Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Beautiful Anton

I sent my family to church without me, which I never do... because sometimes you just need a minute, you know? I've needed several over the last week and a half.

I'm sure many of you have heard by now, but for those of you who haven't, Sweet Anton went to be with Jesus last night. Do you remember him? I first saw his picture and found out he needed a forever family in early February of 2011. I have NEVER in my life felt so pricked and so immediately called to do something as I did the first time I saw his face. On that day he stole a piece of my heart and I knew I would never be the same.


Do you remember what happened next? Do you remember how God moved? Do you remember how He used me AND YOU and so many beautiful, wonderful, life-giving, love-exuding people to fight for Anton? To give him hope and a future? Do you remember how we came together to find him a family, started Hope for Anton and fundraised to bring him home? Do you remember how God used us to change a little boy's life forever? Do you remember the God story?


Do you remember when I had never met Vanessa but she came here and lived with us for a week to learn everything she could about EB? We met for the first time when I picked her up at the airport and that day she stole a piece of my heart and I knew I would never be the same. She is one of the most incredible people I've ever met and we were instant friends, even sisters.


Do you remember how God entwined our lives and wrote a beautiful story of love, redemption and faithfulness that changed not only Anton, not only their family's life, but ours as well? Her story became mine and my story became hers and God did something so big it took my breath away and I wondered in awe why in the world He would let me be a part of something so amazingly spectacular. 











Do you know how I have loved that child as if he were my very own from the moment I saw his face? Do you know how the light he gave to the world changed it forever and how it is ever so much darker now that he is gone? 



I got to travel to Minnesota over the weekend to see him and tell him goodbye. I can't believe I had to tell him goodbye.



                         

And now he's gone. And I know where he is and that he no longer suffers. I know that God is good and Anton is healed and whole and running and jumping and playing and wrestling. I know that he's met his older sisters by now and hopefully even run into Gabe and Tripp. I know he's in the arms of Jesus.

But my heart is breaking. I miss his voice and his light that radiated from Russia to Texas to Minnesota and back again. I miss his silliness and his sheer will to fight and live. I miss the happiness he unleashed wherever he went... and even where he didn't. One day I'll be okay. But today is not that day. I miss Anton. As Vanessa said, he charmed the world.



And we will never be the same.

24 comments:

Cristin Thurman said...

Bless his sweet heart! Prayers for everyone!

Mary Ann Haymaker said...

Absolutley heart breaking. I have followed Anton's beautiful story from the beginning. My love and prayers are with his family, you and all who loved him. My heart and life are forever changed.

Lauren said...

Oh no. This is so tragic. Anytime a child passes away it just breaks my heart. I'm so glad he found his way to a family so he could be loved before he left the earth. Hugs to you and his family. :(

Anonymous said...

Oh sweet Anton. Praying for the family.

Anonymous said...

I have followed Anton's story and remember when you first introduced him to us. My heart breaks for all who loved and cared for him as well as his caregiver family in Russia. It's a good thing we know God is in control.....
Kim, Grand Rapids, MI

Anonymous said...

Healing prayers for both your families.

Jessica said...

So many tears here the last few days. I do remember...and I remember when Vanessa went to stay with you, and how, amazed I was at what God was doing. On the one day at church not quite a year ago, there was this lovely new family. The Delgados were here in MN for Antons BMT. Our whole church has grown to love this whole family, and our hearts are broken. Broken yet rejoicing that Anton is safe in the arms of Jesus, and he is healed.
Anton was able to be in church several weeks ago. He gave me the sweetest little look and wave from across the aisle. I'll never forget that.
I'm so thankful for you, for the Delgados, for the privilege of meeting sweet Anton, and for God's amazing grace and faithfulness through this whole story...even if we, in our finite hearts and minds, wish it hadn't ended so soon.

Laura Anderson said...

I was thinking today how you played such a HUGE part in Anton's life. And how so many people came together to help bring him here. And how the Delgados knew he was theirs from the moment Vanessa saw his picture. I cannot believe he is gone. My heart breaks for the Delgados, and for your family as well. Praise God that Anton is healed - I hope he's playing with Gabe, and Tripp, and his big sisters, too! I also hope he meets my mom - she loved children so much, and they all loved "Miss Martha."

Thanks so much for sharing this.

PS - EB totally stinks. :(

Galen said...

I am so very sorry, Patrice. May God bless and comfort all who cherished this precious little one. Anton's smiling eyes speak of the immense love he experienced and the happiness he felt in spite of the immense pain into which he was born. You were the hands and feet of Jesus and helped make that happen. God couldn't possibly have chosen a better helper. I pray tonight that God will bind up your and the Delgados' compassionate, kind, loving, broken hearts.

Anonymous said...

I've been hearing about Anton just as I hear about your Jonah. What precious boys. Anton's immediate family is in my prayers. I'm praying for you, dear heart, and little Jonah as well.

Jacki Walsh said...

Goodbye for now sweet boy. Thank you for bringing so much to this world and sharing it so generously.

Jacki Walsh said...

Goodbye for now sweet boy. Thank you for bringing so much to this world and sharing it so generously.

Anonymous said...

Wow that touched my heart so beautifully written. I believe God puts us exactly where we need to be to help others. Thank you for sharing his story and may Anton be happy and free playing gracefully <3.

Kristin said...

Thank you for writing this. I remember the whole process of his story--of him being abandoned by his parents, an act so cold and cruel that actually led to the most beautiful story of love and redemption. Thank you for posting that video--it was nice to see you cry, not because I want to see you be sad, but it shows how hard it was for you all to be brave for Anton. I never got to meet him, but I followed his life and prayed for him, and I'm having a hard time seeing in color right now. Everything seems dull, colorless, and gray. I prayed so hard for him to be free of pain and I so hated and dreaded the moment that approached where he would leave his family forever. He was a precious, beautiful boy, and we will all miss the light he brought. May we mourn with submission to the One who gives and takes away. May the Delgado family seek the Lord for the strength to once again bury a sweet child of theirs and find a way to live. And I pray that the memory of Anton will be forever etched into the memories of Kenya and Judah, and his friends.

Hannah Jarman said...

I never knew about EB before Anton and now my heart and soul is forever changed. My heart aches for you. What a beautiful, sweet boy he was. And you are truly an inspiration as a mother. Many hugs and prayers to you!

mindy m. said...

Thinking of you, as you mourn an incredible boy. We are all so saddened at the loss of such a light in this world.

Lourdes C said...

...Goodbye, sweet Anton ... goodbye! :'( You are in God's hands now, mo more
pains Baby...no more pains! You are amazing, sweet little one! <3
With my deepest sympathy to the family :'( My heart is mourning, too.
God bless you all! <3

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

LisserB said...

I remember. I remember seeing his picture on your blog the very first time and feeling instantly connected too. I've followed every single post since. I remember reading when he was matched with the Delgado's and excitedly messaging Vanessa on her blog, inadvertently breaking the news to her, because I saw it before she did. I remember realizing that Anton and Judah had the exact same birthday, and being so awed by how this story was being written, how the Delgado's had lost twins, how Anton had been left without his own twin and how now they would both have their "twins" back.

I cheered when I heard that he was finally on American soil, and watched happily as he grew along with his sweet brother and sister.

My heart hurts for the Delgado's and for everyone who knew and loved such an amazing little boy. He left his mark on the world and he will live in in so many hearts. I know I will never forget him.

CWestlake said...

I remember reading all of this story back when you first wrote about it, and I have been following their Facebook page and crying with them. And yet, still praising, for our awesome God and the way he has moved in so many people's hearts and lives because of this sweet boy. I pray for comfort for his amazing family.

Leia said...

I have followed his story from the first day and it was beautifully written, while everyone had hoped for a different outcome, I have peace knowing that Anton is no longer suffering on Earth, but healed in Heaven and watching over us with a smile. The love that he was shown by his family and strangers who loved him just the same was a blessing. Anton touched so many lives in his short time with us and was a real fighter. I have never seen a more infectious smile from anyone going through what that sweet boy endured. I pray for the Delgado's during this time of grieving and having to return home without Anton, I hope they know that they truly made a difference and without them Anton would not have known true love like he so deserved. Words just cannot describe how many people loved this little boy, but your post is awesome, you truly have a way with words and touching peoples lives. Thank you for sharing. HUGS

Mauren Hovey said...

My deepest prayers for all' i will continue to keep you in prayer as you go through this most saddest of journeys...May God bring you comfort and strength'...

April Witcher said...

I do remember, I have followed you for years and through you began to follow Anton and his sweet family. It is an amazing thing how you can feel so close to people you have never met but not only did I feel like they were family but my kids also felt that way. My daughter prayed for him and his family every night and it touched my heart to know that sweet Anton could touch her life without ever meeting her. I cried when I read the news but like I told my son, in many ways it is a happy thing because Anton would be spending Christmas with Jesus this year and he would never hurt again. I am continuing to pray for his family and for yours.

Carol said...

Yes, I too, remember sweet Anton...and the love he brought to so many. May his family and friends find comfort and peace in the surrounding family and friends as they find a "new normal" without the precious angel. Many prayers for all of you ...