Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Holland

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

48 comments:

Lisa said...

Well, it is more than obvious that you both can make my heart skip a beat when I am reading the weekly updates! The two of you were certainly hand picked by God to be that sweet baby's parents! I continue to pray for you daily and continue to put your family on the pray list at First United Methodist Church in Arlington, TX each week! We are all praying that 1. You do not live in fear 2. Continued life for Eliot. Your strength and peace humble and amaze me even though I am sure it was anything but peaceful at 3am while inserting a feeding tube but you know what? You did it and I am sure can do it as many times as necessary! I am sure it is amazing what all those little clenched fists can do :) Until next week....

Lisa Hartsfield

Callie R. said...

You all are a blessing. I thank God for all of the lives that this blog and your family are going to touch. Those clenched fists are being used to work miracles.
Glod Bless
Callie Randall
Arlington Texas

Stacey said...

Wow, this is my first time to your blog. I'm so glad my friend Julie pointed me in your direction, she actually did a post about you! What an amazing story and what a wonderful attitude you have toward life!! I am so touched by your outlook and I'm praying for all of you!!

chang said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chang said...

No, you didn't have to worry about writing eloquently; I'm as moved as ever. I always thought the way Eliot held his hands was darling. I didn't even know they were part of his syndrome. I wanted to share with you another reason I've been interested in your story (besides that it's a beautiful story, that I'm a mother, and you've always meant so much to my sister Cary). My six year old son has a chromosome disorder. It's a lesser known one, and he hasn't experienced many difficulties beyond delays, which are disappearing. But geneticists, testing, therapies, etc. have been a big part of my life the past few years. As far as his minor little physical anomalies, I'm not sure I've ever said or thought that I loved them...so thanks for writing what you did. My pity parties have been less frequent as the years have went by, and I know I've seen prayers answered...but I'm still a person who has greatly benefitted from seeing your attitude and faithfulness at work. I think it's amazing that you put that tube in...I'm thinking of all the times I've freaked out at everyday childhood accidents and occurrences. That AND you looked so pretty in your post birth pics, something else I've yet to achieve, ha. You guys have a great week.
Jenny

susie glover lovekamp said...

jenny-
i tried posting last week and it didn't work so i am trying again! julia echols pelton passed on your blog to me several weeks ago and i have been praying for your sweet famliy ever since. i can't remember when i last saw you, but it has been an honor to follow your story and pray alongside of you. eliot is so sweet. i am amazed and challenged at you and matt's faith. it has encouraged me to be a better mom to my one year old, noah, and to trust the Lord's goodness for me. You are so right in what you wrote today, the Lord always knows what is better for us, even when we don't want it to look a certain way. thanks for pointing us all to Christ as you love and care for your sweet eliot. i rejoice with you for this precious life the Lord has given you!
love-
susie glover lovekamp

Erin Anderson said...

Ginny,

Wow! Matt's not the only one who can inspire us! Thank you for sharing your heart with us. You are an inspiration to so many of us moms. Your faith and your finding "joy in every moment" is such a wonderful example for us to follow. We are praying for you and your amazing family!

Lela said...

This is my first time to your blog.Following God's will for our lives is what He asks of us and you are doing it with beauty and it speaks mega messages to us.Thank you for sharing your lives.You are in our prayer.

amy said...

Ginny, Ginny, Ginny...

Are you suuuuurrre Matt didn't write the post and just sign your name to it? Apparently you guys have spent way too much time together and now are starting to even sound alike! Your words are every bit as beautiful as Matt's because they come from a heart just as big. It's amazing isn't it, that we think we aren't good at something and God equips us better than we could have imagined to do that very thing. I was just telling someone last night, who can't imagine how you guys are handling a child with needs like Eliot, exactly what you just said in your post. Somewhere along the line, in your separate years of growth and maturity, then in your bonding as a married couple, God was preparing you for this day and this hour. To be Eliot's protection, security, comfort, educator, therapist, and provider, just as God is all these things and more with us. It blesses me so much to read your thoughts and Matt is right, we need to hear from Mommy too because Eliot has TWO incredible parents, not just one! Thanks for sharing with us. P.S. I think Eliot needs a new shirt. Purple and gold will look much better on him than Red!

Love and Kisses,
Aunt Amy

Anonymous said...

Gin-As I read your post all I could think was you're a mom. The words you wrote are that of a mom. I think back over the months leading up to you being Eliot's mom and I can remember specific converstations that God was teaching you in preparation for where He was leading your family. You didn't need to know what other moms did because God was going to teach you exactly how to be Eliot's mom which is unlike any other mom I know. Proverbs 31:25-29. That's you Gin!

Becky

Laura said...

If that's not eloquent I don't know what is. You brought tears to my eyes with your sheer joy of being Eliot's Mom. I pray that God grants you many more days of being his earthly Mom-even though you will never cease to be his Mother.

Mrs. Olivia said...

Eloit,What a treat for us to hear from your mom! Ginny ,you are just as eloquent as Matt. Please know we continue to pray for all 3 of you and continued strength and peace for your journey. I am so grateful for the opportunity to connect with one of God's many miracles. Love and prayers, Mrs. Olivia

Kym Brinkley said...

Don't sell yourself short, Gin. You have a gift yourself, friend. So glad I got to see you all if only for a couple of hours. I love you mucho, and I love seeing you be a mom. You are a natural! You bless me! I leave a week from today! WHAT?! : )
kb

jarrett and chanika said...

There are no words to describe how amazing you two are as parents. Thank you for today's journal...we read it with tears and yes, it was perfect. We love you guys. jarrett..n..chanika

Rachel Norris said...

Ginny - that was a beautiful post! I'm so glad we got to hear from you. Christ is so evident in your heart and I thank you for always continuing to point us to Him as you and Matt truly are experiencing joy in the midst of what many others would not. You really do challenge me and encourage me so much! I also love Eliot's BAMA attire! How adorable!!!! We continue to pray...
Rachel

Erin from NY said...

Well said Ginny!! I showed my husband your site last night and he goes, "thats really sad" He is also very religious and once he looked past the fact that you have a very sick little boy he smiles and he says "they are the happiest looking family i have ever laid my eyes on" and you are, you are the most beautiful family with huge smiles on your faces at all times. You have been given a tremendously wonderful gift that will always keep on giving because even when he is not here, the fond fond memories that you have built as a family always will be....I am overjoyed every week to see how wonderfully things are going for you 3 and pray for that happiness to continue...Talk to you next week

Katy said...

Thank you Ginny. You have no idea!

Anonymous said...

Ginny-
Your words will forever touch those of us who share with you the depth of a mother's love. I agree with you that is seems like yesterday we were playing dolls in our swimsuits and sunglasses! I am thankful today that I have not only had the privilege of witnessing the miracle of Eliot, but have also had the pleasure of looking back over the years and realizing how God had chosen you from the very beginning to be Eliot's mother. He has so wonderfully prepared you for this journey. Eliot is precious and we anticipate seeing all God has in store for him. We love all three of you and continue to cheer you on!
Carrie Uberecken

Jody McComas said...

It was so sweet to read your thoughts about being Elliot's mom. You can share things that Matt can't and vise versa. Hopefully we'll read more updates from you. Ashley said it was incredible to visit you and your family and she raved about how beautiful you are and what an incredible mom and dad Elliot has. He is truly a blessed child.

Kate said...

I really am speechless. My heart has been swept by your words, your attitude, your beatiful grace and fierce love for little Eliot. He is absolutely adorable. I am learning so much of who God is from what you are writing here. I really am so deeply moved. I will be praying for you all and Eliot. God is so soverign. I cannot thank you enough for sharing your life with us.
Kate - in Georgia

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Your words describing your life and how absolutely full and bright it is just makes my eyes a bit teary! I'm glad Matt made you give the report this week--I think it has touched many hearts, along with mine. The pictures of Eliot portray the peace, love, Grace, and joy that the Lord has blessed your family with. Wes and I are praying for you, Matt, and Eliot--the most beautiful and bright family! ---Kate Walker

Scott Cable said...

Hey guys, just wanted to check in again and say hey and that I love you guys. I miss seeing you all and I am really looking forward to the day I meet Eliot.... until then I will have to settle for pictures and a weekly blog. By the way Ginny, I thought yours was better than Matt, but don't tell him.

Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

A blogging friend of mine pointed me to your post; what a blessing to read your and Matt's journey!

My 4 month old daughter, Addison, was born with an extremely rare syndrome (79 reported world-wide) and a large hole in her heart; she had open-heart surgery a month ago. You're right--Holland isn't Italy, but it has its own blessings and amazing graces. I still wish she had normal chromosomes, for her own sake, but I wouldn't trade the lessons God has taught me for anything in the world.

Your Eliot is amazing, and his little life is already whispering of God's goodness to so many people.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know from a neighbor in "Holland" it is a beautiful place to be. I have a daughter with special needs and I have read the article you spoke about. I just want to let you know that I would not be the person I am today had I never visited "Holland". I'm so glad God changed my itenerary. I will look forward to reading your next post and seeing more of that beautiful little boy.

Anonymous said...

First time to your blog. Praying for little Eliot. What a great perspective you have. I love the Holland/Italy example. God is good!

Kim Burton-Norman said...

Ginny--
You just gave all of us listening in a perspective of life with Eliot that Matt could not have written. I've so enjoyed getting to know you through your "mom words"--something only a mother can feel and understand. We are all learning more about "God's thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways" in our own lives through your walk with God at this time. Even though you have not chosen this position of teaching, thanks for sharing with us your lessons learned. Love and prayers, Kim Burton-Norman

Becky Meredith Page said...

Ginny, I miss you. Thank you!

Shalee said...

What a loving tribute not only to Eliot, but to God who made him with all the care and beauty in heaven. Thank you for your example of trusting God to the nth degree and enjoying all the moments that make it yours.

Praying to and praising God for Eliot and the two of you.

The Arnspergers said...

Thank you for sharing your mother's perspective. We are still keeping up with your beautiful, beautiful son!

The Arnspergers

Dawn said...

Just found your site today and I really have no words. You and your family are an inspiration and a true testimony of faith and the power of prayer. I will keep you in my prayers and check back often for updates.

Thank you for sharing your story and touching so many lives.
Dawn - Austin, TX

Anonymous said...

Ginny,
I never got to meet you when I was taking classes with Matt, but the love with which he spoke of you, then of the child you were expecting, gave me hope. Reading your words does the same- Eliot is beautiful, and I will join all these wonderful people in praying for him and for you. Remember every moment because- no matter how long we are blessed to have someone we love, be it 1 year or 50 years, God reveals Himself in the smallest things... a look, a cry, a hug, a precious little baby like Eliot. If you ever need anything, please know that there are people in the law school who are here for you...

Matt,
We miss you and think of you often-we will continue to read your updates, to celebrate your triumphs, and to be there for you in spirit...

jera Houghtaling

Mama Lily said...

God bless you both! What a testimony of God's enduring love. I was blessed beyond words reading your blog. We also landed in Holland 8 years ago. Our daughters condition is quite different from Eliot's but surprising none-the-less. I love your attitude and great heart!
Blessings,
Karen/Ohio

adam's mommy said...

I haven't posted before, but I've been following your journey. I followed the link to your blog from a friend of a friend and I have been truly blessed by your faith, your beautiful Eliot, and your writing. It's obvious that God is speaking through each of your lives to the rest of the world. Your amazing faith and selfless love is a true testimony to those who have never met you. I check your site often and will continue to pray for your family. Ashley-In Tennessee

Carol said...

I happened upon your story accidentally as i was blog hopping. What an incredible story you ahve and i am so happy you chose to share it this way! Our family also had a trip planned to Italy and ended up in our own part of Holland. Not what we had planned for but much better than we could have ever imagined! We will keep Eliot in our prayers. Love and enjoy that precious gift!
Carol

Emily said...

Ginny, you and Matt are amazing parents! Your faithfulness is incredible, and such a testimony to God's pure plans. Thank you so much for letting everyone be a part of your lives and the work God is doing through yall and Eliot. Yall are awesome!

Emily Ryan

Carla Brown said...

Hi Ginny,
Your website was passed along to me by my husband's grandmother in Farmerville, LA. I am the mother of a preemie born at 27 weeks gestation. She is now 8 months old, but we faced many of the same day to day challenges when we brought her home from the NICU. Our daughter came home after 84 days on oxygen and had a colostomy until about 2 months ago. (You haven't lived until you have dropped one of those portable oxygen tanks on your foot!)
I was very moved when you said that you felt like God had prepared you to be a "special mom." I have had that exact feeling. I know it's not always easy, but you should remember that God doesn't give us what we can't handle and you are not abnormal if you have a breakdown from time to time. In fact, it probably makes you more normal. If you would like to talk to another special needs mom, I would love to exchange emails. Hope your family is having a wonderful day.

Mindy said...

Ginny-
I don't even know you, but I am so proud of you. You and Matt both bring tears to my eyes every time I read your postings. I am a friend of Andrea Mitchell's (Emma's mom), and I found your blog on her web-site. You guys are wonderful, and Eliot is adorable, and you are truly blessed, as you know. Good luck, and Great Post!
Mindy

Cary Murphy said...

Ginny, I'm glad you wrote a post...a mother's perspective is good to hear. You wrote beautifully. I've also gotten into the habit of celebrating Eliot's birthdays, and I cannot wait to meet him. You all are loved.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ginny and Matt,

What a beautiful posting, Ginny. I'll never forget it! Thank you for reminding me of the trip where God re-routed me to Holland, and thank you and Matt for sharing your trip with us. You are a beautiful family and an unbelievable witness to the truth that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Rhonda Adams

Becky Canatsey said...

You don't know me, but through your blog I know you and treasure your family. Each entry teaches me something and I praise God that He is using you in such a big way in my life. Thank you for sharing, for your vunerability. I need to read every word b/c God is using it to work on my heart. I am praying for you family. For Eliot and you and Matt. Its obvious that Eliot is perfect, there is no defect in him, he is exactly what God molded him to be and despite his tiny imperfect body he is changing lives, one for sure, mine but many others I suspect. We live in Missouri or else I might be tempted to ask if I could meet Eliot b/c he has had such a profound impact on me. Thank you Jesus for every day of Eliots life. May each memory be something his Mom and Dad will never forget, may each breath be a reminder to all how precious his life is. May he surpass everyones expectations.

Mrs. Olivia said...

Happy Birthday to the Mooney family! There's a touch of fall in the air today. But your posts have been like a refreshing breeze- carrying us over the rainbow and to Holland and helping us see the extraordinary beauty that is right in front of our eyes- Have a great day and give that precious little boy a hug from me!
Continuing to lift you in love and prayer, Mrs. Olivia

Anonymous said...

Ginny-
I think I shed more tears over your post than any thus far. It is so evident that God's grace is sufficient in your life each day. Thank you for sharing the story about having a special needs child. Ryan and I adopted our 2 sons from Ukraine in December, and our youngest, Hudson, is profoundly deaf. As you said, we never imagined the Lord would lead us down this road, but there is no place we would rather be. Thank you for so beautifully sharing your heart with us. We are praying for your precious family.

Kelly Sprayberry Akers

Anonymous said...

Dear Ginny, I am blessed by your sweet heart for the Lord. You really encourage me. I found your blog by way of another, and I will keep checking in and praying for you, your husband and sweet Eliot.
Hugs,
Honey www.lipslikehoney.blogspot.com

EDS said...

You have no idea how humbling it is to read your blog. I have never met you, and probably never will (a friend of the McKeaigg's), but I am weekly wiping tears from my eyes as I read of your gracious hearts, unmeasurable faith, and continued joy. Thank you for sharing your beautiful life with me.

Praying for Eliot,
Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

This blog, and your family, are a beautiful celebration of life, Matt. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Professor Sampson

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I know this is going to sound very strange but I also live in Fayetteville arkansas and I gave birth to a boy born with Trisomy 18 on July 20 2004!!! It is so strange to find another baby born with that same condition on the same day and in the same city! His name was Bryce Matthew and he lived for just 41 days! Please write back and maybe we could chat
Thanks
ERICA

Sandie said...

Ginny_I'm so glad you posted this day. I can relate to where you are (or were)because I was there 20 years ago with my own special needs child-feeding tube, trach, barely 6# at 2 1/2 years...I'm going to email you privately--your story is such a sweet testimony to the whole world about God's grace & mercy in what the world would consider a big fiasco. Sandie

Cas said...

Thank you Ginny for posting. I think it's fabulous that you got the tube in at 3am. Doing it at 3pm would be difficult, 3am? well, that's legendary! Even people who are highly trained and experienced have difficulty with this task!

I totally relate to your comment about everything just being stepping stones leading up to the task of being a mum, and not just any mum, but mother to the particular child/ren you have. What an absolute blessing and miracle to share the parenting experience with God.