Friday, April 20, 2007

My Heart's Desire

Creating a child is a God given right. At least that's what I thought when we crafted our plan to be parents. After 10 years of marriage, we were finally ready for children. We were going to have a spring baby since all of the birthdays in our family fall between August and December. And of course, we'd conceive right away. (We come from very fertile stock.) Well, you know how God most often speaks in gentle whispers? As though He realized that I'm rarely still long enough to hear Him clearly, this time He opted to scream "Not your will but Mine!!!"

And so for us and for so many others, having a child is not a simple process. Fertility treatments required, among other things, invasive procedures, side-effect laden pills and a lot of peeing on sticks. All that and the monthly disappointment confirmed the realization that there were no guarantees of success. Adoption was a "sure thing" but required mountains of paperwork and a hefty wad of cash. So as you can see, creating a family is far from a romantic whim for those of us lucky enough to be initiated into the exclusive infertile club.

But it was sooooooooo worth it!!! All of the rigmarole reaffirmed my desire to be a mom. And all of it led us to Lillian. Our adoption process took almost exactly 40 weeks (coincidence? I think not). We were selected early on by an amazing birthmom with whom we clicked right away. She allowed us to be Lillian's parents from the very minute she was born. As Jeff said, clearly we were meant to walk Lillian through this. (Thank you again God for the honor of being her parents!!!)

Almost immediately after she died, I found myself wanting to jump back into the adoption process or begin fertility treatments. I had this deep longing for a baby. (I can now completely understand why many widows remarry quickly after the loss of their spouse. It's like you have a hole in you that needs to be refilled.) As I considered my longing to be a mom again, I just couldn't figure out why I wasn't feeling guilty. If I was already considering moving on and "replacing her," why wasn't I more conflicted? And then it hit me. Another baby would be wonderful but if I were really honest with myself, my true heart's desire was simply to have Lillian back. At that moment, I was not necessarily longing to be a mommy but rather to be Lillian's mommy. (Jesus, please give my sweetie pea a huge hug and kiss from her Mommy and tell her I love her and miss her tons!)

As more time passes, I realize that at heart I am a mom. I will always be Lillian's mom. But ultimately I wonder whether I am destined for the ups and downs parenthood again. There is no other job as challenging or as fulfilling. And so I wait...as quietly as possible. Listening for the gentle whisper that will tell me when and if I am to be someone else's mommy.

6 comments:

Anonymous April 22, 2007 at 10:48 AM  

Dear Lori,

I, too, had been in the "club" before Maddie became part of our lives. Five years of fertility consults, drugs, giving up, wishing, asking why. I know where you are coming from on this. When Maddie was diagnosed, I wondered what I'd do. I think your blog today clearly describes what is in my heart as we go through this process. I want to give you a huge hug and tell you so much that I understand.

Thank you for your blog and for being so bold with pouring your heart and soul into your words. I feel them in my heart so deeply when I read each time.

I think of Lillian EVERY SINGLE DAY and pray that God is holding her close and guiding her through the Heavens giving her the life she was meant to continue in a healthy, whole, free body.

All my love to you, Lori. I wish for each new day to bring ease to your heart and just one more smile when you think of your beautiful girl.

Catherine Colley
Maddie and Owen's Mom
colleycat@yahoo.com

Andrea Jensen April 22, 2007 at 3:25 PM  

Dear Lori- I come from a different club. We had no problems getting pregnant. I just had problems not throwing up. Having had a kidney removed due to cancer as a child, being dangerously dehydrated was even scarier. Our older daughter Olivia came at a great cost ( I lost 20lbs in the 3rd month alone). Then I got pregnant with Maddy, I thought maybe it was just a fluke the first time. It was even worse the second time. The doctor told me in the middle of my pregnancy that I should never get pregnant again. I come from a family of 9 children and having only 2 seemed like such a failure. Holidays are too quiet and the girls only have each other. We told them that a lot. When Maddy got sick, I instantly thought, what would Olivia do if something happened to her sister. We have focused on how they only had each other. I wanted a bigger family, 4 kids. I felt like I had only been grudgingly given 2 kids. My life has been wrapped up in being a mom for the last 9 years, since I got pregnant with Liv. It's not the same, we would still have Livvy and we have had Maddy longer. Just my musings. I understand how much you love Lillian. You will always be a mom. You should give yourself time to grieve and listen to your heart later on. Heavenly Father knows what you need and if you are meant to mother another child, he will give you one. I appreciate your honestly on your blog. I am grateful the faith we have. It makes rough time a bit easier. I am glad you visit us on the internet. Love, Andrea

Lori April 22, 2007 at 3:38 PM  

Catherine, Here's a hug right back for your affirmation. The club is so much bigger than you realize, particularly when fertility is viewed as a private matter by so many people and as such not openly discussed. I think it is important to share and to take comfort in shared experiences. Thank you for your story.

Andrea, I am grateful for your perspective. I come from a family of 2 so that seems just right to me. (In fact I've said more than once that it would scare me if the children outnumbered the parents in my family. You know, bigger car, bigger house, more arms, that kind of thing.) You have endured such drama to bring two beautiful girls into the world. I admire your bravery! I would also like to hereby induct you into the infertile club as an honorary member. You have helped me see that it is a club for any person who cannot have as many children as they would like, whether that is 1 or 10. Thank you for your story.

Love to you both!
Lori

Anonymous April 22, 2007 at 9:09 PM  

Lori, I want you to know that you are still in our prayers. We think about you often and wonder what is next for you and Jeff. I am glad you decided to keep up this blog. It is so nice to be able to keep up from way out here in Tucson. God bless you. Joey and family

Jennifer April 22, 2007 at 11:01 PM  

Lori,
Thank you so much for sharing your heart with all of us. We passed a creek today and threw rocks into the water in honor of Lillian.

I can't begin to imagine what this is like for you, but I pray for you every day, knowing that God knows.
Love,
Jenn

Anonymous April 25, 2007 at 8:25 PM  

Dear Lori,
We haven't met - I'm a rookie up at 10N, though it's starting to feel more like home away from home each visit. I heard of you and your family from Lexie's mom - and have been praying for you since you were on 9picu.

Your words hit so close to home and I ache for what you and your hubby must be going through. My daughter is 13 - bone cancer. It's discouraging when the doc tells you that he hasn't had a survivor of such a serious case. So I find myself already mourning at times - wondering how I would get through without my babe. The pain is undescribable, and though I haven't had to face it head on as you have, I feel like I have a certain bond with you. I wonder about trips to Costco, or McDonalds, or how I would handle her favorite shows on tv.

Yet for me, God has to shout, "She's not dead, quit living like she is!" and I go back to making every moment count.

I just wanted to thank you for your continued blogging. Sometimes I feel so alone, and it's so encouraging to see someone else with their faith as their strength. God is good, even in the tough times. You have been His light to many.

You will continue to be in my prayers. ~ Celeste
chelestay@yahoo.com

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