Touched By Love (38 WEeks)

 

Dearest Sophia,

Today while I was at physical therapy with Champ, a new family walked in.  A mother was tightly clutching a bundle of cloth, and at first it appeared that there was nothing underneath the blanket.  As she came closer to the side of the room I was sitting in I saw that she was holding a baby—a very, very small baby. 

The woman and her husband sat down a few feet from where Champ was getting his therapy, and they lovingly unwrapped their little girl.  What I had thought was a very young baby turned out to just be a very small baby.  She looked to be one or two months old, but she couldn’t have weighed more than 6 pounds.  Her arms and legs were extremely thin and had splotches of red all over them.  Her head was very small and shaped slightly irregularly.  When I looked at her face I could tell that this little girl must be suffering from some sort of disease or syndrome or abnormality, and she reminded me so much of you.

She didn’t look like you, but she was just a little different and extra special like you were.

I found myself staring at this family of three, not because of the way the little girl looked, but because of the love that was there.  The mother clapped her daughter’s extremely small hands and nuzzled her precious little nose.  The father proudly snapped photographs on his cell phone as the physical therapist put his little one in a small wooden box—yes a box!—to help support her as they tried to get her to hold her head up. 

Here in Taiwan you don’t see that many kids with special needs, especially ones that look like they have special needs.  You were the first Trisomy-13 patient of most of your doctors and nurses, and so many of them were just shocked that we loved you despite your health issues. So when I saw this family I just couldn’t take my eyes off of them.

In this country you just don’t see that kind of love for these kinds of special babies.

I was so proud of them.  I wanted to let them know that I was proud of them for taking their daughter out in public and taking her to physical therapy.  I was touched that they weren’t ashamed of her when I know shame is a large part of this culture when it comes to children with special needs.  I wanted to tell them that I know what they are going through, and that their love for their beautiful daughter is so touching.

I wanted to go over and give them a hug and tell them all about you, but I couldn’t.  Oh, how I wish my Chinese was better!  Instead I tried to show my feelings through the emotions on my face and I hoped that they would see that my stares were out of admiration and not out of disgust.  I’m sure that those parents were used to having people stare, probably not so nicely, at their daughter and I really wanted them to know that I was not one of those people.

Seeing that family gave me hope for this country.  Maybe more and more families like this one will decide to keep their precious babies no matter what their diagnosis.  And maybe they will chose to love them, really love them, and treat them as they would any “normal” baby.  Maybe in a few years stories like yours won’t be such a rarity.

I pray for the babies, born and unborn, who are sick in this country. I pray that their parents will see their worth and will be proud to love them like the family I saw today was.  I pray that I will see this family again and I will be able to share all these thoughts that I have in my head.

Thank you, Sophia, for giving me a chance to experience love and gain empathy in an area of life that I might never have.  Even though you have been gone for almost 9 months you still continue to teach me lessons and shape my life.

I love you so much.

Love,

Mommy

Your Daddy (37 Weeks)

 

Dear Sophia,

This week I want to talk to you about your daddy.  You know, the one with the stubbly chin that always loved to rub your hand on it?  Your daddy.

Your daddy has loved you as long as you have been in existence.  The day I told him I was pregnant I think was one of the happiest in his life.  I heard his smile through the phone that day. 

When I was pregnant with you he used to lay his head on my belly and put his mouth right against my skin.  Then he’d talk to you in a hushed voice as he told you secrets—just yours and his.  I can only imagine he was telling you how much he loved you, how he was praying for you, and maybe even how he was scared for you. 

The night you decided to come into this world he was an amazing support to us both.  He let me squeeze his hand and he helped me breathe slowly in-and-out.  He told me that he was thinking about you the whole time.  He couldn’t wait to meet you.

After you were born, you were taken to the PICU, and your daddy followed you there.  He sat outside the room on a hard, plastic chair for hours in the hopes he’d get to see you.  He had been up all night helping me, but still he waited and stayed close so he could protect you, even if from a distance.

During your life he was my rock.  He held my hand on the hard days and rejoiced with me on the good.  He listened to me, held me while I cried, prayed with me, and experienced moments with me that no one else will ever understand.  It was just him, you, and me in this strangle little world for 47 days.

sophia and daddy 2

Each day of your life he came and visited you.  He had to work also, so he would see you for the first visiting hours, go to work, come back to the hospital for the second visiting hours, then go back to work.  He’d come home for an hour and half, then go back to the hospital for a third visit.  And get up the next day and do it all again.

He’d leave his cellphone on during class in case the doctors called, and sometimes they did.  Sometimes he’d get a call that something really bad was happening to you, and then he’d either have to leave work, or go back to teaching his little students.  He had to face healthy 3 and 4 year olds each day, all the while having a sick daughter of his own in the hospital.  He had to see them jump into the arms of their parents after class while knowing that he’d never get to experience that with you.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand how hard that was for him. 

The last days of your life he was there with you, 24 hours a day.  He held you, prayed for you, sang to you, rocked you, and finally, on that last night, got to lay down next to you.

IMG_8201

He told me that was one thing he’d always wanted to do—lie next to you and just cuddle with you.  He was able to do that one night, your last night on Earth.  He fell asleep holding your hand, and I will never ever forget that image:  a daddy holding the hand of a daughter he so desperately wanted to save, but would soon have to say goodbye to.

After you died he held you close to his chest. He held you so tight, the way that daddy’s are supposed to.  I know in those moments after your death he was imagining all the things he would miss with you.  He was seeing you skip off to your first day of school.  He was imagining taking your pictures at your high school prom.  He was picturing how beautiful you would have been on your wedding day, and how it would have felt to walk you down the aisle and give you away.  But then he had to open his eyes and see that you were gone.

IMG_8233

Your daddy let me carry you out of the PICU because he knew it had always been my dream.

You see, your daddy is a very sensitive man, and a great listener.  That’s what made me fall in love with him.  And he paid attention to the things that I wanted, and needed, while you were alive and after you died.  He loves us so much—his girls. 

And now Sophia, he is a great daddy to your foster brother, Champ.  He takes turns with me doing “night duty” and “morning duty”.  He goes to work each day, and doesn’t complain when I ask him to feed and care for Champ when he gets home because I’ve been with him all day. 

He is a really, really great daddy.  And it breaks my heart that he only got to be your daddy for 47 days.  It breaks my heart that you didn’t get to know him more, and that he didn’t get to live out his daddy dreams in you.  My heart breaks for the relationship that could have been that died on July 22, 2013.  

I hope you knew how much he loved you.  I hope you know how much he loves you still, and how often he still looks at your photographs. 

We both love you so much, our little bear cub.

Love,

Mommy

Peace in the Waiting (36 Weeks)

A few weeks back I wrote you a similar letter to this one, but it’s still lingering in my mind and heart and so I have to continue to share it with you.

My dearest Sophia,

Today I saw a picture of a new baby that had just been born.  She was being held by a smiling family member, with the caption “welcome to the family baby girl, we love you.”

I thought to myself, ‘that should be me.’

Then I realized

              that WAS me.

 

                          And then it wasn’t.

 

In just over two months it will be, what would have been, your first birthday. (It still seems painfully surreal to me when I have to type words like that…what would have been.)

As we get closer to that date, I keep thinking ‘when will my next baby come?’  Where is he or she, and why is God taking this long?

I think when you died I made a contract with God in my head: He would surely allow me to have another baby before a year had passed.  It seemed that was just the right thing for Him to do. 

Like I have any right to say what God should be doing or when He should do it.

But here we are, 10 months out, and there is no baby.  No pregnancy in sight.  And I start to have this feeling of desperation well up inside of me.

What if one year passes and I’m still not pregnant?

I don’t think I had even considered that as a possibility almost one year ago. 

When you go through a big loss, like we did when we lost you, it’s easy to think that God is going to take it easy on you from then on.  You get a little arrogant and reason with yourself, ‘Ok, He has allowed me go through this, surely the rest of my life will come without more heartbreak.  He must feel extra pity on me now.’

You want to believe that pregnancies will come easy, babies will be born healthy, and life will be smooth sailing because you’ve been through the roughest of storms and surely that was enough.

I’ve learned that isn’t the way things work.

And because things don’t work that way it’s easy for me to get dissatisfied, angry, lonely, desperate, resentful, and sad.  It is so, so easy to see someone (especially someone who has another child) post a picture of a positive pregnancy test and immediately think ‘they don’t deserve another one as much as I do.’  It’s a terrible thought, I know it, but I would be lying if it didn’t cross my mind.

You might wonder, but what about Champ?

Having your foster brother here gives me a purpose for my day-to-day life, and gives me a feeling of satisfaction in taking care of him.  But he doesn’t fill the giant ache in my heart that longs for a child of my own.  Because he isn’t our own.  And I can’t love him the way I would love my own baby, because I need to protect my heart for the day that he goes away to be with his forever family.

Oh Sophia, I’m sorry this letter has been so full of self-pity.

I pray that God will help me to be satisfied with what I have.  I pray that He will give me another child, but that in the interim (however long that may be) He will give me peace and He will help me fill that feeling of something is missing in Him.

I pray for peace in the waiting.

I wait for the day I can see you again.  I wait for the moment I can hold you in Heaven and show you to all those who never met you and say ‘this is my girl.’

I LOVE you. So, so much.

Love,

Mommy

 

 

35 Weeks

Dear Sophia,

This week marked 8 months since your passing.  Eight long, back-and-forth months.

I wanted to share a few things with you this week.  First of all, I wanted you to know that I got to tell your story to another person—my favorite thing to do.

We were in the hospital for 5 days because your foster brother Champ was getting his cleft palate repaired.  The nurses and hospital staff were all a little confused as to the situation surrounding him.  They weren’t quite sure why a foreigner was taking care of a Taiwanese baby, especially a Taiwanese baby with so many “problems.”

One of his nurses came right out and asked me, “Why are you taking care of this boy who looks so different?”

I told her it’s because his mother could no longer take care of him herself.

She was still very confused.

“I know, but why are you taking care of this child.  He has a lot of problems, you know.  I just don’t understand why you would take so much time to take care of a child like this.”

Sophia, my defenses immediately went up.  I wanted to speak unkindly to this lady, but I paused for a minute and realized I could use this situation to really give her a different perspective on special needs children, and their worth.

“I believe that every baby is special to God, and that they all deserve a chance to be loved and cared for.”

“Yes, but doesn’t he take a lot of time to care for? I think a baby like this would be a lot of trouble.”

“Sure, it does take a lot of time to take care of him, but what should I do?  Should I just leave this child alone to die?”

…silent pause…

“Well, I know if I wasn’t a nurse, if I worked in an office, I would not want to care for this baby.”

And this, Sophia, is where I got to share all about  you.  I told the nurse about how we knew you would be sick before you were born, but we chose to love you anyway.  I told her that your face didn’t look “normal” either, but that you were the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen.  I told her how much we loved you, simply because you were our daughter and a gift from God.  I told her that you didn’t need to be a certain way to earn our love, but we just gave it to you freely.  I let her know that we loved you each day until you died, and that we never regretted loving you so fiercely.

Tears filled my eyes as I talked about you.

And then tears filled that nurse’s eyes too.

“Ok.  I think I understand…  You are such a good, and kind woman to care of a child like this.”

“It is a privilege to care for a child like this.

She left, still with tears in her eyes, and a look on contemplation on her face.  I pray that watching us love on Champ helped really change her idea of the beauty and importance of all lives.  And I know that hearing your story, Sophia, made her heart a little softer.


The second thing I wanted to share with you is that we received your Sophia bear, from Molly Bears last week.  I joined the waitlist for your bear shortly after you died, but it was going to be a three year wait.  Some of your daddy’s side of the family came together to buy an “Express Pass” that meant we would get the bear much sooner.  She was created to be the exact weight you were when you passed away—12 lbs and 1 oz.

But that’s not all.  Because you see baby, you have 2 bears that were made for you.  You have your Sophia bear from the Molly Bears, and you have one that your grandma lovingly made for you.  She gave it to me at Christmas because she knew it would be a long time before I got our Molly Bear. 

Both bears are so special to us, and it means everything that we have a tangible representation of you.

sophia bear 2

This is the bear your grandma made for you.  She made the cape and the little dress, and the shorts are made from one of the blankets you used to use in the hospital.

 

sophia bear 1

Here is your “Sophia Bear” from Molly Bears.  We were able to suggest colors/images that we would love to have on the bear, but there were no promises.  I think she came out perfect.

 

sophia bear 5

 

I love you baby.  Till next week…

Love,

Mommy

34 Weeks

 

Dear Sophia,

Tomorrow we are taking your foster brother, Champ, to the hospital for his cleft palate repair.  He has been sick for the past ten days, and so I’ve been very busy trying to get him better. 

I’m excited for him to get this surgery, because it will make it easier for him to eat and drink, but I’m very nervous for all the pain he is going to have to endure.

You know, if you had lived, you would have had to get your cleft lip and palate repaired.  If you had lived then maybe right now we’d be preparing for your surgery.  But you’re not here anymore, and I don’t have to worry about you.

It still amazes me how God chose this specific little boy to come into our home.  He chose a baby that had so many similarities to you, so that we’d be able to experience some of the things we never got to do with you—even if it’s a surgery.

I remember before you were born we researched a lot about how to care for a baby with a cleft lip, and then after you were born that seemed to be the smallest issue you had.  Cleft lip and palate?  No problem.  We had to deal with holes in your heart, and missing brain structures, and chromosomal abnormalities.

Looking back I realize that if we had to prepare for your cleft lip/palate surgery, then it would mean you were relatively healthy.  It would have seemed like a gift, a blessing, that we had made it that far down the list of things we needed to “fix” for you.

And here I am, with a different baby, and this surgery seems like the biggest thing in the world.

It’s funny how your perspective can change so much, depending on the situation you are in.

Growing up I saw pictures of children with cleft lips, but they were always from different countries, on commercials for some charity.  To me, children with cleft lips were those big brown-eyed kids with dirty faces and torn clothes peeking shyly from behind a crumbling wall.  That medical issue seemed so distant and far from my reality, and I never thought I would have any personal connection to it.

Yet, I have now cared for two children with cleft lips and palates, and that has become my idea of “normal.” 

cleft collage

Now, when I look at babies that are born healthy and with “normal” facial features, it just seems strange to me.  I can’t believe that people can actually have perfectly healthy babies, and that it’s more common than uncommon for them to be born that way.

My reality is filled with wide smiles and scarred lips.  But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It was a privilege to care for you, and it’s a privilege to care for him.

I’ll be thinking about you tomorrow, baby. I’ll be wishing it was you that was there.

I love you.

Love,

Mommy

A Unexpected Surprise (33 weeks)

 

Dear Sophia,

There are little to no surprises about your life anymore.  There isn’t any fact about your health, or the events of your 47 days of life that I don’t know.  There will never be any new milestones in your life, new stories to tell, or any new photographs to share.  Except for the new stories that arise that are connected to your legacy, there will never be anything that I could learn about you that I don’t already know now.

That’s what makes “surprises” like this picture so meaningful.

IMG_0681

 

This picture.

Oh, this picture.

Your dad sent it to me a few weeks ago and asked me if I had ever seen it.

I hadn’t.

It was one last precious surprise in our story together.

Now Sophia, to many people this picture wouldn’t seem too special.  They might think that the lighting isn’t great or that there is a lot of clutter in the background, or why oh why does that person have headphones on her bare belly?

But to me this picture represents so much of our journey together. 

It is a physical reminder of your presence in this world. I was about 24 weeks along here.

It shows just one of the things I wanted to share with you. Music is such a large part of my life. I always imagined us twirling around singing songs to Jesus.

It represents the hope I had for your life.  I truly believed you could hear all the music that I played for you and that one day those same songs would comfort your outside the womb.

 

Now Sophia, at first that’s all I saw in this picture.  But then your daddy said “look what song is playing on your iPod.”

Baby, it immediately brought tears to my eyes.

Our song.  I was listening to our song. 

Oh, how He loves us.  That was always our song.  And in this picture I was reminded, once again, of the goodness of our Savior.

He knew that almost 8 months after your death I would need to be reminded that He was always there.  Even in the photograph that I had never seen.

That very song is the one that I used to listen to and sing to myself over and over when we first heard about your possible diagnosis.  I had to remind myself, through this song, that God still loved you and me, and that He was going to make everything ok.  I remember sitting in bed with tears streaming down my face, night after night, listening to this song and I remember sitting in your hospital bed, night after night, singing it to you.  We played this very song at your memorial service while a video of your life was played.

And this is the very song, one of the only songs, that I have not listened to since July 22, 2013.  I simply have not been ready to hear it.

But finding this picture and getting this unexpected surprise has made me think that maybe it’s time.  Maybe this picture was God’s way of letting me know that it’s ok to hear the song again.  Maybe it was Him saying “it’s ok to sit in your bed and cry while your hear these words of love from Me to you.  I was with you the first time you cried, and I’m still here now.”

I feel like this picture was a gift from Him to me, and I’m so thankful for it.  I will add it to the other photos and memories of you that I carry around in my heart.

I love you, and I miss you.

Love,

Mommy

Carrying You With Me (32 Weeks)

 

Dear Sophia,

Nine months ago, today, you were born.

That means it’s been eighteen months since you first came into my life, and into my womb.

I had so many dreams and goals for you.  There was so much I wanted to show you and share with you.   We should have had the whole world to experience together, and yet that never happened.  I was never ever able to show you anything except the inside of the PICU.

I could never carry you outside the walls of the hospital, so now I carry you places in my heart.

This past week I carried you to the beach in Kenting.  Do you remember the last time I was there?  We were there.  Together.  The last time I was in Kenting was on my babymoon, almost exactly a year ago.

IMG_09801

I remember feeling quite pregnant with you at that time.  Little did I know that I would still have almost ten weeks more to go before you decided you were ready to come out.

When we decided to go back to Kenting last week, my first thought was of you.  It made me so sad that we were returning without you, when the last time we had been there was to celebrate you.

It was just another reminder of the emptiness that I have in my arms and in my heart and in my life.

Still, it was a trip I needed to make in order to conquer that source of grief.  I’ve found in my grief journey that if I shrink back from the things that make me sad then they just grow bigger and scarier and harder to overcome in the end.  I knew that if I didn’t go back to Kenting now, then I would never want to go back and I would forever claim it as “the place where we had the babymoon of our daughter who is now dead.”

The trip was short (less than 48 hours) but it was just what I needed to heal that piece of my memory.  We took your foster brother Champ, which was great, and a part of the healing process.  God uses him almost every day to help me heal, and although he isn’t our forever son, he is the baby we have now that can allow us to do the things we always wanted to do with you.

I got to take him to his first trip to the beach.  I got to dip his toes in the cold ocean water.  I got to hold him while he slept with the warm sea air blowing across his face.  All those things that I had wanted to do with you, I got to do with him.

But he is not you…

…and we did not forget you. 

You were there with us.  You were there in the multiple Superman shirts and necklaces that I saw.  You were there in your name written in the sand, and you were there in my heart.

sophia beach collage

 

So here’s to the many more adventures that I can share with you.  Here’s to the experiences that I am learning not to shy away from, but embrace, knowing that I carry you with me.

Here’s to you always being my little girl.

Love,

Mommy

things Not Promised (31 weeks)

 

This past week we got to once again share your life with this world.  Daddy and I spoke at church about the blessings that came from deciding to keep you even though you were sick, and deciding to love you even though you were most likely going to leave us.  It was a such a joy to talk about you, and it reminded me again of just how proud I was of you.

Dear Sophia,

This past week I was thinking (as I often do) about how my life has changed since we found out we were pregnant with you.  One of the ways your life has shifted my way of thinking is in the realm of life and death.

I realized that besides being robbed of your life, I have also been robbed of the chance to ever normally enjoy a pregnancy again.

Because I’ve become a little more jaded.  A little more cynical.

I’ve seen that pregnancy does not equal a child, or a healthy child at that.

I look at all the moms-to-be on Facebook or in magazines with their glowing faces and hands lovingly caressing their swollen bellies, and I think—I want to be them.

I want another baby.

And I want to not be afraid to want another baby.

I want to be able to see those two pink lines again and be assured that in 9 months a baby will be in my arms.  And in another 9 months that same baby will be able to look at my face, and smile, and know who I am and interact with me.

I want to be able to plan a nursery without first feeling like I need to plan a memorial service.

I want something that I have been robbed of—the hope that life can go on “like it’s supposed to” and that not every life that I carry has to end in death.

But baby, I’m afraid that I can’t, and will never have those things.  And what’s hardest to stomach is the fact that I’m not promised any of those things.

Just because you died, that doesn’t mean that I have a “get out of another baby-death free card.”  And just because we struggled with infertility before you, it doesn’t mean that now another baby will come as soon as I want it to be here.

Those things just aren’t promised to me.

And I know that God is with me now, and will continue to be with me.   But just because He’s with me, that doesn’t mean that everything will happen the way that I want it to.

I guess that I’m just struggling with this lately.  I’m wishing that I could go back to the old Sarah who believed that most things have happy endings, but the truth is I’m not the same girl I was before you.  You changed me…

…for better and for worse.  But mostly better.

IMG_7547

I absolutely LOVED being pregnant.  Every.single.minute.

Love,

Mommy

The Worst Club in the World (30 weeks)

 

Dearest Sophia,

This past week I accidentally stumbled across a few videos and blogs that were about other parents who had lost their children.  In one video there was a woman who had tried for ten years to get pregnant, and then when she finally did, she miscarried that baby.  While she was describing the deepness of her devastation and loss I found my eyes fixed on the screen with my head shaking up and down in agreement with her feelings.

In one of the blogs I came across a woman was pregnant with twins and ended up losing them both.  The first little boy died shortly after birth and they truly believed the other would live—that God would spare his life—but he died the next day.  As I read the words that their mother had painstakingly typed, after their death, I could see myself in each letter. 

It seems like the only people who could ever begin to understand what I’ve gone through, are those who have gone through the loss of their own child. 

Since your death I have joined an exclusive club—the parents of dead children club.  It’s one that you would never wish to join, and you don’t have a choice as to whether or not you’re admitted as a member.  It’s the worst club in the world, yet at the same time there are beautiful kinships that are found there. 

For those of us who refuse to let the lives of our lost little ones go silent, there is an intimate group of souls that are there to empathize and just listen.

I have met and communicated with several other mommies who lost their babies and it has helped me heal. 

I think that those relationships are so important to have, because without them I would feel completely lost and alone.

I guess I just want anyone who is reading this, and has lost a child, to know that I’m here to listen.  I’m so proud of you, Sophia, and your life—you taught me so much.  But in your death I learned and experienced things that are very exclusive, and if anyone reading this is looking for another “club member”, I’m here.

IMG_7885


On a different note, I was also thinking about you in Heaven.  What are you doing?  What do you look like?  Have you made a lot of friends, and are you there to welcome all the other new babies?  What is it like to see Jesus face to face, and to worship at the Throne of God?  Will you be there waiting for me when it’s my turn to die?

I miss you, Sophia.  I can’t believe that it’s been 30 weeks, 3 days short of 7 months.

Miss you everyday, my little bear cub.

Love,

Mommy

29 weeks

 

Dear baby Sophia,

I’m sorry this letter is coming to you a little later this week.  I have been so busy with your foster brother, Champ!  Last week we had to spend two days in the hospital with him, and today I was back at the hospital with a day full of doctor’s appointments.  He has been having some problems with his seizures lately, so we’ve been working hard to get to the bottom of the triggers. 

IMG_9303

I talk about you, to him, every day.

Today I took him to see a doctor to check on his cleft lip repair and to talk about scheduling his cleft palate repair.  We also saw a rehabilitation doctor and a speech therapist.  Each doctor did their jobs pointing out the many struggles he has before him, but for some reason today they were very hard for me to hear.

As I listened to how far behind he is developmentally and how many things he has to overcome, it just broke my heart.  I had to fight back tears at all three of the appointments, and it reminded me of the days when I had to choke back the tears with your doctors.  While you were alive, almost everyday we heard some discouraging news about you, and almost everyday I had to (sometimes unsuccessfully) hold back the tears. 

It’s hard to hear that your child, whether by blood or by fostering, is not “normal” and will face struggles throughout their life.  It’s hard to see the countless things that are stacked up against your child.  As a mommy or daddy, it’s just hard.

But I think with Champ there is something else that is making me cry.  There is another thought that lurks in the darkest part of my mind and in the deepest part of my heart: the thought that somehow I can make up what I was never able to do for you, with him.   I feel that because there were so many things I couldn’t “fix” with you, that I need to be able to “fix” things for him.  I think that’s why when I hear that there are so many things that he needs “fixing” that it just breaks my heart. 

It makes me feel that I’m somehow failing you all over again.

My brain knows that your sickness wasn’t my fault and that I did all that was humanly possible to keep you alive.  But my heart has never really let me stop believing that somehow…somehow…there was something else I could have done to help you. 

So now that we have Champ, and he actually lives in our home, I feel an added pressure and sense of urgency to help him overcome all his challenges.  When the doctors point out something that is “wrong” with him, I immediately take it as a poor reflection on my ability to mother him.  I know that it’s not right, or even healthy, but it’s what I do.

Through him I’m still trying to parent you, in a way.  I’m trying to live out our broken dreams through that precious little boy.

And I know that’s why God put him in our lives.  Not only so I could continue to be a parent, but so that I could struggle with these feelings of guilt and worthlessness and then turn them over to Him—the one who restores me through His love—and realize that your life, and Champ’s life, were/are never in my control.  Your lives were/are in HIS care and control, and that takes the pressure and obligation off of me.  I just pray that I can live out that belief day by day.

Sophia, I’m thankful that you got to skip the endless negative doctor appointments and go straight to Heaven.  I really am.  I guess I just still miss you a lot.  I just miss my baby girl.

 

I love you.

Love,

Mommy