If you ask me how I’m doing, I’ll probably cry. If you give me a hug, I’ll probably cry. If you tell me you care, squeeze my hand, or catch my eye, I’ll probably cry. And, you know what? That’s okay.
All my life I’ve been the strong one, the responsible oldest sister, the one who makes things happen. No one ever called me the sensitive or tender hearted one. I built up a thick protection, hiding all pain and sorrow in little compartments to be kept hidden unless I was alone. To me pain was private and personal, not to be shared, not open for public viewing.
Then God gave and God took away. First sweet five month old Meggie, and then bubbly eight month old Jenna. Where I once sat and rocked two tiny babies, I now sit and hold two little outfits, outfits that I press to my face vainly trying to recapture that precious baby scent.
When we lost Meg, I avoided anyone who wasn’t family. I would leave a room quickly to avoid having my tears be seen. I carefully avoided places where I would feel vulnerable. We didn’t attend church for a month. We lost Jenn four days ago. Today, I sat in church with a weeping son huddled under each arm, and I wept, and beside us my mom …
I hold her close against my chest long after she surrenders to sleep, cherishing these precious moments with the daughter whom I have only a few more days with…
When we brought baby Jennifer home from the hospital there was every indication that we would be adopting her. The months passed. The certainty grew, as did her place in our hearts. With her gregarious personality and happy chortle she became an integral part of our lives. Then, her parents changed their minds. A terrible caseworker combined with an apathetic lawyer in an overtaxed foster and court system to make a perfect storm of a foster care mess.
But, through it all God protected this baby. He used us to meet her needs in ways which no one else could. Now, we have just a short time left with her, and as I rock her to sleep I wonder: How do you fit a lifetime of love into a few short days, especially knowing that she may never experience it again? How do I let go and trust that God can care for her without my help?
Time passes and the night wears on. Jenn sighs in her sleep and lays her little fist against my chest. I stroke her tiny fingers one at a time trying to memorize the little dimples in each …