Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Premature grieving

There is a chore around here (and probably at your house too) that I postpone and dread, but then kind of enjoy a little bit when I finally get into it. It's cleaning out my kids' closets. About twice a year, I have to drag out a new rubbermaid container, label it, and start putting away the clothes C & S have grown out of. This is the first time I've come around to this task and had any inkling of what the future holds for us in the offspring department. I've been clinging tightly to ALL my kids clothes, knowing that Trent and I both were pretty sure we wanted a 3rd kiddo, and a onesie saved is a onesie earned, knowwhatimean? And kiddo #3 could be a boy or girl, so I needed to guard each tub (both blue and pink) with equal protection from the husband who sees the garage being taken over by rubbermaid tubs. I was going to send them all to Hand-me-down Lane.

And it's so bittersweet! As I put away Sydney's little skirts or Carson's button-up plaid shirts like his dad wears, I marvel at how quickly they grow and shed a tear for the teensy-ness that is gone.

Well, this time as I entered the organizing task, I have an idea of what the future holds for us, kid-wise. We ARE having a third child, and it will probably be a boy! So, I'm trying to take extra good care of Carson's clothes, which is not an easy thing to with an insanely active boy. (PS: Osh-Kosh so far has the sturdiest jeans.) But...BUT! There's a small chance it could be a girl, so I'm not ready to get rid of girl clothes either. Sorry, garage. You will be overflowing with rubbermaids indefinitely.

And yesterday as I was toting totes to and fro, I saw on the shelf: "Baby Boy clothes: 0-9 months" And it hit me: I don't need those. Our "baby" will not be an infant at our home. He (or she) will be between the ages of 13-18 months when he comes home with us. And I don't know why this was a sucker punch to me. I've had this info all along! There was one other country we could have chosen that placed children under 12 months, but we felt so strongly led to Thailand. I don't regret that decision one bit. But my heart sunk with grief when I saw those clothes that Carson's little brother will not wear. I'm grieving those months that my baby will be a baby and he will not yet be mine. It's hard for me to know that someone else will be caring for my child for so many days and weeks and months, that somone else will see his first smile, first pass of a toy from one hand to the other. I pray that someone is there to cheer for him when he first triumphs at rolling over or pulls himself up to a stand, that a loving foster parent cuddles and kisses him at night as I long to do. This is so difficult for me now, months and months from even having a name and a face matched to mine. I can't imagine the torture it will be when we finally know the person God has ordained to be ours, and we still have to wait for the red tape to clear before we bring him home.

So, I'm choosing to focus on the positive, on my excitement for our kiddo. To be perfectly honest, I'm not that sad to sell my breast-pump. (Sorry for using the word "breast" everyone.) There are some aspects of the newborn stage that I will not miss. This is all part of the loss-gain that is adoption, and right now I'm indulging for a moment in my loss, all the while fully realizing that it is small compared to the losses of my child and his first mother. But I rest confidently in the belief that being together as a forever family will work towards healing those losses, and that God's timing is perfect. Not just in my life, but in the life of my child, my baby. Who he is and when he arrives in my arms is out of my control, and I'm OK with that. Because of who HE is.


Rory said...

You have such a great momma's heart, Jen. Oh how you can make me tear up, reading about putting away baby clothes. I don't think it's ever easy to close a door like that, but I take comfort in knowing that God has such a sweet plan for each one of us...and ALL mommies at some point or another have their last "baby" and fold up the last onesie. So that brings me comfort too knowing I'm not alone, because goodness their little clothes and the sweetness of that stage is so alluring!:) But when I look ahead at all that God has called your family to, I know it will be worth every tear shed. Reading this post makes me see how already He has begun to form your heart to be the momma of this new little one. I will be praying for all those milestone moments, for the love and care that he (or she!:)) will receive, and that the waiting will be a time of strengthening...that you'll mount up on wings...run and not grow weary...:)

Sorry this is so long, but you know how near and dear to my heart this all is and how much I love ya!

rosemary said...

Those months or years of your child's life that will be lost to you forever are such an impossible grief. I would really urge you (and anyone) to try to process it as much as possible because once you meet him it just gets worse. You love them soooooo much, more and more everyday, and the knowing that you weren't there when they cried in the night and were so small is absolutely haunting. I'm sorry if that sounds awful. Its just where we are now and I wish someone had tried to help me understand better before we got here.

Becky said...

OH Jen, I pray for you, for your child and for his/her first mom. It's got to be pretty amazing all the feelings you are experiencing.

P.S. Hannah just looked at me and told me that she has never been in a cocoon. Hmm.

Love ya!

Aj Schwanz said...

As usual I am so with you on so many levels.

I *hate* clothes management and spent much of my "mother's day" being crabby dealing with it.

Osh Kosh jeans have held up the best in this household as well.

I think we're done at least with having babies in this house. And I'm sad. The weekend I bagged up the baby clothes, I was so mopey.

BUT do you know why I bagged them up? To give them to an amazing family who is in process of adopting and is having a garage sale in June to raise funds. Sound familiar? If you're interested, they're all yours, and some other stuff we've love to donate. And that helps my sadness, knowing their helping bring about another "birth". :)

Nina said...

When my baby girls began to grow out of there clothes I began there special box of different sizes for the someday I would give them at there baby showers. I have had the joy of seeing my grandchildren wearing some of there clothes. Just an idea for your kids someday(; Love your mama heart!

Robin and Kyle said...

It's hard, absolutely. Save a couple of your favorite small outfits - you can send a care package after you've been matched for him/her to wear in Thailand.

Michelle & Luke said...

beautiful post. I am feeling grief for you...I just don't understand why adoption has to take so long & be this way...for your sake, but mostly for that sweet little baby that will be yours. You have SO much courage & faith & strength- I suspect many prospective adoptive families get scared away by the very things you are diving right into. You are an inspiration!!! Thank you for doing the HARD thing - you guys are so awesome.