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Completing the Puzzle

If you told me when I was in the throes of infertility, that motherhood would be this hard, I wouldn’t have believed you.

We spent eleven, long, painful years waiting. Every cycle, every month, being disappointed. Surgeries, medications, supplements, doctors visits, specialists, charts — for years, I thought it would never end.

And in July 2012, I was done. After a week of painful ultrasounds that were not easy to schedule because of a course, with compulsory attendance, I was taking. I went to Adoration and cried in front of Jesus and surrendered it all. I gave him my brokenness, my disappointments and dream of becoming a biological mother.

Only He knew that it would take four more years to find my children.

Looking through the lens of after, I can see that the foundation was being laid for my family. We found our forever home. I got a bigger vehicle. I opened my heart to all of the different possibilities that could come for our family of two.

And the moment I saw their photos, in the last two pages of the profile book that rainy Saturday afternoon, I knew. I knew they were the children that God had prepared me for. Every fibre of my being knew that all of the heartache and pain that we endured was for them.

Now, ten months into motherhood, my entire world has been turned upside down. My quiet, predictable life, is no longer. There are so many rewards, but there have also been so many tears — not just from the children, but from me.  I am humbled every day, and having to give so much of myself has truly been the most difficult part of my transition to motherhood.

Would I go back to childlessness?

Never.

Do I sometimes forget that the kids weren’t always here?

Every day.

So, here I stumble. Trying to accepting my new reality, regardless of my lack of confidence and self-doubt.  And hopefully, I can muddle through motherhood without causing too much harm.

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