Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Collective Grief

I wanted to post something snazzy today. I wanted to come up with something
that would fit well with our blog. I wanted to be upbeat.
But instead I found myself grieving today, and the only thing I can think to write about is aching of my community of adoptive mothers.

The China Adoptive world has been struck hard recently with the passing of two of our sweet, precious ones. 

I sat in the hospital today with my own son and began watching the tribute to Teresa Bartlinski on youtube and I started crying so hard I put it away until later when I could view it and grieve properly. And I wasn't alone. All over our community there is the spirit of grief. Every group I'm in has posts and is working on sending cards, flowers, anything to let them know we are weeping with them.

When John Thomas passed away a few weeks ago it was the same. We wept collectively. 

There is something special about being in the community of adoptive moms.
There is a bond.
We know the lengths each of us walked to bring our children home.
We know the sacrifice.
We know the undying love, the fierce loyalty that we hold for our children.

Perhaps it is that commonality that binds us to this grief. Perhaps it is seeing our children
reflected in the eyes of those that we have lost. Whatever the reason it binds us to this grief.
We rejoice with those who rejoice and we weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)

We are unique. We understand each other in ways that others cannot. We audibly groan when we hear of each other struggling through paperwork, or fighting to get to our babies faster. There is a shout heard round the world every time one of us gets on a plane to go get our child! 

So, where does that leave us when we hear that one of our own didn't survive a surgery and another didn't live long enough to have one. 

It leaves us wondering how the world keeps on turning.
It leaves us crying at every mention of the name John Thomas, or Teresa.
It leaves us wishing our family and friends understood how we could be grieving over children we have never met in person. 
It leaves us wearing silly plastic crowns in memory of a sweet princess who charmed the world over.
It leaves us scraping pennies together out of our post adoption-depleted bank accounts to help cover our dear friend's expenses.
It leaves us holding our children closer and dropping tears on their heads as we kiss them goodnight.
And it leaves us sinking to our knees and begging God to keep them safe.
It leaves us with a little fear in our own hearts.
It reminds us of those "what-ifs."
It leaves us wishing that every child left behind will know the love of a family even if it's only for a few weeks.

And that's okay. It's okay to grieve as a community. It's okay to hold your children closer tonight. It's okay to weep with our friends. It's okay and it's right.
It's the right thing to do today.

As we grieve for these children let's remember to lift their families to our Heavenly Father who heals all wounds. He is sufficient to walk them through this valley of the shadowlands. 

Please remember to keep these families in your prayers. Hold your babies a little closer tonight and remember to thank the Lord for the memories you made today. 

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