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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Mother's Day And Grief? Here's Where I'm At.

 She was single, and overwhelmed, and scared and had been keeping an eye on my family for some time through Facebook. I hadn't personally spent time with her since my firstborn was an had been at least 12 years. I hadn't even been regularly commenting or messaging with her through social media. She was someone I added as a "friend" because I knew her and that was that. 

The initial message from her made my heart jump up and down repeatedly, but not in the way you would watch a child enjoy a trampoline. This was the kind of jump that goes with a very powerful heartbeat...and a sinking feeling in my stomach...and a "Oh, my goodness" heaviness. She was pregnant and wondered if I (and the hubster, of course) would be willing to adopt the boy she wanted to name Noah. Having a baby just didn't fit her life and the father left the picture as soon as he found out. 

The hubster and I had done a lot of work already on our end, legally speaking. We had a foster care license which meant that we had gone through the brutal and very invasive process of a home study. All she needed to do was find someone to support her through the process in her state. 

Did I mention we lived states apart? 

No matter. I know interstate adoptions are totally a thing and would be relatively simple since we had an agency to support us and there were all kinds of free services available to her. 

Our hearts were ready for this baby and we were so excited while we were very aware that this was a delicate topic.  I kept in correspondence with my friend and asked her how appointments were going, etc. and I tried to make sure I was sensitive to focus on her

At 14 weeks gestation she found out the baby would have xyy syndrome and the Doctors made the condition sound awful while urging her to terminate the pregnancy. My poor friend was physically alone with all the thoughts and pressures and unknowns. In the meantime, she was finding contacts who would help her with her decision to adopt. 

On November 2 of 2018, I got the message.

"I went through with the termination. The stress got to me. It was the hardest decision to make. I hope Jesus doesn't hate me."

My heart was so heavy and yes, I cried. However, in this particular situation I knew that my focus needed to be on her and showing her compassion. It was such a wrestling match that happened within me. I went back and forth with all the questions.

"Why did she choose that?"

"What will happen with her now? Is she going to be ok?"

"Who is around her to help support her through this?"

"Is it fair for me to feel mad?"

"Where do I turn with this great feeling of loss?"

So many questions piled up. 

I didn't even talk to many people about it because I felt it was best to fully deny my own thoughts, feelings, and grief. Just sweep that all to the side, Amy, this is not about you. 

I spoke with my friend a few times and told her again and again that she is loved. Any Christian who would attack her for her choice is not one I want to identify with. I set my grieving and feelings and questions aside so I could be present with her and hear her out and build her back up as much as I could. I saw that in our picture, 2 moms were experiencing loss at the same time but she was facing so much of it on her own and in ways I can never imagine. 

In the meantime, a local friend had a pregnancy that ran along the same timeline as Noah's. She had her son just a couple weeks before Noah's due date. 

I could not. 

I couldn't ever hold him after he was born, while I watched my friends play rounds of "pass the baby". I tried to celebrate him and support my local friend with gifts and gift cards after he was born - but I cried at home after she opened the baby clothes. 

I never wanted to take away from the joy of new life that my friend and her family were experiencing so I stuffed and stuffed and pressed and stomped down every last one of my feelings, never to say a word lest I be judged and called jealous. I was jealous. But I wasn't jealous in a petty way. My arms were empty and I felt the pain of that every day. 

I still feel that pain.

It's 2021, and I'm just now beginning to allow myself to grieve. Noah is 2 on heaven's side. Every time I see a little "wobbler" - you know how a walking toddler kinda wobbles as they go? - I feel a sinking in my gut. I was hurting so badly this past April 24 but I never said anything to anyone about it. I just let the day go on making sure to whisper prayers to God as I tried to go to sleep that night. "Hey, Jesus. Would you please go give Noah a hug from me? I know he doesn't even know who I am...unless you told him? ...Maybe it's me who needs the hug. Amen."

This loss is the strangest kind for me. I've gone back and forth about whether or not I really have the right to feel anything. Do I? 

Regardless of my rights, I'm hurting and trying to process that hurt while I parent my own kiddos and foster another and give my "yes" to other kiddos who need a home, whether they end up here or not. 

This coming Mother's Day is one that is really stinging for me. 

I just want to see Noah's face and tell him that he had a home with us here but that heaven is so much better than anything we could have given him. 

I pray my arms hold my own kiddos a little bit closer for a little bit longer and that I find the grace to have continuous gratitude for all the good gifts I have in life. 

I don't know if you're someone who's been in this position before? I kind of feel like I'm on an island here and no one really understands the landscape. If you do know how this feels, oh I hope you also know God's love for this kind of pain. He has been consistent for me and has helped me be strong when I need to be while catching the tears that fall when I can't hold them in any longer. 

This Mother's Day, I pray that as I feel the sting of loss, I find the gifts in my life that bring pure joy.

I love you, Noah. 

Love, me. 


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