One month ago we moved Baby Boy into his new home and family.
He is well, he is loved, and he has a bright and hopeful future. We get to have a relationship with him and have visited him a few times. For all of that, we are grateful.
I have been quiet in this space for many months. Life began to unravel from every direction in the beginning of Fall and the words that normally lay a path between my brain and heart, tangled and bled together and abandoned me.
This is a winter of deep sadness coursing through every day. We are functioning: working, cooking, eating, playing, sleeping, driving, reading, talking and even laughing. But there is an ache that never leaves and rises up and swallows me in a moment. Tears spill without warning, especially when I stumble into stillness or monotonous activity. The empty space in our home, at our table, in our car, in the shopping cart, at family gatherings, and in every single memory, thought and decision I’ve made for over a year, crushes me with the weight of his absence. The pain I feel from his perspective, wondering what happened to us, is a terrifying chasm I constantly have to back away from.
I’ve never known grief like this before. I have never felt such powerlessness and anger at a decision, made by strangers, whose words can rearrange a child’s family like a doll in a dollhouse.
We are back to a family of four, but not one of us is the same person and we are not the same family. It’s too soon to know who exactly we are yet. Or to describe the grace that has accompanied the suffering.
I’m thankful for the words of others; the poets and musicians and truth-tellers. They have buoyed my soul, strummed a melody for my tears, and defined my lament.
Dear friends and family members walked closely with us these last few months. They have been ministering angels. One such poet-friend sent me these words the morning after a particularly devastating day.
When we held the tiny package of you
We saw your sweet face, your precious hands
Your funny toes
But we didn’t know
That you were a catalyst
That would propel us into
The deep water wading of faith
We didn’t birth you
But you birthed us
Into people we weren’t before
The flood will lessen
The waters recede
And we will keep going
Stronger than we were
Before your sweet face
I don’t have any deep closing words to that right now. But if you are one of the lucky ones who has seen Baby Boy’s toes, I know you are smiling.