undiscovered countries

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22 Responses

  1. Stacy says:

    What a beautiful picture of you Abby and Valor. I came to your blog/blogs a year ago, and I’ve been following the two of you ever since. Your writing today was beautiful and so true. Babies come into this world with a joyous clean slate, Valor knows not of the pain James had, the pain of losing Dora, or the trials you and John have been through for the past few years. He’s a blessing from God and will earn his knighthood, probably very fast, but like all of us born into original sin.

  2. susannahclair says:

    I discovered your blog a year ago (via CakeWrecks) and have been following along with your amazing story ever since. In anticipation of Valor’s birth, I’ve been checking back in more frequently and today felt compelled to go back to SweetBabyJames. I ended up reading James’s whole story from start to end again (among many tears) during the kids’ nap time. But somehow, I didn’t notice the significance of the day — until now. Just wanted to let you all know that I’ve been thinking of you and James and Dora and your extended family all day. You two are an inspiration to all parents and have definitely helped me to slow down and enjoy the joys of motherhood more.

    Wishing you comfort and joy on a bittersweet day and blessings for the upcoming birth of your second son.

    Much love from a fellow Tar Heel,
    Susannah (Alexandria, Va.)

  3. melissa says:

    Just another cake-wrecker here…praying for you guys on this day and continuing to pray for the impending birth of Valor! So happy for you guys and looking forward to the birth story in another week. 🙂 Take care and God bless you.

  4. Ashley says:

    Sending you some great big spiritual hugs! Just remember that next week is going to be wonderful 🙂

  5. Evie says:

    Ooo you are so beautiful, Abby! I am so excited for you! Can’t believe the big day is coming up so fast, a week! We are praying for you, John, and baby Valor. And I believe every parent oohs and ahhhs over each milestone. Every tiny development is truly amazing and a miracle from God, not ever to be taken for granted.

  6. Bonniejean says:

    I too, discovered and have been following your story via cake wrecks. Your faith in God has been so inspiring to me. I’m someone who is trying to find her way to a spiritual truth, or at least figure out what truth means to me. Your devotion and trust in a higher power is amazing and has really affected my life. I’m glad you have this faith, especially today and you can know that James has found peace.

  7. Erin says:

    Abby, I also found your blog on cakewrecks long ago and have checked in on your sweet family from time to time.
    As I read this post I felt like I finally needed to say hello and share something I have learned about being a mom. We all need celebrate every little thing our sweet children do and every milestone that comes. No one around you will think you are silly for being proud of the ordinary, if anything they will be even more in awe that you are.
    While I did not have the same experiences you had with James, one of my children has a heart problem and the other two were preemies. Seeing them learn and grow was amazing.
    I am attaching a link because I think this mom says some beautiful things about loving our children.
    God be with you!!
    http://scenesfromthewild.blogspot.com/2009/05/just-show-up.html

  8. Burgandi says:

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
    John 3:16

  9. Beth says:

    What a wonderful testimony of a parent’s love for their child.

    Thanks for letting us be a part of something so personal.

  10. Samantha says:

    I’ve been following the Gjertsen family for a while now, and I don’t remember how I started.

    Let me just talk about myself for a sec – I’m a fifteen-year-old Presbyterian girl who lives overseas with two brothers, a sister, my mother and my dad who is deployed. I try to be faithful to God; I try to spread his word and live humbly, but it’s hard.

    Reading about your family is really inspiring for me. I can’t help but stand in awe at your strength and your love for God. I read about James and how you reacted to every obstacle and I am amazed at how calm and patient you were, at how loving you were, and at how much you cared for him and how much you relied on the Lord for strength. I read about Dora and tear up because you are so strong and mighty, because you refuse to be brought down by her death, and you are instead joyful that she is in a happier place.

    When I read about Valor, who’ll come into this world soon, I’m so amazed at the things the Lord can do.

    I’m just inspired by you. Your love for the Lord makes me feel like I should try harder to love Him. It makes me glad to know that there are people like you out there; people who love the Lord with all their heart and soul and mind and strength and will never fail to trust Him. I feel so honored to have read about you and be able to continue reading about you, and even though we will probably never meet, know that you’ve changed me. I know now what a person who is full of the Lord looks like.

    They look like a Gjertsen.

  11. Pam says:

    I started reading your blog when James was just four months old, and have followed along; praying, rejoicing, and crying with you. What a testament of God’s great love and mercy and most of all, grace!! God bless you.

  12. Sachu says:

    Beautiful post, Abby. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    You look stunning, and I really can’t wait to meet Valor!

    It’s so wonderful remembering James once again. He just lights up my day with his beautiful eyes and such long eye lashes…

    I keep you, John, Dora, sweet baby James and Valor in my prayers.

    All the best and waiting for the 27th!

    Sabrina from Argentina

  13. PCBO says:

    Sorrowful yet always rejoicing with you.

  14. Ann Jay says:

    I agree with Samanth’s comments completely. You will never know all the countless number of people that you and your family have touched! I want to encourage you to never give up on putting your blog into book form. It is never too late to encourage others with the wisdom, faith and love that you express so beautifully! I’m praying for you as you wait to meet Valor! God’s peace be with you this week! Your anticipation much be off the chart. I know I’m excited, too.

  15. Caligirl9 says:

    I like to think that is what James saw, and that is what everyone who knows and trusts in Him will see.
    I am so jealous of how beautiful you look, the glow of pregnancy. I have no doubt Valor will be blessed and bring many blessings. And you will have so much fun with a baby … doing the baby things. Doesn’t make James’ life any less dear, but how different it will be, and what great parents you will make!
    James and Dora are right there too! My daughter knows about her five siblings she never met, that I never met, and they are still people I think about, 20+ years later.

  16. Nicole G says:

    Congratulations on the impending birth of your new baby, 4 days after my own birthday! I just spent the last couple of hours reading James’ story. I found it very inspiring, and will definitely have to show it to my mom, a NICU nurse. And I’ll be reading your blog from now on. Have a great last week of pregnancy! 🙂

  17. Kathy says:

    You look radiant Abby! You and John are both dearly loved by so many! The impact the Lord has / will have on others through your willingness to share your lives with honesty and openness is far reaching. We are anticipating Valor’s birth this week with great rejoicing!

  18. Ashley says:

    Re: Caligirl9- your post is spot on. I’m a firm believer in that siblings watch over their families. One of my former coworkers had had twins (a boy & a girl), and her little girl passed away at 4 months. Her son is now 5, and she’ll occassionally find him in his room talking by himself, and when she asks him who he’s talking to, he says “My angel sister.” Valor will always have James & Dora.

  19. punxxi says:

    You look so beautiful and at peace….personally I’m going nuts waiting for Valor!

  20. Stephanie says:

    Baby James waking up to see Jesus… now that’s a mental picture that will stay in my mind for a long time. And I have a feeling that that’s exactly how it happened.
    I concur with everyone else who’s said you look great, Abby! 🙂 Can’t wait to “meet” Valor!

  21. Wendy says:

    I found James’s blog several months ago, on a night when I was feeling run down (aka sorry for myself) because my own son just wouldn’t let me get any sleep. I ended up reading the entire blog in one sitting and even though I knew how it was going to end, I just bawled and bawled. My husband and I have always been especially grateful for our beautiful son, who was a big surprise after 8 years of infertility. Reading about James was a reminder of just how lucky we really are, though. His time on Earth was short, but he touched (and continues to touch) more lives in that time than most people can ever hope to do. Thank you so much for sharing him with the world, and congratulations on this new beginning.

  22. Ashley says:

    What a lovely picture of you, Abby. You look lovely (as does Valor 😉 ). Your family and the strength you’ve found in the Lord is so inspiring and amazing to me. I wish you all the happiness in the world. I’m praying for you as you prepare to meet your second son. 🙂

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