Sunday, August 14, 2016

Our Shining LIght: Part 2

Continuing . . .

In the days before we lost Joe I wondered if we would still be allowed to adopt Vu.  There was no question at this point that we still wanted to bring him home.  Would our agency let us?

Unless you have adopted, it might be hard to imagine the connection between pre-adoptive parents and their child.  The only way I can describe it is to compare the connection between a pregnant mother and her unborn baby.  Even though she hasn't officially "met" the baby, she imagines the child's presence in her family; she feels a constant physical, emotional, and spiritual connection; and she fiercely loves and protects her child.

We loved Vu.  He was already our son.  And if I had been pregnant when Joe died, I would have still wanted to give birth to that unborn baby, bring him home, love him and raise him.  Vu wasn't yet physically in our family, but he was ours.  

I remember so clearly two days before we lost Joe.  I was at my sister-in-law's taking a shower and trying to nap.  The hospital only had chairs in the waiting room and we had already spent several nights trying to pretzel sleep.  Our social worker called.  I had been thinking the question for days, but I was too afraid of the answer.  I finally blurted out my question.  If the unthinkable happened to Joe, would we still be allowed to move forward with Vu?

Our social worker seemed surprised by my question.  She was full of compassion and love.  If we still felt we wanted to move forward we could.  We could also take more time and push back our travel. And it was also okay to decide we didn't want to move forward at all.

I sobbed.  Hubby was nearby and he held me and we both cried.  Tears of thankfulness.  Tears at the situation of our lives.  Tears of loss and hope, tragedy and promise.

We would move forward.  We would bring Vu home three months later, despite the grief and loss that would fill our lives.  In many ways, the hope of bringing home Vu kept me sane.  At the same time, it made me push away my grief in a way that many might not think positive.  But as one close friend told me later, I was able to take my grief in baby steps, and it was probably the only way I could survive it.

I didn't blog much about my grief.  I mostly kept my blog about our adoption.  I found grief to be a fearful funnel of darkness and despair.  I often said the grief of losing a child is the polar opposite of the love that comes in the beginning.  Before I had a child, I thought I knew what love was.  But the moment I held my first baby in my arms, I found a new level of love that far exceeded anything I could have ever imagined. Loss was the antithesis.  Before I lost Joe I thought I could imagine what it would feel like.  I was wrong.  The loss was far deeper and darker than I could have ever fathomed.  I honestly can't find words for it.  Raw, desperate, tormenting agony.  My precious son, who had been raised with attachment parenting in a large loving family and community, surrounded by incredible love and security, was gone.

God kept me going.  My friends and family kept me going--and even complete strangers.  I knew then and continue to know now that I will be reunified with Joe, and next time it will be for eternity. And Vu kept me going.  I often wondered about the timing of God's plan, but even then I trusted that God did have a plan.  God meant for Vu to join our family shortly after the loss of Joe.  Vu was our shining light.  Just a few months later, we would be on a plane to bring him home.

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