two years


Posted on April 26th, 2009 by Abby.
Categories: Our Journey, Our Journey (chronological).

This morning two years ago, I was propped up in a hospital bed trying to complete my substitute’s lesson plans because the pregnancy was failing and my baby was scheduled to be delivered 5 weeks early. The urgency kept my mind off the imminent c-section and the unknown beyond. We had no idea what was before us, and I think it was better that way. It took a long time to dawn on me how different James was and would be—at first because I was so medicated after the surgery, but later because we didn’t have a lot of information about his condition, and the docs were still trying to figure him out. But there was a gradual, fierce, protective love that grew for the little man in the glass box. He might be broken, but he was mine.

Last year we planned a big party for James’s first birthday, with an amazing cake and many friends and family. In fact, we wrote about his awesome birthday cake today on Cake Wrecks, our friend Jen’s blog. In hindsight I’m so thankful we had a big cake, so glad we got his picture professionally done, so glad we tried to celebrate his accomplishments without dwelling too much on his disabilities.

This year I couldn’t resist buying James a “2″ candle, a small echo of his last birthday. I doubt they need birthdays in heaven, but it still feels right to celebrate his here. If James were still on earth, I wonder what he would be doing now. Would he be walking? sitting? eating? feeding himself? turning more pages in his books? Using more words? Would he have entered the terrible twos in an angry quest for independence that he would never attain? Would he have seen the beach, the forest, the mountains?

Last week I was looking for a videotape to record over, and I pulled an unlabeled one out of the bottom of the camera bag. I popped it in and was surprised to find a long recording of the underside of the kitchen sink. (At first I thought it was the bathtub plumbing, but that must have been a different tape.) At the time we had a slow leak that John was trying to find the source of, so he set up the camera to record the drips. I was about to rewind it to record over it when I saw the date was Dec. 31, 2007. I thought, James was home then. I wonder… I hit play, turned up the volume, and sure enough, I could hear my father singing to James in the background and James’s characteristic snort and coo. He never appears on the tape, but his precious sounds were such a gift to me this week.

Today we celebrate anew the joy we had in him, and how God used the weak to teach the strong. James is no longer ours, but he’s also no longer broken. He’s eternal and even more beautiful than he was in life.

Happy Birthday, Mister Cute. Mommy and Daddy love you, and we miss you.


64 Responses to “two years”

  1. Dee Sweet-Greenwood on April 26, 2009 9:12 pm

    I just sat here and read every entry on this blog from the first up to today (I got here through a link on Cake Wrecks). I believe that I will forevermore remember that today is the birthday of a beautiful boy who touched so many lives. Thanks to both of you, who throughout this time have had the courage and love to share James-and Dora-with the rest of the world. I pray you peace.

  2. rebekah on April 26, 2009 9:14 pm

    Peace & love to you. Thank you for sharing your sweet baby James with us.(((Hugs)))

  3. Annie Beth Donahue on April 26, 2009 9:15 pm

    Hi! My name is Annie Beth. I came to your blog through cakewrecks. I really felt led to follow the links, and when I saw pictures of your son, I knew immediately he had holoprosencephaly. That may sound strange, but we also knew a sweet baby that was here on earth for just short of a year that also had holoprosencephaly. His name was Zeke, and he would have turned three this past December. Because of Zeke, I met one of my best friends in the whole world. In fact, now she is my accountability partner. Zeke’s mommy and I connected because Zeke had a shunt and some tone issues that my daughter with spina bifida also had. They were 5 months apart in age, and we got together at each other’s homes (and ironically were even in the hospital down the hall from each other during that first year). We lost Zeke after one of his reconstruction surgeries. However, the short time he was on earth was enough time to fulfill the purpose that God had for him. I’m sure your sweet James had an eternal impact that reaches farther than you will ever know.

  4. Stephanie on April 26, 2009 9:21 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, James story and God’s story. God is glorified in your blog, as he was in James life. I stumbled upon your blog through Cake Wrecks and upon reading have cried a lot, but have joy knowing you guys have Jesus to carry you through. I am getting ready for bed and will say a prayer for you both. In His Everlasting love,
    Stephanie Rex

  5. Susan on April 26, 2009 9:24 pm

    Happy Birthday, Sweet James! You are still so missed and so loved.

  6. Noreen M on April 26, 2009 9:42 pm

    I just watched the video about his first year. What a beautiful baby boy you have! Such a sweet smile! Happy 2nd Birthday Sweet Baby James!

  7. Paula on April 26, 2009 10:19 pm

    Dear Abby and John,
    I came to your blog from Cakewreks. Thank you so much for sharing your lives with us. I admire your strength and faith in God. Receive a hug from Argentina.

  8. Melanie on April 26, 2009 10:53 pm

    I was at work today when I saw the CakeWrecks link to your blog. When I got home, I started reading at the beginning (around 7:45). It’s now 10:51, and I have not been able to stop. The whole time, I kept holding my child, thanking God for what I thought were problems with him. Thank you so much for letting me take this journey with you. You and your children are in my prayers.

  9. MarieP on April 26, 2009 11:04 pm

    I, too, saw the post of James’ spectacular birthday cake on Cake Wrecks and followed the link to read James’ (and your) story. I’m a speech-language pathologist, so I was very interested in the course of James’ treatment and progress (ah, the trials and tribulations of managed healthcare). He made so much progress! He had so very many gains! What a blessing to him to have such loving and devoted parents. I’m also a wife, dealing with infertility, so I was so very saddened by all that you had gone through for James and Dora and then the loss that you sustained. And, lastly, I’m a Christian, so I was heartened and strengthened by the evidence of your faith. People who have never known testing do not know the relief it is to cry, “Abba, Father,” and release it all into the hands of a loving God. We may never know “why” in this world but we can always trust our God, who also lost a child, only to regain Him again. What joy to think of James and Dora, perfected and fulfilled in Heaven.

  10. Marla Grace on April 26, 2009 11:16 pm

    i found your blog because i saw james’ phenomenal birthday pictures and story on cakewrecks.

    your son’s story and this website chronicling his life are one of the most beautiful, moving testaments of a parent’s love of her child that i’ve ever seen. i am in tears.

    i too have a sweet baby james. he was born with a brain abnormality as well, and a series of other conditions and anatomical anomolies, none of which are life threatening (they have caused global developmental delays). he is almost 4 now and the absolute joy of our lives. i find so many parallels between our stories, which is why it is so emotional to read about your james’ life.

    what astounds me most is your faith and your witness of the love of Christ. i try so hard to find that in my own life, but fall short, often spiraling down into a woe is me and where are you God kind of place. i feel like i found your blog for a reason.

    james has an incredible mommy. thank you for your courage to share him with the world.

  11. Amanda on April 27, 2009 12:21 am

    You’ve probably gotten at least twice as many hits today as normal:)

    I found your link on CakeWrecks and had to check it out. I was so blessed to read about your precious son.

    Romans 8:28 is one of my life verses and a verse that hits me like a ton of bricks every time I read it.

    I found out earlier today that my twin sister had a miscarriage this morning and I am so glad that I came across your blog on the same day. What a wonderful reminder that God is in control and what a blessing to be assured that everything happens for a reason.

    Your sweet baby boy and my unborn niece/nephew are in Heaven together:)
    Praying for you and your husband.

  12. Amy on April 27, 2009 1:17 am

    After seeing the link on Cake Wrecks, I’ve just spent the last couple of hours reading all of your posts. While I can’t even fathom your heartache in losing your precious children, I can relate to your struggles in dealing with infertility & medical issues. After many rounds of IUI & injectible drugs, we now have 2 beautiful children: a 12 year old daughter who was originally a triplet (her 2 siblings miscarried); and a nearly 5 year old son was born at 29 weeks and now suffers from cerebral palsy. The months spent in the NICU followed by the years of missed milestones and constant therapy are heartbreaking. Like you, however, our faith has carried us through. God does have a plan for your family. As I’m typing this, your two beautiful babies are experiencing His love firsthand. God Bless You! You are in my prayers…

  13. kelebek on April 27, 2009 2:03 am

    Another visitor from cake wrecks. I had the day off today and I had many things I was going to do but instead I sat down and read your entire journey. I don’t really know what else to say. I am very sorry for your loss but thank you for sharing Sweet James with us.

  14. Cheri on April 27, 2009 2:04 am

    I, too, found you through Cake Wrecks today. This post moved me to tears. I pray God is so real to you this week that you can almost see Him.

  15. Dawn on April 27, 2009 3:59 am

    I could never find words adequate enough to express my gratitude to you for sharing your story and your precious family with me. I’m a huge fan of Cakewrecks and saw the link there. I have a disabled child and have had two miscarriages, so I could relate to so much of your journey. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your tremendous examples of faith, and unending raw courage. As I read your story (which was difficult through all the tears!) I was so filled with strength and love for your family and for my Savior. I know, without question, that you will see your beautiful children again, in their whole and perfected state. May God bless you both for what your willingness to share has given me, and countless others.

    Dawn

  16. LeeAnn McMahon on April 27, 2009 4:15 am

    Thank you for allowing the public to be a part of your memories of James. I was so moved by him.

  17. Burgandi on April 27, 2009 7:32 am

    I was so waiting for this post all day. Happy Birthday buddy, with love.

  18. Rebecca Russell on April 27, 2009 7:36 am

    Thank you for the chance to meet James and his two wonderful parents. I enjoyed this blog a great deal. It was deeply touching.

    Rebecca Russell

  19. Mrs on April 27, 2009 7:53 am

    I actually found cakewrecks through YOU, not the other way around!

    Celebrating and remembering your sweet boy with you. Thankful I actually got to meet him on earth, but I know I’ll meet him again in heaven!

  20. Hailey on April 27, 2009 8:19 am

    I am another person to find your blog through CakeWrecks. And I have to say this is the most beautiful thing. Earlier today I started reading your blog from the beginning. You were just saying that baby James was smiling more. I would have loved to have known him, he must have been the sweetest little thing. And was super lucky to have such loving and wonderful parents. Your story is an inspiring one, thank you for sharing it.

    Hailey

  21. Di on April 27, 2009 9:05 am

    Another Cakewrecks follower here (all the way from Australia!). I’ve just finished reading your entire blog from start to finish. My eyes hurt and I have a headache from all the tears but there’s no way I could stop reading about James’s inspiring journey. Thank you for sharing your beautiful boy’s life story. As I was reading along, I was shedding tears of joy when you shared great progress and tears of sadness at the bad times.
    You and your husband have an incredible attitude and ability for expressing yourselves, I feel honored to have been touched by your family.

    Thank you again for sharing. I wish you and your family peace and happiness for your future.

    xox

  22. Amber Mc on April 27, 2009 10:43 am

    I saw you on Cakewreaks and I had to stop by to say how beautiful are those eyes? Those eyelashes!! He looks like such a joy. I walked in the march for babies walk this weekend and I seem to meet more and more of these wonderful babies every day. Thank you for sharing him with us.

  23. Alyssa on April 27, 2009 11:01 am

    I had found your blog thru cakewrecks back in 2008, but sadly lost the link address soon after then and couldn’t remember where I had found it originally. So when cakewrecks posted the picture of his beautiful 1st birthday cake and a link to here, I was glad. James’s smile has stuck with me since 2008 and I while I did not ever meet him or either of you, I am grateful that I got to know him a little thru here. Your courage, to me is amazing and your love of God is even greater. Although James was only here a short while, I for one am touched by that little angel. He is a gift from God and thru his smile and those bright eyes you could see God’s love. I wish your family so much happiness and even more love for the future.

  24. Corin Nava on April 27, 2009 1:29 pm

    I found your link on cakewrecks and was so touched by the story. James was a gorgeous little man. I am so sorry for your loss, and understand the heartache all too well. I will never forget James and the inspirational love I see from reading this blog. I know he is playing in heaven with my son, and all the other children up there, celebrating his birthday.

    Happy second birthday James!

  25. Cathy Snider on April 27, 2009 2:02 pm

    Happy Birthday Sweet James. I showed Caleb James’ picture today and told him today is James’ birthday in heaven today. Caleb say Happy Birthday James too.

  26. becky on April 27, 2009 2:06 pm

    thank you so much for telling your story…found you this morning and filing this away. I have a friend w/a child severely challenged and leaving them w/minimal hope will share this with them when the time comes. THANK YOU

  27. Kyla on April 27, 2009 2:38 pm

    I am a big fan of cake wrecks and usually check for a new post every day. This week I had been busier than normal and hadn’t checked at all. While catching up I saw the beautiful cake from James’ 1st birthday (I like to look at the pictures and read the text after)I then, read your moving entry. I saw the link to your blog and have read every single word from start to finish for the past 3 hours. I have been so touched today with love. It is amazing to me what a fighter James was and how strong the two of you were. He was a precious creation of God. James was here for only a short time but he lives on eternally, in spirit and in our hearts. I will never forget your little boy. Thank you for sharing your story.

  28. Linda in Toronto on April 27, 2009 3:27 pm

    Hello from Canada!
    Also found you today through Cake Wrecks. What a very joyful and perfect child. I am sure that James is smiling from Heaven today as he plays with the other angels in the clouds.
    Thank you for sharing your story and your love of James. Now we can all love him too.
    Linda

  29. Christy on April 27, 2009 7:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing James with the rest of the world. He is a blessing to everyone who stumbles upon this site, whether through cakewrecks or through the greater web.

  30. Shereen on April 27, 2009 8:45 pm

    I share a birthday with James and thought of him as well on Sunday. Your family is in our family’s thoughts, Abby and John.

  31. Amber White on April 27, 2009 11:10 pm

    I just felt so compelled to express to you how much your family’s story has touched me. I found the story through cakewrecks…and I’m very glad to have scrolled down far enough to see your little angel’s story. God bless you!

  32. Jeff on April 28, 2009 1:31 am

    I’m not usually one to make comments on anything, but after reading just some of the things you’ve posted… GOD BLESS YOU! Each and every night I thank God that my children are healthy and I pray that they grow up happy, healthy, wealthy, wise and safe. What brought me here was the Cake Wrecks link… usually, I just skim through the photos and don’t bother to read them, but when I saw that boy’s smile… wow! Then the next thing I knew, the tears started to roll. However, the real reason that I’m making a comment is that I have something in common with your son… we have the same birthday! I’m 35 now. I wish to express my deepest condolences and I’m sure James’ smile went a long way.

  33. Jen on April 28, 2009 3:02 am

    Thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful boy. Reading your posts from the fist days of James’ life reminded me of my journey delivering a 34 weeker and a subsequent month-long NICU stay with all the worry and uncertainty that comes with it. I applaud your strength and wish you all the best! Happy 2nd Birthday sweet little James!

  34. Tiffany on April 28, 2009 9:44 am

    I just found your blog through Cake Wrecks and I spent three hours yesterday reading all of your posts. (FYI—I don’t have an extra 3 hours!) I was so inspired by you and your family and especially James. I cried, I laughed, I smiled at all that you have been through. I have suffered through a miscarriage at 15 weeks and I have a child with special needs…she’s 8. I can’t imagine all that you have been through but I just wanted you to know that I think you are amazing. Sweet Baby James indeed.

  35. Jessica on April 28, 2009 12:33 pm

    I too got here via cakewrecks. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony of your son’s life, God’s love, and everything you’ve been through. Im so encouraged and touched by what you’ve shared complete with scriptures. Much love to you and your family. My the ONE who has a complete understanding give you and your husband continued wisdom, peace, comfort, and joy!
    love in Christ,
    JH

  36. Audrey on April 28, 2009 4:16 pm

    I’m another cakewrecks reader, and I couldn’t keep back the tears as I read your story. May God comfort you in your grief, He is faithful! I pray that He would bless you and keep you near Him in the same way that He is keeping your son and daughter in Heaven.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Audrey

  37. W on April 28, 2009 6:35 pm

    Also here from Cake Wrecks. Thank you so much for sharing. Your story is beautiful and I truly believe that James was a gift.

  38. Jamie on April 28, 2009 11:42 pm

    Hi!
    I too am a Cake Wrecks follower and after reading the post that post I came here and spent several hours today reading the story of your sons life. My heart is overflowing with love that I cannot quite find the right words for. Your strength and faith is inspirational to me and I thank you wholeheartedly for sharing the story of your beautiful boy. Like you I believe that he is whole and in heaven with his sister and that you will be reunited one day. I send you my thanks, love and prayers.

  39. SJ on April 29, 2009 4:23 am

    Thank you so much for sharing James with us. Your love for him shines through every word.

    Peace and joy to you and yours.

  40. Amy in Australia on April 29, 2009 10:03 am

    Such adorable cakes for a special wee lad! Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

    I think often of your wee man…he would have only been a few months younger than my own son.

    Happy birthday, sweetheart…& big hugs to both of you.

  41. laura on April 29, 2009 2:22 pm

    i, too, found your page thru cake wrecks. i sat down and read every single post and pored over every sweet picture and i am in awe of your journey, your faith, your beautiful son and your wee gift of a daughter – thank you so much for sharing your story and stretching my heart a little wider with love for a brave strong little man i never had the honour of meeting.his life did indeed touch more lives than i’m sure you will ever know, and will continue to do so as you have sent his story out into the world to inspire and sow the seeds of love, courage, strength, endurance, resiliance, and triumph.
    much love

  42. Sheri on April 29, 2009 10:47 pm

    Many hugs from another bereaved parent. I can only say that the birthdays are a little more bearable five years down the line than at just months past your loss. Thank you for sharing; I really enjoyed meeting James here in your pages.
    (((Hugs)))
    Sheri

  43. Summer on April 30, 2009 2:26 am

    Wanted to stop by and say I was thinking of James the other day. His picture still hangs on our fridge along with a couple HPE friends. I love seeing the picture of the bib I had made for his first birthday and what a big smile he had on his cake face but who could forget that smile.
    Happy 2nd Birthday ^James^

    Summer mom to Ryland 5

  44. Tonee on April 30, 2009 9:58 am

    The beautiful cake for James’ first birthday brought me here, and I’ve been reading your family’s journey every night since, and your faith and strength amazes me. It’s comforting to know there is an overwhelming love in the world, especially in a child. While sad that he was here for such a short time, be known that even a stranger in Ohio felt his love and is comforted that he was here at all.

  45. Melissa on April 30, 2009 8:33 pm

    I just came to your site via the cakewrecks site. Thank you for sharing your son’s beautiful smile with us all. He looks like he was an amazing child and I’m sure he is watching over you now, proud of the parents he chose, even if he could only physically be with you for a short time.
    Many blessings
    Melissa

  46. Dawn on May 1, 2009 8:42 am

    What beautiful and precious gifts from God are James and Dora! I too have found your blog about James and his sweet life through the Cake Wrecks blog. Since yesterday I’ve read your entire journey and have lifted you up in prayer countless times. I praise the Lord for your astounding faith, and can see how you’ve brought glory to our Lord during this time. Thank you for sharing your sweet family with us!

  47. Tanya on May 1, 2009 10:33 am

    I too arrived here through cake wrecks. Your story is so honest and palpable. Thank you for sharing. Your strength is astounding. James is a beautiful baby. He clearly knows your love and returns it.

  48. Angie on May 2, 2009 12:40 pm

    Another Cake Wrecks reader here. I also read the whole blog, but not in one sitting. I read it at work between calls (in a call center). I had to compose myself several times in order to answer.

    Both of my sisters lost children in the womb in the past few years. One lost hers in such a way that they did not know if they would be able to conceive again. God is good, and He blesses His children with what is best for them.

    Thank you for sharing your son with us. It was a blessing to me to read it. James is a reminder that all life is valuable and all babies are precious blessings from the Lord.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you, and make His face shine upon you and give you peace.

  49. ashley on May 2, 2009 2:47 pm

    very randomly came across your blog and have been reading it for the past 2 hours. i am so sorry for your loss, but what an inspirational story and what a beautiful baby boy you were blessed with.

    all my love.

  50. Stacy Pursley on May 2, 2009 6:08 pm

    about 2 and half years ago my son died. i know it is the hardest thing for a mother to go through and the hardest thing to accept. I’m still dealing with it to this day and i wanted to extend my heart to you and your family. My grandfather preformed the dervice at his funeral. He spoke powerful word. He said that my son was brought into this worl;d for a reason. We may not know why at first but its there. I think that what u r doing here on this site is amazing and powerful. I dont know if you know how much of an impact u r making on other families that went through the same thing. U r a saint and i wish u and ur family nothing but the best. I want u to know that u r my sister in christ and god love u and one of his children. ur son is making a special place beside him in the kingdom. God bless!!

  51. A on May 2, 2009 11:01 pm

    I am also new to your blog and read the whole thing in one sitting. James was a beautiful, special little boy; it was an honour to read about his life. Your family’s great strength, joy, and humour is truly humbling. I have a young son who was born 10 weeks premature and spent almost 7 weeks in the NICU, so I know what a great triumph it is to see each tube come out, and to see your child feel the wind on his face for the first time. Incidentally, my son’s name is Isaac.

  52. Carol on May 3, 2009 7:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing James life with us. I feel blessed and feel as if a new light has shined upon my heart.

    I can not explain it. It is just there. I feel as if my faith has been restored after many years of doubt.

    God Bless James and Dora.

  53. Lisa on May 4, 2009 12:09 pm

    Over two days I’ve just finished reading your journey with James. Dreading the entry that I knew would come, I was so very touched by your courage, honesty and what you shared with virtual strangers on the internet.

    Thank you for James and thank you letting him be a part of my life now.

  54. Marrisa on May 4, 2009 12:19 pm

    I am another CakeWrecks reader who found your story through that blog. After reading your post on CakeWrecks, I was torn on whether I wanted to come to the blog – I wanted to learn James’ story…but I already knew how it ended – and I wasn’t sure I wanted to read about such a sad event.

    I am SO glad I decided to read your blog. It took me several days to read through everything, and I am happy that I was able to see James’ journey. I was so happy at his breakthroughs…upset at the setbacks. My heart broke for you at what seemed to be one problem after another (especially when reading about the insurance problems). My heart soared for you at the post that Abby was pregnant again, then it broke with the next post that Dora had passed. I kept thinking “why can’t this family catch a break?”. I was angry for you. I made it to the post about James’ first birthday…and I was scared to read the posts after that…because I knew what was coming. It felt somehow that if I didn’t read it, that James would still be here. I knew I had to finish his story, though. I kept reading, and eventually made it to “that day”. I cried for James. I cried for you. My heart hurt, and I only knew James through your words and pictures. If Sweet Baby James impacted me THIS much after only a few days, some words and pictures on a computer screen…I can’t even imagine how blessed you are for having him in your life for 482 days. I hate that his journey on earth had to end so soon, but I think that God sent him to not only teach you (his family and friends) something about love, but look at how many people have been impacted by your blog! James will live on in my memory forever now. Thank you for sharing him with us.

    Marrisa

  55. laurie on May 4, 2009 9:01 pm

    I just happened to come across your blog through friends of ours. I just spent the last 2 hours looking at pictures and reading about your beautiful son. He had the most heart warming, beautiful smile…I don’t even know him, but the videos of him smiling MELTED MY HEART. Even though he could not speak, I feel like I already knew him through his eyes in the pictures and videos. I am so sorry for your loss, and I will pray for your family. What a special little boy you have.

  56. Vicki on May 5, 2009 9:00 am

    I don’t believe in coincidence. I was led to your site by following a series of links from website to website. I have been struggling with insurance issues, a child with disabilities, and a growing distance between God and myself.

    Your story is yet another reminder that God is in control – I just need to give it up to him and stop trying to do everything myself. Thank you so much for sharing your precious son with the rest of the world. I will never forget James with his gorgeous eyes and smile. I will take greater joy in all of the little moments I share with my children. I will have a just a little more patience when I’m frustrated with my son’s limitations.

    Thank you with all my heart for the reminder of just how precious each minute of life is. May God continue to grant you peace in your life.

  57. Karla on May 5, 2009 10:30 pm

    Like many others on here, I found your blog through Cake Wrecks. I had not checked that site for a couple of weeks, and was going through the old posts when I saw the most amazing birthday cake. After reading what Abby posted there, I had to come to your blog and read all about “Sweet Baby James”.

    I am humbled by your transparency as you chronicled his – and Dora’s – life, but even more so, I am humbled AND encouraged by your faith. It is definitely not a coincidence that Romans 8:28 was the verse you chose for James! I cried as I read through the posts (yes, also in one sitting), but rejoiced in knowing that your testimony is reaching thousands of people!

    I am praying for both of you, and for the precious boy on the way! I have now bookmarked your new blog and look forward to reading more in the future. God bless you both!

  58. Nancy on May 7, 2009 10:24 pm

    I sit here with tears in my eyes, both of joy and sadness. I am in awe at the strength of your family. My son Caleb was also born on April 26th 2007. Our babies share a birthday, right down to the year. My Caleb was born on April 26th 2007, at 2:57 pm by c-section. I have spent all evening reading your blog. I have cuddled my baby boy a little closer and thanked God for his health. He has had a rough year, but nothing compared to what you guys have been through. Your little James was a blessing here on earth. I am sure that he touched the lives of everyone that met him and please know that he has touched the lives of so many people who did not get a chance to know him personally. From here on out, every April 26th, I will not only think of my son’s birthday, but of your James as well. I will say a prayer for your family and keep in my heart, your little James. God Bless you and your family.

  59. Emily on May 8, 2009 3:32 pm

    I am a physical therapy student interested in pediatrics, and I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story. I’ve been reading your blog off and on since I found it yesterday on cakewrecks, and it’s not only bringing to light all the things we’re learning in school about the NICU, but also putting a face to what we learn. It can be hard to stay inspired when you’re staring at books and papers for 8 hours a day, but your story has given me a little push and reminded me why I’m doing what I’m doing.
    Thank You,
    Emily

  60. Amanda on May 9, 2009 1:32 am

    I came across your blog accidentally and just spend 3 hours reading it. You and your husband are such strong amazing people and baby James was so lucky and blessed to have you has his parents. He was such a beautiful child and every pic of him makes me smile. Thank you so much for sharing your story and sharing James story with us. He will forever be your angel and one day, you will all be together again!

  61. K on May 10, 2009 12:02 am

    I came here through a series of links. (the last being Cake Wrecks to here)

    I was reading this entry and a tear came to my eye. I’m a mother myself and I had the “I could only imagine…” reaction. Then I read about the video tape and burst into tears. The little things that are recorded in pictures, letters or video inadvertently that mean so much later on.

    When I read this I thought, “what a real testimony to the Lord and to a mother’s love this is!” It took me aback because although I was “raised Christian” I really don’t consider myself one now. Through your writings it’s obvious God is not a crutch to you or tacked on at the end like an after though. Your faith shines through as strong as your love for your son. It’s really made me question where my own faith has gone and my own weed grown path with the Lord.

    What a strange thing the internet is. I went from looking for a dessert recipe to reading about absurd cakes to a blog about a little boy I do not know to the dusty bible on my bookshelf.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  62. Marilyn Wilson on May 11, 2009 3:53 pm

    I’ve just spent an hour or two reading about your children and your journey. It brought back memories for me of NICUs and the fear, worries and fragile joys of having a preemie. My son Shawn, who was born at 32 weeks and who was hospitalized for four months after his birth with respiratory problems, is now 11 and healthy. Though my story turned out differently, I shared many feelings and tears with you just now. My heart goes out to you both and though my own faith journey diverges from yours somewhat, your faith is quite inspiring. (I was raised Episcopalian though now I am less of a practicing Christian in a church sense, but still a believer in the Holy Spirit.) I have no doubt that you will have a joyous reunion with your beautiful children one day. Bless you for your bravery and loving hearts.

  63. Carol on May 15, 2009 7:48 pm

    Like so many I made it here by way of Cake Wrecks! I also was touched by little James’ story and the beautiful way in which he was able to celebrate his first birthday! Thanks for sharing him with so many! I look forward to learning more about this sweet boy! What a lucky little boy to have such loving parents. I know he is in a special place watched over by a loving Heavenly Father waiting to be reunited with his earthly family!

  64. laura on June 2, 2009 1:39 pm

    thank you so much for sharing james’ beautiful life. I found your blog through cake wrecks and have read the whole thing. I’ve told all my friends about James and what a beautiful little boy he is and i have become so attached to him. he was so lucky to have such dedicated and loving parents and grandparents. I’m so grateful i got to know james through this blog. I hope that you continue to find peace in that he’s in a better place now.

    peace and love,

    laura

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