Eiot wasn't supposed to make it to full term.
At thirty weeks into the pregnancy, Matt and Ginny Mooney were told their child had a genetic disease that made his birth unlikely. If their baby lived, it would be for only hours or perhaps a few days.
But Eliot was born and lived 99 days. And every one of those days was a gift that would change his family forever.
At Eliot's funeral, 99 balloons were released, one for each day of his life on earth. That simple act of remembrance stirred the community and received national attention. Eliot's story has been featured on Oprah and the TODAY show, and a video about his life has been seen by millions on YouTube.
And now, Eliot's father, Matt, recounts his family's remarkable journey in A Story Unfinished, a chronicle of pain, redemption, and Gods goodness even in the darkest days.
When I first chose this book I was kind of worried about reading it. It isn't usually something that I would sign myself up for. It was clear before I even opened the book that it was going to be something very emotional, and I had to decide whether that was something I was ready for. A Story Unfinished is a profoundly moving story, but it isn't just the story of the grief felt at the loss of a child. It's about what happens during that, after that, and from that. Matt and Ginny share the story of their son Eliot with the blog postings they put up to keep everyone updated about what was going on. As a parent and a Christian this book touched me deeply. While Christopher and I have never been in this situation, nor have we ever been scared about what would happen to our children, I have no doubt that we would do the same thing. Some might say its selfish, some might say it's the most heroic thing one can do. But I know that they were just doing what they knew to be right. Eliot was a precious life inside of her, and to them, that is as far as the conversation had to go.
From this experience they created 99 Balloons, a non-profit, that aids in engaging and assisting children with special needs, and their families. One of the programs they have created is rEcess, which is a monthly respite program. As a former respite caregiver myself (proving respite care for children with severe Reactive Attachment Disorder) I understand how extremely important this can be for the families. What I love about this program is that it provides one-to-one care, and also provides fun activities to siblings that are in need of special assistance as well. 99 Balloons Global program strives to bring many of the resources that are available here in the states to those in need on a global level. They recently filmed a documentary entitled "Notable," which is about living with disabilities in Uganda.
Please visit the 99 Balloons website, facebook and twitter
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4 out 5 stars
I was provided this book to review in partnership with Beacon Hill Press, as a part of their blogger team