PLACES WHERE GRACE IS (27 WEEKS)
My beautiful Sophia,
Mommy has been thinking about writing this post for several weeks now, but God kept putting other things on my heart to share. Usually throughout the week God is hinting about what I should write to you, but sometimes I sit down to type with no pre-planned ideas and a letter just flows out of me. I like to pray before I write posts sometimes because although these letters are written to you, darling, many other people read them too. Friends of mine and daddy’s, family members who loved you so much, mommies who have had their hearts broken like mine, and so, so many who prayed for you. These letters serve as a mending of my heart, but also as a healing to others.
And that’s what I wanted to talk to you about today, Sophia. I wanted to talk about how God is taking the torn apart pieces of my life and is lovingly putting them back together.
I know that in the past 6 months God has been with me, and I know that He never leaves His children in their darkest hours, but there have been several specific moments during this time that I have been stopped in my tracks and completely overcome by His grace.
Places where grace is.
The first of these moments was just a short time after you passed away. I was asked to donate my breast milk to a baby who had lost his mother during child birth. At the time I was very happy to do it, and felt glad that I simply didn’t have to throw away a freezer full of milk, but now that I am out of my cloud of grief I can truly see how amazing that was. In those first days after you passed, when the world seemed so wrong, God was allowing me to make something right. He was redeeming your loss of life by allowing another to be saved. A place where grace was.
The next moment came two days after we started caring for your foster brother, Champ. He was in the hospital for an overnight EEG, and we were forced to go back to the same floor in the hospital where you had lived and died. As I sat there in the hospital room with him, 50 feet from the PICU room I once sat in with you, I felt a profound sense of wonderful closure. God was allowing my wish to come true…to be able to care for a baby in one of the regular rooms (what we had always hoped for you). I had always wondered what it would feel like to not have to leave you because of strict visiting hours, or to be able to have visitors come and go as they pleased. I held Champ on the plastic hospital chair and cried tears of peace. A place where grace was.
Another moment came a few weeks ago. Champ woke up during the middle of the night and was having a hard time falling asleep. I was walking around in circles in his (and your) room, softly bouncing him up and down, and whispering “shuusssshh” over and over. Suddenly I stopped and tears poured from eyes—this was what I had always wanted. I had always wanted you to come home so I could rock you to sleep. I had dreamt of those bleary-eyed late nights when you wouldn’t sleep because it would have meant you were out of the hospital and with us. In that moment with Champ I felt redemption for those minutes cut short with you due to limiting visiting hours. I felt the goodness and grace of God in the darkness of that late night. I heard Him whispering “I know this wasn’t the plan, but this is still good, and I am still good.” A place where grace was.
The latest moment came last week when I took Champ to meet with his birth mother. I was apprehensive about the meeting because of the emotions surrounding it. On one hand I have begun to identify as a mother figure in Champ’s life and it was hard to think about “giving him up” for a short time– even if it was to his birth mother. On the other hand I so deeply understood what she must be going through, having to lose her child, and I knew the joy she would feel to see him again. I imagined what it would be like to see Sophia again, for a short time, and then to have to leave her again. My heart was broken for his mother and my heart was broken for me. I prayed a lot before the meeting, and was at peace the entire time. Towards the end of the visit I got to share your story and thank her for allowing her little boy to help heal my heart. When she heard that I had lost you, tears streamed from her eyes, and in that moment we were completely connected. It didn’t matter that we were from different cultures or spoke different languages. We were just two mothers who knew we would never have the babies that we had once carried inside us. We understood each other’s pain and heartache. It was a beautiful moment of healing and understanding for us both. She thanked me for taking care of Champ and told me that she felt peace for the first time, knowing that he was getting so much love. A place where so much grace was.
There is a song that I have come to hold very dear in my heart. It’s called “Unredeemed” and it so accurately describes my situation that it brings me to tears each time I hear it.
Your grandpa asked me and daddy to speak at an upcoming Sanctity of Life service at our church. He asked us to share your story and talk about how our decision to keep and love you changed our lives. I know that there is going to be someone there who will be touched by your life, Sophia. I know there will be many who will see just how special each life is, no matter what doctors say, and that once again you will leave your mark on this Earth. Places where grace is.
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
God is going to keep redeeming my darkest moments, and I know He will keep showing me more places where His grace is.
I love you Sophia. Thank you for all you have given me.
Love always and forever,