mornings.

October 18, 2011

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*This picture perfectly shows Aiden in the mornings. For those who have followed awhile, you know his blankies are actually Chris & I's pillowcases that he started taking off of our pillows and carrying around. He now is attached to two specific ones....ba and two ba!

When I was a young girl a dear friend of mine was killed in a car accident. Actually all of the siblings but one died. It was horrible. It was a lot for me, as a little person, to wrap my mind around. I had spent the night in their home weeks before the accident...then suddenly they were all gone. I remember my mom took me to the funeral and there was an open casket. It was terrible, looking in at your small friend and her 2 sisters and their teeny baby brother all in tiny caskets lined up. It was like a nightmare.

They looked cold, and lifeless.

Years and years later, now as a mama I look at that whole horrible story even differently. As a little girl I wasn't able to think about those parents the way I do now.

How do you cope with losing 4 children?

As awful as this sounds sometimes when Im holding Aiden or Ains...when I feel their hot skin against my cheek I stop and thank God that they are hot, breathing, laughing.....alive. I think, "please God let there not be a moment when I feel them cold, begging back their 'heat'."


Thank goodness we have hope in heaven.

We are snuggle bugs over here. Recently we were at a play area and Ainsleigh was walking around to all the other kids and kissing them. I couldn't help but laugh. She gets snuggled, hugged and kissed constantly...it is what she knows.
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Tonight I was snuggling them both, we were laying in bed getting ready for bedtime and Aiden was holding me tight. It's so sweet, the more he talks the more aware I am of what he is thinking and feeling. "I yo, mommy".
He will see a cut on me, "oh no mommy! whah  hoppeened, mommy crying??" 
He loves me.
It is true raw emotion.
Please...help me freeze time.
 I thank God for these moments.... how do I soak this in?

I am a sensitive soul. I think differently. I am constantly aware of life and how fragile it is.
I know we can't live in fear...this is something I am working on...open hands.

61 comments:

  1. Casey, I'm a new reader to your blog! I love how open and honest you are about your life and God. Thank you, from a young newlywed dreaming of being a momma one day.
    =)

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  2. I love your sweet spirit- thank you for sharing! :)

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  3. Oh! P.S. I've been leaving your blog open in a new tab, just so I can keep listening to the music! haha!

    -Liv

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  4. THANK GOODNESS we have hope in heaven!

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  5. i love hearing about your snuggle bugs, and those pillow cases, that is so sweet! My kids love their blanket :)

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  6. I can't imagine what those parents went through. My worste fear is losing my kids. It makes me anxious and sick. So scary! I have a hard time having open hands and trusting God with my children. It's a HUGE struggle for me. I want to freeze time too.

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  7. So grateful for hope in heaven. I love your sweet loving heart!

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  8. My greatest fear as well, is seeing a child of mine lifeless. Bless that poor mom's heart.. I cannot even fathom.
    Thanks for your honesty.

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  9. This is exactly how I feel right now. Trying to tell myself that these precious babies are not mine to keep, they could be taken at any moment and that I need to treasure the here and now. I'm too selfish and I'm working on it. It's a slow process.

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  10. Thank you for your honesty and your open hands. God is using you!! Keep snuggling!

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  11. Oh Casey, I relate soooo much to this post. I am constantly aware of what I have to lose and wonder how I would ever go on without them. I think I would die of a broken heart. I have always loved deeply but never knew how much love I had in me until I became a mom. I finally understood that in the game of "no I love more" with my mom-she really did win. I too have to try an deal with not living in fear-not for me but my boys

    I spent a week last May believing I had Hotchkins Lymphoma. I can not even begin to explain what I went through wondering how the boys would cope. Lucas now has a build-a-bear with me singing Twinkle Twinkle Little star on it. Turned out the doctor and radiologist was wrong and I just had a knot that went away!! Pretty sure my friends-especially one-prayed it out of me:). Changed me forever of course.

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  12. you are one of a kind! i love your heart and how you talk about your kids so much! i can only hope i am as great of a mom one day :) thanks for sharing casey!! xoxox

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  13. I struggle with living in fear too. I loved this post! Thank you so much for eloquently expressing how I have been feeling.

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  14. You & your family are just too gorgeous & precious!

    M x www.whatwegandidnext.com

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  15. I think the same things sometimes I'm glad I'm not alone. I know a woman who lost both her siblings in cat accidents. Her brother died when he was five because he was hit by a car and her sister died years later in a car accident when she was twenty three. I thought to myself that life must never be the same for parents who lose children. I pray every single day for my son and I'm so thankful for him. I love your blog and how you bring things you think about...makes me feel like I'm no
    t alone in these fears ; )

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  16. I totally relate. It's so easy to get wrapped up in fear for the things that "could happen". I feel this way about my husband and I have to constantly remind myself that he'll be okay. I can't imagine how hard it must be as a mom! You are a great mom and your kids are so loved!

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  17. you are a BEAUTIFUL, kind soul.

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  18. I too feel the same way....how do I soak all this time and love in with my little ones....they are growing fast! I work full time and so I CHERISH every breath with them! I love reading what you write and seeing what a good mommy you are! It is so encouraging!

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  19. Someone who lost his 14 year old daughter from a virus that took her within 48 hours of contracting it once said, "She was not mine. She was on loan to me by God." I have taken those words to heart b/c they are absolutely true. I need to take care of God's little ones and remember that some day He wants them back. It's a bittersweet thought.

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  20. Mmmm... its so hard sometimes not living in dear especially when it comes to our babies.

    I struggle too! Especially lately... I am so scared that someone is going to take him or somehow he's going to get hurt and that I will not be able to do anything about it. Sometimes I just hold my baby close and want to cry because of it... oh Lord give us strength to be strong and not fearful!

    Thanks for your open heart!

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  21. Sweet friend. . . life is so short. . . a friend of mine in middle school was killed with her mom and her brother. . . while her brother and dad lived. . . Uggg, I remember going to that funeral and seeing three caskets and my mom telling me that I would NEVER go to something this sad again. . . but then in college chase died in a plane accident with his entire family. . . 5 caskets. . . but they were all together. . . and now they are all together in heaven. . . anyways, just wanted you to know that I know EXACTLY what you are talking about when you say seeing your friend's casket. . . love you. . . life if short! Cherish each moment, love!

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  22. This is a great post:)

    I remember in the summer when the Casey Anthony trial was ongoing, and the day the verdict was read I was in the living room with my kids. I ran over to them and just started sobbing. I didn't understand why the she was hardly reacting, why she was so happy in these sad moments. I get that some people said it was her 'personal greiving process', the partying and all, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't put myself in her position and not be like a zombie at the loss of my child.

    I don't understand why a child's life has to be taken away sometimes, and I pray I never have to face losing mine.
    I agree, it might sound a bit morbid but I never want to have to bury my children.

    I truly admire you Case, us mommies are all in it together :)

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  23. YES, thank goodness we have hope in heaven!!

    my dad died suddenly 4 years ago, I was 21 and still living at home at the time. it's sad you had to learn how fragile life is at such a young age, but oh it's a valuable lesson. I too struggle with having open hands... with my husband... with the rest of my family. until you see death up close, you can't truly understand the PERMANENCE of it. it took me a long while to understand that five, ten, twenty years from now - my dad will still be gone.

    thank you so much for sharing so honestly. there is a fine line between living knowing life is fragile, and living in fear. I too am trying to figure it out!!

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  24. I struggle with the same thing -- fear. I feel things deeply, I soak in everything in around me.. am very aware of others emotions - it is hard sometimes, but also a gift, wouldn't you say? Because I feel so deeply, It's scary to love that much... wondering how you'd survive if something happened to those closest. I try not to be too emotional. I know part of it is just who I am. But I won't let that cripple me either! I don't think that's why God gave me this gift... maybe I will write a post about that. :) <3 you!

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  25. i love this post (like so many others) because i can understand everything you are feeling and fearing about your little family. it hurts to love so deeply! i look at my child and think the same thing, "what if i lost him and couldn't hold his hot, snuggly body against mine?" i too am very sensitive. thank you so much for sharing your heart so openly. i am going to go snuggle my baby now :)

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  26. Oh sweet friend, I can so relate. When I was 14, I lost my best friend & her sister in a car accident and life has never been the same for me. They were the only 2 children, and I still make it a point to send her parents cards for mothers/fathers day, christmas, and around the anniversary of their deaths.

    And then almost 2 years ago, I lost my mom and only sibling in a car accident 2 days before Christmas.

    Let me tell you, the pain, it rules my life. I was 3 months pregnant when they died, and when I gave birth, the pain changed (for the worse). For not only was I terrified of losing my child, I became afraid of her losing me. Not a day goes by that I don't pray to never have cold. But, I also don't want her to have to face the pain that I have either.

    It rules me. I too, have open hands in praying that the fear will cease.

    Love you, sweet girl!

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  27. Everytime I read a post of yours I cry, I smile, I weap. These are all good things. You love like I love. You are sensitive and caring like me. Each post is like a shot of hope that there are other women raising their babies like I am. God bless you and those precious loves of yours.

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  28. i love how much truth you use in your writing. i do not have children so i can't relate on that level. but just reading makes me know that one day i will probably be where you are -- living in fear at times for my children bc this world is so worldly!

    i will keep you in my prayers.
    God will work on your heart & one day you will have no fear bc that is what He wants for us.

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  29. Wow, wow, wow. I'm not even sure where to begin or what to write here in my comment. But the first thing I should say is that I am living your greatest fear and this is the first time I've been to your blog. I "found" it via some scrapbooking links somehow and couldn't hardly trace the steps back if I wanted to. So I just have this feeling inside that maybe it's not coincidence that I am reading here today. Maybe it's not coincidence that I have been questioning what to do with my own blog- and I read your "why I blog" post first. And this post second. And now I am trying to write something coherent that maybe will touch me the way your words and pictures and thoughts are touching me through the screen.
    As I said, I am living your worst nightmare. I am a mom whose little blonde-haired, blue-eyed energetic, happy, Pop-Tart loving, stay-up-late dancing, 4-year old daughter was killed tragically when a suicidal woman drove her car into the restaurant where I sat dining with my husband and 3 young kids for Sunday brunch. It was July 29, 2001. We had gone to church. We had gone to Sunday School. We were having family brunchto make up for some meals we'd missed having together after having been apart for a couple of weeks. We were all happy and healthy and we loved God and wanted to live our lives for Him and were trying to be the best parents to 3 kids that we could be. Suddenly, in an instant, our lives literally turned upside-down and crumbled around us. I jumped to my feet after being thrown in the air from the force of the car and looked over to see my daughter, Teagan laying where her chair should have been. She was lifeless...her lips were already turning blue. I picked her up (even though I know you're not supposed to move an injured person) and carried her out of a hole in the wall. I couldn't believe what was happening and couldn't even find my other family members. Anyway, the story has twists and turns and ups and downs and a day later after the emergency responders did CPR on Teagan I found myself in a Pediatric ICU room holding Teagan's hand and pinky promising to love her forever. It was the last thing we shared on this earth. My world shattered. My husband was critically injured, so was my 2 yr old son, Brock and my 6 month-old daughter, Wyndham. I have kept a blog for several years now and I guess maybe I should just leave the link for you to stop by and read some of the posts for yourself rather than sum them all up here in your comments. =) {Part 1 of 2}

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  30. Part 2 of 2{I wrote in such length I had to split my comment into 2 posts.}I never dreamed I would say good-bye to my little girl. She was the love of my life, the joy in my days, the reason I wanted to be the best mom I could be. I held off getting her 4-yr old shots that she would need to start school because that kind of thing broke my heart. I never wanted to see my kids in pain. I wanted them to know only love as much as was possible for me to surround them with. I have spent 10 years now handing the brokenness of my life to God and trying my best to allow Him to piece it back together. The crazy part is that there have been moments of beauty that have flowed from my tears. God has not only given me and my family joy again... but we've gone on to be surprised with 4 more babies born since Teagan's death. I never even wanted to have kids when I got married and now I have had 7! {Plus 1 miscarriage too.} I often say that my life is turning out so contrary to the way I had planned and hoped it would be. But if I had gotten it "my way" I would have missed out on 95% of the blessings as a result. God's ways are higher. Often times I don't like them and a lot of times they aren't very pretty when I go through them. But as I allow Him to do His work in and through the messes He DOES make something astounding out of it all! I can't help but just want to say to you- maybe even sort of shout it to you- that it's all His. I look back on the control I thought I had and wanted to have and yet in the place of surrender is where God has wanted me to be all along. I don't think He wants to see bad things happen to our kids. But I do believe He allows all sorts of circumstances to touch our lives- so that our hearts become more of what He wants them to be. Maybe I don't make much sense here, but in all of it, I have seen God use my pain, my grief, my loss, my on-going challenges with my brain injured daughter and all the scars people can't even see when they look at me (us) to even bring glory to Him. I "fight" it somedays, but then there was The Oprah Show and other opportunities for us to share our story that just seemed to be God saying, "I know this hurts...but I can use it if you let me". So I want to encourage you- even as my own heart has been stirred in reading your blog tonight- and say trust. Keep sharing your story and trust that it will be written the way He wants to author it. There is a link on my blog if you want to read my story from the beginning called, "Losing Teagan: A story of tragedy, forgiveness and hope". My hope has been lacking the past year or so as we've gone through a rough time with my daughter, Wyndham who was injured in the same accident. I've been ready to say, "Enough Lord"...but your blog is making me want to come back strong again. My blog is called "Nitty.Gritty." and I have shared some deeply personal and dark things there...but also lots of fun times, photos, crafty things and just random keep-it-real stuff. I'd love for you to drop by- since as I said, maybe it isn't so coincidence afterall that I stopped by here. I will close by saying that even in the death of a child- something so unimaginable to even me- God has been faithful and true. He pours out peace and mercy and goodness I hope you never have to know...but I can attest He is enough even in death. Cherish every moment, every breath, every pinky promise and even the crumbs on the floor. They are gifts. And totally worth embracing every single day. All my best to you and your family as you journey through the life story God is writing for you.
    www.jodyferlaak.blogspot.com

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  31. I hated myself for thinking these same feelings at times..so often have I had my lips against their warm skin, telling myself to soak it all up, never wishing for this moment to end, because....just because...I may never know when I might wish for that back. Thank you for letting me know that this is okay - and only makes us treasure those moments more.

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  32. i love this post casey!! your words are soo inspirational and meaningful!!

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  33. As a new mom, I live with this fear every moment. At times, I feel paralyzed by the worry that something could happen to the greatest joy I've experienced on earth. This love is truly sacrificial, and pure. Many times, you speak the things my heart tells me, but I don't share with others. I'll have to take some time to examine why that is. Thank you so much for your choice to share such a raw part of yourself with strangers. You're a woman full of courage.

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  34. I think the same way. But I need to start thinking more like this.
    Living as a fragile creation...
    Living as a fragile being forces us to look past ourselves and towards heaven. It is a beautiful gift and brings so much beauty.

    ♥cheche

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  35. I can't even tell you how exactly the same way i am. I have even written a very similar blog post (yet to post it though) on how i live in fear. every day. fear of losing them. I've always been that way. I don't know how to undo that. I spend my life waiting for the horrific thing that will become my story. And i live with such guilt and fear that it hasn't found me yet, when it has found many of my friends. I can't ever seem to get around how it haunts me. hugs to you. we will be brave soldier mamas together.

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  36. Casey, thanks for sharing. In one of Karen Kingsbury's books she says something about last moments, last time we carry them, last time they hold our hand in public, etc. We never know when the last time is and only celebrate firsts. We need to think of each moment like it is the "last time". They grow up too fast! It seems to me like you do a good job at remembering that. take care

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  37. LOVE you friend..love your sensitive soul. You are a good mama. They are lucky babies. :)

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  38. Sweet post casey; I think you are "freezing" time by the way you are responding to life and your children. YOu don't probably really want it to freeze, because it's a joy to see them grow and they become more and more of their own people. My daughter is going to be 17 in Jan. and I'm sure you can't imagine that for one moment, that your kids will ever get to be that age! But as we all know it does, and the more we ebb and flow with time, and "freeze" the time like you are doing by cherishing each precious, tender, loving moment with your kids, the more you will feel confident as they grow...you will be excited for new phases, and the snuggling will be done, but there will be new chapters...and those bring fears to...but you are like you said, a sensitive soul, but I think you are contemplating on the beauty of your children, and these precious times at the age they are. Maybe this made no sense!
    Blessings...xoxo

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  39. Oh girl. I share your fears. The fragility of our children is a heavy thought.

    And wow... Jody's story in the comments. Through tears in my eyes, I read her two comments over and over. I'm on my way over to her blog to send her some love.

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  40. This post touched my heart! I have recently experienced the loss of a great friend. I have watched his dear family (who I love as my own) cope with the loss of their son, his beautiful wife (one of my best friends) move forward as she picks up the pieces each day that He has been gone. One thing was certain throughout the past 4 months...My dear friend is in heaven. I have never met a man more on fire for the Lord. He lived and breathed each and every day for God. He spent his time telling young boys and girls all about the beauty and peace that can be found in God's amazing grace. Even though we miss him beyond words, we are at peace with the fact that he is finally where He was meant to be. He is going to be in heaven with God for eternity. Nothing could ever compare. :) Thanks for this today. Loved it.

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  41. AW.. this was beautiful. I completely agree with your emotions. I also feel my daughter and just imagine terrible things that could happen. I just thank God that she's alive. I'm constantly thinking that anything can go wrong at any moment. It's hard, but I know it's a good thing to be thankful every moment.

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  42. Casey, amazing moms like you are the kind who have changed my fears of becoming a mother one day. Sounds weird... but I've ALWAYS wanted to be one. Never a doubt about that. But with the desire came the fear of losing myself, of my dreams, of "me"... you have encouraged me that dreams can still be fufilled even while pursuing "THE DREAM," i.e., being a mommy. I love you so much, and truly, you are such a dear friend!! xo

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  43. Such a beautiful post Casey. My little guy is the same age as Aiden, and not as affectionate as I wish he was, so the moments you're describing come so infrequently! But when they do they are cherished! I hope to make my little girl, coming any day now, a little love bug like you've made Ainsleigh!

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  44. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing this and let you know that you're not alone. I struggle with the same fear, of finding one of my children cold. I fear it so much that there are days where I send my husband into their room multiple times a night to check on them and make sure they're still breathing. I send him because I am too afraid to do it myself. But thank God, thank God we have hope in heaven.

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  45. Sometimes it's hard being a sensitive soul...because feeling more means hurting more...BUT I believe the world desperately needs sensitive souls. I've newly discovered your blog and this is my first comment, but I'll be back. It's a beautiful blog and you're a beautiful (sensitive) soul. The pillowcases as blankies is pretty much the cutest thing ever!

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  46. Sometimes it's hard being a sensitive soul...because feeling more means hurting more...BUT I believe the world desperately needs sensitive souls. I've newly discovered your blog and this is my first comment, but I'll be back. It's a beautiful blog and you're a beautiful (sensitive) soul. The pillowcases as blankies is pretty much the cutest thing ever!

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  47. We lost my nephew almost two years ago… He was 7. Tragically, he fell out of a window. I blogged about the story a little while ago on a GP… I’ll dm you the post.

    It’s true, seeing their lifeless body is an unexplainable feeling… There are no words to describe the sickness that overtakes you.

    But there is hope in Heaven. He accepted Jesus 2 weeks before. There is no question in my mind he’d be in Heaven even without the public acceptance, but what a gift God gave us, to know where his heart was when he dies. I can’t wait to see his smiling face again. XoXo

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  48. I believe you are soaking it up in the perfect way; taking dozens of photographs and writing out each detail to reflect on down the road. Also, sharing your wonderful stories with hundreds as a constant reminder for us to do the same.

    Thank for, Casey! God bless.
    xo

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  49. Casey,
    this post was so honest and real.
    I don't really know what to say about it except that you seem like an amazing Mother. Always remember that :).

    -jessica

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  50. Just saw your tweet and had to find the story you mentioned. Jody's story was powerful, raw, and now, I'm sitting in my office sobbing. Her strength radiates from her comment. Thank you so much for posting this and bringing so many people together with hope.

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  51. ohhhhhhhhhhh my goshhhhhhh. that story. i don't know that i could go on after that.

    something that helps me (sometimes) with the vulnerability i feel as a mom who can't be in control/protecting all the time is that these little ones are on loan to us from God and he loves them even more then we do (not sure how it's possible!! but i have to believe it is!).

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  52. I watch two little boys and love on them like crazy. I can't wait to have children of my own that I get snuggle with. In the meantime thank you for letting us watch you love your babies. The Father is holding those babies that are away from their mommies. Praise Jesus we have that hope. We are so blessed by our God and by you.
    ~Alexa

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  53. Ohmygoodness. I sm constantly aware of life and how dear and fragile it is too. I have the same worries, thanks for sharing and letting me know Im not alone.

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  54. Loved your post and between it and Jody's amazing story, I have the goosebumps and tears in my eyes. You are both amazing women.

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  55. the power of my boys' hugs is hard to explain. their love is a grounding force for me when i feel like there's no light at the end of the tunnel.

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  56. Did you know that Ba actually means "Papa" in Farsi? I read 'The Kite Runner' recently. I thought that was very cute.
    xo

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