Porter's Story

In October 2011, Seth and I learned that our unborn son, Porter has a condition called Trisomy 13 or Pateu's Syndrome which is not compatible with life. We chose to let God decide when Porter's life will end. These are the lessons we've learned from our Heavenly Father through the life of Porter Gray.
Isaiah 46:4

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wrapped and Covered...

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
He gently leads those who have young
                                      ~Isaiah 40:11

I love this verse. Can't you just close your eyes and see our great Shepherd holding us close to his heart? Gathering us near to Him? I need some God hugs in a big way while wading through this grief.

A hug, an embrace, or a squeeze, from someone who loves and cares for me is like medicine. A good hug from a friend is one of my favorite feelings and can be so healing. Lately, I have mostly good days and the occasional cluster of bad days. May 2nd was 2 months since we held Porter in our arms. Mother's Day is approaching which is already making my heart ache and tears well, then Monday I will return to work. The next step of moving forward and attempting to put my life back together again.

Food hugs~For those of you who have grown up in the south. You know that you love people through difficult times with food! I'm not talking salads and tofu either. I'm talkin' comfort food! Casseroles, anything with a cream sauce, pies, desserts...you name it! The meals are a blessing when you're recovering from a c-section with a 2 year old toddler and a husband working 16 hour days...
However, now I have this nice not so little "hug" of extra weight that reminds me how much you all love us! But like all good embraces, eventually, you have to let go! So I'm working extremely hard so that you all will have less of me to love!

Prayer hugs~Several weeks ago, I received something I'd never heard of...a prayer quilt! An old friend of mine from high school completely surprised me with a quilt made by a group of women at her church. The women sew the quilt and add tassels. For every prayer that has been said for you a knot is tied in a tassel. So I can literally, wrap myself in prayers! Isn't that the most amazing idea? A physical reminder of how people are praying for you when you are hurting? In my darkest moments, I can wrap myself in these prayers and go to God and let my heart cry out to him. I can't tell you how much I've needed this physical reminder of your prayers now that the dust has settled and all has gone quiet.

Let me just say, I love all your hugs! We are healing with the help of you all. Thank you for those of you who have continued to send a little message, card or text or anything our way to let us know you are still thinking and praying for us.

Today I wrote a letter to Porter for Mother's Day. I've been wanting to do this for a while. It's not very long because what my heart feels is more than I could ever write on paper.

To my precious son, Porter,

          I miss you so much that my chest hurts and my heart physically aches for you. You were my beautiful and perfect son. I will always love you and long for the day when I will see you for who God intended you to be.

         You will forever be a part of our family, never forgotten and your life will be celebrated as a gift to be cherished from God. When I close my eyes, I can see your face and remember how it felt to kiss you. As life moves forward and I find a way to laugh and smile and enjoy our many blessings here, please know that this hole in my heart I will carry until the day we are together again.
         My son, you were beautiful, your life was beautiful and a blessing. You were intentional and meant to be ours for the short time we had you with us. I chose to take all of the pain and the heartache with great joy without regret, because you were worth it.

         You were meant for me, my son. I was meant to be your mommy and you have changed my life, my heart, and my hope, forever.


And last, I want to share one of my "hugs" from Charlene who read our blog. She wrote a message from Porter to us. Your messages mean so much to me. Charlene, I wept when I read this and was so thankful for people like you that have shared your heart with us. This was a great big hug to me!

All I know is; "I came to visit earth for a time and I was received by so many loving people adoring me. They didn't leave me alone in a cold hospital bed wondering, crying and feeling unloved. They embraced me with all the love they had inside. They took pictures of me so they would never forget my face. I AM thanking God for this earthly experience. Now, as I depart, with a prayer in my heart, may my earthly parents continue to be as happy as they both made me from the very start!!!"

Thank you all for keeping us wrapped and covered in prayer.

Love Jeannie


  1. I love your beautiful letter to Porter, it is so sweet. I feel your deep love for him. I do not live in the south now but I know all about those southern food hugs, they sure make you feel loved and FULL :) I will be saying a prayer for you as you head back to work. Beautiful post.

  2. Your Porter was BEAUTIFUL & wonderful. God Bless you & be with you. :)