April 24, 2015

Meditating on Loss

"A child born to another woman calls me 'Mommy'. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me." - Jody Landers

I keep coming back around to the thought that our joy will be at the expense of someone else's loss. It is surreal to know that somewhere in this state, there is a woman who, in a few months or a year, is going to find out she is unexpectedly pregnant. And that crisis, coupled with conditions unknown, will cause her to seek out options.

I mean...think about it! Very few situations in life put us in the position of praying for someone else's loss. The only other one I can come up with right now is war. You pray for the other side to lose and that probably realistically means they will sustain more casualties.

And then, there is the other loss that can occur. Our loss. We might match with an expectant mother only to have her choose at some point to parent rather than to place. Which is entirely her right, her decision, and we will have to respect it. But how to manage the pain and sorrow we feel with the understanding that we essentially feel bad that a child is *not* losing their first family, their biological identity. How can you mourn that? I guess we have to figure out how to rejoice in what is retained for that child, while grieving for the loss of our own hopes and dreams, however inexplicable. If we have a failed match, I pray it happens early on. A failed match at the time of placement would be...like a death.

I think I keep coming back around to this because it is useful to keep things in perspective. If I am deeply conscious of the *loss* involved in adoption, then I pray I can honor the birth parents in a meaningful way. I pray it will give me more than sweet sounding words for my child whose first life experience will be losing the only familiar person to them. It's not just a sad idea to be ignored, it is the reality of the situation.

Somewhere out there, right now, is a woman who has no idea the trajectory of her near future. A woman who God might lead to M and I. That pain, and crisis, and loss can be the foundation of a healthy life is so baffling.


  1. This part of the adoption process has always been very difficult for me. Hoping that someone will have to go through unthinkable sorrow so that I can be happy...it feels wrong. However I think that because you feel this way, it will only strengthen the relationship you have with your birth mom (if that is what you desire). Understanding her pain will only make you more likely to connect with her, because you've gone through pain in this process too! Of course they are different kinds of pain, but it will help you empathize with her. The moment my daughter was born was the most emotional moment of my life, not only because I was in awe of her but because at the same time my husband and I were feeling so much joy, there was another person in the room who was going through and unspeakable amount of pain. I really can't accurately describe the feelings in that room at that moment. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced before. It still gives me chills.

    It helps me to know that even though our birth mom is hurting and missing Muppet, it gives her comfort to know that she is in a place where she is so loved and cherished. The best thing you can do to help your birth mom through her loss, is love her child unconditionally. They made this choice for a reason, and I try to make sure on a daily basis that I am giving Muppet what I promised her birth mom : a better life.

    She said something to us right before we left the hospital: I'm trusting you guys.That statement hit me HARD. This woman, who didn't even know us, was trusting us with her child. There is no higher honor in the world in my opinion. Every day I am so grateful for her trust in us.

    Keep feeling these feelings. I would honestly be worried about prospective adoptive parents if they DIDN'T understand the pain and loss that comes with adoption.

  2. "I'm trusting you guys" - Wow, that is a a powerful statement! I bet it revisits you regularly. But it so perfectly condenses what a birthmom is doing, trusting two near strangers to be good to her and her child. Just wow. Thank you so much for sharing that with me! I'm so thankful I have I have people to look to who are ahead of me in this journey so I can know that it does work and I am on the right track :-)