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Liz Stokes

Warning pictures ahead that some might find disturbing but we find beautiful. Our baby photographed for the first time without any tubes or wires. Our first time holding him since January 16th.

Finally my body did give out. I could no longer sit in the chair and my back was on fire from holding Carter in a very awkward and unnatural position. I knew at this point Carter was gone and his spirit had left. I kissed his lips and Rob came and took my baby out of my arms for the last time. More pain struck my heart. I would never hold my baby again, alive.

Rob laid him on the bed and the nurse, Rob, and myself got to work removing the many wires, stickers, and leads from Carter. Together we gave him one last bath with the most amazing shampoo. For the first time in his tiny life we dressed him in clothes without any worry of whether or not the wires would be disturbed and we held him. No strings attached.

Look at this beautiful baby. All healed and perfect in every way. Our hearts may be shattered but his is no longer. I always say when people apologize or say sorry to me that I’m not. He’s so lucky he’s in Heaven with our King. He’s received more than we could ever wish. My heart here on earth still needs work and I need to keep believing in my faith and what’s in store for me so that I will be reunited with my babies and my family.

Life is forever changed. Again. The last ten years have been brutal but always remember to choose Joy.

We are so blessed. We are so thankful to each and every one of you and your impact on our journey. Rob and I have learned a lot in the last 12 months and forever grateful for every moment. Thank you forever to Carter’s Birthmom “S” for choosing us and making us a family. We continue to pray for God’s blessings in your life as your mourn, grieve, and begin a new chapter in your life.

Choosing Hope Adoptions. If it weren’t for you I’d never get to kiss this beautiful face. Thank you Angela for always being available, for having a listening ear, and a God centered life and career. We’re forever thankful to you and your busy bees.

Thank you Judge Carey for being patient and understanding and making exceptions for our case.

Thank you Andy Elder, our lawyer, for filing and standing up on our behalf.

Thank you to my bosses and the administration staff at my work and my husband’s for helping us let go and feel as little stress as possible. Thank you to our work family for supporting us in many ways, your gifts and open hearts will never be forgotten. Thank you to my co-workers it wasn’t easy but you stepped up and paved a way for the students to finish strong and make great gains.

Thank you to our parents for becoming parents to your grandchildren and for stopping what you were doing to take care of us and Carter. We know that’s what family is for but let it be known that not every family is as amazing as our’s.

Thank you to my mom and dad. Mom for spending weeks and hours on end caring for and advocating for Carter when we couldn’t be there. Thank you to my Dad for driving my mom to and from Cincinnati and leaving her there to care for your precious Grandbaby. I love you, you know it.

Thank you to our kids for understanding and loving with an open heart. Your brother knew your love, it was written all over his face when he saw your and heard your voices.

Thank you to my sister, my person, I will never forget calling you on February 3rd saying that I needed you, and you showed up.  Thank you for dropping everything to drive to Cincinnati multiple times. He loved you Aunt Abby. He did. He loved every second of your visits and so did I.

Thank you to all the doctors, nurses, Children Life, and our fellow heart warriors and families at Cincinnati Children’s as well as Dr. Ross at Dayton Children’s. Thank you for loving my boy and treating him as one of your own. Thank you to the one Holistic Health Nurse. Thank you for sitting with me and distracting me from the stress of the unit. Thank you for hugging me and loving me just as I am. I appreciate you so much and will never forget you. (I know you’re stalking this…)

Thank you to our funeral home for stepping up your game and being a blessing to us once again. We love you and your hearts. Thank you doesn’t say enough.

Thank you to our faithful followers for your prayers, love, and support. I’ve seen God’s work first hand. I’ve seen things change for no scientific reason. God is real. God is alive. Together, with Carter’s army of followers we were able to enjoy him that much longer. Your prayer moved mountains.

Carter’s first birthday is coming up in two days. We were given quite a few pop tabs back in October but never had the moment to take the kids down to deliver them to their final destination. In about 2 weeks in honor of Carter’s birthday, we plan on delivering them to the Ronald McDonald House of Cincinnati. They use the recycling pay out to help fund the basics of running the house.


One comment on “Holding On and Letting Go Part 2

  1. Padmasandhya says:

    He is such a beautiful angel and he was an amazing fighter. There is no choice but to mend our broken hearts and remember the people who made us.
    It is so heartening to me that I share my birthday with this fierce warrior but I sincerely wish we could have celebrated together.
    God shall bless you with strength.


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