Exactly one year ago this very moment, John and I were sitting at St. Joseph's Hospital in downtown Houston awaiting the arrival of the baby that we thought would be our daughter. We waited with baited breath each time we heard the lullaby played over the loud speaker that morning. Ultimately though, we went home empty handed that day.
I can't even begin to explain the pain and sadness that we felt that morning - some people equated it to being similar to a miscarriage... only I don't think that would be accurate. I think in situations like that there are complex emotions that can't be compared or explained. I can only imagine the pain and other things that go on emotionally when you lose a baby from your own body... but I can tell you that having a failed adoption placement is unimaginable as well.
I think the fundamental difference is that you're grieving a baby that didn't pass away - it simply is living his or her life with other people. For us that was a hard pill to swallow because we knew the dire situation that her family was in, and yet someone else was rocking our baby girl that day - without the promise of being provided with the things that she needed for her life.
What a difference a year makes though, right? I wouldn't change the experience in any way - I think God certainly had a different plan for our family... and I'd say that in the long run - we've done amazing things in this year since her birth. We've got two happy and healthy boys... an impending cross country move... and a LOT to be thankful for.
A friend of mine said it best when she reminded me that Tyler was even with us that very morning... while we waited in that room... it's just hard to even put that into perspective... but it's so true, and incredible!
I love my boys with every fiber of my soul, but that little girl has a piece of my heart too. I think about her today and wonder if she's happy, healthy, and loved. I wonder if she has everything that the world has to offer her... and if her parents are still together.
Sadly, her mother chose to keep her because of the father - and being a little bit older (and hopefully slightly wiser) I know that making decisions based on a boyfriend/girlfriend just isn't a good plan. I pray that they are together not only for the sake of the baby girl - but also for the support that is needed in raising children. I pray that her mother finished the school that she was attending at the time so that she might be able to provide for her three children. (or there may be another one on the way now too)
Life can be an interesting ride. If you hold on long enough - it will all work out for the best most of the time... you may not enjoy every twist and turn, but you certainly are often changed for the better by the experiences you have in your life.
Last week, we attended a funeral and the message that morning was that life is a series of "Hellos" and "Goodbyes"... that morning we went to the hospital for what we thought would be a very special "Hello" but it turned out to be a strange form of a "Goodbye"... but it led to a couple of extra special "Hellos" that came just a short while later.
I for one, can't imagine my life any different... and wouldn't trade these guys for anything in the world...