Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Joy in the Mourning

It was 3:12 when I first looked at the clock this morning.  
I laid Samsel back in bed shortly after 1 and it felt like I had just fallen back to sleep. 
 I awoke with a start and not for the usual reason of little boy voices calling "mommy."

I woke up sad.  
And I'm not just talking a melancholy heart type of sad.
I woke up with a grieving heart and at first my mind couldn't figure out why I was so overcome with sadness. As the grogginess faded, I became more aware of the source of my grief.  

My sweet children.  
Each so precious, so loved, 
so unbelievably grafted into my heart and soul.

I continued laying in bed; not wanting to get up but unable to quell my heart. 
I said a few prayers for my little loves and tried to go back to sleep.
Sleep was elusive. 

I looked at the clock again,  it read 3:48 and I climbed out of bed;
exhausted but with an aching heart.  
I tiptoed into Sammy's room and sat in my rocker.
His fingers peeked out of the side of his crib and his breaths were so steady.
And I started to cry.  And pray.

It is the most beautiful yet ugliest thing that is of the utmost necessity in this world.
It is hard, 
heart breaking, 
stems from the greatest losses my kids will ever know...

And tonight, this morning, I grieve for that. 
I grieve for their losses; the ones they know and the ones they may never recognize. 
For their first families that they don't know, can't remember or maybe worse, have forgotten.

For their questions; the questions that I have no answers to and the questions that we can answer but where the answers may cause my children even more pain. 

"For the Lord will not cast off forever, but though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love" Lamentations 3:31-32

I prayed over Samsel one last time; begging God to give Matt and I the proper words to soothe his heart when the time comes for him to ask these hard questions and moved on to the big boys room. 

Thomas and Gabriel.  
Their stories are vastly different but end in the same way; 
the need for adoption and them finding their way into our family.  
I am so thankful that adoption made that brought these two boys together.
Brothers from two different mothers but also with the same mother.
It's complex, deep and a lot for little hearts to understand. 

As I sat on the rug between their beds I could hear both Thomas' steady breaths and Gabe's deep sighs. I read once that a way to connect with your newly adopted older child is to check on them when they're sleeping; that even though they're asleep their subconscious is aware that someone is near them; adjusting their covers, touching their cheek, quietly loving them.  So I do that every night; before I go to bed I tiptoe into their rooms and tuck them in one last time.  
Perhaps their heart will know.  Perhaps not.  It is however, good for my heart. 

I prayed for Thomas and Gabe; 
that they will always know the love we have for them and the love that God has for them. And that the love their first families had for them; that it will live in their hearts forever.  
I prayed that they will always seem themselves as we see them; beautiful and perfectly made in His image.  
I pray they don't define themselves by their adoption, their skin color or their abilities but in all knowing peace that they are loved beyond measure. 

I missed so much with each of my children but the most with Thomas.  
I will never know what his first word was, when he took his first step or what his baby giggles sounded like.  
And I grieve that; 
for me because I missed it and for him, because I can't tell him about it. 
But I will be here for many more firsts.  
I watched him ride his bike for the first time without training wheels.
I heard him read his first book.
I'll get to watch him learn to drive, graduate high school, get married and have kids. 
I'll get to see that with all of my children.  
As I rejoiced in that and sat beside their beds, my heart reminded me once again of loss. 
And this time my heart grieved for my babies first families; because they who loved them first, will miss these big moments.  
And all the little ones.

The boys will be up soon.  
First Gabe, then Samsel, then Thomas.
That's how it goes most mornings.  
They wake up one at a time but each one wakes up with so much joy. 

And as grieved as my heart is right now, I know my joy will match theirs.  
Seeing their smiles, their well rested eyes.
Hearing "good morning, Mommy" from Thomas and Gabe or "Mommy, I wake up" from Samsel; it will fill my heart with joy.

Joy always follows mourning.
And this morning, like most mornings, joy will settle on our household.  

King David wasn't kidding when he sang 
"weeping may tarry for the night, 
but joy comes with the morning" 
Psalm 30:5

As my heart begins to give me a reprieve this morning and the grief begins to abate; I sit here and remind myself that yes, adoption comes from loss; a huge loss.  
But that huge loss does not have to define my children.  
Adoption, dear ones, is hard and ugly. 
There is a daily battle in our house to continue to win the hearts and trust of our children;
to teach them that no matter what we will always love them.

But it is breathtakingly beautiful.  
To see a smile, feel an outstretched hand reach for yours, hear that first belly laugh...
It is worth every hard moment, tear and misstep.  
Adoption is about redemption; 
redeeming a lost heart, 
proving that no matter how hard, how long or how fierce the battle...
love will find a way and it will win. 

1 comment:

Jenny Marrs said...

So very beautiful. Tears reading this, friend.