Love Hurts

 

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Our son was reading a book to me this afternoon.  The story was about the Puritans, who sailed from Holland to the New World in the early 1600s…

“My wife, Dorothy, and I have decided to leave behind our three-year-old son, John.  The journey is expected to be dangerous.  We have wrestled in mighty prayer to know whether or not we should bring him.  We believe that God has told us that John would be safer if he stayed.  He will be cared for…”

(an excerpt from “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims,” by Rush Limbaugh)

As he read, an image of his biological mother suddenly came to mind.  Granted, she did not ask that he be adopted.  Unlike the Puritans of old, she did not leave him with us to protect him from the dangers that lay ahead.  Sadly, she could not see with clarity her own struggles and fought every step of the way against the adoption.

In a bit of a turnaround, he (our son) was the one who needed to go on a journey… to his own “new world.”  He had no idea who to trust or what to expect.  He knew that he could no longer remain with his mother, but whether he truly understood why…  We may never know.

What I felt in that moment – as I sat looking at him read – was a sense of awe and wonder.

Does our son know that it is okay to still love his mother?  Does he know that it is perfectly natural to miss her?  I wondered if he ever does??  My heart was moved to hope that he will remember her from time to time.  He needs to remember.  He needs to grieve.

I thought back on the Puritans and how it must have hurt them to leave behind those they loved and venture on to a world yet unknown.  What great faith they must have had!

In a similar way, I found myself sitting beside a young man who has no idea yet how very strong he really is.  He doesn’t know it, perhaps, but it took great faith for him, too…

Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.  (1 Peter 5:7)

Let the Healing Begin

Today, I found this letter…

April 29, 2012

My Dearest Child,

I really missed you today. Your daddy and I went to your cousin’s baptism at the church where I grew up. It seemed like everyone was there – Grandma & Grandpa, 3 of your uncles & their wives and 7 of your cousins. Even your adopted uncle was there, along with his 2 children.

You were there, too… in my heart.

I did okay, I guess. I really do love seeing all of the children, but it gets hard sometimes. I see their faces and I wonder what you look like. I hear their laughter and wonder about the sound of your voice. When will God finally allow us to meet?

You are so close to His Heart, my little one. Has He shared His will with you? I will always trust Him, but I must admit that perseverance can be a real challenge.

When the pastor introduced your cousin as the newest member of the Church, I couldn’t stop the tears. Your daddy was right there – holding my hand. He is always watching over me, you know? That’s just how your daddy is – a protector. I know it troubles his heart to see me hurting.

Seeing that precious little baby – now clothed in his new, white garment – I just couldn’t help but wonder about the day when we will give you back to God…

Perhaps that day is today? After all, God loves you more than I ever could and He knows what is best for us all. While I know that I must entrust you to Him, I will never stop praying for you and hoping that one day we will meet, my little one. Please pray for me!

Your Loving Mother,

I wrote it on the day I first realized that it was time to let the healing begin.

One of the medical conditions that I have can disrupt the environment in my womb and make it impossible for a newly conceived baby to implant there and grow.  So…  One of the difficulties that I have carried (and imagine I will carry all of my life) is not knowing.  Have my husband and I conceived a child who was lost before we ever knew he was even there?

I began this process of writing letters to acknowledge that possibility…

Whether or not our child lives,  I need to name him.  

I need to acknowledge how much I have hoped and prayed for him to be… and I need to give voice to the pain of letting him go.

I may never hold him in my arms, but God knows the deepest desires of my heart.  God knows how I would love him if I could.

This letter was the first in a journey… to give him back to God.

I am amazed – as I look back on this letter now – to see it in the context of what was about to take place in my life.  Within two months of writing these words and beginning this healing journey, I found myself (unexpectedly) back in the Operating Room – a passage into the toughest 1 1/2 years of my life (medically speaking).  Yet, by my choice to allow this healing to begin, God was able to strengthen me in ways I never could have imagined nor hoped for!  May He be praised!!

“The Child Who Was Never Born”

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Sculpture by Martin Hudaceka

Though originally created to grieve the pain and loss of abortion, this sculpture speaks volumes.  In its haunting simplicity, it gives us a glimpse into the heart and soul of every woman who has ever longed for a child whom they could not hold.

Former First Lady Laura Bush, in her book, “Spoken from the Heart,” says it all:

The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence.  For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child, or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful, some not.  Still, we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only, “I am sorry for your loss.”  But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness.  For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent, ephemeral shadows over their lives.  Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?

“Finding Forever” is a blog about HOPE!

The journey does not end in grief…  We must pass through the grief and allow God to heal us.  Only then can we find a new beginning.

With love from your sisters on the journey…

Jen & Terri