There is a picture in my memory of a beautiful baby boy that I will never forget. Dark curly hair...his daddy's nose...big yet tiny feet...a dimple on his chin...little fists all curled (perhaps to box his older brothers with)...the most precious forehead (so kissable)...tiny little ears (the ones he heard his mama and daddy say I love you with)...the face of an angel. All of these things are forever etched in my mind. I dream of them.
While I carried Eli in my belly, I dreamed of what he would look like. Even then I knew that I wanted never to forget any part of him. Yes, we prayed for God to leave him with us...we begged Him to spare his life. God's plans were different.
I remember the day I contacted Mrs. Baranco from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep about being at Eli's birth to take pictures for us. I felt like I had betrayed Eli. He was kicking and squirming in my belly as I composed an email to ask for her help. I will never forget the guilt I felt when I clicked the send button. I expressed this feeling to this sweet lady in my email. I also will never forget her response back to me.
"I KNOW you are not giving up! No MOTHER ever does!
In the event that Elijah beats the odds then you will have some beautiful newborn images. If not, you will always be able to remember his sweet little face, even for the brief time you shared with him. And, professional photography and processing will give you beautiful memories."
Well it just so happened that Eli decided to came while this one particular photographer was out of town. There was a back up scheduled just in case and she was out of town also. This is one of the million things my adorable, precious sister was working on that day. When Rachel learned that they were out of town, she immediatly thought of a friend Lisa, who is an amazing photographer. She called Lisa only to discover that the NILMDTS organization was something she had felt led to work with and was going to shadow Mrs. Baranco when given the opportunity. God was at work. Lisa put aside what she was doing, grabbed a friend of ours (Heather) and headed to Montgomery. Lisa and a wonderful gentleman named Darren came in and began taking pictures. It was just so natural to them. They really ministered to my heart that night. I never knew when they slipped out. I feel like God used them in amazing ways. Tomorrow, Jamie and I will get to see those pictures for the first time and we are just beside ourselves with excitement. Although I have pictures in my mind of our Eli that I will never forget, those that Lisa and Darren took are so very precious to me. They are treasures beyond any words.
God has blessed Lisa and Darren with such a gift. They are so talented...and that they would use this talent to minister to us during this time in our lives means so much.
14For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
19After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
If you are not familiar with the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization, check out the link I have posted on my blog. What they do is truly a wonderful ministry.
Thank you Lisa and Darren! Our time with Eli was brief, but because of you we will forever be reminded...He was here...He was beautiful. You were both part of such a miracle!
Looking forward to sharing pictures with you all soon....