Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Card

I had not been looking forward to Christmas, for the obvious reasons.One of them is I didn't want to send out cards, mostly because I didn't know what to put on them.I knew the time was coming and I had to decide. If you know me this is something I love doing. It's so much fun sending and receiving Christmas cards. I love comparing them from the year before and seeing how the family has changed or grown. Our family has changed so much in this past year and has grown. So I didn't really know what or how I was going to do the card. I prayed about it. Then I came up with an idea. I thought it was a great idea but I knew it would make some people uncomfortable. So I prayed again. I talked to our photographer, Jenny at http://www.jennyevelynphoto.com/ , and she agreed to do the photo. When we were taking the photo I still wasn't sure I was going to use it. Jenny emailed me the photos and I loved them. I cried. I cried tears of saddness, that this was even my reality and then tears of happiness, that I finally have a family photo. These pictures mean so much to Travis and I . I sat late at night online making our cards. When it was time to send them to be printed, I hesitated. I just wasn't sure.

Our cards didn't go out until the week of Christmas. Delayed by days and hours because of worry over how Landon's photo on the cards might be received. I think sometimes I worry too much about whether or not my grief is convenient or uncomfortable for other people. I sent the cards despite my fear. This is our family and this is our reality. I love them. I just hope the ones that received them saw an angel and not just our baby that has passed.

Here are the pictuers that were on our card...Our First Family Photo!!

My Boys, Van Ericson & Landon Thomas

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and I am looking forward to the New Year! I believe God's blessings are going to flow on our family and many more!

With love from Travis, Melissa, Van & our sweet Angel in Heaven Landon Thomas

Monday, December 28, 2009

Confessions of a Broken Heart

I had to take a break from the blog for alittle bit. I wanted to write, but I have had so many different emotions that I wasn't sure what to write.

Thanksgiving was really hard. It was good to be around our family and see everyone happy, but to be honest I was dying inside. I am truly grateful for all the blessings God has given me and I thank Him everyday for those. I don't know what I would do without my husband and my precious Van. Van has been such an angel given to our family and has helped me beyond belief. He is the reason I get out of bed, the reason I continue to be strong and not just totally shut down or give up. But I am human and I hurt and long for the things I do not have, and those are my children.

When you become pregnant you have an instant bond with the creation growing inside you. You have hopes and dreams for this child. You think about who they will look like and who they will act like. What is their favorite color, toy, blanket, song and bedtime story. These hopes and dreams have been crushed for me three times. It doesn't get easier, it only gets harder. After each loss all the pain and hurt from the others come rushing back.

For people who have lost ones they love, the holidays are just a big reminder that they are not here. I have several ways my family could have been this holiday. I could have an almost 2 year old little boy running around with my 3 year old. Or I would have a 2 month old along with my 3 year old. Or happily expecting sweet Landon in a couple of weeks. Everyone told me I would be having him around Christmas. Christmas is here and I do not have my Landon. I miss him so much and this emptiness will not go away. I seriously thought after a few months the pain would get alittle easier but it hasn't. Somedays I feel I am starting over in my grieving process. Here lately I have been mad about it, then I go to being just deeply sad. Grieving is hard and draining.

What was to be my due date with Landon is fast approaching. I am dreading it to be honest. It's just another big reminder that he is not here and will not be here. I just wish this was all a bad dream. My heart aches for him and I can't fix it. Some people say well at least you have Van. We are so very thankful for Van and love him to death but we want all of our sons! What we have gone through is not something we will get over in a few months, this is a lifetime pain. But I know it will get easier over the years. I am no where near the easier part.

With God's grace and love I am making it!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2 Months!

Dear Landon,

You are 2 months old today in Heaven! I always wonder what your days are filled with. Are you running and playing with all the other angel babies, having story time with Jesus, watching us from up above, spending time with your great grandparents or uncle Eric, or are you having a blast with your big brother or sister. I know you are in a better place but the place I long for you to be is in my arms! It has got a little easier but not much. God has given me peace and hope for the future but that doesn't take away the fact my heart still breaks and longs for you. Some may have already forgot you and some do not even acknowledge your existence. That breaks my heart! You were and are our son forever! Mommy and Daddy miss you so much Landon! If you were here I would take your picture with a cute sign or blocks saying 2 months! If I had my way you would still be in my belly and I would be 33 weeks happily pregnant! The holidays are fast approaching. I am going to be happy sad. Happy and blessed I have your big brother and deeply sad we don't have you. Have a happy 2 months in Heaven. We will be there one day to celebrate with you! We miss you!

Mommy, Daddy and Big Bro Van

A poem I found and loved.

Dear Mommy and Daddy,

Before we said our first hello,
The time had already passed.
For when you held me in your arms,
I had gone to heaven to rest.

I felt angelic tears down my cheeks,
And I watched you as you wept.
I wish I could have changed it all,
Your tears touched my soul so deep.

But mommy & daddy when you are sad,
Please be assured I know.
For death cannot take away your love,
It will only continue to grow.

When you are feeling far away,
And missing me so much.
Close your eyes and feel my wings,
Their soft and gentle touch.

Or at night as you sleep,
I will join you in a dream.
You will see me standing close to you.
And we’ll be lost within my wings.

So my dear mommy and daddy,
As you go from day to day,
Find comfort in the knowledge,
I am never that far away.

Angel Whispers

Monday, November 16, 2009

2 Years Ago!

The past 2 years of Van Ericson!

Two years ago on November 12th we got the best gift God could give us...Van Ericson Albert!!! I remember the first few weeks like it was yesterday. Travis and I were on cloud 9!!! We got the phone call on Nov. 5th letting us know a Birthmother chose us! How amazing that a women chose us to parent her child for life!! These Birthmothers are so brave and strong!

It was around 10pm on the Monday night that we got "The Call." Travis and I were sitting on the couch very close talking to our caseworker on speakerphone. Then she told us the news!!!!! We were so excited!! We cried, laughed and just were in shock! After a very long 3 1/2 years of disappointments our dreams of having a family were coming true! She told us about our future son for about an hour. The whole time I could not believe this was "THE call" we were waiting on!! We hung up with her and cried and hugged for about 30 min. Then it was time to let the rest of our family know! Those were the best phone calls!!! Everyone cried and was so excited! My parents were out of the country so we had to call them the next day! I could barely talk when I told people. I'm such a crybaby sometimes! But this time they were tears of pure joy!!

We meet our precious little boy on the following Friday. I have never been so nervous and scared to meet a baby! I cried on our way to Macon because I just could not believe we were becoming parents! We got to Covenant Care and had to wait in a room upstairs. We sat in silence. No words could come out! Then...it was time to meet our SON!! We walked into the room and there he was.... I fell in love!!!! I knew it was the same love a mother would have for a biological child in the first few moments. The kind that is unconditional. He was the cutest little boy! First I noticed his beautiful blue eyes. Then his pretty skin and he had the sweetest smile. We sat in the floor and he came right to us. We sat and played for a few minutes. We also had to talk business while we were in there with the wonderful caseworkers. I had to keep focusing! I could not stop staring and thinking of him!

Meeting our son for the first time!!

The next part was the greatest, hardest and most nerve wrecking! We meet Van's Birthmother! What do you say to this woman who is blessing you with the greatest gift of all!!! This stranger that I have never meet chose US! That still amazes me to this day! We are forever grateful!!!

We stayed and played with him for about 2 hours. Our time was amazing!! It was so hard to leave him there and not take him with us that day. So I did the next best thing! We SHOPPED for him!!! We had prepared for a newborn but God had a better plan. Van was a very cute and full of energy 14 month old!! We did not have anything for a 14 month old! So Ginger (my sister), Grace, and I went to target and shopped like maniacs!! We were grabbing everything cute (which was a lot)! It was so much fun and such a time of happiness! Everyone was looking at us funny. We had 2 buggies FULL!!

On Monday the 12th we brought our son home!!! We drove once again to Covenant Care and once again I was crying on the way. I could not believe this was all happening. It was the best feeling putting our son in the car seat and driving towards home. I rode in the back with him. He fell asleep because it was a very long and busy day for him. I just cried tears of joy while watching him sleep. He was beautiful and God gave him to us!

All the grandparents were waiting on his arrival! They were meeting their grandson for the first time! He stole their hearts like he did ours!! That night more family and close friends came to meet him. It was so much fun to show him off! That night Travis went and rocked Van to sleep. The moment was so special in everyway! Travis cried like a baby. It was so sweet! Daddy was hooked! We all were!

Sleeping in his bed for the first time!

This is how Daddy slept the first night!!

Van has brought so much meaning to our lives! He is truly a huggable reminder of God's unfailing love!! Adoption has blessed our family in so many ways. Adoption is truly amazing!

P.S. Thank you God for letting him look like his Mommy! That is just an added perk!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Need You

I need you
I need you when my mind is consumed of thoughts of Landon.
I need you when I think I could have done something different "that" day.
I need you when I blame myself.
I need you when I think if Landon had just a week or two more in my womb.
I need you when I think of the delivery.
I need you when I long to feel my baby kick.
I need you when I think of how I could not protect my baby.
I need you when I long to hold him.
I need you when I daydream of Van and Landon playing.
I need you when I wish there were two car seats in the car.
I need you when I get asked "how are you doing?"
I need you when I have to find the words to answer.
I need you when I put on a happy face when deep inside I want to scream & cry.
I need you when I cry so hard I can not see.
I need you when I am alone in my car.
I need you when I want someone to talk too.
I need you when I want to be alone.
I need you when I don't understand.
I need you when I can't find the way to move on.
I need you when I don't want to get out of bed.
I need you when I feel so empty.
I need you when I feel so lost.
I need you when I get mad.
I need you when I get asked "how many children do you have?"
I need you when I see their faces when I respond.
I need you when someone says the wrong thing.
I need you when someone says nothing.
I need yon when I am at work.
I need you when I walk into his nursery.
I need you when I go to his grave.
I need you when I think of the future.
I need you when I think of all the losses.
I need you when people do not understand how great is our loss.
I need you when I can't sleep.
I need you when I remember my sweet baby's face.
Lord I just need you to be....to be with me.

Friday, November 6, 2009


My best friend Crystal sent this poem to me. I love it! It means so much and says everything! Thank you Crystal!

We thought of you with love today,
but that is nothing new.
We thought about you yesterday,
and days before that too.
We think of you in silence,
we often speak your name.
All we have are memories,
and your picture in a frame.
Your memory is our keepsake,
with which we will never part.
God has you in His keeping,
We have you in our hearts.
A million times we’ve wanted you.
A million times we cried.
If love could only have saved you,
You never would have died.
It broke our hearts to lose you.
But you didn’t go alone.
For apart of us went with you…
The day God called you Home.
In loving Memory of Landon.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Marked in Stone

We got the phone call that Landon's burial plot was in on Tuesday. I had to have surgery that day so we waited to see it today. (I had to have surgery due to my body not healing correctly after having Landon.)

I thought of this day a lot. It seems as the final process of the funeral. But to our dismay the burial plot is wrong. They left off the angel in the lower corner and the sparrow at the top. I was upset due to it being wrong and then seeing my baby's name in stone.

When we found out we were having a boy, Travis and I spent long nights in the dark talking about what we were going to name our new little boy. We included friends and family on the name quest. Once we would come up with a "possible" name I would write the monogram down and see what it would look like. Several did not pass the monogram test! We picked Landon's name out because we both loved the name and it went well with my Daddy's name! Yes, I am a Daddy's girl! So we came up with Landon Thomas. We never got to see his monogram on anything, except for the paper I scribbled on. Never thought the next time I would see my baby's name would be on his burial plot.

It is so heart breaking in every way. I don't have any other words to describe the feeling.

They are replacing the plot but it will take another 4-6 weeks. It is still beautiful because it is my son's resting place. I have spent many hours on many days out there. It brings peace and comfort knowing that is our special place.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Today Van and I went and got a pumpkin for Landon. On the way to the pumpkin patch Van and I were talking in the car. It amazes me how kids understand and perceive things.

When everything happened Travis and I weren't to sure on how we were going to incorporate Van in all this. We didn't want to scare him but we really wanted him to know about his baby brother. We prayed over Van and asked God to protect him during all of this. And God has. He has given Van such a sweet spirit of understanding about Landon. Van is going to think it is normal having a baby brother angel in Heaven looking down!

Growing up I remember my parents trying to shield me on the topic of death, but in our household it is very real and around us. I look at death in a whole new outlook. It truly is a glorious event! It is another stage in life, for a Christian it is the best stage of life! We get to meet our Heavenly Father! Our Creator! The One who knew us before we were in our mother's womb! How amazing! The place that we all want to be and I already have 2 babies there! I have pieces of me in Heaven! Landon and Patrick have the best Father ever now. They got to by pass this fallen world and go to the most high place! This amazing knowledge does not make the pain any easier or the feeling of loss any less, but it does give me peace.

Back to the car and pumpkins! Van was very excited just to get a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. I was telling him how I wanted to put Landon's name on his pumpkin. Then Van asked "how are we going to give Landon the pumpkin?" I told Van we are going to put it on his grave and Landon can look down from Heaven and see it. Then Van replied "oh, that is why we have to put his name on it, so he can see it!"

At the patch we picked out Landon's, then Van wanted a real small pumpkin that he could carry. When we got to the grave site, I asked Van if he wanted to keep his pumpkin or leave it on the grave. He said he wanted to leave it for his brother. Van never said a name. When I took the picture of Van with the pumpkins it hit me! This picture is a representation of my 3 babies! There was Van, our little unnamed miracle (until recently, Patrick), and then Landon! I love that picture! To someone else it is just a picture of Van with pumpkins, but to me it is my life!

The last thing Van asked me was, " can we go to Jesus and give Landon the pumpkin?" My reply was," no not yet, someday we will be able too."

The Day it all Happened!

First of all I want to thank everyone who has been praying for us during this long journey of creating our forever family! As a little girl I would have never thought this was all in my future. God has blessed me with a wonderful and God-loving husband. Without our unconditional love for God and one another I don't know where we would be!

The events that happened the day Landon Thomas was born is a mystery to some of you.

How is started:

I woke up on September 17th not feeling the greatest. Travis was already at work by 6am. So it was Van and I. I got him ready for school. I just blew off the uncomfortable ness to just being pregnant. I called Travis at work and told him how I was feeling. I made the comment I didn't know whether or not to call the doctor. It was a weird pain and some other stuff that I am not discussing on here! All I could think of was I needed to get Van from school. I had some time to kill so I went to Old Navy and bought Landon some really cute outfits. I was looking for a cute go home outfit. Never would have thought that was the day I was meeting our Sweet Landon. Through out the day I noticed a pattern of my pain. That is when I called the doctor. It was almost 12pm and they told me to come in at 1:50pm. So I proceeded with my day and got Van from school. I was heading to McDonald's to get him a quick lunch in the car on the way to Macon. My friend Carolyn called and that is when I finally said it out loud of what I thought I was having- Contractions! I started to cry. Van was in the car so I had to be strong. I called Travis and told him to meet me at the doctors. I could not find my mom or Travis' mom at the time. I didn't want to worry anyone; I was hoping it was a false alarm. My pain was getting very strong and I remember bracing the steering wheel during each contraction. I know God was with Van and I in that car! Finally my Dad was able to reach my Mom and they meet us at the doctors. I went back after a little while. (I look back on that day and can't believe how calm I was!)

This part gets hard for me, I am writing this with tears, many tears.

When we got to the back, the nurse made a comment on how I did not look good. I told her I was in a lot of pain...timed pain! They immediately got Dr. Carlton. He checked me and his face said it all. He told us that I was dilated. To be honest the next 10-20 minuets was a blur to me. They hooked me up to the fetal monitor and I could hear Landon's heartbeat going so strong! It was still 145! Everyone started moving very fast. Dr. Carlton started to explain everything. Again, everyone's face said it all. I don't know if I couldn't understand him because of my thoughts running wild or I just didn't want to understand him. Travis had to go tell my parents what was going on. Can you imagine having to repeat all that about your unborn son, while staying strong in front of your older son. Thank you hubby for being so strong!

Dr. Body (a high risk pregnancy doctor) was meeting us once we got to Labor and Delivery to try a procedure to save our precious Landon. He was going to do a procedure that removes fluid, trying to prevent my water from breaking. I arrived at L&D by ambulance because I could not stand, sit or anything. I had to stay very still. During all this I was having very painful and close together contractions. I heard Dr. Body's voice. That is when it happened. My water broke. Along with my water my heart broke! I lost it! I knew there was no help now; Landon was coming into this world.

I had so many thoughts going through my head. I was in pain. Everything happened so fast there was no time for pain meds. The part that breaks my heart the most and I will always think about is I could feel my precious Landon kicking during the birthing process. Everyone was telling me to push and I wanted to yell "NO!" I was not ready to push him out into this world. He was not ready. I just was not ready!

When Landon came out, it was bitter sweet. Everyone drew quite. I was praying the whole time there would be a miracle and I would hear my baby cry. I waited...there was no cry. I could hear whispers. He had a heartbeat...it was only 60. Landon was able to take 1 breath. Teresa, Travis and my Mom began to pray. I could hear their prayers. I know God heard their prayers also but it was not in His Will the Landon Thomas would live.

We held Landon minuets after the birth. He was so beautiful! What a miracle God gave us, even though we can't have him for a lifetime on earth. Landon will always be our miracle in Heaven! We are not sure when his heart stopped but I know it was in my arms! That was my first and only moment with him. So different then other mother's first.

We were able to hold him for hours. We were blessed to have my sister-in-law working at the time. In which she had a camera. Such a blessing! I will cherish every photo I have of Landon. That is all we have to hold onto physically.

The first few pictures we did not smile. It was so hard. But then I made a comment to Travis that we really needed to smile because Landon was a miracle! He was sent from God for a purpose, he was not a mistake. Neither were the events that happened a mistake. One of the biggest miracles was I had been pregnant and delivered a baby! I thank God for that experience, something I never thought I would get to do.

Family and friends came to see our precious Landon and us. It was so bitter sweet. We were proud but profoundly sad. My Grandma was the first to rock Landon and sing to him. What an amazing site! Then my Mom, Travis' mom, and Travis rocked our precious son. After several hours I was able to get up and rock him as well! It was such a sweet moment. Looking at what Travis and I created through our love for one another! And God allowed it to happen! Praise God!