Monday, November 16, 2009

Loss, Grief, & Rejoicing Intertwined

"Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again...My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you."
Psalm 71:20,23

I've been a poor blogger lately due to a heavy heart pre-occupied by sad news. A few weeks ago we found out I was pregnant, and then at six weeks I miscarried. I finally feel like I'm able to put a small bit of this experience into words. Thus, getting re-started on this blog feels like a dreaded, big step right now. Writing about it is yet one more confirmation of our loss, but it's also a needed step of closure for me. So, bear with me as this is just the beginning of my intertwining thought process.

I'm unable to explain it, but these past two weeks of grieving through my personal loss I've felt an unusual attachment to the Ethiopian baby's birth mother. I will probably never meet this woman, and I may never know the circumstances to why she chose to hand over her precious baby. But right now my heart and soul grieve with her for the loss she has experienced or is about to experience. I find my mind causing me to think the worse not about her but about her she somewhere dying of Aids; is she desperately poor & feels she can no longer make ends meet; is she lonely & feeling hopeless? I grieve for the unknowns of her life. Whatever her circumstance, my heart aches for her and it yearns for her to find the peace of Jesus that is sometimes easiest to recognize in our strongest hardships.

So, yes, even in this grief we're so very grateful that God is preparing us for the arrival of our child from Ethiopia. In some ways, this child from Ethiopia has been my hope. The miscarriage has ignited my passion to fight harder for that baby and I'm beginning to feel first-hand what it means when the books say, in adoption "we are parenting from loss" (MacLeod 5). While we rejoice that we're getting a new member of our family from Ethiopia, and we're excited to add to our family and become a multi-cultural, multi-racial family, this adoption is based upon loss. We will experience the loss of not being able to carry this child and care for the little one for the first months of his life. Now, we'll add the component of loss due to miscarriage. And while everyone may think that this child is "so lucky" to be gaining a family in America, this poor little one will experience more loss than most of us will suffer entire lives. He will have been handed over by his own mother, and losing his country, language, extended family, caregivers, history, and comfort of being with others who look like him. So, yes our hearts skip with excitement when we dream about this adoption happening and holding our little one for the first time, but right now this momma is grieving over the loss of a miscarried "belly baby" (as explained to Ellie) and I'm grieving for the suffering that our Ethiopian baby & his Momma have (or will) endured.

I've appreciated the following statement that is referring to adopted children, but I think can be applied to anyone who has suffered a loss: "If we work with our children to honor their loss, it can be incorporated, and the child can function as a whole again. Then grief & loss are still part of the child, but no longer the dominant part" (MacLeod 174). For me, honoring loss right now means acknowledging that my miscarriage was real and painful, and while this loss will always have a place in our family's story we can rejoice at the joy that awaits us ahead. This little one will not be forgotten. that feels good to get that written out. And thanks to Megan for giving me the Scripture that I've clung to:

"Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again...My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you."
Psalm 71:20,23



Ashley said...

Michelle and Riley, I am so sorry for your loss! :( Wish we lived closer... miss you guys. Your post was really well written BTW.

Mama2SweetBabyJames said...

Hey, I'm a friend of Michelle G and she sent me the link to your blog. So sorry for your loss. I miscarried my baby at 11 weeks at the end of September.

I found the words of Molly Piper (who miscarried a baby very late in pregnancy) to be comforting and true. You can read them on my blog

Praying for you.

Maybe Tomorrow said...

Dear Michelle - I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear baby. I too know the pain of miscarriage and it is such a difficult thing - I struggled with knowing how to grieve . . . I pray that your sharing this WILL be a part of the healing. Thank you for letting your blog readers into your heart so that I can better pray for you during this time.

Kerri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kerri said...

Michelle, I am so sorry for your family's loss. I had no idea that you were pregnant until I spoke to my mom earlier today. You all are in Scott and my thoughts and prayers.

Carri said...

Hi Michelle - Brave words here, my sister.... So good for me to hear... love you.