Showing posts from June, 2014

These are your words

This video is a slideshow of actual quotes we have received from you, our friends and our family.  This slideshow was played during Simon's Celebration of Life as John Brewer and the worship band played "Below My Feet" live.   These are your words (quotes from Simon's friends) from Adam and Amy Balentine on Vimeo . Over the last 10 months, we have been the recipients of some amazing words from family, friends and complete strangers.  You have been vulnerable.  You have decided to shed a piece of your old self and become something new.  You have opened yourself up to feel our pain, but also our hope and our joy.  Expressing this to us - taking the time to write or speak the words you have expressed - lifts up some of the weight of depression, death and emptiness we've felt (and continue to feel).   We've been equipped to support and build up the body of followers of Christ.  We've been given the same words - the same education as the apostles,

Video Tribute to Simon

The below is a tribute video that was played at Simon's Celebration of Life Service on June 14, 2014.  Tribute to Simon Adam Balentine from Adam and Amy Balentine on Vimeo . Link to Simon's Tribute Video I spent countless hours creating this video.  The most difficult aspect in creating something so important to you - something in which you are very emotionally invested - is the editing process.  I could have easily made this video 90 minutes long.  I reminded myself of my mantra when I write, that you have to be a ruthless editor.  This means that several touching video clips and breath-taking photos were left out of the tribute video.  Although Simon lived for 7 days and 22 minutes, we probably have 5 days worth of still photos and video footage! If you knew your loved one would die very soon, but you aren't sure when, what lengths would you go to take that one last picture with them?  Would you wish you would have turned the car around to get the camco

One Month in Heaven

In about twenty-two minutes, we will celebrate Simon’s one-month-in-Heaven “birthday.”  In some ways, it feels like he was just in our arms – in other ways, it hurts to think of the length of time that has passed since I heard his little cries in our house and felt my sweet little boy.  Tears fill my eyes as I write that.  I really miss Simon (that sentence doesn’t do my missing justice).  I miss his soft skin today.  His perfectly new feet were so soft.  Even though his feet never touched the ground, he has certainly left a mark, hasn’t he? A few weeks ago, my dear friend and sorority sister, Emily Schnurman, shared with me how Simon and our family has touched her life.   Emily vulnerably shared with us how our family’s challenges, strength and unconditional love inspired her to dedicate her first triathlon to Simon. Em found out about Simon’s health around the same time she committed to the race.   We are incredibly honored that she would not only dedicate the race to our boy, b

My thank you address at Simon's Celebration

Below is my address and thank yous I shared at Simon's Celebration of Life service.  Several people have asked me how I stood up and spoke at my son's memorial - my answer is simple, by the grace of God.  --- Saturday, June 14, 2014 (one month after Simon's birth) Thank you for being here today.   I thought I would just take a moment to give thanks to each person who has been with us along this journey. Thank you to strangers , near and far that we don’t know.   Thank you for taking the time to read our thoughts on the blog and to get to know us through our words.   Thank you for allowing Simon to influence your life.   Thank you for praying for our little boy and for our family.   We don’t know who you are but are forever grateful that you walked with us. Thank you to our friends who have checked continuously on us.   You have held us up, given us space, met for playdates, delivered us meals, planted trees, raised money for other families going through this

My Speech for Simon

Today happens to be Father's Day, so it seems like a good occasion to post a transcript of the speech that I gave for Simon at his celebration of life just yesterday.  I am so proud to be the father of Theodore Boyd and Simon Adam.  What amazing work Simon was able to do for God.  I pray Teddy will be a great man of God one day as well.  The below is a long-form of my speech - including a few extra lines that I cut out once I delivered it during Simon's ceremony.  I hope these words honor my sons, but also my father, my grandfathers and my Heavenly Father. --- Standing and speaking in front of you all today may have been scary for me prior to Simon.  A sense of boldness now intertwines itself to my core.  I’m thankful for that. Amy also stands boldly on the truth of God’s grace and mercy.  Her love has changed from something I selfishly consumed when it pleased me, to something that sustains me and keeps me safe.  I’m thankful for that. During this trial, Simon’s gr

He Always Knows Better

The three weeks between Simon’s passing and his memorial are pretty special days to us as a family.   It’s a time where Teddy, Adam and I gather together and enjoy time remembering, laughing, crying, and rejoicing for Simon and his life – it’s a time to spend just being together.   Where words can be shared, tears can be shed, or the house can be silent and we can just “be.” I am honored that I get to prepare and share some pretty intimate moments of my life, my family’s life and my son’s life with my extended family, friends, and even potentially strangers.   Now that Simon’s life on earth has been written, I have done a lot of reflecting on the footsteps that have gotten us to this point of the journey.   How scared I was of the unknown throughout this journey and what peace I found along the way in our Savior – especially when I laid my anxiety at his feet – and how freeing it is to do this!   I know we have never shared how we originally found out about Simon’s special needs and he

The freedom to laugh

Our family is one that laughs at itself.  I laugh at myself.  I laugh at my family members…and hopefully they are laughing  with  me most of the time.  is one of my favorite websites.  People submit horribly awkward and hilarious images of their families in bad poses and heinous clothes.  “It seemed like a good idea at the time, but WHOA…what were we thinking?!” This is the underlying theme of most of the photos that are published on the site. Well, about two years ago I emailed a submission to AFP of an awesomely awkward professional family photo we took in the early-to-mid 90s.  On June 1, 2014, I received an email notification that my submission had been published on the site.  I was thrilled.  I totally forgot that I submitted it.  I can’t take credit for the title “White Out” that AWP gave the photo, but I can take credit for the description.  I love that the AFP appropriately named it “White Out” since this was a few years before my sister

Simon Adam Balentine's Celebration of Life Details

We look forward to celebrating  our sweet Simon Adam's life at our church home on  Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 10:00am Christ Community Church - Brookside Campus  400 W. 67th Street, Kansas City, MO 64113   This celebration is open to the public  and we would be honored to have you join us. Three items to note surrounding the service at our church.   Parking:  Some directional parking assistance will be provided.  There is parking available at Southwest High School, across the street from the church.  Street parking will be best on 66th Terrace, 67th Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, and across Wornall on Brookside Road. Parking map below. Childcare:  There will not be any childcare services available during the celebration. Attire:  As this is a celebration of life, we would love to encourage you to wear something cheerful in color.  Please don't feel like you need to wear black or a dark color.  Adam, Teddy and I will be wearing baby blue and welcome you t