Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Grief to Remember

As I tucked my girls into bed, Sunny began asking when one of her friends is coming home. I had not mentioned to her yet that I spoke with that girl's mom-to-be and found out this girl would not be coming home. I shared the bad news with Sunny. For a second she smiled in disbelief. "No, Sunny, I'm serious. She's not coming home." Then came the sobs. A little squeaky vocal cry, holding back the screams she felt inside...the disappointment. Her hands threw her night cap up and down like a whip. She fell onto the bed in a crunched heap. I picked her up and put her on my lap. She didn't fight me...but she didn't really want me either.

Libby started flipping out. When people cry out loud it scares her. I'm not sure why. She started crying hard saying she was going to have nightmares...something she really does struggle with. Then Gracie starts to cry. She feels everyone's pain and she carries immense compassion in her. No one knew what to do. At the sound of her sisters' cries, Sunny stopped and just like that her heart was closed back up. No more grief on display.

After settling the other two down I came back to Sunny. I listened to her, hugged her, told her "I'm sorry." I explained the situation....why an almost-19 year old can't come into our country by way of adoption. She's aging out....plain and simple......and so sad. I encouraged her that this girl would be taken care of and that maybe other little girls would receive love and hugs from her who would not have someone to care for them if this girl wasn't there. There are many more like Sunny, after all...lonely, in need of care.

We prayed together and slowly I felt Gracie crawling into Sunny's bed...laying her hands on Sunny, stroking her cheek. Libby watched from her top bunk, sadness and concern in her eyes too. We finished praying and Gracie kissed Sunny's cheek.

I assured Sunny we could talk more about it in the morning...or I could just hold her...whatever she needs. As clear as day, I could see Sunny's thoughts....If this person was not coming to the US, she had lost her first "mom"/caregiver. The first person who ever really saw her, paid her attention. And now, she would have to be okay with just me. It was a sinking feeling to her. I could see it. As much as I want this girl to be able to come home, I could see that this breaking of hopes for Sunny was possibly the turning point in our relationship. There was no one else to wait on. I would have to be enough for her.

How complex these moments can be with adopted children. Libby, not being able to express her emotions appropriately. Her fears of another's outward emotions...where does that come from? And, at four can she be so full of compassion? And Sunny, she must grieve...but how much more deeply does her grief run - that I may never know... And then there's me....hurting for this girl and for Sunny...but somehow hopeful that Sunny's heart could now turn toward mine.....slowly.

As I walked out the door Gracie gently called me back to her. She whispered, "Thank you for Sunny". How beautiful that in a moment of grief, the wholeness...the goodness of family is realized. Grieving is miserable...but grieving with loved ones, with grieving alone any day. And grieving for someone - out of purest compassion...well, for my four year old, it was seen as a gift to be grateful for.

To this, woman stuck in Haiti - we have prayed long for you...every day. It is hard to understand God's plans sometimes. It is hard not to be disappointed. But, the Spirit runs deep in you and you may just be closer to him in the darkness of Haiti than in the comforts of the US. May you hear the Lord to him quickly. This life....even in Haiti....especially in not meant to be wasted so let the Spirit fill up your lungs and make you run after the Son! May He be thick on you like the humid air you breathe...but refreshing you, filling you up with new vision and joy. All for eternity, my dear friend. And thank you, by the way....for holding Sunny when I couldn't. For disciplining her and praying with her. For sleeping with her when she was too scared to sleep alone. For giving her someone to wake up look forward to seeing at day's end. Looks like I will one day bring Sunny back to her homeland just to see you. So keep going and be well. Lift up your eyes to your Maker and follow His way. A special little girl will be eager to see you in the years to come.

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