help him up." (Ecclesiastes 4:9&10)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Oh Yeah.

I forgot to note that Eliot's adorable, cowboy outfit was made by his mother. If she decides to forego jewelry, I think you'll agree that she could make it as a costume designer. What a woman.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Out on the Town

One tough Cowboy (NICU roundup)

Almost Three Months!

This week brought more wonderful memories with Eliot. He rooted on the Hogs at the homecoming parade, and went shopping with mom on Dickson Street. Best of all, we all got to go to a NICU reunion.

I have never seen my wife more happy. I cannot portray the joy that I received from seeing her glow as she showed off her son. She wrote about it for something else, but I think her words paint the perfect picture. So, possibly against her wishes, I am stealing them to share with you...
"Stickhorses and Surprises"

Saturday was one of the greatest days I have ever experienced. Eliot was 86 days old & Matt and I took him to the NICU reunion. It was a "roundup", so we got to see the ever-so-serious neonatologists and sweet nurses from our 12 days in the hospital riding stickhorses. Not only did we get to see them riding stickhorses and dressed in their cowboy attire...we got to see the look on their faces when they saw that Eliot was there. I'll never forget those looks as long as I live. They were so surprised.

The logic of medicine says he should not still be alive, but he is. He's strong and sweet and such a fighter and I felt that day the way I would assume a mother would feel if her son became president or won the heisman or developed a cure for cancer. If you would have asked me in those days in the NICU if we would be coming to the reunion on day 86, I would not have had an answer. All I had and all I have still is a mustard seed. My faith is not big, it is small ...sometimes it feels smaller than a mustard seed even. But I am generally sure of what I hope for and sort of certain of what I do not see. God has taken that tiny glimpse of faith and done in Eliot what, really, He does in us all: moved the mountain of death and given life.

We hope to celebrate October 20th, Eliot's 3 month birthday, with a party in the park. As with all facets of life these days, the occasion is dependent on how Eliot's day is going. We have been requested to provide specific prayer requests. This, we are more than happy to do. Thanks for all the prayers and please continue to bring us all before the Father.

***Please continue to pray for life and healing for Eliot. We believe this prayer has already been answered many times, and ask for more of the same.
***Please pray for Ginny and I. It is tough to specify what exactly to pray for. We reside, right now, in such a strange land. Each time Eliot struggles or experiences an episode, we prepare to say goodbye and wonder if this is it. We are happy to live in this land, because here is where our son is, but it is unusual territory. Pray that we would have peace, trust, rest, courage. Pray that the Lord would continue to be close to us. Pray that we would be able to live our lives without fear. Pray that we could sleep when we lay down. Pray that we would be faithful to tell Eliot's story because it is a story of life and hope, and one many need to hear. Pray that joy would continue to overwhelm us at moments we did not see coming. The Word tells us that when words fail us in prayer, the spirit communicates those prayers for us...these are the prayers we, all three, need.

Thanks once again to all who have prayed. We still love posts and draw much encouragement from them.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Look Claire...Blue & Orange

Over 8 lbs. & 80 days.

Another week of Eliot! He jumped up on the scales and proved what the pictures have been revealing all along. He tipped the scales at 8 lbs. 14.oz. This weight gain is quite an accomplishment.

Seven more birthday parties. Seven more baths. Seven more days with our son.

Arkansas whipped Auburn this week. Therefore, Eliot's friend Claire reluctantly donned her razorback gear in order to keep up her part of a bet. If you have not made it to Claire's site, I encourage you to read about her life and lay your eyes on one upset lady. In order to appease a woman's scorn- and much to his mother's dismay- Eliot opted to put on his blue and orange.

Eliot has had quite a few new readers. Here's some pointers for the new folks:
- New posts typically on Wednesday.
- Check the archives in order to learn of Eliot's condition.
- Feel free to comment. We have been encouraged.

Eliot's life is always teaching. Ever instructing. Gently nudging observers to truth.

Our world is one in which we all strive for control. Everyone possesses a plan. Sure, some hang on more tightly than others, but, to some extent, we all desire to influence our circumstances. When something is wrong, we act. We do something to fix the problem. This all comes very naturally- if hungry then eat, if tired then sleep. You get the idea. Early on, one learns that his actions can determine the outcome.

This system works quite nicely, and I like the sound of it. It's so American. The "pull yourself up by the bootstraps", self-made man mentality that our grandfather's tried to pass on to us.

Everyone is afraid to admit that they do not have a plan. I love asking college freshman what their plans are. They've got it all mapped out. We crave control; and at the least we desire the appearance of being in control.

Eliot has managed to shatter our illusion of control. We can do nothing. Our utter dependence on the Lord is glaring. He's we take him to the doctor. They can do nothing. It's a helpless, powerless place that we are in. But, truth be known, this reality is where we have always dwelled. Eliot just helped us realize.

I am thankful that we know the one that controls. This is not always comforting. For His ways are not my ways, and I want my way. All I can do is trust Him. And with Eliot I've begun to see that His ways are better and He is worthy of trust.

"Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?
Tell me, if you understand." Job 38:4

This week ushered in both the lowest and highest points of our son's journey as of yet. We, honestly, are not prepared to reveal specifics, but suffice it to say that describing Eliot's life as a miracle just may be an understatement. Eliot is with us, and we are overjoyed.

Matt & Ginny Mooney

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


You can subscribe to this blog through the box at the left. This will e-mail you when there is a new post. Although we typically post on Wednesday, we might slip one in every once in a while.


We never thought we could love a mullett

Seventy Five Days!!!

Birthdays, Bikes, and Baby Mullets

Fayetteville was taken over this week by Bikes, Blues, and Bar-B-Que. The annual motorcycle rally brought in around three hundred thousand folks to the area (you read that right). Needless to say, we are not missing the rattling windows and deep hum that pervaded our neighborhood.

Not to say that BB&B was not appreciated by the Mooney family. Eliot was spotted twice at the rally- even getting his picture made with his stroller parked up beside a row of Harleys. His parents could be seen making sure no one lit a cigarette near his oxygen. Needless to say, his baby mullet allowed him to fit right in with the crowd. We have ranked this event as the number one people-watching venue we have ever experienced.

Besides getting many "what the..." glances at the bike rally, Eliot continues to amaze. Birthday celebrations continue each and every day. We take a picture daily with the number of days present in the photo so we can keep track. Lately, we have been attempting to spice up the pics with creativity as you can see above.

Eliot continues to gain weight; this would most likely go unnoticed but for the numerous pictures we have of him in his thinner days. He will be weighed again this week, and we look forward to celebrating the verdict. His nose has been congested again. Changing his tube aggravates the situation, and we would ask you to pray, once again, for his nose to be cleared up.

Thanks again to all who have posted and prayed. We continue to be humbled by the support of others. I guess it goes without saying, but we continue to seek prayers.

Eliot has a potential girlfriend named Claire. I would ask you to say a prayer for this family as well. We have communicated with them, and celebrate the arrival of their daughter. There story is available at Claire's blog.

I wish to convey a little more of the landscape of life with Eliot. In the sake of full-disclosure and honesty, I must confess that there are many times that my prayers are that the Lord would help me believe the words I write and say. The last few months have ushered in moments of pain and joy intermingled. Ginny and I have made every effort to focus on the joy, but the hurt and bewilderment have taken up residence as well.

We have heard repeatedly how strong we are, and we can only grin sheepishly and cut eyes at each other. We know we are not strong. We each know the tears and hurt of the other.

I fully expected at the outset of all of this to be mad at have it out with Him. I've read enough of the Bible to know that He frustrates His followers and allows them to air their anger. But I am not mad. I am weary. Too dizzy to fight. I'm the boxer that does not know which corner is his own.

I doubt. I struggle. I waiver. And that's the truth.

So, if Eliot's story has power, please know it is not us. I am thankful to follow a God who does not discard the traitors.

Matt & Ginny Mooney

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

With the Lord a day is like a thousand years (II Pet. 3:8)

Closing in on 8 lbs.

Another fantastic week of enjoying Eliot.

We celebrated Eliot's 2 month birthday last Wednesday. Thank you to everyone who took the time to send Eliot a card. He received over 100 birthday cards! We had a small gathering to celebrate, and spent the time together opening up the cards and reading them aloud. Thanks.

Eliot also had his 2 month checkup last Wednesday. He is a whopping 7lbs. 15 ounces, and growing (you can actually see him rounding out in the above pics).

This week was as joyous as ever. The runny nose has cleared up for the most part, and with the bathroom problems seemingly a thing of the past, Eliot has been quite happy. There was the problem of seeing his mom so out of character- completely irate with Bama's lack of a kicking game. Luckily, dad had prepped the little guy earllier in the day on what to expect when Alabama finally played a real team. Eliot has gotten over it, but I am not sure about mom.

We have been attempting to live our lives as close to normal as we are able. I have started working a job that allows for flexibility. I am coping with being away, but don't like it; therefore, my workdays are short and Ginny must give me a complete rundown upon return. Ginny has been working ( a little as well and making trips out with her son. While life with Eliot becomes our new normal we strive to never let any day be routine. With Eliot this comes easily.

Eliot continues to teach in ways this blog cannot contain.

Having a child has done things to me that I could not have imagined. Sure, there's the things such as now smiling at every single child that I come across and finding myself crying at cheesy songs that I don't even like. But there's more. Eliot is the first thing that I have loved as the Father loves me. He is the first recipient of my deepest affection that did not earn it. I have loved my family, my friends, and my wife, but each has won me over. Each has offered me something that I deemed worthy of my affection. Bot not Eliot. I love him. End of story. I just do. I played a part in his creation, and I love him.

Sure, I receive so much from Eliot; but if I did not, my love would continue. Philip Yancey writes that grace is the understanding that there is nothing that you can do to make God love you more, and there is nothing you can do to make God love you less. Now, I get it.

Ephesians says it this way, "I pray that you...may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge".

Matt & Ginny Mooney

Please continue to pray.

As some earlier comments may make life tougher around here, the following picture will more than atone.

I gotta admit, he looks good.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Come on...


Sweet Success!

2 Months of Joy

Well, today- Wednesday, September 20th- marks 2 months of Eliot’s life. A cookout will mark the occasion. We’ve decided there is no way to adequately celebrate the joy that 2 months of Eliot has provided. Ginny and I are so thankful that we know our son. We know his faces, we know his noises, we know that bath time and baby massage are his favorite daily activities.

Thanks to everyone who sent postcards. We’ll post some pictures of all the cards and birthday bash soon.

This week brought an all-new round of triumphs and challenges. Eliot has finally had more success going to the bathroom. After quite a bit of experimentation, he is doing much better in this department. Also, he has done well with his increased feedings and continues to add rolls faster than a Baptist potluck. Finally, after many dead ends, we were thrilled to find a food pump that better suits Eliot’s needs.

Eliot has had a stopped up nose this week, which may sound inconsequential, but has made some things more difficult. Breathing, feeding, and resting can all be frustrated by a runny nose. Feel free to offer up a prayer for the little guy’s nose. With that said, Eliot is doing well and continues to amaze.

As you can see from the pictures, Eliot has managed to suck his thumb. We saw his desire to do so develop about 2 weeks ago, and we would give him a little help. Because his hand is clenched, getting the thumb actually in the mouth was quite a task. We tried not helping him to see what he would do, and, although, as you can see, he sometimes thumbs his chin instead, he is figuring it out.

Eliot continues to teach, and we continue in our pursuit to pass on the lessons learned.

I must admit that, until recently, I have never longed for heaven. Don’t get me wrong, it has always been somewhere I eventually wanted to be; it sounded great and all, but, honestly, I enjoy the here and now just fine. I looked at heaven as through a telescope. It was a nice place, not too distant, the surface of which reminded me of my current surroundings.

Scripture describes the feelings that we as believers should have for the afterlife with these words: longing, burdened, & groaning. Whatever my affections for heaven were, these words would not be an apt description for them.

Enter Eliot…he is my reminder, my illumination. This world is out of kilter. Not quite right. Eliot’s head bobs with each breath. His heart has a hole in it. The list continues from there.

For the first time, I long for heaven. I want to be there. I want it worse than any desire that I have ever experienced. This world will no longer suffice. I am restless for that which lies beyond.

Eliot has revealed the distance from earth to the afterward. He has taken my telescope and fashioned a magnifying glass- and the true distance from here to home has been exposed.

so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life…
We…would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
II Corinthians 5

Matt & Ginny Mooney

*Updates on Wednesdays
*If you don't post, we won't know
*Please continue (or start) your prayers

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Shopping at the Mall

Bath Time II

Grilling out

Well, unfortunately for you all, I, Matt, have returned to the typing. If you missed last week’s post from Ginny, I would suggest you read it. Have I mentioned that my wife is my hero?

On to the man. Eliot continues to amaze and continues to find new ways to steal our hearts each day. He was weighed for the first time since his pediatrician visit. Drum roll please…..7lbs. 3 oz.! What a heavy weight. It is great to see him growing and his food has been bumped up to account for his appetite.

Another fun Eliot-ism. We only give Eliot his pacifier when he is feeding. This is done in order to aid in digestion and allow him to associate sucking with his belly getting full. Recently, 10 minutes prior to his feedings, he will pucker up his lips and work over his imaginary pacifier until mom or dad come with the real thing. Now, maybe all kids do this, but that’s precisely the point.

Just a few items to pass along:
➢ If you’re new to the site, you can check the archives for more information on Eliot’s condition, Trisomy-18.
➢ We continue to be humbled by the prayers and posts, and ask for continued prayer for Eliot’s life.
➢ We try to provide an update and pictures each Wednesday.

We continue to celebrate each day of Eliot’s life with a birthday party, picture, and a prayer of thanks. Each day continues to be a miracle, and we are asking for many more. Two months of miracles is approaching fast. Ginny and I have sought ways to commemorate the significance of a month. For Eliot’s 2 month birthday (September 20), we are asking whoever wants to do so, to send him a birthday card. Please no gifts or anything like that, just a card. If and when you drop it in the mail, we would ask for a prayer for Eliot.
Eliot Mooney
215 W. ILA St.
Fayetteville, Ar. 72701

As requested, we continue to relay the lessons gleaned from our son. The joy of Eliot’s life is a resisted truth. We battled (still do), crossed our fingers, prayed, fasted… you name it, I can guarantee you we at least entertained the idea of doing it, if Trisomy-18 could potentially be fended off. But without all that Eliot is, we could not experience all of the joy that he is- and he is unspeakable joy.

Don’t get me wrong, our prayers still go up to a God who can heal; but whose faithfulness is not dependent on whether or not He does.

You see, the truth will sometimes gag you. Not too long ago, as many of you already know, we had to drop a tube down Eliot’s throat. Without the tube he could not eat. Needless to say, he coughed, cried, gagged, and cried some more. He fought us with all 112 ounces. However, we willingly gagged the boy that we love so much, because we love him so much.

We must watch that which we resist, because the hand of the one who drops the tube can be trusted.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A House Divided


At the end of last week Matt asked if I wanted to do the post this week…I said no. Then I thought about it and said no again. The 2nd no was followed by him telling me he decided it wasn’t a question anymore; he wanted me to do it. He doesn’t ask much of me, so here I am, completely out of my comfort zone. To those of you that look forward to the eloquence of Matt’s words each week, I apologize…know that I, too, am disappointed.

This past week has been good. Not a lot is different…Alabama won, Arkansas lost…you know, the usual. There have been 7 more birthdays, 7 more days of rejoicing & celebrating & enjoying every second, 7 more days of visitors and blessings. Eliot’s biggest struggle is going to the bathroom and we have been figuring out the best way to help and there has been some progress. There’s no way to describe daily life and even those who have had the chance to visit don’t actually experience it. There are times when I look at all going on and think how did I get here? Wasn’t I just in college…wasn’t I just walking down the aisle…and now I am a mom? What happened? Then there are other times where it is the most comfortable and natural thing- as if God has made every part of my life up until now only a step in leading me to this- and as if I have always not only been intended to be a mom but to be Eliot’s mom.

A friend gave us a short story this week printed on a piece of card stock about what it’s like to have a special needs kid. Essentially, it said it’s like preparing to go on a trip to Italy, learning all about Italy and hearing what Italy is like from all your friends who have been there, packing for Italy and getting on a plane to Italy. Then when you land, you realize the plane has actually landed in Holland…at first you are just surprised to be in Holland because you knew so much about Italy and not Holland, but from the second you step off the plane, Holland is not only incredible but better than Italy…and Holland actually becomes home.

When we had the ultrasound at 30 weeks that showed many markers of trisomy18, one of those seen was clenched fists. Between the Tuesday of my amniocentesis and the Friday of the results, I have vivid memories of my pleading to the Lord to “unclench the fists”. It’s funny how small our minds are and how BIG God and His plan is. I can’t put into words how grateful I am that the Lord did not unclench those fists. I love Eliot’s clenched fists…I love our “Holland”…I love everything about Holland…I love changing Eliot’s oxygen…I love that his food goes into syringes and into a pump and through a tube…I love his webbed toes…I love his whole right ear and his partial left ear…I love that the greatest accomplishment of my life is dropping a tube down his throat at 3 am…I love getting to see Matt be the best dad a kid could ever have…I love that so many unknowns have turned into 47 days of knowing every expression and cry and squirm and punching of the clenched fists. Though I am very aware that the unknowns continue, I am also very aware of the fullness and joy of today. God’s goodness is not always packaged as we think; it’s better than anything we could ever come up with.

Ginny Mooney

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Look what my Aunt did.

40 Day Party

Good Lookin'...Lookin' Good

Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's 40!!!

This week brought more joyful memories with Eliot. Park trips, restaurants, and a lot of Mooney family bonding. Ginny and I are preparing for our first college football season with cable TV. She is busy teaching Eliot the Alabama fight song, while I threaten to purchase him every infant hog outfit in sight.

The week was not without its drama. One night during his 2am feeding, Eliot managed to pull his feeding tube out. We had been warned that this was likely and even practiced the necessary steps to remedy the situation before leaving the NICU. Upon waking Ginny up with a yell, we realized that we did not have a stethoscope, which was necessary to replace the tube. We called Walgreens...they were out. Wal-Mart did not answer. We decided we would just drive to Wal-Mart and if they did not have one, we would head on to the NICU in Springdale. Upon walking out the door, I remembered that I had once- before Eliot was born- met our neighbor three doors down. She mentioned that she had heard of our future-child's condition, and that her and her husband were nurses. So, with only having talked to the woman one time, I headed up their dark stairs and knocked on their door at 2:30am. The husband answered the door, and after a little needed time to become coherent, he found his stethoscope.

Stethoscope in hand, Ginny went to it, while I held Eliot's head still. After much wrestling, praying, and Eliot tears, the tube was down, and Eliot was able to feed. [I need to take this time and just acknowledge that my wife is my hero.] This story makes it seem a little more quick and smooth than actuality. The tube debacle did not conclude until about 6am. With that said, this story is told not for any sympathy, but just because others have expressed that they want to know what is going on.
Trying to tell you what Eliot has taught us is similar to serving grape juice as wine. More time is needed for the process. We are telling of a journey we are in the midst of. However, we can offer the glimpses that have been offered us.

Today we celebrated 40 days for Eliot. I took the dog for a walk at Wilson Park in order to get out and enjoy the cooler weather. As I rounded the corner on my first lap, I saw it. A rainbow. Not the kind you sort of see and sort of don't; rather, it was large, robust and could be seen from end to end. Initially, I thought it might end somewhere around Hasting's, and debated going to look for it. The proverbial pot of gold could put a dent in some medical bills, you know. I thought better and kept walking.

Genesis 9
And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth....Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

These verses make it seem as if God was the one who needed reminding, but I cannot help but think that it is actually us. God lifts the veil, reaches into the seen world and places a sign; one to remind us of His promises, remind of His presence. I needed a rainbow.

Eliot is a rainbow all his own. A signpost to remind us of great things. As I look at my life, including four years of full-time ministry, I have no hesitation saying that God has used 40 days of Eliot far more than anything I have said, done, or taught. Why? Because He wants to. Because God uses humble means for His glory. Eliot is a sign that is read different by each person. To some he says- cherish the seemingly mundane moments of each day; to others, look and see the power of prayer; still others read how God does not work within the logic of man. All that through a child who feeds through a tube and has never spoken a word. What a kid.

So, on Eliot's 40-day birthday, God provided a rainbow just as he did after 40 days and nights of rain. You just can't make this stuff up.

Please continue praying for Eliot. We love posts. Thanks.

Matt and Ginny Mooney

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Fam

Full of Surprises

Well, I've got one hand on the pacifier and one typing. Wish me luck.

This week brought with it some great memories and milestones for the three of us. Eliot's feeding has been stepped up and he has responded splendidly. Also, he has become quite fond of his pacifier (thus, the five-finger typing project). Ginny has noticed that he begins to pucker about five minutes prior to feeding time. What a kid. Another surprising development has been Eliot's playfulness with the toys attached to his seat. Most every time that he is put into his seat, he will stare long & hard at the objects in front of him; he will then reach out and tap them. At first, we thought we were being naive and there was no way he meant to. However, he has proved us wrong as he repeatedly performs. That may fall in to "the things only a parent can appreciate" department, but we were overjoyed.

Ginny and I are loving every moment. I have decided to not go back to law school for the semester and am considering a part-time job in the afternoon. Ginny is looking forward to possibly easing back into Virginiabead ( However, truth be known, we have both cleared our plates in order to enjoy the life given to us.

Sorry, for only one picture posted. Eliot had a photo shoot this week. The picture above is a product of that time, and many more will follow when we receive the rest. Rumor is we'll post some more pictures earlier than next Wednesday, but no promises.

In the way of memories, many were made. We'll share two that stand out. First, the three of us walked (and rode) to the park a couple of blocks from our house. About a mile out from home, and without warning, it started to rain. Gradually, the drops progressed to what must have been the hardest rain, thus far, of the summer. At first, mom and dad were a little shell-shocked, feeling as if we had the "awful parents" award in the bag. But a funny thing happened- we pulled the handy cover completely over our son- and had the time of our lives. We laughed, found cover and then opted to get soaked and take it all in. Eliot has a knack for turning the potentially frightening into fantastic.

I must apologize in advance, for this next memory will not be done justice by my words. Eliot turned one month on Sunday! (Hands down, favorite sentence I have ever written.) Early in the day, Ginny and I talked of how we wished we had invited a lot of people over in order to celebrate. We wanted the full birthday experience for him- the whole nine yards. We decided to forgive ourselves since things had been a tadbit crazy, and resolved to make him a cake ourselves. About 4 O' clock in the afternoon, Ginny heard something outside our door. We were expecting a couple who had called to come visit. Ginny yelled back to me, "Oh my gosh, there's a lot of them".

Ginny grabbed Eliot and the three of us met at our front door. There before us, outside, in the sweltering heat, was 14 of our friends and 6 of their kids holding balloons and singing happy birthday. At the song's end, they all came in, bringing gifts and a birthday cake for Eliot. It was a real-deal, surprise party. They released 31 balloons to celebrate 31 days of life for Eliot. People were everywhere, Eliot's friends were crying, and all hands were grabbing for was beautiful chaos. When it was over, Ginny and I sit together crying, discussing how not a sole would ever know the significance of that event in our lives. Only the Father could have crafted such a gift. Thanks'll never know.

Updates on Wednesdays. Please continue to pray. Thanks to all those who posted last week. We wake up each morning and read them. If you don't post, we don't know.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bath Time

A Walk in the Park

That's a Yawn

Sitting Beside Grace.

I am sitting beside Eliot. His 11 O' clock feeding is almost half-way done. Mom is asleep, and the best part of my day has begun. My feeding shifts are late night/ early morning. She takes over around 4:45 am, and cherishes her mornings with her son.

What a week to update you on...there are one million joys to report and, rather, nothing to report all at the same time. Eliot is doing great. Going out has now been practiced and perfected by Ginny, thus Eliot has been for a stroll around the neighborhood, out to eat twice, and even made it to his first church service. His many expressive faces have been memorized and we are now able to interpret their meaning with reasonable precision. Eliot is seldom upset or crying; his rare frustration centers on working his bowels.

We are utterly humbled by the continued prayers of many. We ask for them to be continued. It is fun to hear how Eliot's life has reminded, taught, and inspired so many.

Well, I promised to share that which we have been taught by Eliot. Here is just a fragment of the lesson. Ginny and I have both been struck by the fact that the fulfillment of our deepest desires is often found in areas opposite the places we were looking. Truth be told, Eliot's condition is the type of thing that many (us included) fear and hope against. However, whose joy surpasses ours? Down a road we would not choose, we continue to find unspeakable joy. Truly, the Lord's ways are not our own. Joy and sorrow side-by-side.

If you have a chance, please do this for us. Please post a comment. It can be as simple as "hi eliot" or maybe a written prayer...whatever floats your boat will suffice. Make sure to include your name. We think it will be fun to see who all is following Eliot, as well as hear what you have to say. So, even if you've posted before & even if we do not know you, we would like it if you would post something to let us know you are out there. Thanks.

Well, I do believe I smell an odor I have come to recognize as of late...better go change a diaper.
(New posts on Wednesdays)

Matt & Ginny Mooney

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Well, Ginny and I have broken down, and, for the first time in five years of marriage, we have cable TV! We also now have internet. Therefore we will be updating the blog more often so everybody is in the know on Eliot's life and in the know on how they can pray for him.
WE PLAN ON UPDATING EACH WEDNESDAY (so there's some help to those who have been checking everyday & getting mad at us).

We have been home a week now, and must admit that, although Eliot often asks of the whereabouts of his NICU nurses, we have loved being home. We packed up today (oxygen and all) and went for a big outing to the pediatrician. It was was the first venture out for Eliot since being home. He did splendid...sleeping and being cute, as usual. To mark the occasion, as well as introduce Eliot to the finer things of life, we headed to Starbuck's for a Mooney family outing. It was great, and we thoroughly enjoyed the hint of normalcy...the fam goes out for coffee.

As far as care goes, Eliot is on oxygen and is fed through his feeding tube. His feedings are timed in order to not feed him too fast. Each feeding takes 1.5 hour (preparation, feeding, etc) and he eats every three hours. That's right, quick mathematicians, that's feeding or getting ready to feed for half of the day. It's really quite simple and he is able to do whatever while he is feeding. Mom & dad have had a crash-course lesson in nursing and parenting, and have loved the chance to learn how to best take care of Eliot.

Ginny and I cannot begin to express the gratitude that we have for each of you that have showed your love to us and our son. Letters, gifts, meals, visits, blog posts. You may never know how much you all have encouraged us. Thank you. Most of all we have been encouraged by the vast numbers of people praying for Eliot. We've had reports of prayers rising on behalf of Eliot from New York to L.A., and even Russia, believe it or not. We continue to need and ask for your prayers.

People have inquired as to if Eliot is better or if the doctor's have changed their tune as to his surprising strength and condition. The simple answer is no. His condition is one that is not considered "viable for life". Therefore, each day is truly a miracle, and we have experienced multiple miracles along the way. He has a laundry list of complications, but continues to surprise. Therefore, we ask for healing, continued life, and grace to see life as our Father does.

At some time in the future we hope to share with you all that Eliot has taught us, but, for now we continue to enjoy each minute and be students of his precious life.

Matt & Ginny

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Happy Birthdays to Eliot

We wish there were more time for us to share the many things we have experienced with sweet Eliot in the last 11 days, but there just isn't enough time between feedings! We celebrate Eliot's life and the miracle God has given us in him each day at 4:59pm with a birthday party. Today he will be 12 days old!! Each day is amazing and we are loving being parents and seeing the many answered prayers. Please continue to pray for us as we prepare to go home...possibly tomorrow!! We are asking that you would pray specifically that 1. we would not live in fear 2. continued life for Eliot 3. all the details of transitioning home.
Matt & Ginny Mooney

9 day old Eliot

5 day old Eliot

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Eliot Hartman Mooney

Born July 20th, 2006 4:59pm
6lb 18 ½ inches

God has answered our (and your) prayers. Eliot is a 4 day old miracle thanks to all our friends and family for their help and support! We are all doing fine and loving life.

We are currently at the NICU where Eliot is doing well and every day is a new adventure for us to treasure. We would love your continued prayers for Eliot’s precious life.

Updates are tough, because every hour is spent at the hospital, but we’ll try to keep them coming.

Matt & Ginny