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