I have learned to hold all things loosely, so God will not have to pry them out of my hands. --Corrie ten Boom

How Much Longer?

I Knew I Loved You...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I am still living...

Hi everyone. Yes, It has been almost two months since my last entry. Sorry. Very soon in the midst of this post, those of you who don't know why will very soon understand.

We had another failed domestic placement. WOW, huh? Tell us about it! Let's see...where in the world to begin?

Okay, we heard a couple of months ago about this possibility & in order to respect & protect the birth families privacy I won't divulge a lot of specific details about it. However, I will say that she is nineteen & has two other children, very young children. It again seemed like the sure thing. We had daily contact with her & everything seemed like we were on track. We hired an attorney & did everything by the book.

We had to travel to another state for the birth & would have had to remain there until the process was mostly complete. It ended up being a scheduled induction, so we were there the night prior. There are a lof of things that happened, but the baby was finally after several false starts born healthy. We were not at the hospital & did not take her home from there. However, the birth mother signed the termination of parental rights & placed her in our arms & our care just a day or so later. It was the happiest moment of our lives.

We had four of the most glorious days with her ever! Really, no matter what the outcome has been & the hell we have lived in these last few weeks we would never give those four days back for anything.

In the state where she (yes, the baby was a girl) the BMother had four days/96 hours to change her mind & revoke her signature from the TPR that she had signed. Literally mere hours (less than three hours) before that time was set to expire, my cell phone rang. My heart sank. There was no need to look at the clock & really no need to answer the call as we knew instantly who & what was on the other end. However, I answered the phone & it was our attorney with the words that still haunt me today & always will, "My dear, I don't have very good news for you." I could share with you the rest of what she said as I remember vividly that conversation, but honestly, none of the rest matters.

A short time later, Thomas placed our precious "Emma Kate" back into her Birth Mother's arms & into a life that we had not wished for her.

A day later we traveled back to our home with an empty car seat in the back of our vehicle that only days prior had been filled with the most beautiful, precious soul that we had ever laid eyes on or had the blessing of knowing.

We still love her today. We still feel like her "Daddy & Mommy" & I can tell you that I don't think those feelings will ever go away. We are hanging in there. Some days are worse than others, but we somehow get through them. It it SO hard as we long & literally ache for her every moment of every day. Nothing makes that go away! Nothing. We are moving on & living this new life that is now ours without her, planning trips, going back to work, family outings & even laughing again...but nothing is a diversion. Absolutely nothing. Those feelings; the ache, the emptiness is always there looming in the background. We are not sure that it will ever go away. I think we are & will continue to learn how to cope a little better with each passing day.

Yes, someday we will get to go & get our Mia from China & maybe another child before or after that will join our family one way or the other...however, one child does not & will not replace our "Emma Kate". We loved & nurtured that little precious soul for four glorious days. She eternally impacted our lives. We will never be the same. I don't know if anyone who hasn't lived it can understand what four days can be like when you are literally living out a dream...four days can & did seem like a lifetime for us. It really did.

If you have children you understand, GOD FORBID something would happen to one of them, just because you have the other one wouldn't make your longing or ache for the child that left you to be back in your life go away, you know? It is just difficult when you wanted something for so long & then you get it & it was more than you could have ever dreamed or hoped for & then it is gone again. It is such a loss, not only the loss of our dream of parenthood, but of our sweet "Emma". She was amazing. Now, not only do we ache & long for parenthood & want to be parents, we want to be HER parents.

It has been very difficult not to question why. However, in our hearts we know that is not the right thing to do; questioning God I mean. Over & over I have had to & continue to repeat one of my favorite verses to myself, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 I have always believed that & even though my faith has been shaken & has felt tested I still believe it. I know that God has a plan for our lives. I am only human & God knows that there has been many a day that I have prayed that His plan might come a little more in line with ours or at least that His plan could be revealed to us in someway so that maybe we could understand things & this could all be a little easier. However, we know that we just have to trust in Him & take this to Him...but, it is hard, so, so hard. As we all know it is easy to praise Him & be thankful when things are good, but to be able to do it when things are bad is a different story. We are trying. I would think that must mean that you have reached some kind of spiritual maturity when you can be praising God even through the storms of life. You know what I mean?

There is this song by the band Mercy Me. It is called "Praise You In The Storm". We have always loved it, but now more than ever it has new meaning for us. I have shared the lyrics below:

I was sure by now God You would have reached down And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day, But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining
But as the thunder rolls I barely hear Your whisper through the rain“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls, I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I’ll praise You in this storm And I will lift my hands For You are who You are No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand You never left my side
And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm
I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry, You raised me up again, My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on If I can’t find You
As the thunder rolls I barely hear You whisper through the rain “I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I’ll praise You in this storm And I will lift my hands For You are who You are No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand
You never left my side And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm
I lift my eyes unto the hills Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord The Maker of Heaven and Earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord The Maker of Heaven and Earth
I’ll praise You in this storm And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand
You never left my sideAnd though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm, And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm

I told my Mom the thing that makes this so difficult is that those four days with her were a dream. We longed for that life for so long & we finally got it. It was everything that we ever dreamed of. Every second of every moment with her in our life was perfect. (other than the loud, & I mean LOUD ticking of the looming clock counting down the ninety six hours in the background...we could have done without that!) Not one thing with her was a chore. One afternoon she pooped like four times in a few hours & every time that we got to change her was our pleasure. When we went to breakfast & in the middle of it she needed to eat or be changed Thomas & I would fuss over which one of us would let our breakfast get cold to feed or change her. Those "task" as some would see them were the highlight of our days & we know that her BMother will never likely be able to see it that way. My point is, that we knew we wanted to be parents before & now we got to do it & it was everything & more than we ever could have imagined. The thing is that we had "Emma" & we want her back! How are we going to let that go? We know that we have to, so now comes the task to figure out how. Some have compared this to a death & it does in some ways feel like that. However, with a death you know that the person is gone. We know where she is. We know that she is not dead, but in some ways I guess she is dead to us, as no matter what we do we can't get her back in our arms.

I can also tell you that I knew that Thomas would be a good Daddy, but I had no idea. He was amazing in every way. Even the pediatrician said that we were quite a team working together just as it should be. He told us we were doing an amazing job. Most babies at eight days old he sees would have lost about ten percent of their body weight & then they gain that back. Miss Emma was already 7lbs 8oz (she was 7.5 at birth) & he said he didn't know when he had seen a healthier baby. We gushed with pride only to put her back in the BMom's arms only hours later. She was so unspoiled & perfect, her days filled with classical music & parents who adored her. What kind of world were we forced to place her in? We know that a lot of babies live in much worse & she will likely survive as most do, but we don't want her to survive, we wanted her to thrive & that just likely won't happen. I look at the clock periodically & think in my mind, "Well, the BMom has had her 72 hours now." or however long at the time it might be just thinking that our "Emma" really doesn't even exist anymore & the longer she has her the more that is true. Really, the moment that Thomas placed her back in the BMom's arms our "Emma" was gone. Instead she was now a little baby with a new name, a new mommy & very soon a new life....& somehow, someway we just have to get to a point of acceptance with that.

Many have said that we shouldn't give up hope as that call still may come. Yes, that would be a dream & YES, we would go as fast as we could!! However, we feel that it is unhealthy for us to live every moment with that idea in our minds. We must move forward. Life is too short not too. Some days it does feel as this might consume us, but we manage to keep going. We realize that each day, with each new morning we have the chance to begin again & to continue to settle into this new life without her that is now ours.

I have many photos of her. Many that I would love to share. However, I am not sure it is right to post them here on my blog. As much as I want to, she is not ours to share with the world. Yes, the four days that we had her...those were our days & we will treasure them always. If she were still with us, other than in our hearts, I would be flooding you with photos, but I just don't think I should in this forum with the current status of things as they are. However, if you want to see her sweet little face leave me a comment here with your email addy & I will gladly privately send you a couple shots of her.

Well, that is enough of that for now. I will post more a little later about some other happenings in our life, but for now I am a little drained & just need to sit back & take all of this in for a bit.


1 comment:

The Raudenbush Family said...

Jen, I appreciate your honesty here and your willingness to share your story. May God be glorified in your testimony of His goodness which is unchanging even when sorrows like sea billows roll.

Kelly R. LID 7/23/2007