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Showing posts from 2017

Christmas 2017

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Sharing our Christmas 2017 card with you.  May you find peace this Christmas and a fresh start to 2018.

Love in Christ,
Amy and Adam



Simon's Home

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Today, we lock up the house where Simon lived for the last time.  I knew this day would come and it would be really tough.  We bought this home the day Teddy was born - literally signed the paper work in the hospital.  We lived so much life in this home.  And God taught us so much.  The true meaning of life and how to live a life well  and whole was defined here.  Our lives and hearts transformed inside these walls.  Simon lived all of his days here and this is probably the hardest reason to turn the key for the last time.  The Holy Spirit gently whispers to me and reminds me that Simon reigns in Glory not inside this home - but I have to say I feel Simon each time the sun washes through the windows of our living room.  The Lord reminds me the arms that held Simon in life and death go with me - both mine and Adam's.  The list of big events in this home come easily to mind.  We brought three new lives home to this house - Simon, Peter and Goldie.  We received the ashes of Simon and…

Welcome Marigold Joy

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In the quiet of the early morning of Wednesday, August 30, 2017, I realized I was in labor with our fifth child. Adam called his mom and she came to our house to be with Teddy and Peter, who were asleep.  After laboring at home for a couple of hours, Adam and I headed to the hospital where our first baby girl was born at 38 minutes after we arrived to the hospital - even faster than Simon's delivery.  After having four boys in a row, the shock of a girl took about two days for us to get used to.  What a beautiful surprise.

Please welcome Marigold "Goldie" Joy Balentine!  Goldie adds a sweetness to our lives that I didn't know we were missing.  Teddy is completely smitten with Goldie and Peter, well he likes her but certainly doesn't like his rank in birth order changing.

The miracle of life that happens in the holy delivery room still has me in awe.  Life brought forth - in creation with God and my best friend.  A baby who breathed and cried!  Safety and good he…

Royal bloodlines

I recently met with a brother and sister that I serve with on a non profit board.  I love them and truly view them as my brother and sister.  I am different than they are, in that I have white skin and they have brown skin.  But we share so much.  In fact, a brief internet search of "how similar is human DNA" reveals from multiple sources that we are 99.9% similar in our makeup.  More important than anything, we share a conviction that the Bible is true and accurate.  Since we believe the Bible is true and accurate, it means we believe we truly are brother and sister - not just theoretically - but that we actually came from the same origins.  Not only that, but we also have royal bloodlines.  These bloodlines give us a birthright, and inheritance, of victory over death.  This is an audacious promise.

This is also the only thing that I've found that can overcome the ugliness, the racism that blows through the world like a hurricane.  Nothing brings hope like God's pro…

The Sweet Aroma of Suffering

It’s in the air, a smell I know so well -  The sweet aroma of suffering. Water gives life and it kills. Fire gives warmth and it burns. We become mothers and fathers; And this means we can reach the stars. But it also means we can go low -  Lower than the darkest depths of the ocean. It’s a familiar but not comfortable place. It is memorable but not desirable. The smell reminds me of my pain. Only one person waits for me there - With scars on his hands and feet, And my name tattooed on his heart.
The sweet aroma of suffering.
Floods.  Cancer.  Lawsuits.  Lost business.  Pain.  Scams.  Politics.  My longing for Eden - an un-corrupted world - grows as I experience the world around me.  I need to stay in a place of empathy or I fear I might become cynical.  The cynic in me says, "Worry about yourself."  The voice of Jesus says, "Be my hands and feet."  Eden will return.  It will be restored.  That's the promise, and the only thing that brings me hope as the thing…

This has been hard

This has been hard.  I’m only 4 months and 22 days removed from having the back of my head split open from Chiari Decompression surgery.
There were a couple of weeks in May that were easier than others where I felt like I was healing and I was going to be OK.  It felt like the symptoms that I suffered with before weren’t going to come back.  When people asked me how I was doing I’d say, “I think it worked.”  Well, now I just think it is better, but not fixed.  But I still don’t really know.
I have intense fatigue that usually sets in with a pain episode.  When the fatigue sets in I can barely keep my eyes open.  This usually happens at least once a day – usually mid-afternoon.  I try to compensate with it by having caffeine, but I feel like that just delays the fatigue and makes my body react in other negative ways.
I lost a bunch of weight after the surgery.  That was mainly due to the fact that I just couldn’t eat much.  My esophagus was in bad shape from being intubated, and so were a…

Known | A quick reference helpbook for those experiencing the loss of a child during pregnancy or infancy

On the third anniversary of Simon's death (May 21, 2017), I released a quick reference helpbook for those experiencing the loss of a child during pregnancy or infancy.  The purpose of this book is to provide support to the mother who hears the words, "I'm sorry there is no heartbeat."  It is a fingertip reference of my favorite resources.

Weekly, I receive Facebook messages, emails, texts and phone calls from mothers, family and friends who have heard these words and are now in a fog of grief trying to navigate uncharted waters.  Moms and dads want time with their babies meeting them and loving on them.  Families and friends simply want to be able to do something for their loved ones walking through this loss.  The format is intentionally basic to provide direct links to real help.

This e book is designed to assist in the following ways:
To give the mom and dad a reminder that they can slow down and make the decisions they prefer.  Gathering the items they would like…

Another CuddleCot for Kansas City!

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The Gift of Time CuddleCot Campaign 2017 #simonsgiftoftime

It is with much excitement and gratitude that we announce Kansas City gets another CuddleCot!  Thank you to each generous donor - you are our family, friends and even strangers.  So many of you don’t even live in Kansas City who donated as well!  That is an act of love and service to the bereaved mother.More photos to come after the cot arrives and once it is donated to Research Memorial Center.  Thank you for your love and support.  
With your help, the Balentines have donated cots to the following hospitals: -St. Luke's Hospital Kansas City (2015) -Children's Mercy Hospital (2015) -Truman Medical Hospital (2016) -Research Medical Center (2017)
The following hospitals in Kansas City have cots.   -Shawnee Mission Medical Center (bought internally) -Overland Park Regaional Medical Center (donated by Bogle Family) -Menorah Medical Center (donated by Bogle Family)
If you are aware of a Kansas City cot left off this list, p…

#simonsgiftoftime 2017

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{donate here}
Tonight we begin the third anniversary celebration of Simon’s life.  On May 14, 2014 at 9:55pm, we welcomed Simon Adam Balentine into this world.
Year after year, my mind travels effortlessly back to the moment Simon was born.  We weren’t sure if he would be alive as we decided to forgo fetal heart monitoring during labor.  We thought if he died before/during labor, it might be hard for me to continue to labor knowing his soul had been taken already.  He was moving at birth, arms and legs squirming – I didn’t even have to ask if he was alive.  I could see, he was!  My doctor placed Simon on my chest and all of the prayers from the previous five months had been graciously answered in that moment.  He breathed!  I shouted praises to God thanking Him for his mercy.  It wasn't long after his birth that we finally heard his voice.  It was heavenly (below videoshares his sweet cries).
Following Simon’s birth, all we wanted was time with him.  It was simple.  We were doing our…

The Greatest Baby Gift

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In 2012, my sister, Jill, and best friends hosted two baby showers for our first born son, Teddy.  They were beautifully decorated, had sweet little baby details, were attended by the ones who mean the most to me.  We received a new stash of baby items from our loved ones for our expected babe.Many prayers were prayed over us, both during the showers and throughout the pregnancy. 
In 2013, I told some friends we were expecting our second born and they excitedly offered to host a “sprinkle” for us.  Soon after this offer, we realized our baby’s body was rather sick and he, Simon, may not be with us long.  No sprinkle needed to be hosted, few gifts were bought, but prayers abound.  Simon was born breathing May 14, 2014 and lived for seven days and twenty-two glorious minutes.  Not knowing prior to his birth if he would be joining us at home, we had the privilege of pulling out the gifts we received from Teddy's baby showers and dusted them off one-by-one:  the bassinet, the stroller,…

Charles "Honey" Boyd - the most interesting man in MY world

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Let me preface this piece by saying that most of these stories are true.  At least, they were presented to me as fact at some point in my life by either my grandfather or my mom.  Like those Dos XX “Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials, there may be some embellishment simply added to make the stories just a little bit better.  But that’s OK, right?  His stories and his presence made him the most interesting man in my world.
My grandpa, Charlie Boyd, was born December 22, 1919, in Chula, Missouri to Margaret and Shelby Boyd.  The Most Interesting Man in MY World had to begin with a more interesting story than just that, didn’t he?  Oh yes.  Legend has it that his loving parents named him “Delbert Eugene Boyd” upon his birth.  The doctor that assisted with baby Delbert’s birth was so horrified by his name that he changed his birth certificate to read “Charles Boyd.”  No middle name included.  At some point, Delbert’s birth certificate was discovered and he started going by his …