Earlier this week I wrote up a blog post to try to explain the emotions I’ve felt thus far since we received a referral for our sweet baby boy. I was going to try to explain how you can inexplicably fall so headfirst for a child and yet at the same time feel overwhelmed over things to do, forms to have notarized, court processes to prepare for, etc etc. I had Jeff proof read my post and I was going to post my thoughts this past Thursday or Friday.
Then life stopped.
Thursdays are usually a day when we receive new pictures of our sweet baby boy with his beautiful, big eyes and adorable smile. Last week I posted on my personal Facebook page, “My new favorite day of the week. Thursdays. We get new pictures of our adorable baby boy every Thursday. God is good.”
Two days ago, Thursday, September 13th, I stalked my email waiting for new pictures. If you are or have adopted internationally, you know that pictures get you through the waiting period between now and when you get to bring your child home. Well, this Thursday, the pictures never came. I went to Bible study at Panera. Still waiting for those pictures, and since Bible study was just about to start, I decided to be rude and check my emails on my phone. I had an email from the director of our agency waiting for me. I opened it and life stopped. I don’t remember much of what I did or said. I do remember not finishing the food that I was eating and I do remember going to the car to call Jeff. I don’t remember much more. I remember driving cautiously home and I remember bawling the whole way.
The email from our director did not include new pictures for us to print out and plaster on our refrigerator with all of our sweet baby’s other pictures. Instead, the email said that Kiya (the name of our baby boy) had passed away. He had died two days prior on September 11th. He had gotten very sick with an upper respiratory infection and he never recovered. Our boy was approximately 2 and a half months old. My brother said, “He never had a chance.” And you know what, living where he did with the medical accessibility the way it is there, he didn’t have a chance.
I still haven’t processed all of my emotions. I still question if this has really happened to us. Denial is a form of grief and it comes and goes right now. Within the past 2 months and 4 days, we had our domestic adoption fall through as our birth mother conned us and then we had our international adoption fall through because our child passed away. I can’t explain the highs and the lows we have experienced. I can’t explain the feeling of loss and of grief I feel right now.
I can say a few things though.
I would have given anything to have been there with him when he passed away. Anything. If I could have, I would have knowingly gone through the adoption and finished paying all of our fees just to be able to hold him while he passed. I don’t know how Ethiopian hospitals work. I don’t know if the nurses there are caring. I tell myself that he had a kind nurse who held him as he passed. But truthfully, I have no idea. I pray he passed knowing he was loved, he was accepted and that Jeff and I were willing to fight for him.
A friend of mine who has been through hell and back and then hell again, emailed me these words, “you be sure to grieve this child, as the loss of your first son. He will always be that. And someday in heaven you will see him and he will know you as his mother and you will know him as your son.” Her words brought comfort to me as I want to believe this. I want to know that this is true. I am praying for the faith that I will know this to be true.
I also feel somewhat ashamed of how I have spent my time the past couple of weeks. I’ve been focusing so much on the process of adoption and on the intricacies of passing court and clearing embassy, that I haven’t focused on our child. I assumed he would be there through these processes. And he isn’t. Now I am left with knowledge on international adoption and no child to adopt. I can’t explain how empty I feel.
I also find myself questioning God. I don’t know why He would have put this situation in our life. There are details to our Ethiopian adoption story that none of you know and that I will never publicly share. But for God to give us such an amazingly unique story that we were planning on someday sharing with little Kiya to then rip it away from us.. I don’t get it. I believe God is good. I believe God allows bad things to happen. I just can’t wrap my brain around why he would introduce Kiya to us and yet then take him away from us.
I have also seen why Jeff and I originally felt so passionate about International adoption. There are naysayers about international adoption. There are people who say you should only adopt in the states. There are people who say you should not adopt in Ethiopia. Through all of their negativity, the only ones that are hurt are the orphans. The orphans are overlooked and they are left alone. Children in third world countries DO NOT have a chance if they become sick. We have now seen this first hand. If Kiya was here in the states, there is a very low probability that he would have passed away. And that is why we felt passionate about International adoption.
I also feel some weird form of embarrassment. I am a very private person. And I feel embarrassed to have now publicly shown such excitement over two adoptions and to then also show such public forms of grief as both of them crumbled apart. And yet at the same time, I feel a bit empowered because we are showing you real life feelings and emotions. I’m not leaving much out for you all. If we just showed you the picture perfect moments of adoption, you wouldn’t see honesty.
Where does this leave us? I don’t know. I don’t want to talk about adoption and I don’t want to think about it. We still have to put in a call to our agency director. She has told us that we are their top priority. And yet, I don’t want to talk to her. I don’t want to think about the future. My future included Kiya and I can’t picture and don’t want to picture anything else right now. I also don’t want to set myself up for more heartache. Jeff told me last night that he doesn’t want me to give up hope. And yet, as I’m going through this grief, I don’t feel one ounce of hope for our future. A few months ago, I overheard two mothers talking about when they planned to have their next child. That is a luxury I don’t know that I will ever experience.
When we started this process of adoption, we knew that it would involve a roller coaster of emotions. We knew it would have a lot of ups and downs. But truthfully, thus far, adoption has caused much more heartache than I would have ever imagined. If I had known we would go through this, right now as I’m dealing with this grief, I don’t know that I can say I would have ventured into the world of adoption.
I do believe and trust that God knows exactly what He is doing. I also believe and know that Kiya is with God right now. And while I am so sad that we never had the opportunity to welcome him into our home and love on him, Kiya is actually in a place thousands of times better than he would have been with us. He is there with my dad (who I know is loving him to pieces) and my grandparents and with Jeff’s grandfathers. And I bet that he is there with some of his own biological relatives who have deceased. I know that Kiya is smiling that sweet smile right now with his amazingly beautiful eyes and that he isn’t experiencing any pain or feeling any feelings of abandonment as he is basking in God’s love. And in that knowledge, I actually feel God’s love for me.
If you are someone who prays, we would appreciate your prayers. We will of course continue to blog as our future unfolds.