Friday, May 25, 2012

Choosing to live, despite the grief

I find that I am not visiting blog land very often any more.  I have a few blogs I follow that I check in on, but rarely comment anymore.  I do love seeing healthy open adoption relationships and I really like watching as so many of you adoptive mothers share and interact with your children's birth families.  That part will always bring me joy.  So I don't think I will ever stop coming back from time to time to check in on my 'friends'.

With today being the 25th, and holding the knowledge that I will receive a Brit update today, I have reflected about what has changed within me that has altered the way I have been expressing my grief lately.  Lack of blogging is visible evidence of this change.

While I did not believe that it could happen, I am coming to terms with our situation.  I still don't like it.  Without a doubt, I want a real relationship with our daughter and her family.  The kind of relationship that includes two-sided conversation and mutual respect for each other.

That is not where we are.  It is obvious that is not where they want to be right now.  That makes me sad.  But as hard as I have fought, and the endless tears that I have shed, have not changed a thing.  They stand fast in their decision to limit their interaction with us to monthly emails and what appears to be a yearly visit.

But now, instead of crying without ceasing, I find myself thinking that it is a crying shame that this is how things are.  Poor Brit is missing out.  Even more so, Brit's parents are missing out.

BF and I are really good people.  We are fun.  We are great parents.  We are great aunts and uncles.  We are great friends.  We even get along with our former spouses.  We are the kind of people who care about others and we do what we can to support the people in our lives.  We have great kids who would love to know their sister.  They would enjoy playing with her and talking with her.  They would be so good to her, just as they are so good to their cousins and even the little princess we take care of on the weekends. (The one year old daughter of my friend who chose to parent instead of placing.)  Our kids would love a relationship with Brit just as much as we would.

It's a shame that Brit's parents do not appreciate that we could be their biggest cheerleaders.  Instead, they have chosen to purposely exclude us as much as they can.

But I that was not our choice.  It is theirs alone.

We continue to reach out.  And we will continue to reach out.

We will continue to send Brit cards and small gifts.  I also think I may start a journal for her, so she knows about what our family was doing while she was growing up somewhere else.  I want her to know that we thought about her everywhere we went and in everything we did.

I still cry.  I also still wake in the middle of the night with a deep ache that is caused by missing part of my heart.  I dream about her.  And everywhere I go something reminds me of her.

But I am doing a better job of living.  I am allowing myself the freedom to enjoy the children who I am parenting.  I don't think I will ever forgive myself for my adoption decision.  But, at least I am figuring out a way to keep living despite that regret.

Sometimes I even catch myself thinking about how great it will be to someday have a relationship with a daughter who is old enough to choose to have her own relationship with us.  I pray that the desire in her heart to know us will be as great as the desire we have to know her.  And I hope that her genetics will have created a heart in her that is like mine, a heart that will bring her back to us.

So today I will wait.  Because for a few moments today I will get to read about what is she is doing now, and see a new picture or two of what she looks like now.  BF and I will talk about how adorable she is and marvel at her newest accomplishments. And I will cry.

Then, I will get up and go tend to the children I have in my house. Because I have to keep living.

Here are a few pics of the life we have had lately...

Explaining to BF that he had just arrived home to a huge surprise 40th bday party in his honor

BF and me in the kitchen at his party

Fun times on the trampoline

Me and the princess at one of the boy's soccer games

Lisa and BF having fun dressing princess up
Pretty Easter dress

Embarrassing my son by wearing a hat at his baseball  tournament

Me and BF walking along the strip in Vegas last weekend (terrible picture, great memory)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Words to write upon my heart

I know I have not posted in a long time.  I have unfinished posts waiting to be published.  I just have not been here in the blog world.  I have instead been present in the REAL world.  Which is a good place to be.

But today I just had to share.  I read the following words on a Caring Bridge page for a little girl (who I do not know, but have prayed for) who has been battling a brain tumor that just won't stay away.  Her mother's posts are unbelievable testaments to grief, hope and above all else, faith in her Savior.

Her words today are in response to the fact that they just finished the last chemo treatment for her now 6 year old daughter.  And now they wait.  The cancer that appears to be gone right now, will come back again.  It has done it before.  This cancer has a 0-5% survival rate.  Yes, that is right.  Her daughter will not grow up.  She will not ever become the amazing adult that we all envision our child to become.  Someday in the near future her daughter will be fighting cancer again, and will likely not live through it.

How do you live with impending grief like that?

These words that she speaks at the end of her most recent post hit me like a ton of bricks.  Not only in response to how it applies to their situation, but I also don't think I could have heard words that are more appropriate to my situation.

Like me, she is grieving the loss of a child who is still alive.  But unfortunately, our situations will have a much different ending.  I have hope for the future with my daughter.  This mother's joy lies in the here and now (and ultimately in eternal reunification in heaven).  This mom has numbered days left with her daughter here on earth.  Yet what she says should be words that we all write upon our hearts.

"So that is the ugly reality of the disease. Even with last doses of drugs, there is the not so subtle angst of the unknown. I could leave it there, ask for pity and forever morn that life will never be the same. Because it won't. But here is what I am painstakingly finding. Joy can come again. Jesus can interlace moments of peace and deep joy amidst our biggest heartaches. 

I still struggle with this journey we are on. Don't know that I ever wont. But it reminds me to live a little more reckless for the things I believe in, and to hold loosely that which can't last. And to realize that our journey might look altogether different than someones else's. And rather than look enviously at theirs, find how we can live fully in ours."

-Holly Mcrae
from post titled the last dose... at Kate Mcrae's Caring Bridge