Friday, December 4, 2015

A very personal loss

This is something I don't think I have ever shared online before. It has been very personal, private and somewhat forgotten.
In 1998 I suffered a miscarriage at approximately 12 weeks. The baby would have been our second child. The pregnancy was a surprise. I had undergone infertility services to get pregnant with Summer, our oldest and expected, when we were ready, I would have to undergo the process again.
We were thrilled. My due date was set for July 18, 1998.
But somewhere in January things went wrong. It happened with out warning or explanation. There was not time to prepare. I never had any symptoms, and with the exception of a tiny heart no longer beating, the baby was inside me, just no longer living.
I remember the pain of the time. I remember how each time I heard about a child being born the summer of 1998 I thought of our child. I became obsessed with getting pregnant again because I now knew we could kick the ball past the goalie ourselves!
After Wyatt was born in May of 1999 I finally allowed myself to grieve for the child I had lost. 
As the years went on, the pain became less and eventually a distant memory.
I thought I had escaped ever having to go through this type of experience again.

Until last month.
 The pain of losing Patrick has opened an old wound with feelings very dark and personal. A big black hole. Unlike miscarriage and infant loss, there are no support groups for my kind of loss. It's very unusual. It has changed me. I grieve for two children I will never hold here on earth. 
I think of all the people who loved Patrick and all those who were so blessed to have held him. They too are grieving this child will never be a part of a family here on earth.
This journey has been personal and for the most part very lonely. I had shown Chris pictures and videos of Patrick but for the most part it was the beginning of an adoption journey. I alone carried the videos and pictures on my phone and looked at them daily. It was the first adoption I had connected with the child before I actually met them. I loved him immensely and had planned for him. I had purchased toys for him. Special items. 
I watched his life change from a smiling boy with some special needs to a child who couldn't even be carried properly by his caregivers.
I grieve for the beautiful baby I will never hold, and possibly will not know his fate. At this very moment we believe him to still be alive and hopefully being cared for in a better care facility.
I know the people who were on mission this summer grieve for him as well. They are people who spent an entire week holding him, playing with him, praying over him and loving him. They had the most beautiful experience in caring for him.
I felt old wounds open up this week as I read a blog from a mom who was in China adopting her beautiful little girl from the same orphanage as Patrick. The same bittersweet pain. The joy in a child being united with their family yet at the same time knowing I would never have the same experience. The question of WHY? The immediate realization I would never know the answer this side of heaven.
We have decided as a family we are no longer pursuing adoption of another child.
Despite hating the phrase "We have our hands full", it IS true.
I am now at peace with the decision.
We want Patrick's life to have meaning.
In 2016 there will be many changes.
We are putting into place changes which will hopefully allow me to pursue an opportunity to create a fund to benefit children in China like Patrick. 
We hope to find a permanent place for our foster closet. To make a bigger impact helping local foster families.
Pray for us in our journey.

Last photo I have of him.

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